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1912 Matchless Model 7 Two Speed 8hp

1912 Matchless Model 7 Two Speed 8hp

There were no advertising standard watchdogs or consumer protection organisations when this machine was marketed in 1912. Customers were credited with common sense. Nor was any motorcycle enthusiast likely to dispute the claim in catalogues by makes H Collier & Sons of Plumstead, London that Matchless machines were the Worlds Best, for had not the Son, C R Collier, won the very first Isle of Man TT in 1907 and again in 1910 and his brother H A had won in 1909, second in 1910, 4th in 1911 and 3rd in 1912. Between them they had won many races and broken records at Brooklands . The firm had backed words with deeds. When sidecars took over from passenger transport after tricars, trailers and forecars, the Colliers soon developed a motorcycle for the role.


Look at the belt drive

First requisite, good pulling power was provided by the well developed 85mm x 85mm JAP V-twin. Two speed transmission was provided by a hub gear with an epicyclic gear for the low ratio the friction band which engaged it acting as a clutch. Unlike other users of this type of transmission who used pedals the Matchless gear is operated by a long hand lever at the side of the tank. A ratchet section permits a slipping clutch effect for slow running. Weak link, in those days of belt drive was belts could not transmit the power of big twins without occassional slip or breakage.

Matchless Tank bag

Matchless solved the problem by running two belts side by side. Break one and you could still get homw on the other, albeit with care. Starting was by bicycle type pedals which must have been hard work but thought preferable to the alternative used by other makers of cranking the engine with a handle applied to the rear wheel spindle. At least on the Matchless when the engine started you were in the saddle and ready to go. The rest of the machine was conventional even to the little lever on the end of the silencer which cut out the silencer and allowed smole and sparks to spit out sideways. Very effective for discouraging pursuit by dogs, one fo the many hazards for a pioneer motorcyclist.

Above all the finish was Matchless. The delicate page grey with forest green panelled tank lined in gold made the Matchless stand out among the black enamelled majority.