Oops, I did it again! Having made a firm commitment not to buy any more motorcycles, a very original and complete 1923 Matchless Model L turned up on eBay. Initially the bike was offered without the seat, but the seller had a dig around and found the correct, original seat for the bike. Apart from needing new tyres and tubes, followed by a very full recommissioning session, I don’t think there’s much wrong with it.

The engine turns with good compression, the wheels turn freely and smoothly, the brakes work, the gears select etc. The clutch is stuck however, and I’m not sure if there will be any sparks. It even has the original complete acetylene lighting set for front and back!

It appears to have been brush painted some decades ago and I’m planning to leave it as it is cosmetically.

The Model L is the first single cylinder Matchless made after the first world war. I can find manuals for the original 1923 Model L, which is mine, through to the L/4 and L/S. The 1923 Model L uses the Blackburne engine, whereas later models used a Matchless engine.

1923 Matchless Model L

Here’s a picture for you, and I’ll add more information to this page, and details of how the recommissioning progresses.

Step one is to get a pair of tyres and tubes…and rim tapes too I think.