Author Topic: Another mystery bike to be identified!  (Read 453 times)

Offline bumpermark

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 7
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Another mystery bike to be identified!
« on: April 18, 2017, 08:52:16 AM »
Hello all,

I have a real photograph postcard and the original image of a woman on a motorcycle dated 23rd August 1931 (on the back of the small photograph.)
I believe we are looking at a possible Norton motorcycle, although the decals are difficult to determine even under a jewellers eyeglass.
I do know the motorcycle was registered KD 4267 by Liverpool County Borough Council in 1929.

Please message me if you have any idea which make and model it is.
Many thanks!

Offline L.A.B.

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1452
  • Karma: +28/-4
    • View Profile
Re: Another mystery bike to be identified!
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 09:57:51 AM »
I'm fairly sure it isn't a Norton.

I think it's probably a Matchless, similar to the 1929 Model R3, below (but without the hand gearchange linkage).
http://cybermotorcycle.com/gallery/matchless/Matchless-1929-Model-R3.htm




L.A.B.

Offline 33d6

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 626
  • Karma: +20/-2
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Another mystery bike to be identified!
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2017, 10:52:02 AM »
It's Model V/2 Matchless. Their 500ohv sporting model of the day. It's either 1928 or 1929. Matchless used a different frame in each year but the mechanicals are identical so it's nigh impossible to tell which year without a close up examination.
This model differed from their other 500's as it is a "square" engine of 85mm x 85mm bore and stroke. This is the same as their 1000cc side valve vee-twin and eventually Matchless used this ohv top end on the twin to make a desirable 1000cc ohv sporting version which they sold to Brough Superior and others. Sadly they never used it in their own twins. Note this is well before Matchless bought AJS in 1931 so it is all pure Matchless.
Quite a pleasant bike but sadly there aren't a great number of survivors.

Offline R

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 726
  • Karma: +17/-8
    • View Profile
Re: Another mystery bike to be identified!
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2017, 06:34:23 PM »
Its maybe worth commenting that calling a single cylinder model a V/2 is potentially perhaps a trifle puzzling, given that it seems to suggest a v-twin.
Maybe this is a modern problem with the proliferation (again) of v-twins, and their model naming, but still...

This would have been a fairly expensive back in its day.

Offline Rex

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 732
  • Karma: +11/-63
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Another mystery bike to be identified!
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2017, 07:26:37 PM »
Nice looking bike, but the woman...err.....not so much! ;)

Offline cardan

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 570
  • Karma: +15/-2
    • View Profile
    • earlymotor.com
    • Email
Re: Another mystery bike to be identified!
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2017, 11:47:37 PM »

Speaking of interesting Matchless motorcycles, I came across this 35d3 for sale http://www.dutch-lion-motorbikes.com/en/motorcycles/matchless-d3-sport-ohv-from-1935 . What say you 33d6?

Leon

Offline 33d6

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 626
  • Karma: +20/-2
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Another mystery bike to be identified!
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2017, 09:03:08 AM »
Yes, I've looked at that one too Leon. The D3 is the standard twin port engine but they also made an ultra rare single port D6. The single port version has the better flow and gives a whiff more power. I explored the D series Matchless for many years hence the 33d6 moniker.
The D series were the cheap'n'cheerful bread and butter end of the range that kept Matchless afloat through the Great Depression years. To encourage trade in the early 30's the government of the day offered the cheaper 250cc road tax privilege to any motorcycle under 228 lbs weight regardless of capacity. This encouraged a few makers, Matchless included, to make really lightweight 500's and 350's. They really cut corners to get the weight down to the extent the bikes were fragile and didn't last. The frame and forks in particular were far too light for the job. It took me years to gather all the bits for mine and even then it was only feasible because I had a full machine shop to play in and could discreetly remake and strengthen the more gruesome bits.
The engine of course is the forerunner of the famous WD G3L but by G3L timr they'd done a lot of development work to fix some of the more awful aspects of the D3.
Cheers,

Offline mini-me

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 457
  • Karma: +13/-15
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Another mystery bike to be identified!
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2017, 10:12:29 AM »
Funny things bike prices,thats a nice useable bike but for near 12 thousand quid I would have expected a lot more period detail to be correct; levers, head and rear lamp, tank finish, wheel rim lining,  wrong carb, no chainguard, poor wiring detail, wrong horn, and who put that 16H fuel cap on it?

 I could go on,far too many nits to pick.

5k max in my opinion,and thats considering its rarity.

Am I being too picky or is 12k worth a lot less these days?

Offline iansoady

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 221
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Another mystery bike to be identified!
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2017, 10:24:58 AM »
Doesn't seem to be when I'm selling......

BTW that 228 lb point was one I hadn't come across before and I wonder whether that was part of the rationale for my Sunbeam Model 10 - although the road test I have quotes it at 245 lb. Maybe they had a "road tax special" model. I must say although it is light it isn't what I would call flimsy.
Ian
1952 Norton ES2
1962 Ariel Arrow
1982 Moto Guzzi V50

Offline 33d6

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 626
  • Karma: +20/-2
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Another mystery bike to be identified!
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2017, 11:18:16 AM »
I think the road tax concession was announced in 1931 and didn't last long, eighteen months or so. Of course it only applied to the UK so Matchless didn't worry about reducing the weight of export models. Here in Australia we got mixtures of the flimsy frames and forks but wearing the normal mudguards and fittings , not the lightweight stuff. Essentially like any other business, Matchless were struggling in hard times and did whatever they could to keep afloat. 

Also, I agree with Mini-me. That is definitely a 20 foot restoration. It's very shiny but poor on detail. I wouldn't mind that if it was advertised as a riding bike that has been rebuilt for improved rideability and priced accordingly but the price asked is for an accurate restoration with all the proper bits. Anyway, been there, don't need to repeat the experience. It's like looking at an old girl friend and wondering  "Why did I try so hard?"

Cheers,

Offline Rex

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 732
  • Karma: +11/-63
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Another mystery bike to be identified!
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2017, 12:55:35 PM »
Dutch Lion is a place to be very wary of. I've had four bikes from him/them, (two directly, one via someone else and a fourth unknowingly) and although he seems to have a range of interesting bikes, they're mostly expensive for what they are. He also employs someone to give restoration projects a quick touching up with aerosols and fits odd nuts and bolts to loose piles of parts so they look better in the pics.
That Matchie would need a very careful examination (from me anyway) before I gave 12 big 'uns for it. You can still buy a lot of bike for that sum, and I wouldn't be looking to pay some dealers' mark-up just to get it.