Joining the Dots…

Unable to pass up the opportunity of visiting an old-time motorcycle factory that’s probably the last of its kind in Britain,Tim Britton joins a gathering of Dot enthusiasts and their machines in Manchester. Photos and extra information by David Pool.

Still standing and likely to do so for many years to come – the listed Dot Motor Cycles factory in Manchester.
Still standing and likely to do so for many years to come – the listed Dot Motor Cycles factory in Manchester.

One good question worth asking at club nights is: “How many old and original British motorcycle factories still stand?”

It’s a difficult one to answer, and even here at Old Bike Mart we don’t know the actual number, but a chance to visit one that is still standing, and still associated with motorcycles, was something not to be missed.

It’s fair to say that the majority of the industry was based in or around Birmingham, but the West Midlands didn’t have the monopoly on motorcycle manufacture, and 90 miles further north, in Manchester, Dot Motorcycles had been satisfying the needs of the two and three-wheeled world since 1903.

The factory, an imposing building on Ellesmere Street, and not far from the Old Trafford football ground, looks a little out of place with its sense of faded industrialisation in an area that’s being regenerated, but nevertheless there it is, with the legend ‘DOT MOTOR CYCLES’ emblazoned on the front.

Read more in November’s issue of OBM

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