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Thread: Old, british and awesome - 1955 Matchless G9

  1. #1
    Registered User farmsci's Avatar
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    Old, british and awesome - 1955 Matchless G9

    So, where to start with this one...

    OK, well, 23 years ago my grandfather bought a 1955 Matchless G9 as a resto project, which at the time was not so significant because in my lifetime I can recall about 6 others he's had, all British. He's had Bonneville's and a Dominator amongst various other Triumph's, Norton's, AJS', BSA's etc. This bike however is the one I remember him restoring when I was a kid, and the only bike I remember he ALWAYS had since I was a lad. It's been finished for a long time now, and has been ridden heaps all over the country.

    So fast forward to six months ago and I was up in Sydney visiting and I took poppy along to a Shannons auction to see a large collection of bikes go under the hammer. Afterwards he was telling me that he might be thinking of selling his bikes at some point as he isn't sure how much longer he will keep his licence for, and it's been about five years since he was able to kick over the Matchless himself. He usually gets another club member to come over and start it for him just to keep the engine in good health.

    Back in 2005 he bought a Honda Shadow so he could keep riding after old age started making the classic bikes a bit more challenging, at which point he sold off all but the Matchless, which in his words back then 'they would have to pry out of his cold dead hands'. The bike is his favourite of all the bikes he's ever owned, but it has come to a point where ownership is becoming more difficult for him and he feels like the bike shouldn't be simply hidden away in his garage the way it is now and would continue to be.

    Now I dig motorbikes, however I must confess, I've never owned one, I don't have a bike licence, and for the foreseeable future I probably won't be getting one. One of the few things the nopics put her foot down about and I have duly respected in exchange for many other liberties with car expenditures over the years. She loves the whole passionate enthusiast thing I have, but likes me better alive. One of her friends husbands has been in and out of rehabilative care for the last three to four years after getting knocked off his bike by a driver not paying attention and was a pretty traumatic thing for them. So I had resigned to the fact that motorbike ownership was off the cards altogether.

    Six months ago after having that chat with Poppy it got me thinking. I am really the only person in the family tree that seems to have picked up the diehard motoring enthusiast gene, and it would be a terrible shame to see Poppy's bike sold out of the family, the family all think it's cool, but none of them would want to drop actual money on saving it, nor do they see any value keeping such relics alive. So I had a chat with nopics, and proposed that when the time came I would like to buy the bike, to keep, maintain and appreciate, and to also be able to preserve as a piece of family history and the thing that defined Poppy's life. On these grounds, and that I'm still not a bike rider and still not getting my licence it was granted approval.

    In what was the worlds worst timing I got a call from Poppy last month to ask about how he would best go about selling both his bikes, I say this because last week we settled on buying a block of land and signing off the building contracts and at the time has literally dropped all our savings into building a house. Not exactly an ideal moment to be announcing to nopics that we can now buy a motorcycle! Nevertheless an agreement had been made and I let Poppy know that I would like to buy the bike off him, which he was absolutely thrilled about, and actually the whole family have said to me how happy they are to see it will stay in the family.

    So yesterday I went up to Sydney and left him with a down payment and finally got a few decent photos of the bike. I gotta say I'm pretty excited about I all. I won't be able to bring it down to Canberra till the house is built as I have nowhere to store it here at the moment, and I'd like to leave it with him as long as he wants to hold onto it.

    So yeah I don't have a licence, but I do have a very trusted friend who is a very experienced rider who will take it for the occasional ride to keep it running sweetly, but hey, never say never I guess!

    So here it is, my 1955 Matchless G9 500cc
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    1990 E30 BMW 318is - In progress!
    1974 KE25 Corolla Coupe - So much rust...
    1955 Matchless G9 - On the road and loving it!
    1954 Matchless G80 - Because the one above runs too well so I need something more broken...
    And a fucking 1962 Rover... Because that makes sense

  2. #2
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    Congrats!
    Buy a drip tray before you move into the new house
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    www.vapourblastingbrisbane.com.au/

  3. #3
    Registered User Imposter Forg's Avatar
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    Farmsci, get your bike L's. Take my '400 for a spin to cut your teeth, get your P's then ride that thing!

    Your life will be happier after this!

  4. #4
    Registered User Dave75's Avatar
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    Beautiful Bike farmsci.

    I used to have a 1960 BMW 50/2 [ex Vic Police bike] back in 1967/8. Bought it for $300 , sold it for $500 .

    Cursed my stupidity for selling it ever since.
    ........................................

