Matchless Making A Comeback With Model X, To Be Shown At EICMATue, 09 Sep 2014
Legendary English marque, Matchless, is attempting to emulate another famous brand, Indian, by forming a comeback. After being purchased by the Malenotti family in 2012, the brand is now going through a revival. If you’re at all in tune with the fashion world, then the Matchless name might be familiar, as many A-list celebrities wear the Matchless-labeled clothing managed by Michele Malenotti.
Now, 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, and 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.”
Here’s what we know about the bike, based on the renderings you see here and further information provided by Matchless. Clearly, its design is very classic but with a modern flair. The engine will be an S&S V-Twin with 1916cc displacement. It will be fuel injected, with a 9.75:1 compression ratio, and mated to a six speed transmission. Surprisingly, it will have chain final drive.
More surprising notes: front suspension is described as “castle” type with a hydraulic shock absorber and a patented “aerodynamic system.” Judging from the renderings, it looks like a modified girder-type fork. We’ll have to wait and see what the patent is all about. There also appears to be two rear shocks, but not in a traditional sense. One is located under the engine, similar to early Buell models, while the second is just under the seat, as if directly connecting swingarm to engine.
Brakes are another area of interest, as the renderings show a caliper that engulfs almost half the rotor. Matchless claims 12 pistons for the front caliper and half that for the rear. Both with forced air-cooling. Front tire size will be 130/90-16, rear a 200/55-17.
From there, rider comfort through adjustability is a central focus. Seat height is adjustable from 29.1 inches to 31.5 inches, while the bars, headlights and foot levers are all adjustable. Even the handlebar controls are aerodynamic and ergonomically designed, says Matchless.
We’ll know more about the Matchless Model X come EICMA 2014. In the meantime, tell us what you think about it below.
By Troy Siahaan
See also: Honda Gold Wing Brake Recall – Round 2, Arrow Exhaust For 09-14 KTM 690 Enduro R Available From SpeedMob, 2015 Honda Gold Wing and Gold Wing F6B Mark 40th Anniversary.