Help identifying a bike

To my fellow bikers.
Looking for some help trying to establish details of an old motorbike.
See photo I found of my father in his youth riding what’s clearly a matchless.
I would love to find out more details of the exact model, if possible from the image.
I was thinking of trying to find one to buy and show to him, to recall some of his happy day memories.
Thanks in advance


It looks like a Matchless. Either a 350 or 500 single. Dont know the model though.

The photo dates back about 68 years ( I think) so circa 1955 or thereabouts

Google search found that

I think it might be a circa 1954 Matchless 348cc G3LS

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Im sure you have already but possibly try one of the Matchless motorbike forums or similar?

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Good idea Neil, will look in that direction.


Thanks for that
Will research a bit more along those lines

Pretty sure its a 350gls. Same engine as the ajs 350 I had briefly as my first post learner bike. Being 1971 it was chopped obviously :sunglasses:

Maybe Java motorbike ? I searched with google image search


As we say maybe you need to go to specsavers :wink:


The reason I say 350 is that the 500 had a shaped ( bendy) side case.
54-56 I think as the later ones had a bottom crank case and no upwards side case.

The tank badge is Matchless.
The visible external valve actuation suggests (to me at least) a 350 rather than a 500.

Don’t know what you mean by specsavers. I know nothing about motorcycles. Wanted just to see if the google research images gave something. Apparently not. Anyway it took me 20 seconds.

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Its a high street chain of Opticians, in the UK… :expressionless:

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It means you need to get a new pair of glasses…

In the UK TV advertising they show professionals making absurd misjudgements (like a vet trying to find the pulse and give life saving care to a fur hat as the cat he was supposed to be treating is off to one side).

The voiceover says “Should have gone to Specsavers”.

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LOL. It is a Matchless, it says so on the tank. It is the old possibly pre war design, not the late 50’s one. It is likely the 350 engine the same as I had in my AJS (same company). It is a slow old long throw thumper but looked cool as, with its side case and tall cylinder in a semi chopped 70’s ‘omage to Easy Rider. :grinning:

Good joke :+1:. I agree, I need better glasses :grinning::disguised_face:

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I’m not so sure it’s a 350. It could be a 500 which would make it a G80, maybe? As to the year, that looks like a Burman gearbox which would date it to pre 1956 and the photo makes it hard to see the suspension. Is there a jampot type shock there or is it rigid? The toolbox just visible behind your Dad’s leg looks to be '55 or earlier.

G80 54/55

G3ls '55

G3ls '53

So hard to tell but op pic looks straight.

Edit, my bad, pic shows my AJS model.

Below Matchless model