Monday, March 14, 2016

Perspiration and Inspiration....

One of my goals with the Matchless G9 project is to make use of items that I have sitting around the garage collecting dust.  I really want to challenge myself creatively by using what I have to build something interesting, attractive and authentic.  By authentic I mean in keeping with a period feel, a machine that wouldn't have looked out of place 50 or 60 years ago.

I am on a severe budget this time and have to think on the level of the home engineer or true shed builder.  The budget needs to go to essentials such as gaskets, valves, springs and guides, piston rings (I am hoping just rings)  Main bearing and connecting rod bearings.  I also need to do some powder coating which is more economical than paint.   New tires and tubes will be required, new chains and wiring harness and cables.   Not a cheap enterprise, however the more I can salvage for the build and the more I can do myself will help considerably.

At best this machine is a 'Bitsa' with frame, engine and gearbox all coming from different years and models which are mercifully compatible.  This can be a special with none of the guilt of ruining an original bike.  That being said, my 'No Chop'  policy will still be in effect.

Here is what I have done so far;

1- cleaned up and de-rusted the barrels, tool boxes and clutch basket.  These are ready for powder coating.  I plan on having the bores measured this week.

2- I have ordered some parts,  mostly beat up and well used, I am currently massaging them back into shape.

3- started removing the swing arm tube in order to take the assembly apart.  Lots of sweat involved along with heat and penetrating fluid.  I am about 50% of the way there.

4- Research. Hours poured into reading articles, forums and parts books.  This is the most work of all so far.

Here is a short list of items (off the top of my head and shelves) that I have pulled down that may finally see some use!

1- Bates Headlamp (5 inch?) chrome NOS 1960's  (bought in 2007)
2- Black pillion pad  (I can't remember where it came from or when!)
3- Sparto style Taillight (bought in 2008 for my Triumph, never mounted)
4- Generic steel rear fender (bought in 2007 for a future project)
5- BSA rear wheel- Came with the Matchless, decent shape
6- A10 Super Rocket Fork legs (acquired from Andy who I met and posted about a few years ago here:  Another one gone

7- BSA front wheel- Ebay purchase from a while ago (compatible with the forks I have)
8- 60's era Leonelli switchgear (bought from a bin at the Paris rally in 2013)
9- 1966 Triumph Bars (originals from the 1966 TR6R project bike, my Father bought a NOS replacement set)

10- universal fork gaitors
11-  NOS 1960's/1970's universal mirror
12- Ceriani and BSA top and bottom yokes (not sure if either will work)
13- Bates style solo seat with springs-  I bought this in a parts lot on Ebay a few years back.

Now onto the inspiration portion of the post.  I have been asking myself what I want from this build, what is the vision and does that vision tie into my aforementioned goal?

My tastes run a little on the conservative side, I am the first to admit that.  I believe that British motorcycles are the apex of style, elegance, power and sheer beauty.  These aesthetics, the foundation laid so many years ago are still being imitated by both manufacturers and builders around the globe.  I couldn't imagine pouring heart, soul and wallet into anything less or anything else on two wheels.  The pictures below, pilfered from many different websites are my inspirations for the project.  You will note the similarities, single seat, pillion pad stripped down and lean in appearance.

This one has a fantastic look, simple and elegant, I would forgo the scrambler bars.

This is a concept drawing (not done by me!)  I like the stance, tank and headlight.  swingarm and disc brake are too modern for me.

Lovely as this one is, I chose it primarily for the colour contrast.  Perhaps something bright other than black? I really like the rear mudguard as well.

Other than the rigid frame this one is close (single cylinder engine aside)

Out of all of them, this is my favourite overall.  With a couple tweaks from the other pictures this could be it!

Now to get in gear back at Motocode HQ!  This bike will not build itself.....

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