    Suzuki Mighty Boy / BEC Rear Mid mount Suzuki 1150cc 450kg Hillclimber [in the build]

  5. #5
    BIG MEK buzz's Avatar
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    OK. You win at the internets. Again!
    Nice score.

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    Opens AxGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imposter Forg View Post
    Farmsci, get your bike L's. Take my '400 for a spin to cut your teeth, get your P's then ride that thing!

    Your life will be happier after this!
    Or abide by the agreement he made with his partner
    Dirty Subaru owner

  7. #7
    Registered User farmsci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uuheels View Post
    Congrats!
    Buy a drip tray before you move into the new house
    Ha! Yes I will indeed, especially seeing as I may just have permission to keep it on display in the dining room! (Will have a tiled floor too!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Imposter Forg View Post
    Farmsci, get your bike L's. Take my '400 for a spin to cut your teeth, get your P's then ride that thing!

    Your life will be happier after this!
    Quote Originally Posted by AxGT View Post
    Or abide by the agreement he made with his partner
    Yeah pretty much, I'll work on it slowly over time, given that prior to this coming about I had zero chance of owning a bike I'll take this win as is for now and not push my luck too far. One victory at a time!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave75 View Post
    Beautiful Bike farmsci.

    I used to have a 1960 BMW 50/2 [ex Vic Police bike] back in 1967/8. Bought it for $300 , sold it for $500 .

    Cursed my stupidity for selling it ever since.
    Yeah but we all have those stories! I do like old BMW boxer bikes, when done right, bikeexif is a good source for droolworthy BMW's!

    Quote Originally Posted by buzz View Post
    OK. You win at the internets. Again!
    Nice score.
    Haha, I don't know about winning any internets, just lucky I guess! An accommodating nopics helps too!
    1990 E30 BMW 318is - In progress!
    1974 KE25 Corolla Coupe - So much rust...
    1955 Matchless G9 - On the road and loving it!
    1954 Matchless G80 - Because the one above runs too well so I need something more broken...
    And a fucking 1962 Rover... Because that makes sense

  8. #8
    whaddayatalkinabeet brasher's Avatar
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    beautiful old jigger, do your grandad proud.

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    Goat roper Motherfucker Jones's Avatar
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    I know it's not a Farmer thing to do, but just ride it. Even if its up and down the street. Owning a bike and not riding it is like having a missus and not fucking her
    Quote Originally Posted by RVK 355 View Post
    Hold it flat cunt

  10. #10
    Registered User 9triton's Avatar
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    nice one - lol'd at the oil stain (they all do that ,sir).

  11. #11
    Registered User farmsci's Avatar
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    I hear ya Jones, and you're probably right too. We'll see!

    Ha, yeah, I've lost count of the number of times I've jokes to Brit bike owners about leaking oil everywhere, and now here I am about to embark on it for myself!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1990 E30 BMW 318is - In progress!
    1974 KE25 Corolla Coupe - So much rust...
    1955 Matchless G9 - On the road and loving it!
    1954 Matchless G80 - Because the one above runs too well so I need something more broken...
    And a fucking 1962 Rover... Because that makes sense

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    Such a stunning old girl. I love it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Imposter Forg View Post
    Farmsci, get your bike L's. Take my '400 for a spin to cut your teeth, get your P's then ride that thing!

    Your life will be happier after this!
    And re-learn to shift gears in the opposite direction with the other foot at the same time
    www.brisbanecityfitnessbootcamp.com.au/brisbane-bootcamp/
    www.vapourblastingbrisbane.com.au/

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    Registered User 9triton's Avatar
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    AJS/matchless are known as 'jampots'

    stems from the rear shocks -which matchelss /AJS made their own (rather than buy girling s -or whatever)

    and they are of huge diameter - and looked like a pair of jampots (when jam came in tins in the good old 50's).

    i see your bike still has them -so very original to have ;lasted this long .
    dont chuck them , but store them , if some one offers you a deal on IKON's (KONI spelt backwards and now made in australia)

    get ye to the 2014 jampot rally:

    October 24th-26th, 2014 - The Jampots Downunder Rally will be held at The Barossa Valley Tourist Park, Nuriootpa.
    as for owning and not riding it - well .....i am sure you could find some Old bike rallys /bike showswhere they either :

    a)have a track as part of the day
    b) go on group rides at some slow pace.

    this would be LAMS suitable
    Last edited by 9triton; 22-06-14 at 10:46 AM.

  15. #15
    Registered User dave1600's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uuheels View Post
    And re-learn to shift gears in the opposite direction with the other foot at the same time
    Not to mention the rear brakes.....

