18 April 2012

Matchless BSA

Matchless motorbikes were constructed in London's Plumstead from 1899, making the marque one of the oldest in British two-wheeler history. The marque was retained when, in 1938, Matchless and AJS were both taken under the banner of Associated Motorcycles but continued as separate entities. However, it didn't survive the 1960s, with the last single pot made in 1967, and the twin pot replaced by the Norton equivalent.

BSA motorbikes were just one of many products manufactured by the Birmingham Small Arms and Metal Co Ltd, the first built around 1906. A BSA-engined machine arrived in 1910, and the marque went on to be the largest motorbike manufacturer in the world. Inertia and cost inefficiency saw the market lost to Japan, and by 1973 BSA had been subsumed within Manganese Bronze Holdings, when the marque disappeared. Both machines are run by Leif Evans, British vintage bike enthusiast.

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