Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Matchless by any other name....(redux)

Let me start by winding the clock back to almost exactly one year ago;  In the throes of winter, I found myself bored, tired of sitting idle and started perusing Kijiji.  The result was a van full of Matchless/AJS parts that had been left forgotten in a loft for almost three decades.  The basis of  two potential projects present, I was very pleased.

I always wanted an AMC twin, mostly because my father had one and he spoke highly of it.  They are a little different which also appeals to me.  I hope that my father can swing his leg over one more time, even it is just a quick rip up the block.  It has been a steep learning curve but there are excellent resources available such as manuals and parts books online and a great club.  The members of the AMC community are outstanding as well and I can't say enough about them!

My original plan was to make one bike up then save the remainder to build a second bike later on.  I read a great deal about the volatile nature of the G12 engine and decided to start with the safer 500cc (G9).

While I did have a great mountain of parts to work with, I have had to acquire a lot more!  These include extra wheel hubs, magnetos (did get a great deal on a lot of 4) nuts and bolts, seals, headlight, tank, cylinders, pistons, valves and tools and much, much more. This has been a piecemeal operation which recently included the purchase of a set of clean AJS model 20 cases.  At under a $100.00 CDN from a seller in Canada (who also sold me some Jampots, Thanks Ray!) I figured the Model 20 Frame should have a Model 20 motor even if the difference is a semantic one.  A '55 Frame with a '54 motor isn't concourse, but it is a nice pairing nonetheless.

So there we have it, with a few items from Walridge Motors and some cases I am now building a Model 20.


Clean, thanks to some simple green and elbow grease!

Another upshot is that these cases have proper serial numbers which were lacking on the 2 engines I already had.  This may make registration less of a headache.

I hope to have a roller by the end of April, once I rebuild my first wheel and my first engine without any assistance.  Daunting tasks, but challenges that need to be met and overcome.  The men that were 'there' in the first place shrink in numbers each year.  I see it as a responsibility to learn the old ways and skills in order to teach the next generation.  God willing, there will be a next generation to teach!

While it is entirely possible to get the bike done this year, the real push needs to be on finishing the Beetle and driving it for the fall.

Until next time!

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