An Exclusive Chat with Matchless’ Massimo Fiorentino Reveals Plans for More Bikes. Maybe.

Matchless X Reloaded, Massimo Fiorentino and ae's Florin Tibu 1 photo
Photo: Catalin Garmacea
Retro style is back with a bang, and for those looking for the best exposure in the motorcycle world, there’s technically no better choice than the EICMA show. That’s why Matchless has been burning the midnight oil to have their all-new Model X Reloaded machine ready for the Milan show, and by all means, the effort was well worth it.
We caught up with Massimo Fiorentino, communication consultant for Matchless and we chatted a bit while looking at the bike. He told us that the bike is more a part of a new lifestyle concept created by the current Matchless owner, Franco Malenotti, but that the company is also considering building more machines if the sales live up to the expectations.

autoevolution: When will we get to see the Model X Reloaded rolling down the street and how was it welcomed here at EICMA?

Massimo Fiorentino: You can expect to see the Model X Reloaded delivered one year from today. So far the fall of 2015 is the approximate period we expect the bike to roll from the factory to reach the first customers.

As for the welcome, we had more than 400 journalists at the press conference in an atmosphere of true enthusiasm. We haven’t heard bad things about the bike yet, and we really hope that the support will only become more massive.

ae: To be honest, even though €50,000 ($62,500 price in Europe) is definitely a lot of money, we’ve seen less flamboyant bikes offered for so much more. This luxury cruiser is, in a way, a very affordable machine!

MF: This price was not yet established firmly, but at the moment, this is our idea of how much this bike should cost. This is the minimum price for the bike, we believe.

ae: Since you mentioned the minimum price… are you considering a range of custom options? Colors, different choices for materials?

MF: So far this is what you’ll get when you order the bike. The whole concept is new and ready-made, and we are not thinking about custom options. As for the price, things are as I’ve told you, we are still working on the final price.

ae: Please tell us more about the new Matchless!

MF: First of all, you’re looking at a functional bike you can actually ride and have fun on. Mr. Malenotti wanted to remain faithful to the old-school bikes and this is why the Model X Reloaded is an “all iron” bike. There are no plastic parts, only metal ones. We avoided using other materials because we tried to replicate a modern version of the retro vibe.

In fact, as I already told you, the Model X Reloaded is part of a bigger lifestyle concept. We are not a full-on motorcycle manufacturer, despite Franco Malenotti’s huge bike design and building experience. With the Model X Reloaded we are offering a bike, luxury, and a whole new idea packed into a solid concept.

ae: Where is the bike built? Is it an UK machine or an Italian one?

MF: The bike is built in Italy completely, an all-Italian concept. The headquarters are based in Mogliano Veneto, near Treviso, an area with great tradition in the motorcycling industry. Multiple Italian bike-related companies have been located in the area, and now the main manufacturer is Aprilia. [Aprilia’s HQ in Noale is only 3 miles away or so].

ae: Like Brough Superior, Matchless is a British brand reborn abroad. What do you think “traditionalist” riders and bike enthusiasts will say about this?

MF: It is indeed very hard to provide an answer to this question. The idea of a motorcycle and the pleasure of riding it do not come from England or from Italy, nor from elsewhere. If you are a true motorcycle rider, you just like to ride. Countries are irrelevant when it comes to this, and our concept is based on this very idea.

ae: Does the Model X Reloaded represent the beginning of a new era in Matchless’ history as a bike maker or is it only a statement-like product, designed for few rich guys who want it as an accessory to their new clothes?

MF: Franco Malenotti, the owner of the brand and the creator of the Model X Reloaded said that the bike was created to be a part of a lifestyle concept. The clothing line is complementary to the machine and together they make a whole. If the interest for the bike will be high, maybe we will see other Matchless motorcycles.

He is considering this, of course, but now it is too early to say how things will be in the future. Anyway, the other bikes, if there will be any, will also be manufactured as a limited series, just like the Model X Reloaded.

Like we mentioned earlier when we showed you the Matchless Model X Reloaded live photos, this bike will be limited to 100 units which are expected to be delivered in the first year after the first crate leaves the factory. Whether this is a realistic expectation or just wishful thinking, time will tell.

However, one of the really neat things is that bikes such as the new Brough Superior SS100 and the Model X Reloaded are back from the dead. They’re not going to become a hot seller, at least not if compared to other machines. Still, for what they are, if the 100 units are done for as the makers expect, we can already speak about success.

And maybe this success could determine more spectacular comebacks and the production of more affordable bikes bearing the revered emblems of old.
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