Matchless raising funds for motorcycle production

Friday, June 03, 2016

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Kate Moss - Matchless
Kate Moss – the poster-girl for Matchless

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The Matchless name, currently embroidered on a line of moto-inspired clothing, was purchased by the Malenotti family of Italy, back in 2012.  They’d previously purchased the Belstaff brand, and found considerable success selling updated moto-ish gear, after hiring supermodel Kate Moss for ads, and product-placing their gear in movies and TV shows.  Rapid expansion of Belstaff retail shops around Europe meant borrowing lots of money from Italian banks, and when those banks got nervous and made ‘the call’ for their cash back, the Malenottis were forced to sell Belstaff.  But they pulled a rabbit out of a hat, as the brand was sold for nearly 100M euros more than they owed the banks, and the Malenottis walked away smelling like a rose.

 

New Matchless?

 

The Matchless ‘Model X Reloaded’ prototype

 

With Matchless, they’ve been running the same playbook, immediately hiring the evergreen Kate Moss for the next round of Matchless logo gear.  The Malenottis went a step further with Matchless, though, and have stated their intention to begin limited production of Matchless branded motorcycles, and have shown the prototype Model X Reloaded, as shown here.  Last Sunday’s ‘Mail on Sunday’ newspaper  noted the Original Matchless Motorcycle Company will offer a bond to investors through the online finance platform Karadoo, with the promise of a 6% annual interest rate for 5 years – considerably more than any bank offers at the moment.  The £5M they intend to raise will fund the launch of ‘two superbike models’, neither of which is Kate Moss.  But surely she’ll be in the picture; she’s their lucky charm.  Whether the Model X Reloaded will be produced in the same configuration as the prototype shown is unclear, and I’ll refrain from passing judgement on the design, except to say,

 
New Matchless?
The Model X Reloaded…

 

Michele Malenotti designed the Model X Reloaded, and is quoted saying, “We want to build the Rolls-Royce of motorcycles…I spoke with the Rolls-Royce CEO and he told me ‘congratulations, you have found a place in the market where nobody is selling right now.”   I don’t expect the Rolls CEO to know his bikes (although their parent company BMW happens to produce motorcycles), but that’s not an accurate statement. Several boutique motorcycle firms have price points far beyond typical production models, including the revamped Brough Superior SS100, and the Ecosse Moto Works Founder’s Edition Titanium XX, which currently holds the #1 spot for most expensive new motorcycle at $300,000.  Brough Superior’s tagline has been ‘The Rolls Royce of Motorcycles’ since 1921, so the Matchless claim is audacious…and Brough is already delivering new bikes.  In fact, I’ll be test riding one next week!  Stay tuned…