AJS & Matchless Owners Club

East Suffolk Section

Robert S’s 1937 Matchless G2 Clubman

match1-1Match2This is a 250cc Matchless G2, which formed part of the manufacturers “Clubman” range for 1937. The bike was built and tested at the Plumstead factory in 1937, and pre-dates the acquisition of AJS to form AMC. This bike was first registered to Kings Motors, Park End Street, Oxford, on 6 February 1937.

Nothing more is known about the past of this bike, which surfaced as a basket case, strewn about the concrete floor of a brick storage shed on an old USAF base locally.

Acquired in October 1992 for the princely sum of £200 with some parts missing, the challenge was set by the wife with the immortal words “you’ve been had”. The bike was restored over a three and-a-half year period for an additional cost of £800, with most of the work being carried out by Robert. Capable of 60mph, this 73 year-old machine is in regular use, and is building up quite a nice patina.

Notable features include; girder fork front suspension with hand adjustable damping, single saddle and rigid double cradle frame. Ignition is 6v coil. Electrics are Miller and charged by dynamo. Everything works and the bike is a joy to ride.

The gearbox is a 4 speed foot change Burman unit, filled with grease. Wheel bearings are bicycle type cup and cone as standard, but the front bearings have been converted to ball bearing, but still retaining the original axle. The rear wheel bearings are as standard. Brakes are small but well balanced and adequate for the machine which is very lightweight.

The overhead valve gear has exposed rocker arms, which are kept daubed with grease to keep moisture and grit etc away from the wearing surfaces.

People often ask if the ride is uncomfortable with the rigid frame and girder forks, but it is really quite good, as the tyre pressures are set quite low, and the sprung saddle has long springs set in the mid (ish) region of the bike that absorb energy quite effectively thus preserving the gluteus region. The single large barrel shaped spring of the girder forks does the rest. The frame is quite stiff and the bike holds the road surprisingly well. A fantastic little bike!