Classic Bike Guide

Model 16 (Matchless G3)


348cc (69 x 93mm until 1963, then 72 x 85.5mm) ohv single || 400lb || 80mpg || 75mph || 1945-66 A soundly engineered and finished traditiona­l British single. AMC singles are immensely strong, and engineered to cover countless miles with little maintenanc­e. These British singles began as the wartime Matchless WD G3L and used one of the first telescopic forks that definitely wasn’t ‘borrowed’ from BMW... oh dear me, no. They got swinging arm suspension as the end of the 1940s approached, avoiding the ‘plunger’ rear suspension used by others. By the late 1950s, the type had been finessed with alternator lighting and half-decent brakes in a good frame. A 1964-on version with a short-stroke engine, Norton forks and wheels has a certain charm. Rigids fetch the highest prices but spares for the later ones are easier. Very easy to live with, well-engineered and simple, they have very few faults. The major issues will be limited to non-AMC parts such as electrical components. Matchless owners like to joke that the Matchless was built by the day shift and AJS by the night shift, which is why their bikes are better.

Prices: low £2200 || high £4250

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