The marque was founded by Frank Willoughby Cotton in 1919, and in 1922 Stanley Woods began racing the machines at the TT, where, over the next five years he established Cotton as a force to be reckoned with. After the war, the firm changed ownership and continued to produce machines until the late 1950's.
For more information see Cotton History
The following documents are available on request:
Hello, I've just come across your great site and thrilled to see so much about Cottons - they usually get overlooked! It is also pleasing to see how much international correspondence you have received. I am co-administrator of the Cotton Owners and Enthusiasts Club website and wonder if it would be possible to include a link to the new website as the old one has been overtaken by spam and is now dormant.
The new address is https://cottonownersclub.wordpress.com
If you're happy to include it that would be fantastic but if you have any queries/concerns please let me know. Many thanks.
UK United Kingdom
Hello, We are trying to do a valuation on the estate of my recently-deceased father; his motorcycle collection includes a Cotton Cobra 1967. Apparently none of the bluebook-type valuers even admit that Cotton Motorcycles ever existed. Can you point me to a resource where I can get some idea of its value? Thank you, Mercy
Tenino, WA USA
I am not sure but if you would like some info from this era, we (Knobby Shop International) was the western us importer for motocycles. we had some influence on making the bike more competitive both from the factory's perspective and our own .we had a small team of competive riders and over 20 dealers. the last bikes we imported were the factory Trials 220cc Bogwheelers. They must be some of the rarest Cottons ever produced. Allen Greenwood of Knobby Shop International.
SAN DIEGO CALIFORNIA 92107, USA USA
Hi I have been trying to find out what model my cotton is and whereabouts the chassis number may be, I have the original green log book with the number written on it but unable to find it on the bike, any other info would be gratefully received. Matt
Rochester United Kingdom
I have the original green registration book and the date is Sept 1941 if you read up it says that cotton produced a light weight bike with a villiers 9d engine just before the war so I assume it wasn't registered untill later, I have been told this is a rare machine with only one other in UK.
Thu Jul 04 2013
I am looking for some information on my Cotton Telstar. I was told it was a 1963 model but I would like to confirm that.The ID plate is missing from the left hand crank case, there is a number 39 stamped on the frame, it has a single Amal carb and a 4 speed gear box.
Thu Dec 20 2012
I need a swingarm bolt for a '70's Cotton Bogwheeler 175 trials bike. Any help will be much appreciated.
Thu Mar 08 2012
cotton yr 1968
just looking to sell. Engine torn down for new piston but everything is there. Thanks, LP
Sun Nov 14 2010
invio broschure cotton mod. 5 del 1928
subject: 1979 Cotton 250cc (Rotax engine)
message: Hello everyone,
i am searching for any relevant articles, photos, magazines for a 1979 Cotton 250cc (the one that was only in late 78 and 79 with the Rotax engine.
the only information i have is the following link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQbZiiGGTi4
I am lucky to own the early ones with the chromed exhaust.
thanks for helping, Ph.
Fri Sep 18 2009
monions at blueyonder.co.uk
cotton all makes
a new website is being put together to help enthusiasts looking for information on the cotton brand
Fri Sep 18 2009
peter at ers1fsbusiness.co.uk
purchase parts or complete cotton 1963/4 continental
Purchace coplete or near complete model of the above
Sat Jun 27 2009
kamanski at msndot com
cotton 175cc tryles minerali motor
where can I find tank decales
bountiful utah usa
Mon Jun 15 2009
info at vssmotor.se
Cotton Race 250cc
TRying to make contact with people that have some of the still lasting Cottons with Rotax engine
I have lost contact with some of the owner.It should be at least 2 bikes in Ireland,1 in Austria think there is 1 in Aus and then mine.Have been in contact with some of the old "worksrider" but they haven´t much of info
Is there someone that has info and maybe pictures please let me know
Wed Apr 01 2009
peter at specializedmarine.co.nz
Cotton Cobra or Cougar scramblers
I am looking to buy either or both bikes from 1962-1966
Mon Jan 26 2009
wlenkeit at gmaildot com
I've come upon a Cotton trials bike for sale. Moto Minarelli engine, telescopic forks, fiberglass unit tank-seat. Frame #TM73682. Mostly complete and motor turns over. Looks like a good restoration project but I have no idea of it's worth and no sources for information. Any help would be appreciated
Tue Jan 20 2009
clovergem at aoldot com
I have a 1962 Cotton 200 with 198 villiers frame 59867, trying to restore it to origional but don't know what this is, any idea of type,or pictures or any info at all,thank you.
Wed Jan 07 2009
29499jvm at comb.es
information about models of trial, engines , frames, competitions and awards in trial.