    Nice bike, looks to be a nice restoration, not "over-restored".

    Join a vintage bike club, attend rallies as 9triton suggests, maybe learn to ride just for rallies. There's very little risk when riding on quiet country roads with a bunch of pensioners on bikes that will struggle to do the speed limit.

  16. #16
    Registered User farmsci's Avatar
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    Already in communication with the local clubs through work, they seem very excited as they keep telling me I need vintage motorcycles in my life!

    Thanks for the info 9triton, just been reading up on the whole jampot thing, I've heard the name used but never really got it.

    I think the odd short trip here and there will be inevitable, I'm only human and if bike is there I'll give in to temptation at some point. In the meantime it could do with a bit of a tidy up, just cleaning of some road grime and the like.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1990 E30 BMW 318is - In progress!
    1974 KE25 Corolla Coupe - So much rust...
    1955 Matchless G9 - On the road and loving it!
    1954 Matchless G80 - Because the one above runs too well so I need something more broken...
    And a fucking 1962 Rover... Because that makes sense

  17. #17
    Little engine that could. itsnotagsr's Avatar
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    Echo the comments re old bike clubs. There is a great one at Bathurst over the Easter long weekend. My Dad and I usually take 3-4 bikes up. They are very keen for young blood as most of the people there are 55+.

    Most of the rides are about 100km to a pub for lunch then back to Bathurst. They have a few cars with trailers following the route to pick up anyone who has any mechanical issues.

    Overall its a great bunch of people who (for once!) don't look down on whatever bike you ride nor try to tell you one brand is better than another.
    "If you can make black marks on a straight from the time you turn out of a corner until the braking point of the next turn, then you have enough horsepower." - Mark Donahue Penske Porsche 917

    "In Japan we no give fark for Subaru" - Trust Japan Technical Director
    (TM - AVENGE)

    "You can never have enough power. I remember when we had Group B cars... THEN we had enough power!"
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    Registered User I'm DJ!'s Avatar
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    So parked next to this at bunnings in Brisbane on the weekend, thought someone on here had one, and maybe interested. Fuck it was leaking oil like a sieve!
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    DJ's don't need sigs

  19. #19
    Little engine that could. itsnotagsr's Avatar
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    English design - The oil leaks are there to stop it rusting!
    "If you can make black marks on a straight from the time you turn out of a corner until the braking point of the next turn, then you have enough horsepower." - Mark Donahue Penske Porsche 917

    "In Japan we no give fark for Subaru" - Trust Japan Technical Director
    (TM - AVENGE)

    "You can never have enough power. I remember when we had Group B cars... THEN we had enough power!"
    Juha Kankkunen - Rally of Argentina '02

  20. #20
    Registered User dave1600's Avatar
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    Most oil leaks are probably relatively easily fixed nowadays. They are a combination of poor design and lack of more modern solutions when the bike was made.

    As an example, to stop the gearbox leaking on my BSA, all I had to do was turn a groove in stuff like the kiskstart and gear lever shafts and use an o-ring on them. From the factory, the shafts just ran in a bronze bush in the gearbox shell, causing oil to slowly seep out around the shafts. Better quality oil seals in the engine rebuild also helped. Copius amounts of silicon gasket goo used on the old cork gaskets for the chaincase reduce the leakage to a drip rather than a torrent. A modern oil seal in the wheels hubs stops the grease getting out, something the original felt washer never had much success with. And so on - you won't eliminate all leaks, but should be able to reduce them greatly.

    Funny thing though, my old single cylinder BMW that was made a year earlier than the BSA was perfectly oil tight, no modifications needed. My father's '56 BMW likewise had very little oil on the outside and it was in original, unrestored condition. The Germans had things sorted, much better engineered bike.

    There should be more of these threads, over the last 6 months I've sold one bike to a PF'ers father, one to a PF'er, and one to a friend of a PF'er.
    Last edited by dave1600; 30-06-14 at 12:27 PM.

  21. #21
    Registered User farmsci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'm DJ! View Post
    So parked next to this at bunnings in Brisbane on the weekend, thought someone on here had one, and maybe interested. Fuck it was leaking oil like a sieve!
    NICE! looks nice, mines a 500cc twin as opposed to a 350cc single, but does look very similar. Different seat, but tank, guards, suspension all look the same, I'm still learning here myself!

    As others have said, is old and british, will leak oil. From what I've gathered talking to some of the club guys the oil leaks are almost a charm of the bike they want to keep. I'll see what my tolerance to oil leaks is like after it starts staining my new garage floor later this year!

