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#840560 02/19/21 11:15 pm
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I have a 1962 G12 CSR Matchless Monarch. Probably a princess. I have advertised this for sale off and on for several years. Ebay a couple of times, Craigslist, this forum, and at meets/shows with a sign. I got an offer of $3500 a couple of years ago on Ebay, which I declined. At the time, I thought I could get more. I couldn’t. I got a second offer last year for $2500 through this forum, which I also declined. I understand that its value is hurt by its “non-standard” trim. I have since removed the regulator/rectifier and kickstart lever. So it is also no longer operable. It also hasn't been started in at least 3 years and not ridden for longer. I have decided to keep it and further modify and devalue it.

The parts of this bike are clearly worth more than the whole. I recently saw a decent complete set of forks get bid up to and sell on Ebay for $605. First set I ever saw on there. Came up when I was looking at Norton fork parts. I sold a good fuel tank a few years ago for $500. I have also already sold off some other original parts. I could break it down and easily sell off some of the more marketable parts, but that would require considerable effort on my part for a few dollars. So that’s out.

In my opinion, this is not a good road bike. It shakes like hell. The performance is a little underwhelming and it’s a bit fragile. And the front brake is dreadful. Grab a handful of lever, and you get the sensation of slowing down.

That being said, I find this bike interesting. That’s why I bought it. At any gathering of motorcycles, it’s almost always the only one there. I installed an electronic ignition and it was always easy to start and fairly dependable. So that makes it fun for tooling around the campground or rally site. Around the neighborhood and at the few and far between events are about the only time I ride any of my bikes anymore.

So I have decided to mount Norton forks and the front wheel from my Commando on it. But this will be a budget build. And the budget will be $0. I want to sell off the Matchless front wheel, fender, and forks to cover the cost of the pieces for the Norton forks that I don’t have. After all, AMC did it with the N15 and G15. If that lot can figure out how, I should be able to also. Give me something to do in my old age.

Research on this forum and links posted here has informed me aplenty about Roadholder forks. I found this on the forum about the G15 and N15 hybrids:

“All these machines used a new frame similar to the G.12 C.S. duplex type with bolt on rear subframe but were fitted with a redesigned malleable steel headstock machined to accept Norton forks and front wheel.”

What will be needed to adapt the Atlas yokes to the neck will be unknown until I remove the forks from the Matchless. This required some planning because the bike will be impossible to move around with no forks. And once the deed is done, it shan’t be undone and the bike could sit like that for an extended time as my interest ebbs and flows. I have now moved it to a suitable place and am prepped for surgery.

Here is what I have from my Commando:

Wheel/brake
Lower sliders
Bushings and seals
Axle

I will probably purchase stanchions and dampers new. So I believe I have a choice of G15 or Commando components. Here’s what I can think of that I need:

Atlas 7-3/8” yokes – bought for $125
Stanchions
Bearing nut, 26tpi
Crown nut, 26tpi
Springs
Dampers
Stanchion top nuts
Stanchion top nut washers
Bottom bolts
Drain screws
Sealing washers
Seal retainers
Dust scrapers
Neck Bearings


I have taken some crude measurements of the Matchless and the Commando. Measurements were taken with each bike on both wheels unloaded.
They are as follows:

Matchless

Rake – 26 deg
Offset – 2-5/8”
Axle C/L to top of neck – 27-5/16”
Neck length – 6-1/4”
Top of neck to top of stanchion -1-1/8”


Norton Commando:

Rake – 27 deg
Offset – 1-7/8”
Axle C/L to top of neck – 26-1/2”
Neck length – 6-3/8”
Top of neck to top of stanchion -1-7/8”



Here she is in her non-standard glory before surgery
[Linked Image]


Here is what I have. Saw a brake assembly sell on Ebay a couple of days ago for $230.
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

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The change in yoke offset should/will make the steering slower...


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ,61 A10 .On a bike you can out run the demons.."I don't know what the world may need
But a V8 engine is a good start for me
Think I'll drive to find a place, to be surly"
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So the important measurement is the distance from axle centerline to the top of neck:

Matchless G12 - 27-5/16"

Norton Commando - 26-1/2"

Stock G15 stanchion length is 24.93". Stock Commando stanchion length is 23.15". I am unsure why there is an additional 1-3/4". But there were many other variables in the stock configurations. AN Norton lists the same spring for both sets of forks. From what research I have done, the G12CSR came with a 19" diameter rear rim. Mine is an 18".

Commando stanchions are cheaper than G15. Commando parts are more readily available. I have just purchased most of the used hardware I will need from a fellow forum member. Internals are Commando. I will still need stanchions, seals, and gasket (fiber) washers.

Cost so far:
Atlas Yokes - $125
Rubber dust scrapers - $11
Used Hardware - $140

Total so far - $277

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The used hardware arrived and 1 of the damper rods was an earlier Roadholder with CEI threads. The other was Commando UNF, but was slightly bent. Both included valve ends. Straightened the rod. Searched the internet for part number 06-0346 and found used ones at Baxter Cycle for $5 each. Called and ordered 2.

