1950 Matchless G80


THE NEW 1950 MATCHLESS G80
1949 was the first year for the Matchless G80, the company’s top-line 500 single. Typical of British bikes of the era, it used pushrods and a small bore/long stroke (undersquare). The new bike also had a new frame with a swing arm rear suspension, and “Teledraulic” (telescopic and hydraulically damped) front forks. The rear suspension was straight off of one of parent-company AMC’s other motorcycle brands. Velocette already had a swing arm suspension setup which used two vertical shock absorbers called “Candlesticks” because they were so thin (they only held 50cc of oil). The design and development work already done by Velocette, it made sense for AMC to use it again on the Matchless G80.

1950 MATCHLESS G80 DESIGN
Because of the poor quality of the petrol (gasoline) in the UK at the time, British car and motorcycle manufacturers alike produced engines with relative low compression ratios. The 1950 Matchless G80 had a 5.9:1 compression ratio. It used hairpin valve springs, changed over from the used of conventional coil springs on wartime models. In typical British fashion, the timing gear was on the right side of the engine, and the primary chain and clutch were on the right, driving a 4-speed constant mesh gearbox which was shifted with the right foot.


1950 Matchless G80 SPECIFICATIONS

Engine type

Dislacement

Bore & Stroke

Compression

Carburetor

Engine output

Ignition

Lubrication

Primary drive

Clutch

Final drive

Gearbox

Suspension, front

Suspension, rear

Brake, front

Brake, rear

Tire, front

Tire, rear

Frame type

Wheelbase

Ground clearance

Seat height

Dry weight

Top speed

Air-cooled OHV single

497cc

82.5mm X 93mm

5.9:1

Amal type 891 1-3/32″

23 bhp @ 5,400 rpm

Lucas Magneto

Dry sump

Chain

Multi-plate, wet

Chain

Burman 4-speed constant-mesh, right foot shift

AMC Teledraulic fork

None, rigid

7″ SLS drum

7″ SLS drum

3.25″ X 19″

3.50″ X 19″

Rigid

55.2″

5.5″

31.0″

390 lbs

80 mph


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