Matchless G45 500


Make Model

Matchless G45


1951 - 58


Less than 100


Single cylinder, four stroke, OHV


498 cc / 30.4 cub in.
Bore x Stroke 66 x 72.8 mm
Cooling System Air cooled
Lubrication Dry sump
Oil Capacity 4.0 L / 8.5 US pints
Exhaust Twin, chrome silencer

Fuel System

Amal 930 concentric carburetors


Lucas competition magneto
Battery 6V
Starting Kick
Clutch Dry, with primary belt drive


4-Speed, close ratio
Final Drive Chain

Maximum Power

136.7 kW / 50 hp @ 7000 rpm


Tubular cradle, tubular

Front Suspension

AMC teledraulic, with stabilizer
Rear Suspension Dowty Oleomatic

Front Brakes


Rear Brakes

Wheels Steel, laced wire spokes

Front Tyre

19 in.

Rear Tyre

19 in.

Dry Weight

145 kg / 320 lbs
Top Speed 210 km/h / 130 mph
Colours Black
Source Shannons


Introduced during the 1950s, the Matchless G45 gave the private entrant an opportunity to be involved in motorcycle Grand Prix events. In post-war racing the 350 7R AJS became one of the most popular of mounts for the aspiring TT rider.
For those who wished to graduate to the 500cc category, the option was generally restricted to the Manx Norton or for the more adventurous, perhaps the Grand Prix Triumph. With the release of the G45 Matchless to the private owner in 1953, the racing fraternity saw it as a worthy competitor to the trusty Norton.
Its engine was a derivative of the G9 roadster; suitably modified. With such a pedigree for good-handling and reliability, it seemed to be the basis for a thoroughbred racer.
The G45 first appeared as a prototype at the 1951 Manx Grand Prix, where it was taken to a worthy 4th place behind three Nortons. The bike's first conspicuous victory was the 1952 Senior Manx Grand Prix. Soon the G45 began appearing at the Isle of Man and at mainland events, and by all accounts its performance was on a par with a standard Manx Norton.
At the 1953 Senior TT, eleven G45s went for the start and four reached the finish line, the following year brought a similar scenario, with 10 finishers from 14 starters.
In 1955 Matchless fielded an official works team for the Senior TT; with Derek Ennett registering the best-ever G45 result with his 6th place. Total production only ran to less than 100 examples; and in 1959 it was superseded by the 7R's bigger brother, the Matchless G50.The Matchless G45 is by far one of the most visually attractive race machines ever produced and is certainly a rare commodity in today's classic bike market.