Seeley Matchless

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Jan 22, 2008
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GRM 450 said:
Pictures of your Seely would be appreciated.
graeme
Since you asked, here she is, as of last weekend. This was the last race of the season, at Mondello Park in Co. Kildare. I can't remember racing in worse conditions. Sorry for the poor quality pics; they were taken with my mobile phone camera.



This is a Rutter-built replica originally bought by a then well-known Northern Irish road racer, Gordon Bell, in the early 90s. It has a replica Seeley frame and a Quaife 6 speed gearbox with a Norton style casing. Before I acquired it, in 2004, it won several Irish road race championships and was timed at the Ulster Grand Prix at 134 mph. Not fast compared with today's 500 cc two valve singles perhaps, but fast enough back then. Gordon Bell managed a 102 mph average on this bike in that Ulster GP in the early 90s.



The monstrous pipe is a stainless Molnar item, tapered from very near the header all the way to the can. The seam is on the inside. It is a beautifully made, lightweight one-piece fabrication.

The carburettor is an Amal Smoothbore 38 mm with a chromed brass slide. Piston is a 90 mm Omega giving a cr of 11.5: 1. Engine oil is 40 wt Castrol R, gearbox lubed by Silkolene synthetic. Bob Newby belt primary drive. PAL speedway magneto with old-fashioned points and condenser. All very conventional stuff, nothing exotic.

The Seeley fork internals have been converted by Maxton and the brake is a conventional 10 inch cast iron disc and Lockheed caliper and master cylinder but it is superb. The rear is a Manx Norton conical hub, nicely made and does the job. The rear shocks are by Maxton as well.

This engine is quite tractable and will rev round the dial. It is deceptive though, because you must not over rev it. It was built as a real roads racer, with a long wheelbase, stable but yet no real effort to steer. I can't fault the handling. This is the genius of the Seeley chassis. It will do short circuits as well but I saw what I was up against at the top level when I rode a lightweight-framed G50 with about 20% more hp. Honda 500 twins will leave it out of corners but the faster the course, the better it becomes, and it will gradually catch them.

These pics were taken during a brief dry-ish period, but most of time, it was like this:
 
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I can smell and hear it from down here!
Looks cold there, thanks for taking the time to post some pictures.
It looks like a bike that would put a huge smile on your face, lucky bugger.
More pics would be appreciated when you have time, especially next time the fairing is off.
 
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OK, will do. It will be stripped over the winter and cleaned and fettled.
 

Holmeslice

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Wow, it's a beauty. And it looks right at home in the rain.

I had the privilege to race Bruce Yoxsimer's Seeley G50 in a MK2 chassis this spring and loved every second of it. I agree - it revved so smoothly that before I knew it I was at redline, and could've easily gone over.

There is nothing that compares to a genuine GP bike. Well done.
 
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Jan 22, 2008
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Paul, Kenny, thanks.

It's nice to get offered other peoples' bikes to race! I should know of Bruce Yoxsimer, but we don't hear much about the classic racing scene across the pond. Some of the Irish guys I know have been to the States and raced at Daytona and a few other circuits, some years ago. They filled a container with bikes and shipped them a month before they flew in. It was a real adventure for them.

Fantastic vid of you racing at Daytona posted on the forum a while back. Congrats on a successful season!
 
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"Lucky Bugger" is right!!! I'm drooling. Just once I would like to ride something like this, it must really be fun.
 
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I unearthed a few more pics with the fairing off. These were taken a few years ago when it was looking a bit cleaner, and before the stainless exhaust. Doesn't show a whole lot more, I'm afraid.





Contrast this with the special G50 (below). I rode the sister bike of this one, the previous owner's spare bike. Both have lightweight frames, which I think are a pain in the ass — they are not painted or plated so that you can spot cracks, but if you race in the wet it's out with the wire wool and polish afterwards. And it is light — I could lift it into a van on my own and I would struggle with my own. This is a 90 x 76 cm motor, not the short stroke 92 bore, but still quick, and I think it makes 60 hp or more at the wheel, but I will have to check this. It has a neat cross-over gear shift, handy on circuits that are right-hand in (and many are now).

I think it's a work of art. Mine is smoother though and I think that is due to the heavier frame which damps the vibes a bit more. Would I like to have one like this? Do bears live in the woods?

 
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absolutely sublime!
I've always wanted a big single, where can I get one of those?
Cheers,
Don
 
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Dave, its all road around here, no tracks! besides, on a track, myself or somebody else could get hurt!
that AJS motor is still being made isn't it? and the bikes in the photos don't look that old.. but I would need street legal. thanks
 
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DonOR, yes, it has been done! Have a look at this road-going Molnar Manx:

http://www.goldstarbsa.com/bikesforsale.htm

Note that you have to call for the price. That means you have to sit down first, then he tells you. :D

The BSA Gold Star is a potent engine, and because it was built as a road engine, it has provision for a generator. Have a look at this site: http://www.absaf.nl/ They produce replica Gold Star engines and replica Matchless G85CS engines. The BSA Metisse special looks nice.

If you did it yourself, it would still cost you plenty, but if you can afford it, it would be a great project! Or grab that Manx quickly if it's still for sale!

I would be interested to hear what Grandpaul says about building a special like this.
 
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