The golden years of DMW

Published: 09:00AM Sep 15th, 2016
By: Nigel Devereux

Well-built and innovative, the West Midlands-manufactured DMW motorcycles were among the most sought-after lightweights of their day, as these Mortons Archive photos show 

The golden years of DMW

The late lamented Bob Currie looks comfortable as he tries out a 249cc Villiers two-stroke twin-powered DMW Deemster, neither scooter nor motorcycle, in the early 1960s. The model was adopted for rural patrol duties by several constabularies in Wales and the Midlands, and a later version was powered by the Velocette Viceroy flat-twin two-stroke engine.

Despite DMW’s relatively brief period in serious motorcycle production, the firm that was founded in Wolverhampton by Leslie Dawson in 1940 was innovative and dabbled in everything from trials, scrambles and road racing machines to lightweight motorcycles and scooters.

During the prewar years, Leslie was a regular competitor in speedway events at Belle Vue, New Brighton and other venues, and also took up road racing, competing in several Manx Grands Prix as well as events such as the North West 200.

After building one-off competition machines from a garage in Heswall, Merseyside, he moved to Wolverhampton and opened a small garage between a corner pub and coal yard and called it Dawson’s Motor Works.

There he developed his patented spring and pneumatic ‘Telematic’ tele forks that were launched in 1942 and sold to customers as kits to replace girders. He also patented a dual front brake design.

Read more in September’s issue of OBM

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