Bought new Stanchions off Ebay for $90.

Dust boots, stanchion top nut washers, and stanchions are new, everything else is used, including fiber washers and seals. I installed new seals on the Deerslayer when I changed the front forks and I will recycle the old ones. The old seals had maybe 1200 miles on them. One wept slightly, but I didn't have the paper gasket under the seals. I still don't have the gaskets either. I think I will use a smear of Gasgacinch on the outer diameter of the seals. I hope to never take them apart again.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

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I have removed the forks from the Matchless. Inspecting the neck and bearings shows me that I can make the Atlas yokes fit by making two radial adaptors for the neck bearing races. Essentially a glorious washer (.300" thick) with tight tolerances on the ID and OD. This part needs to have a press fit on the ID onto the smaller Atlas stem, and on the OD into the center of the neck races. The upper race needs to have a sliding fit with bearing adjustment nut. The neck and the neck races will be reused as is. The races just drop into the neck. They have a large corner radius. I'm not sure why they won't turn in the neck. In fact it appears that they have in the past. Even though the Atlas stem is shorter, the Matchless upper yoke is much deeper as shown in the photos.

Bought a new aluminum fender. Made by Speedwell in the UK. $104 including shipping. Running total of $490 I think. Will need to make a new instrument mount. Still need to pay my friend to machine the parts. He doesn't usually charge me too much though. Great to have a friend like that.

The entire Matchless front assembly is listed in the garage sale forum. Should be almost identical to a P11 Norton as well. It will be interesting to see what the value is.

[Linked Image]

Races will be reused. ID must be reduced. Balls are 3/16".

[Linked Image]

Matchless top yoke is significantly taller.

[Linked Image]

Top of the neck. Fixed distance between original races. They just drop into the tea cup.

[Linked Image]

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A friend who has a machine shop made me bushings (spacers?) to reduce the inside diameter of the bearing races which install on the fork stem. The lower one was tricky because it needed to be a light interference fit on both the ID and OD. The upper has a slip fit for the nut on the ID. He made them to fit into the race and then turned the ID to the required diameter. Each required a different OD. The goal was .0005"-.0010" interference. I didn't measure, but I drove the assembled race onto the stem and I think the fit there seemed right. Very nice for $50. He felt a little bad that it was so much, but I don't think it was. He's using his machines and tooling along with his time. He said his brother spent 1-1/2 hours on it. He said doing something on the Manual lathe had a re-learning curve for them, because they do it so little anymore. I'm just glad I can still find someone willing to do it. Over the years, I have made parts using a lathe and milling machine. I would have spent all day and to make 4 or 5 that wouldn't have fit right.

The stem is coming up short for an original nut that I have. A new nut will have to be made which will have 3/8" more reach. The new nut will have about the same thread engagement as the stock Atlas one. I ordered a 5" long piece of 1-5/16' hex stock of 316 stainless steel. $27 + $15 shipping from On Line Metals. Running total of $530 for this fork conversion. I still will need to pay for the nut to be made.

I will also have to fabricate stops to limit fork rotation to stop from denting the tank. The Matchless yoke had extended pinch bolts which butted to the frame for this. The Atlas lower yoke also has a large flat area where I can attach a stop by welding. Still to be designed. I really should also make a shroud for the upper bearing. The gap between the races is exposed for all to see and enter. Maybe later.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Only 7/8" of space here, the machined surfaces of the upper yoke are 1-1/4" apart here.

[Linked Image]

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I plan on using the original Smiths chronometric instruments. They still worked the last time this motorcycle moved under it's own power. The studs are 0BA I believe. I had replaced the rotted rubber mounting washers when I first got this bike. Amazingly, I found some with the needed ID, OD, and thickness.

I laid out a new panel on a 1/8" thick sheet piece of 6061 T6 aluminum. I will have the holes punched at a local fabrication shop. I may have to shorten the sleeve nuts slightly if they bottom out. The aluminum is .120" thick. The original steel mount is .130" thick.

Cost of aluminum - $13 from ebay vendor. Running total for fork conversion -$543

[Linked Image]

Someone has previously tack welded one of the studs on the speedometer to solve a problem. Well done.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

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Had a new stem nut and two steering stops made. Also made a cover for the upper bearing as it was exposed to the elements. Already had ratty stanchion nuts and Tomaselli headlight mounts. Next problem I see coming is the brake cable.

New instrument mount and bearing shroud punched - $20
New stem nut and steering stops fabricated - $120
Two SS 3/8-24 screws for lower yoke pinch - $2
Running total for fork conversion - $672. Getting up there!


