~ Welcome to My Matchless Motorcycle Website ~
So here’s the deal: I was a thirty-something engineer on sabbatical break for a year or two living in the city of Hyderabad in the middle of India. My wife was at work all day, so other than making sure that the maid turned up to clean the house and that there was some food in the fridge, I was otherwise free to explore and experience the sights and sounds of the city.
It had been over 10 years since I last owned a motorbike – it was a sporty little Honda NSR125 to get me back and forth to university. But living in Hyderabad, with time on my hands and the constant thud-thud-thud of Royal Enfield Bullets echoing down every street, it seemed a good time to get back on two wheels. And so the search for an old British motorbike in the middle of modern India began…
So that’s the background and this website and blog is all about what happened next. As you’ve probably guessed from the site title, the old British bike turned out to be a Matchless – a marque that I’d never even heard of a few months before. Hence the site name – Matchless Clueless – because I was completely clueless about anything to do with Matchless bikes and yet somehow now found myself owning a 1951 ex-Indian Army G3LS, and a rather nice one too (if I do say so myself!).
But that was back in 2009 and things have now moved on a bit since then. Our time in India came to an end all too quickly and, before we knew it, we found ourselves relocating to Hong Kong. Well moving back to the UK would have been far too cold and grey after the heat and colour of India, wouldn’t it? And so that’s where the next chapter in my adventures with my Matchless motorbike began.
Would there be any other classic British bikes in Hong Kong? Would I be able to get the spare parts I needed to finally get my bike running reliably? Would the mechanical repairs and servicing carried out back in India last, and if not how would I go about learning how to fix any problems myself? These were all the questions on my mind as the bike was carefully crated-up ready for shipping back in Hyderabad.
So I’m now well and truly bitten by the old bike bug, especially when it comes to AMC motorcycles. My original 1951 G3LS has recently been joined by a 1950 G3L rigid model, but only in spirit for the time being as the new bike in mid-way through restoration in my garage back in the UK. That should keep me busy for a while when visiting home and I look forward to getting it on the road and seeing how it compares to my full-suspension G3LS.
I’ve also been working on combining my interest in old motorcycles with my electronics hobby as I’ve developed a range of bright, low power LED rear light units for classic motorbikes. After a number of requests from readers I have now made a small number of these LED light units available for sale via the new Matchless Clueless web store. So please spend a few moments to check that out too.
For those of you reading this who are also clueless about Matchless (or AJS) motorcycles, I hope that you can find some useful info here. I am gradually putting together a series of mechanical and electrical ‘how to’ guides for various jobs based upon the work I’ve needed to do on my bike and the lessons I’ve learnt in the process. You can find the various topics listed in the main menu at the top of the page. I’ve also written a couple of ‘how it works‘ articles which are hopefully a useful starting point for getting some of the more complicated components working correctly.
For those of you who are more expert with classic motorcycles, I hope this blog, our adventures, my mistakes and successes provide an entertaining read!
Hong Kong, February 2013.