Matchless G12 Classic Scrambler
Price: £3 450 ≈ $4381 ≈ €4024
Item location: Grantham, UK
For sale 1959 Matchless G12. Not one for the purists but if you are looking for something unique and a classic British scrambler to stand out from the crowd this could be for you.
It's with a heavy heart that I am having to sell but alas needs must. I have a young family so my play time is limited. I also have various other bikes so unfortunately my biking time is spread thinly. I've done just 600 miles on it in 2 years, don't have the time to play with it and could do with the money to help with a house move. Looking at the photos of it now though and writing this listing, if it doesn't sell I won't be upset! For transparency, the photos were taken last summer, but it still looks the same.. read on and come and have a look for yourself if you are serious.
Hopefully if you are reading this you'll know what you are looking at but for the avoidance of any doubt, despite the full restoration as detailed this is a 61 year old bike using old technology. Like any old bike, it will require maintenance and upkeep and has its idiosyncrasies. If you aren't comfortable with getting oil behind your finger nails then this bike probably isn't for you. This is biking as (in my opinion) it should be.
This bike has undergone a complete and comprehensive nut and bolt strip down and rebuild with a wad of receipts to prove. I stopped counting how much I spent on it, but it's been a lot and more than i will get back! I have all the receipts so you can go through these at your leisure. I know I'm not going to get that money back unless I hold onto the bike for a few more years (it is appreciating) but I enjoyed every minute of it and am glad to have preserved a bit of British history for future generations to enjoy.
The number plate has been valued at £1,250 alone... didn't want to sell separately but may consider if it doesn't fetch what I think it deserves.
Most of the work has been done by myself but you'll see from those who helped below I've only used the best of the best to support me with the rebuild (google them for yourself). Unless otherwise stated all parts were bought from AMC spares or Russell Motors. As I said above, I have a thick file of receipts to prove this and have loads of photos of the bike as it progressed through the rebuild.
Engine: complete rebore, new pistons, crank rebuild and balance, o ring conversion for crank halves (oil tunnel seal). All new bearings and seals throughout. Cylinder head overhaul- valves reground and new valve guides. Oil pump rebuilt with new seals. 2 new cam followers.
Barrels blasted and sprayed black. Cylinder heads vapour blasted.
All work carried out by T&L Engineering in Bedfordshire.
Engine run in on Millers Pistoneze SAE 30 running in engine oil. Now using classic 20/50.
Clutch: Complete rebuild with all new plates.
Gearbox: complete rebuild with all new bearings and seals throughout. Although being British it does still drip from the kickshaft ever so slightly. Brand new chain,
Carburettor: complete strip, clean and rebuild with all new jets and gauze air filter. All parts supplied by Hitchcocks.
Exhaust: built to my own design by Allden's exhausts of Market Raisen. It's currently without the baffles in but will give you them as it's f@cking loud but sounds incredible!
Electrics: Bespoke loom made using only the best cabling and proper connectors - no nasty multicoloured crimping here! Brand new 12v alternator, stator, Reg/Rec and battery.
Suspension: Rear - brand new shocks. Front - complete rebuild with new seals and brass bushings (to replace bakerlite originals).
Wheels: Devon Rim Company stainless spokes and rims with fresh rubber front and rear.
Brakes: New pads front and rear.
Paintwork: Frame, swing arm and all brackets powder coated by Classic Coatings, Grantham.
Petrol Tank and oil Tank, painted in House of Colour orient blue candy over silver... done by Barkston Refinishing, Grantham.
As can be seen in the photos of the oil tank I've made a bit of play on words by changing “Associated Motorcycles, London, England” (as per original) to “Allington Manor Customs, Grantham, England” (as one day I'd like my own bike shop and this is what it will be called). Not to everyone's taste but I did it for me.
General: New bearings and seals wherever needed. New cables throughout. Nuts and bolts from stainless Middleton, chrome work by Allenchrome.
Not so good bits / the bits I would like to sort if I was keeping it:
Speedo: looks great but gives a duff reading!
Rear brake plate: The locknut on the speedo drive was done up too tight which resulted in speedo drive jamming pulling the cable out and locking up the back wheel and loosening the bearing pressure ring. When this happened the rear brake plate pulled tight against brake drum and the brake plate could therefore do with re-painting. The bearings are absolutely fine have all been inspected and rebuilt. Just needs new speedo cable now.
Tank: I sealed the petrol tank with POR15 before sending it to be sprayed and forgot to mention this to the painter... when they put paint stripper on the outside of the tank, a small amount went in through the filler cap hole and took some of the sealant off. Doesn't matter as the tank is still sealed along all seems and probably didn't need sealing anyway. It just bugs me and has oxidised.
At some point in the bikes 61 year life, the left hand crankcase has been repaired / welded at the back. You can't see this unless you take off the clutch or get under the bike and doesn't affect running at all it's just a hidden cosmetic thing.
At some point the sump plug has been fitted with a collar - works fine but wish I had had it welded up and re-drilled while I had the engine out.
The carb has dulled and could do with being polished - still looks good but doesn't have a mirror shine. Probably won't have time to take it off and polish before I sell but it's a quick job and doesn't affect anything.
The bikes been sat covered in the shed all winter so it has wet sumped - I'll put fresh oils in before it sells. This is common for any old British bike. You can get valves to stop this happening but I don't like the idea of putting anything in between the main oil feed and the engine.. if you want to do that, thats up to you.
I'm a biker through and through and value honesty and respect. To this end... I'll happily put the bike up on my bench for you to poke about for yourself if you want have a proper look. Any inspection and test rides are welcome but my time is precious and I have a young family (part of the reason she has to go)... so please don't expect me to invest my time in showing you the bike if you aren't committed to making a serious offer and haven't already done your research on what these bikes are.
V5 is present and in my name.
I'll only do this before the auction ends... once it's ended that's it. You bid to buy. Try and haggle after the auction ends and you'll leave my shed with a Whitworth spanner shaped dent in your head. :-)
Any questions please ask. Don't however ask what I will take.. make me a proposal, if I like it I'll reply, if not I won't.
Winston the dog is not included in the sale.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: I was going through the paperwork this morning and realised I had completely omitted to mention the following: The engine has had two re-builds since I have finished the bike (combined cost c£2k!). The first was completed in 2017 but had to be stripped and re-built again as the oil breather pipe from the oil tank was blocked which created a vacuum and starved the engine of oil. It had a second full rebuild - again via T&L in summer 2018. It has done about 550 miles since that rebuild so is now fully run in. Completely forgot to mention this in the initial description as the fog of money spent on this bike clouded my head. If in light of this info you want to change your mind and withdraw your bid that is fine just let me know.
Went into the shed this morning to start the bike - first time since about September. Started third kick and runs perfectly. Sounds incredible although my neighbours don't appreciate it as much!
Other bits to add - for the ignition it has new condensor, points, coil, HT leads and distributor cap.
I've added a photo to show the brake drum (not plate) where it could do with re-painting due to the earlier issue I mentioned.
I've been asked whether it has a 1 piece or 3 piece frame: It has the 3 piece frame with single front down tube. It is a standard road bike frame, I have just removed pillion footrests and a few other un-needed lugs.
Does it leak oil? Er yes - its a British bike and likes to mark its territory! Not badly but if you are used to modern bikes it may annoy you.
If you are interested please come and see the bike - any inspection is welcome and actively encouraged so you know what you are getting.
Happy to do a FaceTime / video call walk around the bike if that helps before you set off to see it.. just message me.
Keep asking the questions and I'll post any answers / clarifications you need or want.