Tue Apr 15 2008
olpo53 at gmaildot com
Cotton 5- 500cc
Questa e' la mia Cotton con dinamo magnete e impianto elettrico Magneti Marelli su licenza Lucas
Mon Jan 28 2008
flying-penguins at hotmaildot com
cotton cobra and telstar
hi im a villiers enthusiast from Melbourne Australia and i have come across 2 cotton motorcycles one a cobra and the other a telstar, both with leading link front forks and in need of restoration, frame and engine numbers match on both motorcycles and theres is also one extra starmaker engine, not sure of the exact years but i am told early sixties could you give me a ball park figure on how much these would be worth?
Tue Dec 11 2007
jones.david at yahoodot com
does anyone know anything about an anzani engined cotton?
Sun Aug 19 2007
bezmac at hotmail.co.uk
cotton telstar 250 single carb and twin carb
my husband has frame number 13 and 72 i think, what is the highest frame number you know of
Sun Aug 05 2007
fsdean at bigpond.com.au
TELSTAR KICKSTART WANTED
I am looking at getting a Telstar and hopefully converting it into a road bike, will there be any chance of finding a kickstart assy and end cover etc to do this conversion
any help would be appreciated
I will try and see the bike today, as you are aware the racing bike came without a kickstart but the roadbike was fitted with one and this is what I want to fit
Thu Jul 05 2007
kamanski at msndot com
175 cotton trials
this bike is compleet but I cant tell what color the fraim is .tank is blue,can any one helpwith any information.thankyou,Dave
Bountiful Ut. USA
Sun Apr 29 2007
Robw at wavecabledot com
Cotton 1964 Cougar
I am looking for a Piston and other parts for this bike. Do you know where I can find any? The motor is a Villiers 36A and I think it is a 1964
Washington State, USA
Sat Mar 24 2007
melucci at sbcglobal.net
1972 workshop manual
175cc Cotton Trials
Hello, I own a 1972 175cc Cotton trials bike and have the workshop manual that came with it. If this manual is something that you could use let me know.
San Diego, CA
Fri Feb 09 2007
davidcpearson at hotmaildot com
Cotton Trials Minarelli 170cc Cavalier/Bogwheeler
Hi I have nearly finished restoring my 1973 Cotton Cavalier/Bogwheeler ( not sure of the difference ) 170cc Trials. I am in desperate need of H.T.Coil ( the one that is hidden under the seat ). Does any one out there know where I could find one or if not, is this the sort of thing I could get made up at an electrical engineers and what information should I supply to them ( power input/output etc? ) ?
Please contact me if you can help.
Thu Jan 25 2007
mr-uncledaddy at hotmaildot com
Cotton Triangulated Frame
I am looking for drawings/blueprints for a 1930s era Cotton triangulated frame.
Preferably one of the J.A.P. or Blackburne 500cc or 600cc powered versions.
Here are 2 images of Cotton motorcycles with frames that would probably work...
Sat Nov 04 2006
bsa-fury at yahoodot com
Cotton Minarelli 170
I used to own back in 1972 a Cotton motorcycle prepared by the factory in Gloucester for the R.A.F team in the ISDT held on the Isle of Man in , I believe 1971, it`s english registration number was DJB6J which i was told was number 6 in the team of six bikes. Does this bike still exist ?? It was pale blue and had a fibreglass fuel tank/ seat tail unit, any info would be genuinely appreciated.
Sat Oct 14 2006
scottfiona at smartchat.net.au
armstrong front shocks
Wonder if anyone could tell me if the armstrong shocks on the front of my 1963 cotton cougar are still available
Sun Jul 09 2006
gordonbarker316 at btinternetdot com
Cotton 250/325 Continental?
I have most of what I think is a Continental twin - the frame number is 'C85'
anyone got any ideas?
North East England
Will try and do a photo.
Frame is twin down tube and has the lifting handle on the rear nearside toprail. engine mounts look like 2T or 3T - theyhave lugswelded on. Two pairs of front forks, both Armstrong leading Link.
Front wheel is full-width alloy hub with air scoop.
Headlamp looks to be Miller - handlebars are slightly 'dropped' with integral lugs.
Tank is red/black and centre fairing and h.lamp fairing/trim is red. Frame is black.
Seat is just a seat - but looks correct.
Centre stand has a curved arch at bottom between the two legs.
Has a battery box cum Toolbox that goes behind centre fairing.
Hope this helps
Mon Jun 19 2006
anthonyavis at aoldot com
Since 1975 I have owned a bike known as the Cotton Arrow. Reg no is 857 PMA and it is a Cotton Continental frame which was fitted with an Ariel Arrow engine with skimmed heads,wal phillips injectors, expansion chambers, Tomaselli levers/twist grip,hand made clip ons and rear sets with fibreglass racing seat and tank. Got the bike from a friends brother who bought it from someone in Wickford, Essex who had either built the bike or converted from circuit racer to cafe racer. Old green log book shows frame no as 61625. Bike has silver frame and red seat/tank with distinctive cotton arrow logo. (please see photo) It also had a half fairing as well which was red and silver.
