WWII Motorcycle (RASC 522 COY)

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by darrencthomson, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. Hello

    Can anybody help me to identify the make and model of my grandfathers motorcycle in these pictures ?

    They are taken in Holland, 1944. He served as a dispatch rider in the RASC.

    Everything points to a Single-Cylinder Norton 16H but, to me, the front forks in the picture look too chunky for it to be a Norton (or Enfield/BSA)..



    Attached Files:

  2. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Darren, the motorcycle has an overhead valve engine and telescopic forks (the trade name was 'Teledraulic'.) The bikes are Matchless G3Ls

    The full WD census number (it's partly hidden) is likely to be C4588186 which was built under contract C9506 - the first of the tele-forked G3L contracts with delivery taking place during 1941 so it would probably have had a fair few miles on it by the time the photo was taken.

    The 'Arm of Service' serial number '76' relates to an infantry division Field Ambulance (the background colour is black).
    Owen and Drew5233 like this.
  3. Thanks for the help, Rich. Mystery solved.

    Do you think the my grandad would have ha possession of this bike through the war (in N Africa etc ?) even though he also drove Lorries and Ambulances ?

    Or would a bike have been issued at each new location ?

    The caption seems to suggest that he had this bike a while but I know that, a couple of months before, he was an ambulance driver for 149 Ambulance
  4. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Transport was taken to Italy from North Africa but I'm not aware that any was brought back to the UK and then re-issued for NW Europe. Normally the transport stayed with the unit rather than the individual. It's possible though that if he temporarily filled another function, he may have received the same machine back when he returned...if he was on good terms with the Transport Corporal or the MT Fitter. If you refer to the Trux listings, you can see that a Field Ambulance only included three motorcycles so all of the motorcyclists are likely to have known all the bikes.

    I would expect that these motorcycles were issued in a 'rebuilt' condition prior to the NW Europe campaign. For obvious reasons, there is little evidence of worn-out vehicles being taken.
  5. All (specifically, Rich !)

    I am looking to buy a 1941 G3L like my grandfathers.. The intention is to map his movements in NWE and then tour it on the bike..

    Can you please take a look at the attached and give me your thoughts..? I'd be buying the bike from a Dutch shop who want about £5500 for it. I think that this is way too much and i'll be trying to bring that down to around £3.4-4k.

    Do you think the bike looks genuine ? Does the number on the tank make sense to you ? Anything else that strikes you about the bike ?

    Any help very much appreciated.


    Attached Files:

  6. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Darren, I've asked Lex who also posts on here to chip in. I'm afraid that my knowledge of the finer points of Matchlesses is strictly limited.
  7. Welbike

    Welbike Junior Member

    Darren, nice bike! (on the original pictures) but if you're looking for a wartime bike, don't buy the one you posted pictures off, that is a 1949 bike!!!

    Don't know who has it for sale, but its absolutely not WW2, only the engine is, and that might be what they're talking about being WW2.

    Hope this helps, these bikes come along on a regular basis, you can always pm or email me for advice, I seem to have half a dozen of them, but not f/s.


    Rich Payne and Owen like this.

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