Today in Motorcycle History

LF Harris International Motorcycles

Newton Abbot, Devon.

Les Harris established LF Harris International Ltd and was responsible for the Harris Triumph Bonneville built from 1984 to 1988, and also for the Harris Matchless, a 500cc single-cylinder Rotax-engined machine.

The Harris concern built some 1250 Triumph Bonnevilles after the Meriden Co-operative closed, having purchased the rights to do so from the new owner of Triumph, John Bloor. The Harris Bonneville differed from the Meriden machine with they use of Magura handlebar switches, Paioli forks and Lafranconi mufflers.

Harris Matchless

This new, classically styled machine was the G80 and used a four-valve Austrian Rotax engine. Although the frame was British, many other parts were Italian and considered state-of-the-art - the G80 sported Grimeca hubs, Brembo brakes and Paioli forks.

1990 Sales were slow, so the motorcycles were produced for special order only.

1993 Production ceased. 860 Matchless machines were built, of which 350 were electric start. They were exported to Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.

Sources: Graces Guide,, et al.

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