I’d been looking for a fairly well sorted Matchless G12 twin for a while. Whilst I was unwell, a few suitable bikes appeared and were sold…but all were a long distance away and COVID-19 lockdown was in place.

Then, after the lockdown rules were eased, a tidy G12 from 1966, one of the last ones made, turned up locally. The price was fair and it followed me home, quite literally. This is the sellers photo and he kindly trailered the bike back to my house; I would have ridden it but the clutch cable was very tight and popped out of the lever. The cable had also been jamming in the headstock and the clutch lever had 1″ pivot centres but the handle had 7/8″.

I decided to sort a few other little niggles out before taking it out for the first time. I’ll document what I did here, so maybe it will help someone else.

I had a great deal of help with bits from Steve Surbey at AMC Classic Spares, and latterly from Alan at the AJS and Matchless Owners Club spares service. It seems that specific documentation for the 1966 G12 is a bit scant and what there is, is concealed in a selection of manuals. In many ways, much of this model is Norton…but with a 650 Twin Matchless engine.