British Motorcycles

Dayton Cycle Co

Dayton Cycle Co built motorcycles from 1913 to 1922. Chas. Day of the Dayton Cycle Co. of Shoreditch, London; 1939 and 1955 to 1960 in North Acton, London, where the company also built scooters.

  • 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 2 1/2 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 variously-sized Villiers engines. The final model was the Flamenco.
  • 1960 Production ceased after that year.

Sources: Graces Guide, The MotorCycle magazine.

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