43rd Reconnaissance Regiment

Matchless G3L - 1944

Engine : 347cc single cylinder 4 stroke - overhead valve

Gearbox : Burman 4 speed

Suspension : Front - Teledraulic; Rear - Rigid

Brakes : 6" drums front and rear

In 1940 the War Office were determined to reduce the weight of military motorcycles and several manufacturers supplied machines for evaluation.  The response from Matchless was a development of the pre war G3WO model, already then in military service.

Once the G3/L entered military service in 1941 it soon attained a popularity among the majority of service users, principally because of the new teledraulic front forks which were a considerable improvement over the girder forks fitted to all other service machines at the time.

The G3/L (the L supposedly stood for lightweight) although mildly detuned compared to the earlier model G3WO, was still capable of a decent performance both on and off road compared to other service machines and was a machine much sought after by those issued with less sporting mounts.  

This model was used extensively in every theatre throughout the war and was retained in military service into the 1960s when it was replaced by the BSA B40.

Military motorcycles were used for any number of roles but  the Despatch riders' main role was taking messages by hand from place to place, traffic control and convoy escort.

This machine, frame No 69801, serial No C5805731 was part of contract nmber S.4555 placed on 20th September 1943 for 8,000 machines to be delivered at a rate of 1,300 per month making this a January 1944 bike.  Each machine cost £60.15s.0d.

Nothing is known of the history of this machine until it was imported from India in 2000 in a totally derelict state.  It has since been totally restored by the present owner over a period of 2 years, finally returning to the road in July 2005.