Forum

 

Use this space to exchange thoughts and comments to all users of the site…

You can post a comment by clicking on the word ‘Forum‘ (above left in large type) or by clicking on the small ‘speech bubble‘ symbol. These appear at the base of most pages on this site. You will then see a list of comments made by other site users. Scroll down and at the end of the list is a form for you to submit your own comments. When approved these will then be added to the list of previous posts.

If you want to send photos or larger files then these are best sent by email to the editor info@matchlesswd.co.uk

66 thoughts on “Forum

  1. I’ve a 1941 G3L frame number 21090 which I’m (slowly) rebuilding with a view to making it a practical bike rather than “period” restoration what ever that is. Anyway your site has been quite useful as far and I wish you luck a success for the future.
    Richard

      • OK, I’ll get back to you with the engine number as soon as I’m back in the Georgian spa town of Tilbury, I’m in Greenwich at the moment . Monday is likely.
        Richard

      • The engine number is 42326 which I believe is earlier than the frame. Are you building up a data base of G3L’s, if you are it’s a good idea as I understand they aren’t making them any more. It’s useful for keeping track of survivors and encouraging they use. A friend does so for Morgan three wheelers and I do so for Rickman campervans but I have too much time on my hands!
        Richard

        • Thanks Richard. Yes I am compiling a database and have a good few numbers already. By building a comprehensive collection it is sometimes possible to spot information that might otherwise be missed. Can I ask please for you to tell me what the other engine number markings are on your Matchless. The full engine number includes the pre-fix which on yours should be ’41/G3L’ and perhaps a suffix – Your engine is from contract 11102 so there may also be a letter ‘B’ meaning that it had Bowden controls fitted.

      • I have recently found a G3 I beleive in central Africa. Frame number 58000 Engine Number 92453
        Looks as though it may have had a steal plate removed as there are rivit holes each side of number.
        Can you tell me any more about this bike?
        Kind Regards
        Dominic

  2. It’s just 41/G3L 42326, there are no other markings and all seems original which is more than can be said of the rest of the bike!
    Richard

    • Hello again,
      It’s been a while since I was last here but life is full of surprises! Anyway, the G3L is up and running and has a reg. number and I’ll clock a little less than 500 miles on it as far, not a long way but there are 9 other bikes and 4 cars (plus a boat!) to keep me in mischief. It now starts when hot thanks to a AJS&MOC exchange mag and is used mostly on Sunday runs a shopping trips. However, my question to you is: does anyone know the “C” number for my bike? It’s frame number is 21090.
      Many thanks for any help and keep riding!
      Richard

  3. I own a very complete and totally authentic WDG3 LS #41/G2L-190MS16 and A579571I. It has the rear seat and pannier carriers and (sadly) just one canvas twistgrip cover. I wish I had a second.

    The bike has been restored and is now re-restored after running for some years around Nairobi as personal transport.

    I also have a number of WDG3 engines.

    • Hi Peter,

      Ref your message about W-DG3L,

      I saw that you are in Nairobi, I am back & forth from
      the UK to Nairobi & Eldoret, I have quite a few W-D machines
      inc some Matchless G3 WO & G3L W-D,
      if its ok with you I would like to meet up, as I will be in Kenya this
      Dec/Jan visiting family.
      Thanks, Mark..

      • Hi Mark
        Did you source any of your Matchless machines in Africa? I would be very interested to know the engine numbers you have (complete with any prefix / suffix) and whether they served in Africa. There is anecdotal information that around two hundred machines were sent out during the war but I’ve yet to find corroborative evidence.
        Ed

  4. Hi,
    I am trying to restore a WD Matchless. I have got 99% of the frame ready to assemble. The gearbox dynamo mag etc. have all been rebuilt.
    The engine is the wrong type for a WD. I think it of a later type and also has a 500 head fitted. It is in running order as it came out of the bike I am looking for a WD G3 or G3l to finish the project. Any rebuild-able condition will do .I also need a cigar type rear light. Frame no.4804. engine fitted is 7821 1130 but the 3 is stamped backwards.
    Hope this is of interest Dave.

    • I’ve got the engine + gearbox assy that came out of my 1940 G3; I might be persuaded to part with it.
      Let me know if you’re interested & we can talk.

  5. Dear sirs,

    I need some help. I want to buy a G3L with an enginenumber without anything then 65599 it’s a dutch registered Matchless

    On the starpattern on the crankcase you can see it’s a war machine and the nummers matches with 1942. Accept there is no metal plate and no stamps like
    40/G3L before the number. The two holes, were the the metal was fitted, are there.

