Fabien's bike: A Matchless 500 in a Rickman frame

gortnipper

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I moved the pics and stuff over from @yves norton seeley post in his thread in the commando forum. (none of this content is mine, it is all to Yves)



Hi there,
last friday evening I went down to the center of Brussels to see some friends at Flagey square.
I'll tell you right away: A Seeley with an engine like mine is really not ideal for driving at 50km / h and being stopped every 200 meters by traffic lights.
I noticed that my carburetion is a bit too rich and that the E speedo is not yet right, but I postponed this work until later, I brought in Fabien's bike: A matchless 500 in a rickman frame, the engine has been tuned in england by a specialist, but it has not yet run.
I have a few weeks of work on this machine and I'm not going to do a "rebuilt the Matchless" post
I continue to keep you posted for my Seeley with a little joke every now and then and a bit of nostalgia too.
if you like it of course?
Yves

Pics from the Matchless

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As promised here are the pictures of the Matchless
I start with the front:
Ceriani GP fork, not a replica.
Fontana 260mm magnesium brake, not a replica
Borani rims
Brigestone racing tires
Original Matchless G50 aluminum tank
Rickman Métisse frame, not a replica
Commando P.R.
TTI magnesium 5 speed gearbox.
Newby belt kit with clutch.
BTH electronic magneto
Mikuni Carburetor
G80 CS engine manufactured by JHS racing UK with the following specifications:
96mm Stroke press up crank assembly with 66% balance factor.
160mm conrod.
35mm crank pin with needle roller big end.
Roller main bearings.
New cam followers.
New SH profile camshaft.
New oil pump 3 start.
89.9mm forget piston, 10.5 / 1 CR
Copper head gasket.
Gold Star inlet valve.
G 80 CS exhaust valve
Coil spring conversion
Short rocker arms.
Central inlet port modification and spark plug relocation.
The bike was assembled by Eric Mercenier but never turned, There is still a lot of work to do, I have to learn everything because it is my first Matchless.
Fabien is the new owner and he does me the honor to entrust it to me.
Here I hope I have not disappointed you?
 
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gortnipper

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I assume that the headlinght is the small round button under they flyscreen?

I would love to ride this machine!
 
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Thanks to my friend Yves, the Matchless started, we put it on starter rollers, the engine being completely new, it was necessary to circulate the oil in the engine, once the the oil appeared when it returned to the oil tank.

it is running now...

Thank you again to Yves for the careful work and his expertise. Despite the fatigue of his condition. I really hope that you come back to us in good shape to go for walks together.

Thanks Maestro.

See the video from the first start-up
 

mdt-son

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Hi Fabian, what prompted you to use a late G80CS engine (actual displacement is 610cc) rather than a detuned G50 engine for this magnificent chassis? Do you have a photo of the piston used? What does it weigh?

This spring I had a late type barrell resleeved by L.A. Sleeve using Serco liner FL-5486. They did a very nice job, also trued barrel faced. I was lucky to obtain a NOS Robins piston for the barrel which provides a high CR, probably in the area of 12:1 . What a lump!
I will have to look for a lighter piston.

-Knut
 
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Hi Knut,

The engine is completely new, Yves tells me that it will work and that it takes time for everything to go smoothly.
The engine runs well, we run it gradually, it would take around 1000km, after we double-check everything and make the settings Yves is a virtuoso, I have absolute confidence in him.
A big thought for my friend Yves who is currently hospitalized.
Rest well and come back to us! we have motorcycle tours to do together, even though I know his Seeley will probably push harder.

Fabien
 
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baz

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Hi Knut,

The engine is completely new, Yves tells me that it will work and that it takes time for everything to go smoothly.
The engine runs well, we run it gradually, it would take around 1000km, after we double-check everything and make the settings Yves is a virtuoso, I have absolute confidence in him.
A big thought for my friend Yves who is currently hospitalized.
Rest well and come back to us! we have motorcycle tours to do together, even though I know his Seeley will probably push harder.

Fabien
I absolutely love your bike
Please keep us posted on it
And all the best to Yves he's a one off , not many like him
 

SteveA

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Hi Fabian, what prompted you to use a late G80CS engine (actual displacement is 610cc) rather than a detuned G50 engine for this magnificent chassis? Do you have a photo of the piston used? What does it weigh?

-Knut
It will be good to see Fabien's answer to the question, and I don't know how much Rickman history you know, so if I am teaching my granny to suck eggs I apologise.

The Rickman Brothers, Don and Derek were dedicated motocrossers, and they were successful. Their first frames were intended for motocross because the manufacturers factory frames would not stand the beating they were giving them. The early frames were very popular for both the AMC single engine, mainly Matchless G80s and Triumph 500 and 650 twins. The G80 motor was both more suitable for motocross with lower revs delivering significant grunt, and much cheaper than the high revving G50 race engine. AMC did build a couple of bikes with G50 motors in, I think mainly for AMA homologation, Team Obsolete has one in flat track guise, but these were AMC's own chassis.

In early '66 Don and Derek were track testing a new venture, a road race frame for the G50 and 7R motors, there were very successful and won UK National races from the start and going onward to the International scene. These road race frames were quite different from the motocross versions, but they shared the robustness the brothers built in.

Fabien's frame is a product of Rickman's motocross design, and not, I believe, their road or race products and the engine in it is clearly well suited to it as a road bike. I believe Fabien's frame is a product of Rickman's motocross design, and not their road or race products, and the engine in it is clearly well suited to a road bike.

So to me, there is significant logic in the use of the G80 and not the G50 in a motocross frame.

There may also be the issue of cost regarding 7R/G50 engines, they can be had new, but building a bike around one runs into several tens of thousands in any currency.

(The brothers started working with Paul Dunstall in late ''66 or early 67 and fitted 750 Norton Atlas twins to a derivative of the 7R/G50 chassis. These frames were in production until 1975, and my own Rickman is one of the last five frames made for these motors. I purchased it new as part of a complete chassis. Derivatives of these road race frames were also made for Triumph twins and further developed as the first Rickman road bike, the Street Metisse.)

Sadly Derek Rickman passed on this week, and it is clear from comments I have seen in Rickman circles that he was both liked and respected by everyone who knew him.
 
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SteveA

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These pictures are the clearest I can find of a motocross frame similar to Fabien's that show the lack of seat support in the basic frame.
 

SteveA

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You may be able to see that on my Road Race frame the top rails extend further back, actually a couple of inches further than you can see and there is then a near vertical hoop welded on that supports the seat with a bracket welded, top middle of the hoop and pointing to the rear. There are two bolts at the front of the seat and one at the rear top, in the middle of the fibreglass. It doesn't wobble up and down, unless that rear seat section securing bolt falls out! Yes....it happened!

The very first road race frames were cut close to the shock mounts like the motocross bikes....I think that design lasted a couple of months....and I think Fabien knows why!
 

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