Purchasing G80CS

Nov 24, 2016
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I committed to buy a restored ‘60 G80CS today. On the high end of anything I’ve bought recently but oh so pretty and on my short list of bikes I want to own and can maybe afford. I’ll post pictures when I pick it up this week. Seems like an ideal Vermont dirt roads machine. I’m looking forward to learning about the bike.
Hi Scout63 what's a restored G80CS going for these days - 12 grand?

Hi Knut. I bought it on eBay:


I paid 8,375 USD which I thought was a good price. Mecum auction results have them running up to about 16k for really nice examples, down to the sixes for less so. Picking it up this week so I’ll know soon enough if it is as good as it looks. I’ve spoken several times with the seller and like him over the phone. He has a large collection, mostly bevel Ducati’s but also at least one Vincent and some nice Guzzis. I’ll post my own pictures and hopefully a good running clip when I get it home.

A good score, Ben, and very cheap for a faithful restoration. Good luck with it!
I own a 1963 rolling chassis of basically the same sort which will receive a 1964 type engine.

Thanks Knut. I’ll be leaning heavily on the forum, especially for first start up, checking timing, it will be a rider.
So I socially distanced myself to New York to pick up the Matchless. It is as clean as it looked on eBay. Here are some pictures from today:
Purchasing G80CS

Purchasing G80CS

Purchasing G80CS

Purchasing G80CS

Rear tire has a slow leak. Fuel in the tank smells very stale. Petcocks are in open position so I’m going to have to check the carbs and flush the tank. I need to get a factory manual. Any suggestions will be appreciated on where to get it. I’ll need specs on type and amount of primary case oil, how to check timing, etc.

Also, I have no idea how the magneto advance lever works. When I feel I’m ready to start it I’ll ask many questions.

Thanks and be well everyone.
That does look extremely good for the price.

Judging by the appearance and his other bikes the previous owner may have treated them well. Downside with a collection like that however is that it may not have run in s long time. Did he give you any history?

You should change all the fluids and clean the carb. Old mags can be bad news but you may get lucky. I would check the ignition timing. You can get workshop manuals if you check around. It's so long since I worked on one of these I cannot remember which way the advance retard cable works but just take the cap off and rotate the engine and you will see which way the mag cam ring works.

That's a very nice bike with all the special bits in place. You did well.
No history other than that he bought it and did not start or run it. His collection was really great and he ran, rode and wrenched them himself. Thanks for the kind words John. I’ll check it over carefully and video the first start and post it.
Ben - call me re: magneto advance - easier to talk then to type out explanation- PM sent wth my number
Congrats! One of the best looking G80CS I have ever seen. I hope for you the inside is as good as the outside! :)
You will find the manuals needed below. The last manual doesn't cater for your bike, it does contain some useful supplemental information though.

Opened up the magneto and the points assembly looked pretty old:
Purchasing G80CS

The armature looked old and untouched also, and it was not throwing a very good spark. The mag is a very pretty Lucas Competition model:
Purchasing G80CS

I dropped it off about 75 miles away with Doug Rogers at Doug’s Cycle Barn in Fairhaven, MA for a rebuild. I was very impressed with his operation. Maybe I could have skipped this expense, but I figure that running a 60 year old kick start single will be difficult enough without having to worry about the spark.

Interestingly, the bike has no ignition or kill switch from the factory, not even a ground button on the magneto. Kick it to start, and pull the valve lifter to shut it down.
Looks like your mag is a slack wire advance - that makes operation when riding easier .
It is Rick. The spring is pretty strong so I will need to keep the lever tight. I’ll call you for starting tips when I get it back and installed.
Your pictures are way better that the EBay listing. Beautiful bike and well bought !. Enjoy
Thanks Spiermoor. It was a nice surprise to find the bike as nice as it is. I’ve gone through it pretty carefully looking for that incorrect part or bolt. Absolutely nothing perfectly finished or out of place... UNTIL - I was replacing the period Dunlop Trials Universal front tire with a new Trials tire and I pulled a Cheng Shin tube off the wheel. The horror.

Mag takes 3-6 weeks Rick. It’s pretty hard to wait a month or so to start a new bike, almost as hard as waiting to hear your Combat.