Archive for the ‘1962 Matchless G80 “Madelene”’ Category

From Just a Basket of Parts and a assembled engine:

Behold the G80S Matchless

Madeline the Matchless


“Sure, Your just another pretty face, you are,  Madeleine”, says I

At that she says, “Well, how about I kick back, smack the bottom of your shoe, cause a lot of pain, hit your leg, loose some bolts, strip some threads, shed my rubber controls, break my cables and in general become a real pain in your bottom and a gorgeous  beautiful but useless garage rat. Is that what you really want?”

“Not to mention,  missing parts, worn parts, Lucas Electrics and weak clutch springs.” Again, she throws this missal back at me leaving me breathless and gasping to come out from under her scathing and gasoline soaked breath….

How can she do this to me while roaring and laughing with her exhaust, sneezing and coughing at the same time?  Pretending to be a British Lady or maybe she is just a  Cockney Tart.

Do I wish Madeline to continue with the threats? Or just try to break her into a docile, loving, 500cc single cylinder, thumping motorcycle.  Saved from the boneyard, saved from destruction, saved to run and RUIN my life in another one of my days.

Today, 11/1/12015.. M. (her name is Madeleine Matchless) Today her name is MUD she left me on the roadside with a mile hike to the homestead and trailer.   Chilly today, and after a few cautious kicks and a tickled carburetor, and than, after entertaining me for 31 miles, miles of delightful  sonorous and thumping exhaust noise, brisk acceleration, sharp and easy corners. and comfort touring.  True traction on wet Pennsylvania pavement. Up and down through meadow land and farm, some dirt and shale roads. a Stop for breakfast, and easy start by kick, and a super rush down a back road toward the barn. Than it happened

“I, have worked so hard to be good. It is now my  time to relax, I have been good and willing,  so now I will play” she snuffled daintily through her 1 7/8 inch exhaust pipe.

Blissfully unaware, I was twisting  her throttle, I was already at her top end, egging M on, twisting Her tail, edging her throttle higher and higher. Than Madeline  began to fuss, with every twist of the throttle, slower and slower she ran, I hurriedly checked all functions as best I could, while rocketing precariously on spindly M, all 350lbs of her tubes and engine, slowing ever slowly, ever slow, till finally her sleepy exhaust noise sounded  “I cant make this little hill even at a idle, even if I wanted, which I don’t”  ” It is time for me to take a nap” she whispered, sputtered.  And promptly fell asleep on the side of the road. Is she a lady or a tart?


Two hours later, she was high up on the lift for inspection of her internals. First her fuel system,  it was ready and dripping, than I removed the ignition cover plate,  her ignition timing was dead on. So that left her intake valve, the last place to look.  After the tank and the seat were removed, I opened and set aside, the flat inspection cover above the cylinder head  . I was surprised and annoyed that Madelene had decide to unscrew her intake adjustable   push rod.  So as she got tired and sleepy, the threads kept going left, until the intake valve was just about lifting,  barely permitting the minimum of fuel to enter her large and massive cylinder.

“Well it is a lot better than breaking a part, and,  I told you to use Locktite on all my parts.”  Madeleine implied through her corrected valve train on a tentative kick through. At that wheeze, I gave a scolding that was memorable and sprinkled with a few choice words like “Junk, Brit Bike, Lucas lover, Tart”

“Better to be nice that regret it later”  she responded  with a low hiss from a valve.

“I could have just as well jammed the push rod in the head or damaged my valve, I am so good to you.” she burbled as I caught her in gear for the premium correction test run. With the Compression release held down, and than the clutch out she coughed and caught. No kicking until she returns to normal.

SO, down the mountain, over the wet grass onto the gravel, up the road and back for another session of abuse that she would be sure to deliver in the sometime future.

I parked her, satisfied of the test, Placed a folded newspaper under her primary case and limping away, I would try her again in the morning.  That is, after I wake her with a nice cuppa tea, like all English ladies need to start their day. Or should I give her a tot of gin.




The latest version, see the “people slicer” on the front fender.

You will all be Happy to know that Madeline is in great shape now