[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

SAM_2982.JPG
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Bike back on both wheels. Looks lower and is more difficult to put on the center stand. Out of curiosity, I will take some measurements and compare to pre-dismemberment. Forks flex too much with hands on the bars and wheel between the knees. I think the top nuts are running out of threads before pulling the stanchions fully into the top yoke tapers. My Commando has 1/2" of instrument cup and washer between the yoke and the top of bottom of the hex. Solutions are to cut the threads further or add a spacer. Top nuts are ugly but new ones would also require more threads if I go that way. I think I can use a spacer thinner than 1/2". Further measurements and a decision required.

Looks better already
[Linked Image]

Made new headlight mounting arms. Turns out the two which came with the Tommaselli clamps aren't mirror images. My brain never saw that until I attempted to mount them. These mounts are a pain to set in the right position. The headlight was almost a perfect fit without spacers. Turns out the axis on one of the nuts on the headlight wasn't perpendicular to the light, complicating adjustment.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

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Finished with the fork installation. Bike sits lower. Will fall over if on the side stand and wheel turned fully right. Rake at 25-26 deg. Fender fit is last. Fender is nicely formed AL, but really soft. Was for narrower forks so had sides crimped in. Would have been perfect without those. I had to hammer them back out to fit the Norton center brace. Triumph stays with Commando center brace. The front brace fit the best of the three that I had, but was the most corroded. Disassembled and cleaned Monobloc carb and K&N filter. Fooled about with controls. Seems that I have 2 RH levers. Choke lever can only fit on the right as shown. Not crazy about that lever pointing at me because of impalement possibility. Need to clean and polish every thing before reassembly. Undoubtedly the last time for me with this bike. I am looking forward to starting and riding this bike.

[Linked Image]

The Commando stanchion top nuts have patina. The next owner can replace those.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

SAM_3007.JPG SAM_3008.JPG
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Rocketman71 #853990 07/18/21 2:21 am
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The tank badges that were on this bike when I got it are plastic. This tank was used on 63-67 Norton N15, Matchless G15, and AJS 33 I think. Maybe others. The right badge has cracked on both ends. In fact the front piece fell off once when I was waxing the tank. I glued it back together. These badges have silver M and wings. I bought a new pair a while back, but the only ones I could find had gold letter and wings. Most vendors listing them now show them out of stock. I'm not sure I like the gold. Looks a bit gaudy to me. All of the internet searches have shown me only images of the gold ones. I'm not crazy about these badges anyway. I don't think there are any other Matchless badges that will fit this tank. Could put a vinyl transfer on I guess.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

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I don't like the gold badges. Too blingy. They don't look good with the green paint. Oil, gas and a battery tie down left to do. Too hot and sweaty today. Hotter tomorrow.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

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Brake cable made by my friend who owns the local bike shop. Standard Norton wouldn't fit with the Matchless control lever. But I bought 4 NOS highrider cables for $12 each. Worth it just for adjuster, clevis, and end fittings. He cut new outer and inner to the needed length and soldered on ends. $30.

Total for fork conversion - $700.

And I started with the wheel, axle, and sliders.

Some other minor costs associated with making road worthy.

I believe this will be a vast improvement to this bike even though I haven't ridden it yet.

"Period correct" Matchless hot rod.

Still need to sell Matchless Teledraulic forks and wheel.

Maybe my last post about this bike.

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It can't be the last post unless it has an "out and about" photo or six...


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, a BSA, & some Japanese
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Rocketman71 #855138 Yesterday at 08:28 PM
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Rode this bike 31 miles yesterday. Started on the first kick. This bike is good for back road touring at a staid pace. Had it up to 70 mph, and I want to go no further. All the power is in by 4500 rpm, I think. Not sure the Chronometric tach is working accurately. Have twice blown head gaskets on this bike. A well know weak point of these. The primary cover leaked a decent size spot after riding, so today I changed the gasket on the outer cover. I replaced the gasket with an 8 year old one bough from AMC Spares in England. Same as the one that I replaced. Didn't see why it was leaking, so not holding out a lot of hope for the new one. I found a fair amount of sludge in the bottom of the chaincase. I think material from the clutch plates. I didn't have any trouble on the ride and I didn't disassemble the clutch to inspect. May need new clutch plates in the not too distant future

I have rejected mounting the gold badges on my motorcycle. They look like they belong on a Cadillac Escalade with 26's.

So I have decided I am going to have vinyl transfers made. I have chosen this logo but I have only a jpeg file:

[Linked Image]

The 'M' will be a void so it will be paint color. The borders and the wings will be silver. Getting the size right will be tricky. It needs to be small enough to fit on the bulge in the tank, and it needs to cover the 2 original screw holes. The only way I have to scale the logo is to zoom in and out on the computer screen and take measurements. Then I make a paper template. That gets me close enough to see that it will work.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

This one is also a possibility. The appear to have the same overall feature sizes. I made the template from this one.

[Linked Image]

I could draw and print this myself if I still had Autocad on my computer. But I don't.


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