I’ve sometimes envied those who have managed to get hold of an original Matchless G80CS; I’m referring to one of the later ones from the mid 60s. I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping a G85CS is lurking in a nearby warm and dry garage, just waiting for me to find it too.

1967 Matchless G80CS

During a chat with a friend, he mentioned that one of his friends was selling his 1967 G80CS which he’d owned for around twenty one years. Apparently it was a great bike and the chap that owned it was a good engineer. As it turns out, I knew the chap selling it so I went to take a look. It was clean, started easily and made all the right noises…thankfully none of the wrong ones!

I had a run round the block on it and all seemed well. The chap selling it was asking more than I expected, so I spoke with a a couple of contacts who felt it was right at the top end of the value range, but fair enough if it was as good as it seemed. I always try to be fair with price when buying a bike…I don’t believe in haggling just for the sake of it.

A neighbour dropped me off a couple of days later to pay and ride it home. It’s quite amazing how easy it is now to change the ownership with the DVLA, tax and insure bikes over the internet.

There were, as it turns out, some issues with the bike, which I’ll cover in the initial assessment and subsequent pages. Somewhat disappointing, but the chap I bought it from seemed genuinely unaware of the issues.

Dating Errors

This was sold as one of the scarce 1967 G80CSs and it carries a 1967 number plate. As I was told it was on the G80CS register, I contacted the UK dating officer John Tinley, at the AJS and Matchless Owners Club. He told me that the bike had a frame and engine number that almost certainly left the factory together…but in late 1964 or possibly 1965, but not 1967. I’m guessing it sat in a dealer’s showroom for a couple or three years.

This was confirmed when I contacted the keeper of the G80CS register in the USA, run by Rick Mann, a member of the North American Club. He told me he had told the seller about the date issue too!