Matchless Silver Arrow


Make Model

Matchless Silver Arrow


1929 - 33 (specifications for 1930 model, slight changes over time)


V-twin cylinder


397 cc / 24 cub in.

Bore x Stroke

54 x 86 mm

Cooling System

Air cooled

Compression Ratio



Dry sump with fabric oil filter

Oil Capacity

2.3 L / 4.9 US pints


Single, chrome

Fuel System

Amal 4/14


Lucas magneto, KLV-0




3-Speed, Sturmey Archer gearbox (from 1932: 4-speed)

Final Drive


Gear Ratios

1st 16.8 / 2nd 9.4 / 3rd 6.1:1

Maximum Power

11.8 kW / 16 hp @ 5000 rpm


Brazed lug tubular construction incorporating cantilever rear suspension

Front Suspension

Matchless centre spring girders, finger adjustment

Rear Suspension

Cantilever with two springs and friction dampers under saddle

Front Brakes

203 mm / 8 in. drum, interconnected

Rear Brakes

203 mm / 8 in. drum, interconnected


Steel, wire spokes

Front Tyre

3.25 x 19 in.

Rear Tyre

3.25 x 19 in.


Length: 2134 mm / 84 in.


1422 mm / 56 in.

Ground Clearance

152 mm / 6 in.

Saddle Height

699 mm / 27.5 in.

Wet Weight

140 kg / 308 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

11.4 L / 3.0 US gal

Average Consumption 

2.8 L/100 km / 35 km/l / 84 US mpg

Top Speed

105 km/h / 65 mph


Black with chrome tank


In late 1929 Matchless launched the Matchless Silver Arrow, a cast iron head monoblock SV, 400 cc, narrow angle transverse18° V-twin motorcycle with chain drive designed by Charles Collier.
The narrow angle of the V allowed the use of a one piece head, a practice utilised by Lancia in its early V4 automobile engines. The rear suspension was a cantilever design using two springs and friction dampers beneath the saddle, very similar to the 1928 Vincent HRD design. Linked brakes were used, as had appeared on the 1925 Rudge Four. The carburetor was an Amal type 4/014 (bottom petrol feed).
The bike did not sell well and within the year led to the Bert Collier designed Matchless Silver Hawk.
Two models were produced, the 'Standard model' which had acetylene lighting and bulb horn and the 'De Luxe model' which had electric lighting and instrument panel. In 1931 both were designated A/2 and minor changes included a four speed gearbox with improved gear ratios with lower 1st and higher top gear and a more rounded petrol tank, the Amal carburettor jet was changed from 70 to 55 and the diameter of the exhaust pipe was increased with ports on the head spaced further apart (6 5/8" instead of 5 1/8").