Wagon Wheels: The Arter Matchless G50

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Photo by Kyoichi Nakamura
The Arter Matchless G50 ridden by legendary rider and engineer Peter Williams.

Top speed:148mph
Engine:
Matchless 496cc air-cooled SOHC single, 90mm x 78mm bore and stroke, 10.75:1 compression ratio, 53hp @ 7,250rpm
Weight (dry):
292lb (132kg)

The ultimate racing British single: There can only be one, and this special-framed Arter Matchless G50, ridden by legendary rider and engineer Peter Williams and sporting the world’s first cast wheels — designed by Williams himself — must surely be a contender.

Built for the 1970 season, it was the first bike ever to wear cast magnesium alloy wheels, and coupled with its equally ground-breaking use of disc brakes and unique wind-cheating bodywork, Williams’ Arter G50 was a truly avant garde machine whose creation prolonged the competitive life of the 4-stroke single well beyond the advent of the 2-stroke era.

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
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