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Matchless G80

ABOVE: 1949 Matchless G80S.

1949 was the first year for the 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 G80.

BELOW: Matchless always built handsome machines, and this 1950 G80S is a fine example.

ABOVE:1954 G80.

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 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.

BELOW: 1959 G80.

ABOVE: 1968 G80CS engine.
BELOW: 1967 G80.

Matchless G80 YEAR-BY-YEAR

1947 G80

1949 G80
500cc OHV single.

1950 G80
500cc OHV single.

1952 G80

This ’52 G80 is a true survivor, having lived its whole life in Malaysia until a Peace Corps volunteer brought it back to the US in ’76.

1953 G80

1959 G80
500cc OHV single.

1961 G80 Typhoon
500cc OHV single.

1966 G80

The big 500 single in street trim.

1967 G80
500cc OHV single.

1967 G80CS
500cc OHV single.

1968 G80
500cc OHV single.

Check out these MATCHLESS BOOKS


Matchless: The Complete Story

Matchless, once the largest British motorcycle manufacturer

AJS and Matchless Post-War Singles and Twins: The Complete Story

Motorcycle Apprentice: Matchless – in name & reputation (Classic Reprint)

History of Matchless Motorcycles

Matchless and Ajs Restoration

BOOK OF THE MATCHLESS 350 & 500cc SINGLES 1955-1966

AJS and Matchless: The Post-war Models

AJS and Matchless Gold Portfolio 1945-1966

Illustrated Ajs and Matchless Buyer’s Guide (Illustrated Buyer’s Guide)


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