    What can you experts say about this engine. Is it original?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Regards Niels

    • Niels
      Engine number 65599 would indicate it being from C1050 which is early 1942. If there are two holes for the brass plate then this indicates the engine as being a service replacement (complete service replacement engines were available from C14499 onwards). It is common to find these plates missing so that should not be of concern. It would seem from what you say that the number 65599 has been stamped after the plate was removed. If you would like to send me a photo of the number I should be able to confirm this. Email photo to info@matchlesswd.co.uk
      Ed

  6. hi all i have a wd matchless that i am rebuilding .frame no 8407 engine no 41/g3l 28117? over stamped 9289 I have had bike about 50 years most of it is there how much is original i donot know however it was all green.found it near Peterbourgh

  7. Well after 8 months of intermittent effort My ’41 G3L is up and running and if bashing around the local airfield perimeter road is anything to go by it should be a cracking bike. Tomorrow I’ll send the stuff to DVLA and hopefully get an age related number and enjoy it on the road.
    Richard

  8. Have an option to purchase a “civilianised” paint wise. WD Matchless. Engine # 40/G3R 18290. x
    Frame #6894 Gearbox 8CPBL 78498 No panel in tank.
    Checking so far it seems to be mostly WD . Has Tele Forks but wrong mount for headlight.
    Congratulations on your site. It performs valuable work . I have British Forces Motorcycles book and some ARIEL W/NG (One running). Been working on Motorcycles all my life. Bit addicted one might say.

    • Hello Neville, I’m working away at the moment and don’t have access to all my files to check the numbers. However; frame 6894 was from G3-WO contract C6094 so earlier than the 8CPBL gearbox which was G3L. The engine is also a later one from C8078. None of this should put you off as most machines exchanged the major parts during service. Some photos would be helpful and glad you like the website
      Simon

  9. Over the top(above) the other numbers on the engine is stamped 190MS1(8or 6). The last number is indistinct. What sort of numbers should be on the gearbox? This bike was assembled and ran 32 years ago and still runs (the engine is quite well balanced). The gearbox makes a little noise in second and third gears. I think the WD matchless is not very common here (Australia) nor is the W/NG ARIEL. The seat is wrong. There was a sort of universal seat used on many military bikes, I believe. The information I have confirms the contract numbers you have mentioned The frame is nearly at the top end of the RANGE for the particular contract if that has a bit of leeway. I presume we should be able to get a pretty good idea of the numbers to go on the tank, at some stage. I certainly need the headlamp mounting stays, and data on colours. I have an original WD Ariel oil tank which has the Khaki under black and provides a good colour match and will use that if I don’t get firm information on another colour. Nev

  10. I’m not good at doing that, but give me a bit of time. I have examined the numbers very closely under strong light, and cleaned with a fine metal brush that removed no metal from the surface. What I have described is all that is there and seems to be of a form that was done long ago and professionally.
    The gearbox looks fine, condition wise and the noise is gone with an oil top up. Good thing I didn’t ride it more than a few yards.

  11. hello ,what a very helpful site ,i am restoring a WD matchless 1941 contract ,i have managed to get alot of NOS to replace worn out parts ,how ever i am suck ,i need a right hand fork slider as mine is to damaged to repair ,is there any one out there with any ????? , i just need one please help if you can ,also looking for a petrol tank thats not rusted out

    • Hello Bryan
      Can you tell me the engine and frame numbers of your restoration please. Do you know what contract it is from as I may have a spare tank. Unfortunately the only sliders I have are on sets of forks.
      Best
      Simon

      • hello simon ,i will sort out the frame number ,the AJS/Machtless owners club told me that it was 1940/41 contract ,as for the engine number i am not sure i have it ,the case,s were very badly damaged ,i have nos case,s from russells ,in fact the engine will when built be completely new , do you have any forks for sell ? ,as this might be the only way ,i do have a nos l/h slider ,the gearbox is completely rebuilt with nos ( even new main shaft )

    • Thanks Bryan. The plate on the crankcase appeared in 1942 and usually denotes that it was a service replacement engine. As such it is not of use in dating the machine at all accurately. Your frame however is from contract C14499 which was placed in Jan 1942.

      • hi ,hope your well ,i have now got hold of a complete set of NOS front forks ,now the only thing i really need is a fuel tank , also do you know any one that might have a good rear brake plate ,cheers bryan

  12. Hello all,
    What an interesting and absorbing website. I’m looking to buy (I hope not naiively) a G3L WD. Not wanting a big project but any leads or contacts would be useful.
    Thank you in anticipation
    Bob

  13. I have an early civilian 1945 g3l, l am unsure which carburetor should be fitted, ww2 models were also 275s, is it possible the civilian models used the 276 variant?.
    I would welcome comments on the above as l am somewhat confused.
    Colin.

  14. Hi Guys,

    I have a Matchless G3 i believe.
    Frame number 6890 but the engine number is 46/G3L 2681
    Why is this please?
    Were they recall after the war for civilian use/

    Thanks,
    Paul

  15. I have just purchased a Matchy G3 possibly from 1941, its in civvy trim all black with high level exhaust , i will put it back in uniform as and when! The frame no is 8496 and eng no 10341, looking at the book “British forces motorcycles” i think the C no should be 93491, does anyone know different?

