UneXpected pleasure

A big, overweight, wobbly sidecar tug, right? Well, no, that’s not what the late Matchless Model X is at all.

When the Matchless Model X was significantly redesigned for the 1937 season, it gained a new name too – the Sports Tourist.

Understated indeed. Black and chrome finish all contributes to a machine that is just quietly efficient.
Understated indeed. Black and chrome finish all contributes to a machine that is just quietly efficient.

Despite the fact that by the fashion of the day, a side-valve V-twin was, largely, an archaic design in both terms of engine configuration and where the valves were, this wasn’t necessarily considered a machine to simply be hitched up to a gargantuan sidecar and perform carthorse-type slogging duties.

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In fact, the Super Tourist (in solo form) was a motorcycle with a claimed top speed of 80mph – the same, incidentally, as that alluded to with the AMC-engined Brough Superior SS80.

The Matchless was also called the Super Tourist – which tells exactly what it was envisaged as.

Words: JAMES ROBINSON Photograph: GARY CHAPMAN

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