I've often wondered why Matchless didn't offer road going versions of its 350cc and 500cc racing bikes. Instead for the public they offered singles and twins that had little or no connection to their racing bikes. This seems like an obvious error in the race on Sunday, sell on Monday thinking.
If a Matchless G50 wins a race, the public wants one for the road, even in de-tuned, economically built versions.
I too have always admired the G50 engines, ever since when long ago a kid from Texas riding a G50 powered bike easily passed me on the back stretch of a Kansas 1/2 Mile..
I've seen one of the few original G50 powered matchless road bikes at the San Jose Clubman Show. I've read Matchless tried but failed to make enough G50 powered bikes to qualify the G50 for AMA Class C racing during The Era.
A friend of ours in SoCA, who mostly specializes in Gold Stars, has one of the only 7 made G50 powered Seeley Condor MKIII road bikes imported in the '60s.
TGA offers replica G50 powered Seeley MKIII road bikes. And the UK race engine specialist also offer new replica G50s and new Manx racers. Bring monies, many monies!
I met a Gent from Michigan years ago when I got my G80...he had one of the road going G50s... he told me that AMC had to make 250 (or so) to meet racing rules.. BUT most were of course stripped down and raced... so there are very few road versions left....Makes sense... as an as side.. the fellow told me he bought his G50 from Rob Ianucci of Team Obsolete... when Rob was just starting up his racing team...
That roadgoing G50 Matchless was the G50CSR - google for pics / details.
Someone in the UK was recent-ishly making replicas for wealthy japanese collectors, when brit singles were all the rage.
In the 1930s, AJS sold a series of cammy roadbikes, often done out for trials/isdt/enduro events (as well as a roadracing version). George Rowley, factory rider, is just of the names you see in almost every event going...
1920s ohc AJS cammies are still popular with collectors, good roadbikes still.
A good engine will cost you about US$ 17,000 plus shipping and duty.
A complete bike maybe three times that depending on specifications.
In NZ Ross Grahame has the best G50. It is ridden by Dave Cole and usually runs in a replica McIntyre frame. In the UK the G50 motors are usually run with Seely frames but down in NZ this would put them outside our main 500 premier class which is pre 63. I have been told there are about 4 McIntyre framed bikes in Australia.
When British bikes were the flavour of the year in Nippon a few years back, the customisers were offering all manner of parts to dress up a Yam XT500 or SR500 into a G50 Matchy - including bolt-on fake gold dichromated cam chain covers for the ohc. Some of em looked more like a G50 than the G50 did...
Ken McIntosh in Auckland could do you a new Manx for that price, all up, and probably some change. Lots of change ?
P.S. At one of the Historic Race meets in Oz a few years back, where a crew with container of NZ Manxes and G50s did battle with the aussie contingent, it was said there were more Manxes and G50s in the one field than had ever been back in the 'good old days'. Looking at the huge grid, I could well believe it.
And unlike brit classic racing, they all looked like manxes and G50s.
""Ken McIntosh in Auckland could do you a new Manx for that price, all up, and probably some change. Lots of change ? ""
Unfortunately Ken has a habit of not answering e mails. I have tried to buy a Manx front brake, and other things this year but he didnt answer any messages so after about 3 attempts I got them from the UK in the end. They were certainly very happy to take my $5000. Ken must be too rich these days! I could try phoning but from Kazakhstan that is a bit hit and miss.
I think his Manxs would go a good $75,000 anyway but I would prefer a G50. Have to get the $ first and that wont be this year :-))
I wish I was ready now becasue the NZ$ and especially the Oz$ are very strong against the UK pound
There are certainly a fair number of G50s and Manx's down this way. At any average club meeting at home you will be about 5 or 6 500s and 350s, Manx 500, 350 and G50 and 7Rs. But at the Pukekohe meeting they can fill a whole grid just with Manxs
hi ,i am building a v twin version of a g50 engine ,its 1000cc,60 degree twin to my own design,if you need g50 engine new or parts contact mick taberer in england,his the best,especially on price, if you need a number phone me on447900801351,english time between 10am to 5 pm,or leave no.
A friend of mine in Michigan owns a road going Matchless G50CSR (called the Golden Eagle). It is an all original machine in excellent condition. As I recall, they only made 25 examples. Also, you could have bought a new one in 1962 for about $1,195! Would have been a good investment!
My brother-in-law tells me that a dealer in Georgia had one in his display window for two years and couldn't get it sold. Finally moved it to his attic. I believe that the dealer's son stills owns that bike, but I haven't talked to him personally.
I also know of one other that belongs to a gentlemen in Nebraska. I don't believe he bought it new, but it was about 1966 when I first met him. He had stripped lights from it and was racing it on a dirt oval in Lincoln Nebraska at the time. I hear from others that he has now restored the bike.
A cycle world article of April 1962 did a road test of a Golden Eagle and reported a top speed of 121! Not bad for a 500 and could have definitely gave all of the top road going marques of the day a very hard time.
1952 Mat G80CS 1953 AJS 18CS 1954 Mat G9B 1954 G80CS 1955 Mat G80CS 1956 AJS 18CS 1957 Mat G80 1957 AJS 30 1958 AJS 18CS 1958 AJS 31CS 1959 Mat G80TCS 1960 Mat G80CS 1961 Mat G12CS 1961 Mat G12 1962 Mat G15/45 1964 Mat G12CSR 1966 Mat G12CSR 1967 Mat G15
i worked for matchless in the period of1965 when these bikes were being produced,the race shop built about 15 engines,g50 type,own these an few went into the road going version in england,believe about six were built into g50cs for america,part of a batch that had to be produced to allow was it hollomalisation in america,and a few were sold to road racers,as far as i know the few that were made went to america,because of cost and the slow hand build of the engine by the two remainig race shop engineers,beingarthur keeler and jim bohen .matchless did not make any more as they were in financial straits and shut shortly afterwards.colin seeley took on the rights from this point to manufacture g50 engines at his. workshop in belvedere ,england