S&S-powered Matchless Motorcycles to debut latest design

News release

Henry Collier was a designer, entrepreneur and winning rider. Together with his sons in 1899 he founded Matchless Motorcycles, which went on to become the largest motorcycle manufacturer in England. In 1907 Charlie Collier rode a Matchless to victory in the first ever Tourist Trophy, the legendary motorcycle race that still takes place on the Isle of Man, his brother Harry then went on to lift the trophy again in 1909 and once more in 1910.

With the rise of motorcycling, bolstered by great commercial success, Matchless acquired other major brands such as: AJS, Sunbeam, Indian and Norton, to form the 1938 brand AMC (Associated Motorcycles Company), which then went on to become the leader in the global motorcycle market.

In the late 20’s Matchless was ahead by leaps and bounds in post-war technology, especially in relation to the famous "Model X", launched in 1929 with a pioneering V-twin 990cc engine.

After that, Matchless developed a V-engine with overhead valves, which was considered the most innovative engine of that period and was the engine of choice in prestigious models by both Brough Superior and Morgan.

During the Second World War, the Matchless G3L was adopted by the Allied Forces, which lead to over 80,000 units being produced.

After World War II Matchless became the undisputed leader in single-cylinder engines. The G3 and various versions of the G80 reached huge commercial success, while the ‘G50 Racing’ became the more competitive bike for private racers and brought many successes with legendary riders such as Mike Hailwood, Jack Findlay, Peter Williams, Phil Read, Sammy Miller and many others.

The parallel twin cylinders, used in both Matchless and Norton models, is another innovative piece of craftsmanship which was developed and produced in the famous factory located in Plumstead Road, London.

The Collier brothers were visionary entrepreneurs. In fact, Matchless was the first manufacturer to take care of riders safety, creating a department to design protective clothing for motorcyclists, which was then tested by the best riders of that era. From the ‘20s to ‘40s Matchless developed great expertise in leather, especially for top riders to wear in races. Even in the postwar period, the company developed off-road clothing brought in and tested by the great Malcolm Smith, a true icon in endurance and motocross.


There are various Matchless advertising pages from the 40s, which ahead of their time, emphasized the combination of motorcycling and elegance. Famous pilots of all specialties, as well as every day motorcycle enthusiasts in fact, chose Matchless for the innovative combination of design, performance, safety and elegance.

In 2012, Matchless was purchased by the Malenotti family and is currently in the wake of a great revival, intended to bring the legend of Matchless back to the forefront and reveal it to the new generation.

The clothing line “Matchless London”, managed by Michele Malenotti, is present in the most prestigious stores in the world as the best representative of the “luxury-urban lifestyle", that faithfully continues the work begun by the Collier brothers in the 30s.

Used in the past by iconic figures such as Marlon Brando and James Dean, Matchless Wear today dresses stars such as Gerard Butler, Bradley Cooper, Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne, David Gandy, Stephen Dorff, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Sylvester Stallone, Scarlett Johansson, Pippa Middleton and many more. It also recently became the jacket of choice of the best Hollywood productions such as "24 - Live Another Day", "Mortdecai" and the upcoming epics “Life", "Our Kind of Triator", "Avengers 2", "Terminator5"," The Expendables III” and "Batman vs Superman“.

At the 2014 EICMA exhibition Matchless will celebrate, along with other leading manufacturers, overcoming 100 years of age. It is precisely on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Cycle and Motorcycle show of Milan that Matchless marks its 115th anniversary by presenting the "Model X Reloaded," a design inspired by the legendary "Model X" originally produced over 80 years ago.

The bike was designed by Franco Malenotti along with the Matchless design team.

Entrepreneur and designer, Franco Malenotti has a renowned reputation in the motorcycle industry, having previously collaborated with manufacturers such as Honda, Morini, Ducati, Bimota, KTM, Aprilia, drawing historical models such as the 1000 Laverda Jota, the 1000 Laverda RGS, Morini 500 turbo amongst many others.

He has also designed various accessories and clothing, collaborating with Shoei, Oakley, JT Racing, Millet, Lewis Leather, Dainese and finally Belstaff where he was creative director from the early 90s until 2011.

Today, he is in charge of the Matchless style.

The operation was conducted in close contact with the Collier family, to understand and comply with the spirit and tradition of Matchless.

Mr. John Keller – Collier – said: "Mr. Malenotti together with the new Matchless team has been able to perfectly center the mix of tradition, technology and elegance that was fundamental to the success of the “Model X” back in 1929. My family is proud to see that the legend of Matchless is now being relived and, most importantly, shared with new generations."

The fuel-injected 1,916cc V-twin engine is Matchless designed on S&S mechanics. Other specs are below.


One comment

  1. How do I get hold of the new Matchless Co? Very interested in new Model X. A web address, email contact, etc. Thanks

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