1966 Matchless G12 Battery Strap
The original battery straps on these bikes have long since perished and disintegrated. Now it’s a case of finding something suitable and padding it out if necessary. My original Motobatt MB9U was simply too large physically, and was held in place by a piece of old inner tube and two nails! I had replaced the MB9U with a smaller MB6 sized battery and bought a suitable battery strap from Steve at AMC Classic Spares. It needed padding out a bit, but was never tight. One year later and I found it was perished and split. Steve apologised and told me the manufacturer appeared to have gone out of business during the COVID pandemic.
Don’t buy similar ones from eBay or elsewhere…
I’ve posted a picture of this strap, and written this page, because there are a number of these available at around £9-50 including postage on eBay. Don’t waste your money, look for another solution instead.
This is what will happen to them after a year at most. Steve remarked, and I have noticed too, that the quality of some of the rubber products on the market is rubbish. The rubber compound ‘mix’ must have been made as cheaply as possible, leaving vital ingredients out…but good enough to last just over a year. It seems that these items are those made in India and China. Buy British stuff if you can chaps, it really is worth the extra.
You could make your own battery strap out of…let’s say…a bit of old inner tube and a nail 😉 Or you could scour eBay for a suitable item. I suggest you stick with known brand stuff, rather than after market tat. I found a stretchy strap from a Yamaha bike…a moped I think, but sadly the owner didn’t know what it was from. I needed to straighten the two rod ends which stick out of the strap, but it will fit just fine.
A New Hope…
Here’s a picture of the strap I got, complete with a ruler next to it so you get an idea of the length needed. Beware though, some straps do not stretch.
You’ll notice the Yamaha logo moulded into the strap. On the G12, the loop part goes at the top, at the back of the battery box, and the ‘bar’ goes at the front, at the bottom of the battery.
I’ve asked the seller again if he knows what the strap is from; I’ll update this page if I find out.
Plan B…you have to have a Plan B
Another option, which I will be testing, is a stretchy velcro ‘mini tie-down’ that may do the job. It’s made from plastic, so it may suffer if it gets fuel on it. You will need the ‘bar’ piece that goes at the front and bottom of the battery housing.
Here’s the seller’s picture of the item. The seller I used is called ‘on1shelf’ and their page is here. If you search their page for ‘Tie Down Straps’ you should find this.
Note that it’s untested as yet as the item is still in the post.
Finally, remember to pad your battery with some thin, oil and fuel resistant pads. This will protect it from scuffing and other damage, whilst preventing it from rattling too.