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Timing Side

The Bike


Almost all parts used in the restoration of the bike, including new crankshaft axels, oil pump, sprockets, bushes, bearings, wheel spindles and brake shoes, as well as a plethora of small components and fixings, were provided by AMC parts specialists Andrew Engineering. Started in 1980, the company manufactures a wide range of high quality replacement parts for both AJS and Matchless and offers friendly, knowledgeable and fast service. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Contact: Tel: (+44) 01942 888848


The Matchless's alloy engine cases were in poor condition - greasy and corroded. I sent them to CC's Carburettor Cleaners who specialise in ultrasonic and vapour cleaning. Using high pressure water and fine blasting media, they returned the crankcases, rocker box and timing chaincase to a lustrous satin finish. CC's are experts at cleaning old carburettors, as well as larger components such as cylinder heads and wheels, using safe and gentle processes. Contact: Tel: (+44) 05602 051339


I struggled to find an exhuast solution for the bike as it needs an early-type downpipe that sits above the footpegs. Then I tried
Armours. They manufacture exhaust systems in the UK from heavy, high grade steel with a top quality chrome finish. They have a wide range of Matchless exhausts (among many other makes of British motorcycles) including one made to the original WWII pattern. It's well made, solid and fits perfectly on the bike!
Contact: (+44) 01202 519409.


After much research, I've chosen
Silkolene Comp 4 Synthetic ester based engine oil for the ride. It's especially good for performance engines running in hot climates. It's also suitable for many vintage and classic engines where monograde oils were originally specified and has been successfully used in roller bearing engines like mine. Oil experts, Opie Oils, supplied mine. They give excellent advice on oil choice as well as great service.
Contact Tel: (+44) 01209 202944


Riding a military-looking motorcycle in the sensitive borders regions of Central Asia could be problematic so I decided to paint my Matchless black. Redditch Shotblasting did a brilliant job powder coating everything high gloss black. The finish is excellent, but that's what you would expect from the company's owners, classic motorcycle enthusiasts Dave and Porl Joynes, as they've been in business for 40 years. They also had a couple of dents knocked out of my tank. Superb.
Contact: Tel: (+44) 01527 529659


My rides to India and Egypt taught me to value a good air filter. Sandy and dusty road conditions en route to Egypt were superbly dealt with by Ramair pod filters. They have a unique multilayered Aeriform material that ensures maximum filtration. They come pre-oiled & ready to fit and can be washed and reused many times over.

Contact Tel: (+44) 01980 623401


My new
MK1 Concentric Premier carburettor came from The Amal Carburetter Company. Made to exceedingly high standards, it is slightly larger than the WWII Amal carbs so not 100% original for my bike but a reliable, no fuss carburetter is priceless. I also have an Amal Repair Kit just in case anything needs working oin during the journey.
Contact: Tel: (+44) 01722 412 500


My existing cast iron flywheels were badly bruised and the replacements I bought had a hairline fracture. Dudley based experts Alpha Bearings have been making crankshafts for 70 years. They fabricated new flywheels from Sheffield billet steel, incorporating a needle roller big end on an oversize crankpin, jig ground and significantly stronger than the original. Peace of mind guaranteed for the Matchless's bottom end!
Contact Tel: (+44) 01384 255151


Both the Matchless's Lucas N1 magneto and 6 volt dynamo were restored by expert, Tony Cooper of Halesowen, West Midlands. Tony, a long time exhibitor at classic motorcycle shows and autojumbles, now only works from home. His skill and experience give me enormous peace of mind when it comes to my ignition and charging.
Contact Tel: (+44) 01215 592405


In the UK, pre-1973 cars and motorcycles use an old style numberplate with silver or white letters on a black background. Mine was made by specialists Tippers Vintage Plates. The numerals are die pressed, highly polished aluminum on a stove-enamelled black background.They look stunning on the bike; far superior to the stick-on white letters you often see applied to the numberplates of many classic bikes. Contact: Tel: (+44) 01726 879799


Iíve tried to use stainless steel fittings where possible. Halcyon Design & Manufacturing, famous for their aviator and motorcycle goggles, produce superb handlebar and bar-end mirrors made in the UK from quality stainless. The styling looks perfect on a classic too. I'm using a pair of their Stadium 850 handlebar mounted mirrors.
Contact: Tel: (+44) 01920 486032


© 2014 Gordon G. May. All Rights reserved. | info@overlandtovietnam.com

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