1968 MATCHLESS G80 BACKGROUND Matchless de-stroked their big 500 single down to an 86mm stroke, creating what they called the “short stroke” engine. The G80 was what they called back then a “scrambler”, which later might have been defined as an ‘enduro’, and today would probably be called a ‘Dual Sport’ bike, capable of off-road work along with decent highway performance. The Matchless G80 was produced from 1956 through 1967, the final bike, engine # 5572, being produced in June, 1967. This was near the end, when Associated Motor Cycles (AMC) was in serious financial trouble and on the brink of collapse. They were competitive in their early days as desert racers and enduro machines, but by 1967 they were past their prime. Like many of the other AMC machines brought into North America, these bikes could get you to work or school during the week and were often used in some form of dirt riding or competition on the weekend. The AJS equivalent was the model 18CS. Sales were slow and many 1967-models went unsold, only to be retitled and sold as 1968s, like this one.
1968 Matchless G80CS
1968 MATCHLESS G80 BACKGROUND
By 1968, parent company AMC was broke, technically having closed its door in 1967. However, unsold 1967s were retitled as 1968s and sold new. The G80 was Matchless’s big single, 500cc’s of power and torque. Fairly unique among British singles, the G80 had a nearly square bore & stroke (86mm X 85.8mm). Most of its competitors were heavily undersquare (meaning a longer stroke than the bore diameter). And it served them well for many years.