Matchless G9 (tourer!) 1966
|By contrast with the last bike, this one was pretty - but not this pretty! However, it was a great disappointment after my 'super-clubman'. It's downfall was the gear ratios. You could rev the guts out of it in 2nd, but when you dropped it into 3rd you were chugging away like you'd gone straight to top. I gather it was more of a tourer, but I couldn't see any circumstances where these ratios would be useful.|
|This is the best (!) picture I can find of my version. It's a frame grab from a video made from an 8mm cine film we made in 1966 (you start to see why the quality is . . . not good.|
|I didn't have the bike long. I decided that it should have a 'service'. I knew this involved changing the oil and fitting new plugs, but while I was there I thought I'd clean the oil filter. This was an archaic device consisting of felt wrapped around a wire mesh frame, and was very black and gungey. Hmmm, I thought, how do I get black gunge off? Well, Fairy Liquid works on my hands, so . . .|
|The following day I had to return from home in Portsmouth to work in London. I set off bright and early, and thought I'd try for a speed record down the back of the local hill (Butser). As I cleared the summit, I revved it out in 3rd and snicked it into top, crouching over the tank with my eyes fixed upon the quivering needle on the speedo. Up and up it crept, 90, 91, 92 . . . and then bang!|
|You've guessed it. The engine had seized. Curiously I had instinctively pulled in the clutch, and was able to continue for a mile or more downhill before pushing it into Petersfield to a cafe. When I looked at the bike, the whole of the front of the crankcase was shattered, and protruding from it was a brown mass of twisted alloy that might once have been con-rods. Oh dear. As I entered the cafe the juke-box was playing the Crispian St Peter song with the chorus: "I got troubles", and this was true. Happily I managed to thumb down a van and get myself and bike back home again.|
|For sometime I had been staring gooey-eyed at Gold Stars and had fired-up all my friends with the same enthusiasm. One of them actually had the funds to do something about this, and had purchased a gorgeous DB32. I had to catch up!|
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