  16. Hi, I’m Mario from Italy. I’m finishing to restore a 1943 G3L but, rear chaincase, rear mudguard and its stays are not original then I would like to reproduce them but I need the exact measures. Can someone help me?

  17. Mario, if you go to the parts illustrations you can get a very good idea of the dimensions of a lot of stuff. Expand them up and scroll. Compare things with a known size like a wheels diameter etc Sorry for the late reply I’ve had strife with getting on the forum Think it was my computer at fault. Nev

  18. Hi I’m in the process of rebuilding a g3l with my father who has owner the bike since he was a child, we don’t really know what frame number it is as we cant find it, but have the engine numbers and gearbox numbers, we want to eventually get it back on the road.

    • Hello Shaun
      It would be very helpful to know the engine number (and any other markings around it) to identify which contract it is from.
      The frame number is usually under the seat on the right hand side stamped into the frame lug. There are some machines with no number and it is thought that these were fitted with replacement frames at some time during their service.
      Simon

  19. Hi all, I`m rainer from Switzerland. I bought a matchless g3l from Calcutta 🙂
    Frame 69775 Engine 84751 contract 4555, is it a military bike ? Can i the axel, oil pump, the timing pinion, and the flywheel change with a engine from 48 ?
    are this the same parts ?
    Rainer

    • Hello Rainer
      The frame and engine numbers are both correct and in sequence so look to be original and certainly military. Can you please check the engine number for the prefix (G3L) and also see if there are any other marks – perhaps a B or A ? A photo of the number would be useful. The best way to check the parts interchangeability is to compare the parts numbers from the list on this site with the 1948 parts numbers which you can find in the archives (the link is on the ‘links’ page). Around that time they changed from a single start oil pump to twin start so you’ll have to check carefully. If you have the parts you would like to change send me some photos and I’ll compare them with G3L parts I have in the workshop. You may also find it helpful to compare your 1948 parts dimensions with those given in the technical specification page of the site.
      Simon

  20. Were there side-valve versions of the G3L in the second world war ?
    The reason being, that a drive side view on a photo seems to show a side-valve type cylinder head.
    These photos can be misleading, but, you may say that it was not unknown for them to stick a side valve engine in, if it was in stock, just to keep things moving.

    Regards,

    • Hi Malcolm
      According to a very good book I have on British WD motorcycles, there was a batch of Matchless’ that were fitted with BSA engines from new!
      Matchy Matt

      • Hello Matt
        I’m aware of a BSA WB30 engine fitted to one machine (WB30-556) but this was a single machine (C4337785) and not as far as I am aware a batch of machines. To which book are you referring please?
        Editor

      • Hi Simon, Got clutch slip, will be investergating soon, so probably. Clutch plates, what’s the average price on a set? Regards.

        • Check there’s free play in the clutch cable and check the clutch push rod is free. Next thing is to check that the springs are correctly adjusted… failing that look for plate condition etc. Not sure of current prices but they are freely available.
          Best of luck
          Simon

        • Hi
          I had a major headache with clutch issues after a complete engine rebuild.
          To cut a very long story short, the problem turned out to be glazed steel plates (had renewed all friction plates), I rubbed them down with scotchbright and problem solved… after stripping/rebuilding clutch several times, and replacing kick start bump stop in outer gearbox case.

          Matchy Matt

  21. Hello all,
    I have a genuine interest in WD machines and have been following this excellent site since its inception.
    I have for some considerable time trawled the area of the UK in which I live to acquire a Wartime Matchless G3 / G3L
    I have to date had no success
    I would appreciate any leads that Forum members may be able to give in my quest,
    Thank you in anticipation
    Regards Jim

  22. I am rebuilding a 1939/40/41 G3 bit of a mixture but those are the parts I have!
    I am using girder forks but am missing the top crown, spindles and damper parts.
    Also I need the correct engine to gearbox plates, the frame and engine is 1941.
    Does anyone have those parts or know where I can enquire other than eBay?
    Phone or text to 07443 416 597
    Thanks.

    • Hello Roy,
      I would suggest you try Russell’s, the AJS&Matchless Owners club, auto jumbles if you know what you are looking for or make them yourself if you can. Other wise the WD BSA M20 site is use as I sourced a few bits for my G3L from there.
      Good luk
      Richard

  23. Hello, does anyone have the rear frame dimensions in regard to the distance the between the fork ends and most importantly how far the fork ends are each side of the frame centre line? Thanks

  24. Hello,
    I have a 41/G3L engine number 71462, but the engine also has many other stamps on it:
    B (for Bowden controls?)
    L5Z3
    DTD428 or DT0428 this is very small so bit hard to see!
    JSC2 in a circle, again very small
    and an even smaller circle stamp with something inside that I can’t make out
    Any idea what they mean?
    Many thanks
    Stuart

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