Speedway Workshop

Today in Motorcycle History

Matchless Ice Racer

This page features* an early machine, courtesy of Ben Ludolphy. The frame type and date of this particular machine is still unknown to us, but we reckon it must be a very old one.

Someone in Sweden spotted this machine in a Swedish museum and the first thing to notice is that it has no modern suspension, but rather just a Webb styled front fork with no suspension at the rear end.

Also strange (not seen very often) is the Matchless engine is this one. Please note the oil-tank mounted at the side of the exhaust, this is to keep the oil warm and fluid in the sometimes very cold conditions.

Any other information about this machine like year and make of the frame is very welcome.

Always with a keen eye for detail, regular visitor Bryan Lambert was quick to pick up on this machine and points out the following....

"The Matchless speedway engine was based on the G80 motocrosser as described elsewhere, BUT although I have seen a copy of an advert of the period , I can find no record of any actual machines being delivered.

This one is an early (pre-AMC) Matchless - as evidenced by the rear-mounted magneto; AMC machines had the AJS-type front magneto. Note the Maely-AJS has the mag in the usual AJS forward position as has the Emmott Matchless, both featured in the Workshop.

I would say your ice bike was built in the early 50s using an then-obsolete old-type iron motor from a roadster. Taking this with the pre or early post-war type forks & speedway style frame, I would say this is a one-off of some kind, converted from a speedway frame."

Many thanks indeed for bringing that to our attention Bryan.

*Images missing from archive

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