British motorcycle manufacturers - M
Last update June 6, 2003
|Majestic||A subsidiary of OK Supreme started in 1931 using equipment purchased from the recently sold AJS. Made bikes only in 1933. Closed in 35.|
|Mars||1905-08 and 1923-26|
|Martin-Comerford||1930. Dirt-track (speedway) machine, used specialized JAP engine. Also known as Martin-JAP and Martin-Rudge.|
|Martinshaw||1923-24 (1923-26?). Twickenham.|
|Martinsyde||1919-25. Bought by BAT.|
|Mason & Brown||1904-08|
|Matador||German firm, bikes designed by Bert Houlding, used Blackburne or Bradshaw engines. Also made Toreador.|
See also AJS. Founded in 1899 by the Collier family father H. H. and brothers Charlie and Harry. Started with a tricycle in 1904, moved to a JAP-powered V-twin in 1905. It also boasted a swing-arm rear suspension and leading-links forks.
Charlie won the inaugural TT race in 1907, Harry won in 1909 and Charlie again in 1910. Singles were their main bike, but they also made V-twins from 496 to 998cc.They decided to make their own engines from 1912 on. Matchless engines were considered excellent, and were supplied to Brough Superior, Morgan cars, Coventry Eagle and others.
Matchless did not receive a contract to make motorcycles during WW!, and production started up with civilian machines in 1919, concentrating on V-twins for sidecar use, leaving singles until 1923. The company went public in 1926. In 1930 they launched a narrow-angle 400cc V-twin called the Silver Arrow, with many new features and design ideas, and in 1931 they launched a revolutionary 593cc V-four called the Silver Hawk.
In 1931 they bought AJS from the Stevens brothers, and Sunbeam in 1936 (1938? selling it to BSA shortly after). This merger became Associated Motor Cycles - AMC - in 1938 which later absorbed Francis-Barnett, James and Norton. In 1941 the made motorcycles with telescopic front forks called "Teledraulic" forks, the first major innovation in front suspension in 25 years.
During WW2, Matchless made 80,000 G3 and G3L models for the armed forces. Matchless introduced its first parallel twin in 1948 (Model 20 and G9). By 1956 they had eight models in their lineup, but it dwindled in 1965. In 198 they introduced a line of lightweight AMC singles.
AMC collapsed in 1967, although the last matchless machine was the 748cc G15 (AJS Model 33) which used the Norton Atlas engine, and was made until 1969.
|McKenzie||1921-25 . Featherweight bikes with a 169cc two-stroke Hobart engine, weighing only 80 lb (32.6 kg). More like a motorized bicycle.|
|Mercury||Started in 1937 using 596cc Scott engines, but only built five bikes before it closed in the war. The name was revived by another company after WW2 to make a moped and scooter. In 1956-57 they added three small motorcycles, but closed in 1958.|
|Metro-Tyler||1919-23. Tyler Apparatus Co. took over Metro in 1919 and merged names.|
|Mini-Motor||1949-55. Clip on engines.|
|Montgomery||Founded in 1902, it continued until WW2 making a series of well-made but expensive bikes ranging from 150cc to 1,000cc. They used Villiers and JAP engines. Fired interrupted production in 1925. Their 1930s Greyhound was a JAP-powered 500cc bike capable of 75mph. Closed in 1940.|
|Morris||1902-05 and another company 1913-22. First company founded by William Morris, later a car manufacturer.|
|Mountaineer||1902-26 (1920-24?). Only one model after WWI.|