Henry Collier, design engineer, successful entrepreneur and winning rider, together with his sons, founded Matchless Motorcycles in 1899, which soon became the most important British motorcycle brand. Riding his Matchless, Charles Collier, Henry’s son, won the first Tourist Trophy in 1907, the mythical motorcycle race, that is still run today on the Isle of Man. Harry went on to win the race in 1909 and 1910. Following their great market success, the brothers acquired other famous brands such as AJS, Sunbeam and Norton. Their production factory, in Plumstead Road, in the very heart of London, became a mythical place of reference for every motorcyclist.
The Collier brothers were farsighted business-men. Matchless was in fact the first motorcycle manufacturer to think about riders’ safety. They opened a special department to develop garments for motorcyclists’ protection. Clothes that were then tested by the best riders of the time. In the 1920s and 1940s Matchless developed an invaluable know-how in working leather for garments to be worn in speed races. In the post-war period, it expanded production to technical fabric for off-road outerwear, chosen for racing by the great Malcolm Smith, a real icon of enduro and motocross racing. Some of Matchless advertisements from the 1940s, quite ahead of their time, stressed the alliance between motorcycling and elegance. Famous riders from all disciplines, as well as amateur motorcyclists, were choosing Matchless for the wonderful mix between design, performance, safety and elegance.Matchless technology made great strides on the single-cylinder and twin-cylinder V-engines, which were supplied as original equipment to renowned companies, such as Morgan and Brough Superior, the Rolls Royce of Motorcycles; also the 4-cylinder Silver Hawk turned out to be a true masterpiece. The most famous riders tested Matchless wear in the races, garments that were constantly updated and universally appreciated for their safety, wearability and elegance. In terms of safety, Monocross rear shock-absorbers and telehydraulic forks were used for the first time. The war saw Matchless as a protagonist with the manufacturing of around 80.000 motorcycles for the British army. In the post-war period the company reached the top of its technical know-how and its models were extremely successful. In collaboration with Malcolm Smith, the mythical motocross and enduro rider, Matchless developed a functional line of technical wear, that soon was seen everywhere on the race tracks, and then used and appreciated by enthusiast riders.With motorcycling becoming increasingly popular, Matchless, which had huge market success, acquired other important brands such as: AJS, Sunbeam and Norton, and in 1938 it established the AMC (Associated Motorcycles Company) group, becoming the world’s leader in the motorcycle market.Legendary riders like Mike Hailwood, Jack Findlay, Peter Williams, Phil Read and Sammy Miller rode Matchless to victory in many races.The elegant motorcycle garments, that the Collier Brothers had pioneered, became a huge success and Matchless Wear became a true icon of motorcycling, chosen by celebrities, race-winning riders and motorcycling enthusiasts. In those years Matchless garments were sold under the label of “Matchlesswear”, which became synonymous of elegance in safety.
Company philosophy: To produce Urban – Luxury items with personality and durability. A strong established heritage which has been revived, worked and crafted into a contemporary product.