Can anyone help with any history pre 1975 for this unique bike please? Thanks
I dismantled the bike in 1976 to rebuild it and it has been in bits ever since!. Unfortunately the engine, frame etc are buried at the back of the garage and it is probably a couple of days work to get to them. When I do finally unearth them I will let you have more pictures but I thought the tank was so distinctive that someone may recognise it.
I have tried posting this on lots of boards over the past 18 months with no success. The bike was very distinctive and VERY LOUD so someone must remember it.
I met the Arrow's builder when I went to his house to look at a pile of Velocette parts he wanted to sell which allegedly comprised enough parts to build a KSS, a KTT and a MAC but I didn't buy the Velo parts as it was too big a project.
I have an old log book but it only has my details in it as the original one was full and I had to get a replacement. I should try DVLA for old owners but haven't got around to doing it yet.
If anyone ever saw (or heard the bike) I am sure they would remember it as it was so distinctive. I have never seen another Ariel Arrow street racer and the Cotton frame is a pretty unusual choice. I don't think many were used on the circuits either so it should stick out like a sore thumb.
Anything which helps would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks Again Tony
Mon May 22 2006
mark at tinley.net [bounced]
Cotton / Rotax
Did Cotton make a motorcycle with a Rotax engine? If so which one and when?
Yes, 21 Rotax-engined Cotton roadracers were built from around 1976 to possibly as late as 1981. Mark Ty-Wharton wrote:
Ah - only racers and only 21 of them? I want a road registered bike with a Rotax engine
Thanks for your help
The Matchless brand was resurrected briefly in the 1980s, by Harris I think - that machine had a Rotax. The Aprilia Pegaso of course is Rotax powered, as is, I believe, the F650 BMW series.
Sun Apr 09 2006
SteCatv56 at aoldot com
Engine ID Help
I have had in my possesion for almost 20 years an engine that i was told is an " Norton Villiers Cotton..it is a 250cc...where on the engine do i find the serial number? or anything else that might identify it...the Transmission un bolts.
Thank you for your possible help.
Sat Apr 08 2006
danmccurdy at comcast.net
I am in need of Minarelli engine parts such as piston, rings, points, etc. Any leads would be greatly appreciated. Two of these bikes currently in restoration progress. Thank you
Sun Aug 21 2005
greg.edwards at merseymaildot com
could you tell me if frame no.tc70 is trials or not thanks greg
(Engine is apparently a Villiers 32A. Ed.)
Mon May 02 2005
jkilgan210 at aoldot com
hi how much would the last bombadier made be worth?
April 21st 2005
Cotton Telstar on Ebay Australia
Cotton Telstar 2-stroke factory production racer circa 1963, early 4 speed model, frame no. 38, Gearbox/Motor no. E45.
Smiths 12,000rpm tacho; New Paint; Avon fairing, powder coated frame.
Re-upolstered seat, new ignition switch fitted, new sprockets and chain. 1.5inch GP carby plus remote matchbox float.
Bead blasted motor in good condition. Fitted front 3x19 and rear 3,5 x 19 original aluminium wheels.
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005
subject: Cotton Minarelli 175cc
Email: danny.welsby at ps.gedot com
message: I can supply some info on where to get parts for these machines and would be interested in any for sale.
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2005
I have scanned in some documents that I have that should help you out. Probably the most important for getting spares is the names document as this lists the relevant people within the Cotton owners club here in the UK. For Minarelli spares then Paul Powell is your man. A few years ago I met the guy and he couldn't have been more helpful. He has pretty much the sole surviving spares for these engines in the world. I assume that you have the trials version as in the photo, mine is slightly different as it is the trail/enduro version. Same engine but with larger forks and different exhaust. Brand new versions of the forks can now be bought from Greeves motorcycles http://www.greevesmotorcyclesltd.com . I include a schematic
of the forks which gives a good idea of the general layout.
Hope this helps
Just to clarify, Paul Powell has spares for the 175cc engine only, not all Minarelli engines.
Technical Drawings of Cotton Trials Forks.
Minarelli engine parts diagrams, photograph & description of machine.
Names & contact information for Cotton Club UK office bearers.
cotton-club-names.pdf (113k) See Forums for downloads.
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2005
subject: Cotton/Motori Minarelli
Email: davidcpearson at hotmaildot com
message: Hi I have an 1973 Cotton Bogwheeler with a 175cc Motori minarelli engine and I need to find a new coil, Does any one have one or know what I can use to replace it ?
March 22nd 2005
Cotton Bogwheeler on Ebay
Vendor's description: Cotton Bogwheeler trials model dirt bike. I don`t know much about these Bikes. The pictures tell most of the story. All I know is the bike was made in Europe and its a trial model. The bike has`nt run for over a year. It needs TLC but everything seems to be there except for the air cleaner. It has a S600 trials fork assembly and a one header into twin pipe silencers with spark arresters. The motor is a Minarelli 175cc with a Dellorto carb made in Italy. The frame # T72101and motor #3416.
If you have a query about Cotton motorcycles, or wish to share information about these classic British machines, please contact us