Charlie Collier

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Charlie Collier
Charlie Collier sidecar ISDT 1913.png
Collier at the start of the 1913 ISDT motorcycle trial event
Died1954 (aged 70–71)
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Isle of Man TT career
TTs contested8 (19071914)
TT wins2
First TT win1907 Single Cylinder TT
Last TT win1910 500 Single and 750 Twin TT

Charlie Collier (Charles Richard Collier, 1885 – 1954)[1] of Plumstead, London, was a British motorcycle racer famous for winning Isle of Man TT races twice in his career. After competing in the 1906 International Cup Races on the European continent, Charlie Collier became the first Isle of Man TT race winner in 1907.

Along with his brother Harry[2] he raced Matchless motorcycles manufactured by his father's company, H.Collier & Sons.

After setting a number of world motorcycle records on Matchless machines, Charlie Collier won another Isle of Man TT race in 1910 and later became the first competitor to be disqualified from a race for illegal refuelling. Charlie Collier later became a joint managing director of AJS and Matchless motorcycles and died in 1954.[3]

Racing career[edit]

First race was in 1902 at the 3½ mile Canning Town cycling track riding a Matchless motorcycle with an MMC engine. After leading until the last lap, a burst tyre caused a crash and Charlie Collier suffered friction abrasions. In 1905, along with his brother Harry Collier participated in the eliminating trial for the International Motor Cycle Cup held in the Isle of Man. Held on a 25-mile section of the Gordon Bennett Trial course, the event was won by J.S.Campbell. Although Harry Collier managed to qualify, the Matchless motorcycle with a JAP engine which Charlie Collier had specially built suffered a broken connecting-rod and was forced to retire.

After racing in the 1906 International Cup, both Charlie Collier and his brother Harry were unhappy with the relatively low imposed weight limit of 110 lbs, causing sacrifices in frame and tyre strength to be made to compensate for the heavy engines.[2]

They entered a new motorcycle event in the Isle of Man in 1907 for road-touring motorcycles. The new race was to be held on the St John's Short Course with two categories for single and twin-cylinder engines. The 1907 Isle of Man TT race single cylinder-class was won by Charlie Collier riding a Matchless in 4 hours, 8 minutes and 8 seconds at an average race speed of 38.21 mph. His brother Harry Collier, also riding a Matchless, had problems with an engine seizure on lap 2 and eventually retired on lap 9.[4]

TT race achievements[edit]

TT Single Cylinder race[edit]

Tuesday 28 May 1907 - 10 laps (158.00 miles) St John's Short Course.

Position Number Rider Team Speed Time
1 4 United Kingdom Charlie Collier 3½ hp Matchless 38.21 mph 4:08.08.2
2 2 United Kingdom Jack Marshall 3½ hp Triumph 36.60 4:19.47.3
3 1 United Kingdom Frank Hulbert 3½ hp Triumph 35.50 4:27.49.4

TT Race Victories[edit]

Year Race & Capacity Motorcycle Average Speed
1907 Single-Cylinder Matchless 38.21 mph
1910 500 cc Single & 750 cc Twin-Cylinder Matchless 50.63 mph

TT career summary[edit]

Finishing Position 1st 2nd 4th DNF
Number of times 2 1 1 4


  1. ^ England and Wales Births, Deaths, marriages Retrieved 2014-02-26
  2. ^ a b Carrick, Peter Motor Cycle Racing Hamlyn Publishing, 1969, p.17, p.21 ISBN 0 600 02506 3 Accessed 2014-02-26
  3. ^ TT Special 1953 edited by G.S.Davison page 22
  4. ^ The Motor Cycle dated 5 June 1907 p.446

External links[edit]