Arter Matchless G50 Mark 4
Williams settled on a Norton Roadholder front end, with twin Koni shocks at the rear, however, he redesigned the left leg of this fork to incorporate a new slider which allowed the AP-Lockheed twinpiston brake caliper that gripped the 10-inch (254mm) Girling cast iron disc to be mounted on it, with an identical brake combo at the rear. The front caliper was mounted behind the fork leg to improve steering by bringing the centre of mass closer to the steering axis. Over time, the space between the fork legs was narrowed via special triple clamps, to allow the handlebars to be mounted closer together to reduce wind resistance, while distinctive slots were cut in the flanks of the fairing to allow it to be wrapped around the rider’s upper body while still giving space for the ‘bar ends to rotate. The chance to try that out for myself came at tight, twisty Mallory Park – a handling circuit par excellence, if far removed from the fast open spaces of tracks like Monza, Spa and the TT Course at which the bike had excelled. But it was also agile and nimble enough for Peter Williams to catch and pass Ago’s MV triple in the 1972 Hutchinson 100 run in the reverse direction at Brands Hatch, leaving the Italian maestro to fall off in vain pursuit of the flying single. After spending its retirement years tucked up in Tom Arter’s workshop after he passed away in November 2005 the Arter Special Mk.3 was acquired by Team Obsolete’s Rob Iannucci, who already possessed four other Arter bikes in his Brooklyn, New York warehouse. So you might say it went to a good home – but before crossing the Atlantic
Alan receives his briefing from Peter before tackling the tight Mallory Park layout. Primary chain needs to be lubricated – hence the sponge.