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Matchless G15 Project

Discussion in 'AJS & Matchless' started by dave M, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. dave M

    dave M

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    I have just been back to California and picked up the Project bike that I got through Raber's in March this year. I managed to strip the bike apart to assess what I have to work with and was pleased to find that it is still on standard crank grind and cylinder bores. It does need a complete restoration and there are quite a few parts missing, but it is a matching numbers bike and I already have a tank and battery/tool box which can be hard to source. I am looking forward to picking the brains of the N15/G15 owners and experts on this forum as I get further into the project.

    I have the chance of buying some parts of an old 650 SS here in HK. The frame and other bits and pieces like the tank, seat instruments etc are long gone so perhaps I may be able to put what's left to good use in resurrecting this project.
     
  2. davamb

    davamb

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    I am insanely jealous Dave. Pics soon?
     
  3. Rohan

    Rohan

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Indeed, pics ?

    A 650 with short roadholder forks and featherbed fittings, and a 750 with long roadholders and Matchless frame aren't going to have a lot in common ?
     
  4. dave M

    dave M

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Gentlemen,

    I have as always imposed on our dear leader L.A.B. to help me post the photos because I am an illiterate fool when it comes to anything to do with computers, so watch this space for something in due course.

    Rohan, I'm hopeful that some gearbox and clutch parts as well as some engine bits and pieces might come in handy. Also I need a Norton front drum and sundry other common parts. I'm not quite sure how much of the 650SS is left, but it has sat outside in Hong Kong's very humid climate for years, parts were stolen off it and it was finally dismantled and the frame was sold to an Australian chap for a cafe racer project.


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  5. Rohan

    Rohan

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Fair enough, if the cost makes that feasible.

    Good looking project, should keep you busy for a while.
    Some decidedly exotic machinery in the background, good stuff !
     
  6. BillT

    BillT

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Forget the Matchy, I'll take the Barchetta behind it!
     
  7. dave M

    dave M

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Quite right Bill, although it would be a tough choice to simply take one from this collection. I was in the Monterey area supporting one of my clients who was participating in the Pebble Beach Concourse d'Elegance and other motoring events. Such were the reduced circumstances that I was obliged to dismantle the Matchless in!

    I love the bike in your icon photo, if I can get mine anywhere near to that standard I will be very pleased.
     
  8. davamb

    davamb

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Ho hum, just another Barchetta, yet beside it is a Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider if I'm not mistaken. Far more interesting!
     
  9. dave M

    dave M

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    You are correct about the Lancia Dave, there is also a 1926 Rolls Phantom I, behind that a 1934 Rolls Phantom II, a 1933 Bugati type 57, a 1927 Alfa Romeo 6C, a Bentley Speed Six and a 1938 Lagonda 12cylinder.

    I was priviledged to drive the 1934 Phantom II called The Star Of India in the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance as part of this year's Maharaja class, Just another boring day at the office!

    But this is all getting off the topic of G15's
     
  10. davamb

    davamb

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Sorry Dave, but I can't help myself. The Lancia would trump the rest of the collection combined in terms of technical sophistication and engineering excellence and is well worthy of being part in any discussion of things petrol powered. But this being a bike forum and all, I better shut up and content myself with the G15 story. If I'm ever over in HK though, I'll be begging for a drool opportunity!
     
  11. dave M

    dave M

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Dave, These photos were all taken in California where these cars are kept and where I have left the Matchless. I go to the US a couple of times a year for my classic car business. Fixing classic cars such as these is how I make my living, but motorcycles are my passion.

    I could however show you some interesting machinery if you ever come too HK.
     
  12. dave M

    dave M

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Rohan, I managed to get the 650SS parts for about $350 US. The parts are complete engine, gearbox and primary drive, 2 wheels (with Commando TLS brake plate) front forks and some other sundry items. Perhaps I should try to find a frame and build another 650 SS!
     
  13. cjandme

    cjandme

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Dave I have an old front drum that came in a box of parts from one of the bike I've purchased in the past. I was told that it's a P-11 front hub/drum from the PO and it seems to look like some that I've seen in pictures. If you think you might be intrested and you're not in a hurry for it let me know, (It's in Texas and I'm in Afghanistan at the moment, but that may change soon as it seems that our contract is going south ---so to speak). Cj
     
  14. dave M

    dave M

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Thank you for the offer CJ, The P II's had a different front drum to this G15 which should have a standard Norton Drum with single leading shoe backing plate, I already have a drum and 2LS backing plate that came with the bits from the 650 that I bought recently.
    Regards

    Dave
     
  15. cjandme

    cjandme

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Okey dokey ... That is some really nice iron in the pictures though. I guess business is good right. Are you on the kawloon side of HK?
     
  16. dave M

    dave M

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    CJ, business is good for the chap who owns the cars, it is merely adequate for the poor sap (that would be me) who has to repair them! I don't live in Kowloon (this means '9 dragons' in Cantonese). I live in hakka fishing village in the Sai Kung National park in the New territories .
     
  17. BillT

    BillT

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    I ran into Mike Partridge at the Barber Festival - He's the face of Waldridge Motors in Ontario and is the go-to guy for N15/G15/33 stuff, as well as the P11 series. He's got a couple dozen of the big hybrids.

    Interesting little tidbit he told me - AMC built the AJS 33 in '65-'67, and they didn't sell very well. When Berliner put in an order for 1000 Hybrids in '67, they re-stamped a bunch of 33s, converting them to Norton or Matchless. If you come across an N-15 or G-15 in the 119xxx to 124xxx range, look carefully at the serial on the case - there's a chance you'll see that it started out as an Ajay. He's got a couple in his collection where you can make out the '33' under 'G15'. Another interesting thing about the hybrids is there are no brand decals on the bikes, only the tank badges which could be changed easily

    Also, once AMC collapsed, Norton would ship the bikes with both =M= and 'N' badges, and there are a few out there that were sold as a Matchless with a Norton serial and visa versa.
     
  18. dave M

    dave M

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    I have been making some progress on my G15 since my last post and have returned to California for a few weeks, so hopefully things will move ahead some more.

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  19. dave M

    dave M

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    A few more photos of 'progress'.

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  20. dave M

    dave M

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    The project continues to move forward, slowly and steadily.

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