Matchless - TT
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Matchless D2-492-77-05
Photo ou archives : M. Woollett

Capacity : 500
Model : TT
Production : 1914 -
Category : (R) Racing
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500 MAG V-twin - 1914

Hemi-head pioneer

Brothers Charlie and Harry Collier were well-known in pre-WWI days for their racing exploits with JAP-engined Matchless bikes. In the 1910 Isle of Man TT, with the capacity of twin-cylinder machines cut to 680cc, Charlie's Matchless-JAP won at 50 mph.

Change of Engine

Eliminated from the 1911 Tourist Trophy by an Indian sweep, Charlie smashed all the American-held track records at Brooklands later that year. But for the 1913 Tourist Trophy, Matchless (founded by H. H. Collier in 1899) opted for a Swiss MAG engine, probably because the Geneva-based MAG company had just opened a British assembly plant at Willesden, North London.

Technically Advanced

The MAG "2C7-TT" racing engine was the most technically-advanced power unit of its day. Not only did it have overhead-valves when most of its rivals still had side-valves, but they were mounted in a hemispherical cylinder head, the first time this layout had been used on a motorcycle. The single carburetor was mounted between the cylinders, and the gear-driven Bosch magneto was located atop the gearbox. However, the three works racers failed to finish the 1913 Tourist Trophy, and in 1914, Harry Collier, well in the lead on the final lap, fell at Sulby half a lap from the end. Charlie had already retired, but Bert Colver, riding the third machine, finished in fourth place.


Engine: 996cc (64x77 mm) air-cooled MAG V-twin four-stroke; detachable hemispherical cylinder heads; Bosch magneto

Power Rating: 10 hp @ 3000 rpm

Valves: overhead

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: 3-speed, chain final drive

Suspension: center-sprung girder forks (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: cycle-type rim (front); belt pulley (rear)

Wheels: 2.50x26 inch (front & rear)

Weight: 298 lb

Maximum Speed: 70 mph

The works Matchless racers built for the 1914 Tourist Trophy were truly advanced machines, with hemi-head MAG V-twin engines.

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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