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Experimental Matchless G3L

Some years back, maybe 15 or more, a guy from Cwmbran in South Wales, who my Dad and I had bought 2 Royal Enfields from, offered me a Matchless G3L which he said was an experimental prototype. In actual fact I think it was just the seat which was experimental as it had hydraulic seat 'springs' in place of the coil springs. Unfortunately I didn't buy the bike at the time (was probably skint) but I've been wondering what became of it. Does anyone on the forum know of such a bike or it's story?

email (option): tomillward@hotmail.com

Re: Experimental Matchless G3L

Yes Tom it's on page 131 O&M 3rd edition. It actually had some form of tele rear suspension and an AJS type engine with the mag in front of the barrel. Ron

email (option): ronpier@talk21.com

Re: Experimental Matchless G3L

HI Ron,

Thanks for the reply, can I ask what O&M 3rd edition is? The Matchless that I remember had a rigid rear end, if I remember it correctly.

email (option): tomillward@hotmail.com

Re: Experimental Matchless G3L

Sorry Tom I just assume everyone on here knows. It's this book by Chris Orchard and Steve Madden. We've abbreviated it to O&M.
Usually available on Ebay.Ron

Scan-20200708

email (option): ronpier@talk21.com

Re: Experimental Matchless G3L

Ah, that makes sense. I used to have the first edition of that book, but it's been lost in mist of time, so I think I should get another up to date copy.

Interesting cover photo, having done military exercises in a respirator, I can't say I'd particularly want to ride a motorbike in one, especially not one with that poor visibility!

email (option): tomillward@hotmail.com

Re: Experimental Matchless G3L

The rear sprung Matchless did have a telescopic saddle post, so maybe there was only the front part of the frame left, and that used with another rigid rear?

Interesting!

Lex

email (option): welbike@welb**e.net

Re: Experimental Matchless G3L

It was probably Andy Blewitt in Cwmbran who had it, sadly he's no longer with us, after that John Turner in Cornwall had it, I don't know what happened to it after that?

Rob

email (option): robmiller11(a)yahoo.co.uk

Re: Experimental Matchless G3L

Hello Rob, that’s the bike I’m talking about. I tried to find some contact details for Andy today, thought I might send him some pictures of the bikes I bought from him, and now finished, but sadly came across his obituary from 2014, which was quite a blow.

Do you know anything about the Matchless he had?

email (option): tomillward@hotmail.com

Re: Experimental Matchless G3L

Hi Tom

Andy was a really nice chap, we stayed with him and his Family in 1995 when we were doing a Dads Army re-enactment display at a show at Tredegar House, he insisted that Dick Eva took one of his Enfield's for a spin, he had quite a few Military Machines including a Big4 without sidecar and an M20 project which I still have and use today. I was told of his passing by a Police re-enator at one of the Folkestone W&P shows which was quite surreal.

Image1

I can't find any pictures of the Matchless either in Wales or Cornwall, but I will try and find out what happened to it.

Rob

email (option): robmiller11(a)yahoo.co.uk

Re: Experimental Matchless G3L

Hello Rob,

The Royal Enfield WD/CO/B in the picture is currently in my workshop in the final stages of restoration. I also bought and restored the WD/C he had (in 1996), a James ML, and a Welbike (a few years later). He was a very friendly chap and I was quite shocked to find his obituary. I remember him telling me that he believed there were stacks of M20s buried in the mines around Cwmbran!

I would like to know what happened to the G3L and what it's history was so any information would greatly appreciated.

And thank you for the picture, I have a picture of the bike from that time, but not on with Andy as well. I'll have to see if I can get a picture of it now onto the forum. That particular Enfield had been in South Wales it's whole civilian life, since it was registered in 1948.

Tom,

email (option): tomillward@hotmail.com

Re: Experimental Matchless G3L

During the early 1990's, almost 30 years ago now (!!!) the G3L with the funny saddle was for sale at "Two Wheels" bike shop in Cross Street, Farnborough, Hants.......the shop was run by a guy called Mick......

It was a standard G3L painted overall in drab green. However, it was fitted with a solo saddle that had small hydraulic damper units replacing the pair of standard coil springs at the rear. Mick asked me to have a look at the bike and we concluded that it was a standard G3L fitted with a unique modified saddle, possibly done by Army workshops for whatever reason......

Re: Experimental Matchless G3L

Hello Steve, that’s the bike I remember. I remember seeing it in Andy Blewitt’s shed in about 1996 when I bought my WD/C from him. As you say, hydraulic type dampers in place of the saddle springs.

email (option): tomillward@hotmail.com

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