Today in Motorcycle History


Dene were motorcycles produced from 1903 to 1924 by J. R. Moore in Haymarket, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

The workshop address is given as Sandyford Lane, circa 1923.

1903 Having closed the Jesmond Cycle Co, Moore then formed Dene and launched a machine using a 3½ hp Fafnir engine, Chater-Lea spring forks and direct-belt drive.

1906 Advancements were made and soon all-chain drive was in use, with a Dene two-speed counter-shaft gear working on the elliptical principle and with a clutch.

1908 A two-speed hub gear was patented.

1910 The machines had become typical of the era and were now fitted with Precision engines, belt drive and sprung forks. There was a gradual move from a three-speed rear hub to a two-speed gearbox. Singles and V-twins were built.

1914 A two-stroke was produced.

1915 There was some production that year but the war that would be over by Christmas wasn't, and manufacture came to a halt.

1921 Advertised a large range of parts for BSA, Triumph, Douglas and others, but no mention of their own motorcycles in the catalogue. Address given was Handyside's Arcade, Percy Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

1922 One model was listed. It had an 8hp JAP engine, three-speed Sturmey-Archer gearbox and all-chain drive.

1924 During that year production came to an end.

1909 Dene Models.

The Dene Motor Co., Newcastle-on-Tyne, are specialising for this year upon the production of a big twin machine. The specification includes 8 h.p. V Jap engine, with Blic magneto behind engine driven by chain from engine shaft. This design is a distinct "breakaway" from standard, and brings the contact breaker to the right hand side — a great convenience in sidecar machines. Transmission is by Renold chain through Sturmey-Archer three-speed countershaft gear.

Chains are enclosed in cast and machined aluminium cases. Back wheel quickly detachable and fitted with buffer drive to eliminate shock. Dunlop tyres, 28in. x 3in. Brooks saddle. The hubs are carried on Hoffmann journal bearings. The brakes are of the belt-rim type with compensating shoe operating inside the rim. The price will be £130. The firm also markets a 4 h.p. chain-cum-belt-drive model, the price of which is £95.

The Motor Cycle, May 8th, 1909.

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle.


1. There is an excellent article on the marque in the magazine Old Glory Steam and Vintage, March 2014.
2. A beautifully restored Dene is on display at the Beamish Museum.

If you have further information or a query related to this page, please contact us