Purchasing G80CS

Scout63

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I picked up the mag today from the rebuilder. He installed new points and a nice plug cable as well. I installed the mag and timed it this afternoon which was interesting, conceptually pretty simple and gave me a chance to use my magneto buzz box. I’ve also installed new tires and tubes, adjusted the valves, flushed the tank, rebuilt the carb, changed all of the fluids, checked the rear drive and primary chains and clutch and checked all cables. Tomorrow is the first attempt to start it. I have an old friend who attends all first startups. I’ll post a video if successful.
 

Scout63

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The Matchless started on the fourth kick. Here is the first start video:

Very different from the Commando obviously, and also much more primitive than my SR500 single. I have much sorting to do.
 
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Lovely looking machine.... Not hard to see why Norton 'poached' the Matchless colour scheme :)
 

Scout63

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Thanks. I have about 60 miles on it now and can report that:

It is very loud. Not very quick but has great torque. Shifts very nicely. Won’t tell me what it wants when starting but always starts after a few kicks. Bounces like a pogo stick. Has probably the most comfortable seat I’ve ever owned. Leaks from the primary and the gearbox but not enough to take them apart. Is a blast to ride.

The problem is that I’m switching off with my SR500 which is just better at every aspect of being a 500 thumper but one. The SR sounds, starts, pulls, brakes and handles cleaner and thumpier. The supertrapp gives it the richest rumble with no intake or valve train noise. I sat in the yard today after a ride for five minutes blipping and rolling the throttle on the SR just to listen to it. It just isn’t nearly as cool as the Matchless. So which is more important - coolness or thumpiness? Here are the two again:



I think I’ll ride the Matchless for the summer, try not to scratch the tank, and evaluate in the Fall.
 
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I think even Will Shakespeare was a champion of the phrase: 'Comparisons Are Odious' (though he modified it slightly)
I once owned a Honda VFR400R pocket rocket, totally blitzed the Commando in every way. Reliability for miles, top speed, acceleration, braking, handling et al, but..... to me it was a 'commodity', as soulless but practical as any other reliable household appliance.
The Nortons and Matchless' of this world are from a different generation, they wear a genuine badge of heritage forged from a history that the Japanese can never possess (as excellent as they are)... And that 'presence'..... priceless! 'A thing of beauty is a joy forever'
Horses..... Courses..... blah blah et al :)
 

Richard Tool

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I get the whole soul bit - I have a Honda ST 1300 , the newest bike I have in the stable . I bought it new in 2007. It is unquestionably an amazing machine in every way . Fast , quiet, silky smooth , excellent handling , reliable. Owners on the ST site regularly report 200,000 miles with only the minim of maintenance.
I don’t ride mine much but when I do I fall in love with it all over again but here is the soul bit - it doesn’t have one .
 

NPeteN

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Man that is one good looking bike.

My first Honda had a soul, until I got it running right, then it did everything perfectly and I couldnt cuss at it anymore...
 

Scout63

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I took the Matchless for a long ride today, then switched up with my friend’s ‘74 Commando. Made me realize that the Matchless, although so very good looking, wont fill a niche. I fluffed and dried it and posted it on eBay. I hope it goes to a good home. I do feel that I gave it some good care and will pass it on better than I got it.
 
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We are fortunate that the Commando's popularity has prompted a legacy of good spares supplies AND the opportunity to modernise/upgrade/improve.
I owned a 440 BSA single, and as much as I loved it I could never own another as I know it's performance (or more importantly, lack of) would eventually lead to disappointment. The P11, though...
 
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Of course a 50's design (although upgraded for 1960) can't compete with a fresh design 15 years younger. As far as pulling (i.e., torque) is concerned, I've read some testimonials claiming the G80CS has more torque than the SR500. The truth would have to be revealed on a Dyno. The basic engine data are almost identical - the CS has a longer stroke which benefits breathing, the SR has a little more compression. No doubt the SR500 will have benefitted from detail work to improve breathing - so it is to be expected that torque is a little higher. Not sure what "thumpier" means though - the SR will have very small flywheels compared with the CS - doesn't "thumpiness" indicate low rev tractability? That's what I thought. The CS should have the edge there, if correctly tuned.

-Knut
 
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Man that is one good looking bike.

My first Honda had a soul, until I got it running right, then it did everything perfectly and I couldnt cuss at it anymore...
Yep, been there done that, such is life.
 
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Mind you, I must be happy with the Commando as someone just gave me the current issue of 'Classic Bike' (good articles from Mike Jackson and lovely big Enfields featured) and I didn't bother to read the 'classifieds' :)
 

Scout63

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Of course a 50's design (although upgraded for 1960) can't compete with a fresh design 15 years younger. As far as pulling (i.e., torque) is concerned, I've read some testimonials claiming the G80CS has more torque than the SR500. The truth would have to be revealed on a Dyno. The basic engine data are almost identical - the CS has a longer stroke which benefits breathing, the SR has a little more compression. No doubt the SR500 will have benefitted from detail work to improve breathing - so it is to be expected that torque is a little higher. Not sure what "thumpier" means though - the SR will have very small flywheels compared with the CS - doesn't "thumpiness" indicate low rev tractability? That's what I thought. The CS should have the edge there, if correctly tuned.

-Knut
Knut - I really want to write up a more thoughtful comparison between the CS and SR although it would not be fair to either bike. The CS and SR both have lovely mid range torque but the SR feels stronger. I just installed a new wiseco piston and rings in the Yamaha last Fall and the CS internals are unknown. The CS has it over the SR in spades in curb appeal. The SR has triple disks and five speeds. Again, not a fair comparison. It would be much more difficult to sell the CS if I didn’t have a freshly restored combat Interstate in the garage. Perhaps most important, if I banged up the Matchless tank I would be very upset. It’s too pretty and rare for serious use.
 
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