    In other news, when I was up in Sydney and grabbed the photos I also came home with a spare tank, same type as both mine and the bike above have. bit tatty with old faded red paint, pitting to chrome and surface rust, however is straight with no dents or such. Not a fan of chrome tanks on em and I didn't think that chrome would suit the theme of the bike as it sits. Really it doesn't need a new tank, the one that's on it is perfectly fine. BUT, I like motorbike tanks, so I figure that while I'm relatively poor waiting for house to be built and not having the bike in my possession I might as well 'do up' the spare tank I have.

    So the tank is off getting sandblasted as we speak and I'm dreaming up a customised tank that would look equally at home on a shelf for display as it would on the bike that's maybe a little more 'me'. At the moment thinking along the lines of gloss jet black with the gold double outline on the sides as per original but then maybe bright metallic silver inside the border and a restyled matchless logo painted in the centre instead of a badge. Not sure if I'd keepo the knee pads or not. and maybe a metallic silver stripe down the top of the tank with the 'Matchless' script the the base on top of the tank (if that makes sense). But all just ideas at this stage...
    1990 E30 BMW 318is - In progress!
    1974 KE25 Corolla Coupe - So much rust...
    1955 Matchless G9 - On the road and loving it!
    1954 Matchless G80 - Because the one above runs too well so I need something more broken...
    And a fucking 1962 Rover... Because that makes sense

  22. #22
    Registered User farmsci's Avatar
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    And here's my blank canvas! Tank is pretty straight, just going to clean down and spray in primer while I work out what next. There don't seem to be any imperfections (other that 1950's fabrication quality). I'll flush it with some old fuel let it dry out and run a fresh coat of bladder inside it.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1990 E30 BMW 318is - In progress!
    1974 KE25 Corolla Coupe - So much rust...
    1955 Matchless G9 - On the road and loving it!
    1954 Matchless G80 - Because the one above runs too well so I need something more broken...
    And a fucking 1962 Rover... Because that makes sense

  23. #23
    Registered User Lurch's Avatar
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    Great to see Pommy oil-leaker on the forum with a story to boot!

  24. #24
    anyone? MRMOPARMAN's Avatar
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    that is proper awesome steve. good to see you kept her in the family.


    id be riding the cunt off that. licence or not!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rdyno
    70ynu has to be the most retarded cunt here. "Help me please" me "you need to remove your head" him "fuck off cunt I'm to lazy fuck off out of my thread you told me to do something I don't want to do so you're a cunt fuck off can some one please tell me an easier way???"
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    Its a tight battle between you and rogercordia for the most retarded member on here, thou i think you have it by 5 window licks

  25. #25
    Registered User farmsci's Avatar
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    Cheers! Yeah will be interesting to see how I go resisting urges when I bring it home!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1990 E30 BMW 318is - In progress!
    1974 KE25 Corolla Coupe - So much rust...
    1955 Matchless G9 - On the road and loving it!
    1954 Matchless G80 - Because the one above runs too well so I need something more broken...
    And a fucking 1962 Rover... Because that makes sense

  26. #26
    Registered User ls400x's Avatar
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    Very cool, my old man has 3. This one runs the cylinders he made. One is underway with hidden efi and pistons he made as well as cylinders. The third is a single.


  27. #27
    Grumpy cunt ChrisS's Avatar
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    Fucking bikers....


    Very nice mate, your grandfather did a nice job restoring it from the looks of it to.

    / --------------- \
    _/ /___________\ \_
    /_________|_________\
    |OOO ___________ OOO|
    \______|====|______/
    [_]-------------------[_]


  28. #28
    Registered User 9triton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ls400x View Post
    . One is underway with hidden efi and pistons he made as well as cylinders.
    ]
    got any pics of this ?

  29. #29
    Little engine that could. itsnotagsr's Avatar
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    Let me know if you need a place that does tanks. There are two good ones. Dutchy in Wollongong and Smiths on the Northern Beaches.
    "If you can make black marks on a straight from the time you turn out of a corner until the braking point of the next turn, then you have enough horsepower." - Mark Donahue Penske Porsche 917

    "In Japan we no give fark for Subaru" - Trust Japan Technical Director
    (TM - AVENGE)

    "You can never have enough power. I remember when we had Group B cars... THEN we had enough power!"
    Juha Kankkunen - Rally of Argentina '02

  30. #30
    Registered User ls400x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9triton View Post
    got any pics of this ?
    yep: http://performanceforums.com/forums/...oled-cylinders

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