Matchless - Charlie Collier
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Matchless D2-492-76-03
Photo ou archives : M. Woollett

Capacity : 1000
Model : Charlie Collier
Production : 1909 -
Category : (R) Racing


1000cc JAP Racer / Charlie Collier - 1909

Brothers in the headlines

Charlie Collier and his brother Hany were the most successful British racers in the early days of motorcycling, and their exploits regularly made headlines. They rode Matchless bikes built in Plumstead, South London, by a company founded in 1899 by their father, H.H. Collier.

National Racers

In 1905, Hany represented Great Britain in the International Cup Races in France. The following year, when the Cup Race took place in Austria, Charlie was also in the national team and finished third, half an hour behind the winning Puch.

TT Victory

As a result of the Colliers' participation in the International Cup Races, the first-ever Tourist Trophy was held in the Isle of Man in 1907. Fittingly, the single-cylinder class was won by Charlie on a JAP-engined Matchless at an average of 38.2 mph. He competed again in 1908 but finished second to Jack Marshall's Triumph. In 1909, Hany Collier won a popular victory in the TT, narrowly beating Guy Lee-Evans's Indian. The Colliers also distinguished themselves at the newly-opened Brooklands track – in October 1908, Charlie set a new hour record of nearly 70 mph on a JAP-engined Matchless. In 1910, Charlie and the American ace Jake de Rosier (Indian) held a celebrated speed duel at Brooklands. A broken ignition switch cost Charlie the match. But a few days later he achieved 91 mph over the flying kilometer and mile, shattering de Rosier's records, so honors were even!


Engine: 964cc (85x85 mm) air-cooled V-twin four-stroke; Bosch magneto ignition

Power Rating: 18 hp @ 2800 rpm

Valves: overhead

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: direct-belt drive

Suspension: girder forks (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: belt rim (rear)

Wheels: 26 inch (front & rear)

Weight: 200 lb

Maximum Speed: 90 mph

Charlie Collier raced this bike in the 1911 TT but was disqualified for refueling away from his pit. Note the huge lever that moved the wheel rearward in the frame to maintain belt tension.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at for conditions and copyright.

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François-Marie Dumas

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