Back from the dead.
In November, Matchless Motorcycles will rise again at the EICMA International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan with a whole new look yet with inspiration from that iconic "Model X" produced more than 80 years ago.
Matchless went down in 1966 and didn't get up until 2012 when the Malenotti family purchased the brand. The original started in 1899 and became part of Associated Motorcycles in 1938 before bankruptcy ended AMC's run and the company along with the Matchless line got bought by Manganese Bronze Holdings. Henry Collier founded Matchless, along with his sons, which for a time was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in England.
In its heyday, Matchless Motorcycles enjoyed wide racing success and pushed the envelope as far as innovations and technology. Charlie Collier rode Matchless to victory in 1907 in the inaugural Tourist Trophy, which takes place on the Isle of Man and brother Harry Collier did the same in 1909 and 1910.
Initially started as a bicycle company, Matchless developed one of the first swing-arm suspensions back at the turn of the century and in 1929 offered the "Model X" with a V-twin 990cc engine. Then came ground-breaking overhead valves. After World War II, Matchless led the way in single-cylinder engines and the company eventually broke the mold with parallel twin cylinders.
Now more than a century after the company was founded, Matchless returns with the "Model X Reloaded" a fuel-injected 1,916cc V-twin engine and six-speed transmission.
Don't expect this sweetheart to be early 1900s priced either. The new bike puts a 21st century twist on the original and as far as implementing innovations the playbook was stolen. Forward and rear sets for two riding positions, adjustable height and titling handlebars, and a Matchless patent in aerodynamic handlebar controls and ergonomic handgrips. Don't forget the 12-piston front brake and six-piston rear brake. Riders can also rest their feet below them or adjust the levers and stretch out in front.
Said John Keller-Collier (of the original founding family) in a press release Tuesday: "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."
It's a perfect complement to unveil the new Matchless ride at the 100th anniversary of the EICMA show, which is widely considered to be the most influential motorcycle expo in the world. Boasting nearly 30,000 exhibitors from 40 countries, show organizers expect more than 25 million visitors over the four-day event from Nov. 6-9 at the Fiera Milano Rho arena.
Written By: AndrewT