Matchless 1996 G50 496cc 1 cyl OHC Tom Kirby tribute racer 3310



Matchless 1996 “G50” 496cc OHC Tom Kirby tribute racer frame # MRD 93044 engine # RVB
The Matchless G50 was a racing bike made by Associated Motorcycles (AMC) at the former Matchless works in London. It was introduced in 1958 and developed from the 350cc AJS 7R but with the engine capacity increased to 496cc. The “G50” designation stands for the 50bhp that the engine developed. The G50 was immediately popular, and while slightly less sophisticated than its Norton rival, it was nonetheless 30lb lighter. That made the bike more agile, more than equal in its steering and handling and faster in cornering. A practical advantage was also that it was far simpler to maintain for the average club racer. Unfortunately financial problems at AMC ended production in 1963. Only around 180 original G50s were built in AMC’s East London Plumstead factory during the five years of production, but the bike nonetheless had a remarkable career at all levels of road racing, and indeed in the USA enabled Dick Mann to win the 1963 AMA Grand National Championship.
This special machine was built in 1996 as a tribute to the legendary road racing sponsor Tom Kirby. The machine has been constructed as much as possible to Kirby specifications, so with Métisse frame and G50 George Beale engine. Further specifications include Ceriani GP front forks, Fontana magnesium 250mm front brake, belt primary drive with Bob Newby clutch, Quaife 5-speed gearbox and Hagon rear shocks.
The machine has seen single ownership since 1996 and has been used for parades and a few races, the most memorable being the victory by ex-Kirby rider Paddy Driver in the 1998 Centennial Classic TT at Assen. With the machine, that is in excellent condition, come some spares, a G50 workshop manual and the 1998 Assen Victory Cup.