We’re calling it the “Match-ster”. It’s a 1960 Matchless G80CS, brought back to life by Saddlemen staffer Bill Oster. Bill wasn’t after a concours-perfect restoration; instead, he wanted a cool older bike that he could ride reliably (?) to work every day.
The bike started out life as an off-road-only “Westerner” model that had never seen pavement before. It was not running and nearly a basket case when he got it, but Bill’s a resourceful guy and was able to get many of the parts he needed, many coming from across the Big Pond. What he couldn’t get, he made, including that custom hand-cut “Flying M” logo engine mounting plate. The bike was cleaned up and rebuilt from top to bottom.
Collectors might cringe at the modern components, but they make the bike that much more practical as well as fun to ride. The hand controls, switches, headlight, front wheel and brake are from a current Sportster.
Bill hand-fabbed the mounting plate to adapt the Sportster front brake caliper onto the stock Matchless forks, without altering them. The single disc provides more than enough power to stop this featherweight bike from any speeds it might achieve.
The seat, a Bates model that was the cool aftermarket option in the ’60s, was restored by Saddlemen to better-than-original glory.
If you live in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, don’t be surprised to see Bill tooling around on the Match-ster.
Click on the images to the left to see them full size.