Too little (or possibly too much), too late. That could probably be said about the Matchless G85CS Scrambler. As one of the last models of Matchless to be made, it was the last (and best) attempt by the British to build a 4-stroke scrambler capable of beating the light-weight 2-stroke machines that were dominating the European Scrambles scene.
It’s easy to see the Rickman brothers influence in the design of the frame. The G85 was a duplex design with lightweight forks, machined front hub, magnesium rear hub, and as many lightweight fiberglass and aluminum components as possible utilized. Though Matchless claimed 291 lbs., actual weight was nearly 320 lbs, much heavier that the 2-stroke competition.
The G85CS looked and sounded magnificent, but was not particularly fast and when combined with the weight; it just wasn’t competitive at the top level.
Of the 99 produced in 1966, this is #15 and is one of about 10 left in the United States. Matchless seized to exist at the end of 1966 and no further models were manufactured.
MAKE / MODEL: MATCHLESS G85CS #15
YEAR: 1966 ENGINE DISPLACEMENT: 500 SINGLE
COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE ENGLAND
ORIGINAL PURCHASE PRICE NEW $1,400.00
THIS BIKE IS:
_ NEW, NEVER BEEN STARTED
_ ORIGINAL UNRESTORED
_ PARTIALLY RESTORED
X FULLY RESTORED
RESTORATION WORK PERFORMED BY: OWEN KELLY
OWNER: KELLY OWEN