British Motorcycles

Dayton Motorcycles of London

Dayton Cycle Co built motorcycles from 1913 to 1922, then Chas. Day restarted production at Shoreditch, London in 1939. Postwar, from 1955 to 1960, they built scooters in North Acton, London.

  • 1913 A lightweight was produced with a 1½ hp, 162cc two-stroke Stellar engine fitted with an Amac carburettor. It had a chain-driven magneto, petroil lubrication, transmission by a chain-driven two-speed gearbox and either Druid or Saxon forks. There was also a single speed model.

    1915 The range continued and a ladies' model was offered. War brought production to a close.

    1920 The marque reappeared with a simple lightweight fitted with a 269cc Villiers engine. It had a cylindrical, tapered fuel-tank hung from the top tube. There was also mention of a motorised bath-chair with a 161cc two-stroke engine steered by tiller control, that had first been seen the previous year.

    1921 The firm showed the lightweight at Olympia, plus a three-wheeled, single-seat machine with a 4hp Blackburne engine, three speeds and wheel steering.

Report on the 1921 Olympia Show

For the first time since the war the Chas. Day Mfg. Co., Ltd., will be showing a motor bicycle. The new Dayton is a lightweight driven by the 2½ h.p. Villiers engine with magneto flywheel, mounted in a frame of all steel construction, in which is incorporated a substantially webbed head lug and a further webbed lug on the saddle tube, to which is bolted the pressed steel tank.

Lubrication is effected by air pressure through a drip feed. Both brakes controlled by heel-operated pedals mounted one on each footrest are applied to the outer side of the belt rim.

The Dayton motor bicycle will be shown in three types - single geared, with clutch, and with Sturmey-Archer two-speed gear and kick-starter. Another interesting feature of the exhibit will be a three-wheeled single-seater driven by a 4 h.p.

November 24th, 1921. The MotorCycle

  • Little information is available for the intervening years.

    1939 Having been already established in the production of bicycles, the firm, now based in North Acton, London, returned to motorcycles. They produced an autocycle powered by a 98cc Villiers engine. Typical of its type, it was only listed for that year, which saw the start of World War II.

    Post War. The company returned to making bicycles for several years.

    1955 onwards. The company entered the scooter market and introduced a model named Albatross. Powered by a 224cc Villiers 1H engine, it did not sell particularly well in comparison with the popular Italian machines. This was mainly due to its size, weight, name and design. Other versions were added, fitted with Villiers engines of various capacities. The final model was the Flamenco.

    1960 Production ceased after that year.


Engine -1 1/2 h.p. two-stroke, 57 x 63.5 mm., 162 c.c.
Iqnition - U.H. magneto, chain-driven.
Carburetter - Amac.
Change Speed - Two-speed gear box, gears 6 and 13 to 1.
Transmission - Belt and chain.
Dimensions - Height of saddle from ground, 30in. Ground clearance, 3 3/4 in. Wheelbase, 52in.
Lubrication - Oil mixed with petrol.
Other Features - Druid or Saxon spring forks.
Price - 23 guineas. Single-speed, 23 guineas. Popular model, 20 guineas.

Chas. Day Mfg. co., LTD., 221-2, High Street, Shoreditch, E.

British Lightweights, 1914


Particulars of the Dayton machines arrived too late to be included in the "Buyers' Guide." They consist of the following : A 1½ h.p. two-stroke, 57x63.5 mm. bore and stroke, 162 c.c, fitted with Amac carburetter and 26in. x 2in. tyres, £24 3s.; a lady's machine similar to the above with variable gear, £30; and a 2½ h.p. machine, 70x70 mm. bore and stroke, 269 c.c, Senspray carburetter, at £26 5s. The U.H. magneto is fitted to all models.

The Motor Cycle, November 26th, 1914. p599

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle.

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