Matchless G50

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Matchless G50
Matchless G50 500 cc Racer 1958.jpg
Manufacturer Associated Motorcycles Plumstead, London
Also called The "Golden Eagle"
Production 1958-1963
Engine 496 cc SOHC air cooled single
Top speed 135 mph (217 km/h)
Power 51bhp @ 7,200rpm[citation needed]
Transmission Four speed gearbox to chain final drive
Brakes drum brakes
Weight 320 pounds (150 kg) (dry)

The Matchless G50 is a racing British motorcycle made by Associated Motorcycles (AMC) at the former Matchless works in Plumstead, London. Developed in 1958 from the 350cc AJS 7R, but with the engine capacity increased to 500 cc, 180 G50s (for 50 bhp) were built in the next four years. Although less powerful than its main competitor the Norton Manx the G50 proved highly competitive at three hundred pounds and was faster round bends.[1] If success is measured by longevity then this is the most successful Matchless motorcycles as high specification replicas are still being produced to this day although financial problems at AMC ended production in 1963.[2]

The G50 CSR[edit]

In 1963, the AMA decided that the G50 should not be allowed to race in the USA as it was not based on a production street bike. Matchless solved the problem by creating the street-legal G50 CSR, fitting the G50 engine into the G80CS Scrambler frame.

The designation CSR stood for Competition, Sprung and Roadster but quickly got called the Coffee Shop racer. It later became known as the Golden Eagle after the name was used in advertising (due to the gold finish of the engine casings).[3]

By the time the G50 was reinstated, however, it was no longer in production.[2]

There were just two colour options - bright blue with a tan seat or bright red and black with a black seat.[2]

Seeley Condor G50[edit]

Financial problems at AMC ended production in 1963 and all the tooling and spares were sold to sidecar Grand Prix racer Colin Seeley in 1966. Seeley went on to develop the engine and made his own custom frames to produce a number of G50 'specials'[1] some of which were known as the called the Seeley Condor. These exclusive motorcycles continue to be hand built to this day to individual customer specifications by TGA Ltd, now based in northern France. As well as building motorcycles from new parts, TGA also convert secondhand racing motorcycles for road use.[4]

Seeley G50Mk2[edit]

The Seeley G50Mk2 racing motorcycles built by TGA Ltd are high specification with a Titchmarsh chassis, Walmsley G50 motor, 6 speed PGT gearbox and lightweight fairing.[4]

George Beale G50 replicas[edit]

Former Isle of Man TT winner George Beale set up George Beale Motorcycles in Coleorton, Leicestershire to make a range of replica motorcycles, including Matchless G50 racing motorcycles to a high specification which includes a special lightweight frame and swing arm, Ceriani forks and a magnesium six speed gear box with lightweight clutch.[5]


  1. ^ a b Brown, Roland (1999). The History of British Bikes. Paragon. ISBN 0-7525-3153-0. 
  2. ^ a b c Duchene, Paul Duchene. "1962 Matchless G50 CSR "Golden Eagle"". Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  3. ^ McEnally, Richard W. "AJS-Matchless Variants in the United States". Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  4. ^ a b "Matchless G50 Based Machines". Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  5. ^ "Matchless G50". Retrieved 2008-11-11. 

External links[edit]