Dunkley Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History


Dunkley motorcycles were produced from 1914 to 1916, in Jamaica Row, Birmingham, and in the mid 1950s.

The Dunkley story began in 1896 with the introduction of a coal-gas powered vehicle with the wheels in diamond formation. 1901 saw another attempt to capture a market share, again with a gas-powered machine. The Dunkley Number 3 appeared at the Cordingly Show of 1902, and remained on the market for several years.

The firm also produced a range of sidecars, available in 1911 and possibly earlier, and built the Alevechurch ALC cyclecars before and after the first war.

  • 1914 The range consisted of models fitted with Precision 2hp, 3.5hp and 4.25hp single engines, or 4hp and 6hp V-twins. The smallest had horizontal ohv, two-speed gear, belt final-drive and Druid forks. It was advertised for 27 guineas, ready for the road, and came complete with lamp, generator, horn, tools, two tool bags and a pump. Also listed was a similar model with a 349cc two-stroke engine with drip-feed lubrication.

    1915 The models continued and the 349cc two-stroke now had three speeds.

    1916 All models were fitted with JAP four-stroke engines.

    It was not a good time to enter the motorcycle market with a range of models and it was very short lived.

    1924 There is mention of a single speed 750 V-twin Pramotor, but no source has been found to verify this.

    1950s The Dunkley Whippet 60 scooter was introduced in April 1957 and remained available until 1959. It first appeared at the 1956 Earls Court Show as the Mercury Whippet 60. Fitted with a 60cc ohv engine designed by Bruno Fargion, the Whippet utilized an Italian frame. Handling was not a strong point.

    Other models of the mid-1950s include the Dunkley Popular Scooter, the 1958 S58 65cc Dunkley Whippet scooter, and possibly the Mercette which may have been assembled by Dunkley after Mercury's demise.

There was also a Dunkley Sidecar from Dunkley's Alvechurch in 1911.

Engine - Dunkley two-stroke, 75 x 79 mm. 349 c.c.
Iqnition - U.H. magneto, chain-driven.
Carburetter - Senspray.
Change Speed - Two-speed counter-shaft.
Transmission - Chain and belt.
Dimensions - Height of saddle from ground. 30in. Ground clearance, 6in. Wheelbase, 52in.
Lubrication - Drip-feed, semi-automatic.
Other Features - Druid forks.
Price - 2 h.p. four-stroke engine, 170 c.c. 27 guineas

Dunkleys, LTD., Jamaica Row, Birmingham.

British Lightweights, 1914

Sources: Graces Guide, "Two Dogs" article by Mark Daniels.

juliancannon at btinternet.com
Dunkley Popular 1959
Hi, I own a stripped down Dunkley Popular scooter and I am starting to think about restoring and rebuilding it. Do you know if there are any owners groups or any manuals or documentation that still exist anywhere? I only found out a few years ago that it was manufactured about a mile from where I used to live! Thank you for any help that you may be able to give.
julian cannon
Hertfordshire UK

chrisandlin13 at aol.com
I have recently purchased a Dunkley Junior 50cc for restoration. This was on the road until 1967. I am trying to find out any information about this particular motorcycle but absolutely nothing comes up for this particular year. I have the original logbook and handbook. I have been told this model is extremely rare. Is this true? Any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Chris Thorne
South East England

  • Sorry, have no information on a 50cc Junior at present. Can you send images or other information? Ed.

Wed Jan 14 2015
stephen.watson2 at rolls-royce.com
vehicle identification
Dunkley / Mercury Whippet
I have purchaced a Dunkley / Mercury Whippet which was a barn find to restore and I am attempting to source the bikes original details (if possible) to aid re-registering it. The number plate is :-
TYG 700 (or could be TYC 700).
Does any one know where this info could be found as the company went into liquidation in the late 1950's/60's?

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