Matchless Brand Sold & Set for Comeback

12/04/2012 @ 10:17 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

One of the oldest motorcycle brands in the world has changed hands, yet again, as the British marque Matchless has reportedly been sold. Changing hands from Greek to Italian ownership, the Matchless brand is now in the hands of Franco Malenotti, of Belstaff apparel fame.

Hoping to revitalize the motorcycle brand in a similar way as he did with Belstaff, Malenotti plans at first to build a limited production series of motorcycles, which will draw their inspiration from the G80, Silver Hawk, and Silver Arrow designs.

For now Malenotti, and his two sons Emanuele and Micheleplan on making Matchless motorcycles available for sale in both England and Italy, with the company’s new headquarters likely to be based in London, so as to pay homage to the historically British brand.

Of course, a part of the new Matchless business plan centers on having an extensive apparel and accessories line to accompany the motorcycles, making the new company very much an exercise in vintage motorcycle lifestyle branding, which should please the Concours crowds immensely.

Source: Il Mondo via

  • Bill

    Cool. Hopefully they will build classically styled yet modern bikes.

  • Leo

    Yeah, look forward to classically styled modern leather jackets…. Bikes not so much..

    Why do many people insist on resurecting old dead brands instead of creating new ones?
    Let the history be that and respect the old brands and let them rest in peace.

  • MajorTom

    Let sleeping marques lie! Be interesting to see how it goes. ‘New’ Belstaff was made in Italy until recently, I wonder where this corpse company will end up?

    I wonder if the Greeks sold it for more than the £40 k they bought it for…

  • BrianC

    I want to believe this will be the coolest thing to happen to motorcycles in a decade, but I have a suspicion that we’re about to see the most expensive retro bikes EVER

  • Funny how that works, huh?

  • Jesze

    Fail to see how anyone could have a problem with the addition of probably well made motorcycles onto the market. Floggers….

  • Bryan Niese

    I wonder how many bikes Indian and Norton are selling these days. It’s just one of those things that’s going to get our hopes up and not turn out nearly as good as we would hope.

  • Reviving a motorcycle brand is a very different kettle of fish than reviving a clothing brand. Hiring Kate Moss will not help! The Malenottis also, it must be remembered, ran Belstaff into bankruptcy, even though they made an (unexpected) huge profit from the sale.
    I’m deeply cynical about motorcycle ‘revival’; see Indian, Excelsior-Henderson, Norton, etc.; the only successful revival has been Triumph, because John Bloor funded the enterprise himself, with no bank loans, and could afford to run a loss for 11 years! That’s big money, and I don’t see why the Italians would favor Matchless over local brands, more recently in trouble; Bimota, Laverda, Lambretta, etc. Huge names.
    I do expect we’ll be seeing stylish Matchless brand tshirts very soon…

  • Jesze

    ^having just come back to EICMA with a probably overly healthy range of 14 current bikes. For such a small manufacturer they are certainly not giving the illusion of being in financial trouble.

  • Gutterslob

    I’m no fashionista, but I do recall a Belstaff magazine add some time ago simply because it featured an old Matchless. Let’s hope they create good stuff.

  • kevind

    JESZE what bike our you talking about?

  • Jesze

    Bike manufacturer? Bimota. My apologies.

  • MajorTom

    Been thinking about this – it’s interesting that they refer to just three models, some of which are more “Historic (Ancient!) ” than “Retro.” The postwar bikes were fairly plain singles and twins compared to the two pre war exotica bikes listed.

    Just throwing it out there; “G80, Silver Hawk, and Silver Arrow” to be powered by an Aprilia range of engines; Single, V4 and V Twin in that order? Something along the lines that Moto-Morini ran would make sense.

  • I need to amend my earlier comment; the Malenottis did not ‘run Belstaff into bankruptcy’, but were unable to secure loans to cover a 40M euro debt from their business expansion, and were forced to sell the company. A fine line perhaps, but an important one to the Malenottis.