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The National Speedway Museum

Denco NZ

A speedway engine designed by Colin Lyster and built by Bob Denson in 1977 was tested and ridden by Mitch Shirra and Larry Ross. There is still a company in New Zealand called Denco Engineering (1987) Ltd. Described as Motor Sports services so who knows there may be more to come.

Denton Longtracker

Harry Denton and Len Bowes, who were both South Australian sidecar specialists, made a long track machine with a Vincent engine although used on a short circuit it would seem the experiment went no further

Dirtrax 1966-1976

This is another speedway machine developed and built in Australia this time by ex-rider Ernie Sues in his Brisbane workshop from 1966. Ernie & his employee World Finalist John Titman , together they produced a proto type based on the Rotrax.  In order to acquire the engines and countershafts Ernie imported compete Jawa machines which he fitted to the frames that he and John Titman had designed and manufactured, to allow for a change of wheel base the engine plates had extra fixings for the bottom stays (suggested by Lionel Levy), fuel tanks and seat bases were hand made.

They employed a delightfully simple and practical system to identify every one of the machines they produced using the design type grass track (GT) and speedway (SP) followed by the date, so the first speedway bike to leave the Brisbane workshop on the first of January 1966 was identified by SP 01011966 - over a 100 machines were produced by this workshop between 1966 and 1976


Highly regarded tuner at Wimbledon Bert Dixon turned his hand to making a few frames post World War II but almost no details have filtered down to me, does anyone have any info?


New Zealand born Stewie St George is yet another Antipodean to bring something new to the UK, the first German made DKW to be seen in England arrived with Stewie in 1930. This DKW was a 500cc two stroke water cooled twin mounted in a unique frame, the engine plates were made from an alloy called Duralium, the adjustable fork offset (rake) along with an adjustable rear gave a variation of wheel base of up to 3 inches although I am not sure what sort of effect this would have on the trail and in its turn the handling ability on a dirt track. There were two German riders who used this machine at High Beech in 1930. Despite it being thought that Stewie was the first to bring this machine into the UK it is suggested that Jim Bounds rode a DKW both in speedway at Hampton Court and grass track at Barnett at the end of the 1920’s We do not know if this is true - do you?


Dawson’s Motors, Wolverhampton was founded in 1940 by William Leslie Dawson, the workshop was large shed at the side of a coal yard. He was the inventor of swinging arm motorcycle suspension and started the new company to make and promote his “Dawson’s Telematic tele-forks” - they were telescopic spring and pneumatic front forks that could be fitted as a replacement of the standard girder forks, they were launched in 1942 and in 1943 Leslie Dawson added a rear suspension options to the range which would fit in his workshop although front forks could easily be fitted by most motor cycle enthusiasts.

These Telematic forks were a huge step forward as up to their development only the expensive BMW had telescopic suspension which could not be copied as they were well and truly tied up with patents. Leslies invention did not infringe the BMW patents and customers could bring their bikes to the workshop to have the rear forks fitted the process required the removal of part of the rear frame and replacing with the new suspension.

After World War II Leslie turned his thoughts to building a complete machine and chose racing machines and started to build a few  they were powered by JAP engines. He sold his company to the BSA engineer Mike Riley, he moved the production to Harold Nock’s premises and production continued until 1971 when Harold Nock’s sold the business in 1975 to  Graham Beddal and Ivan Dyke who continued the company until 2001.

Drive Master

An Australian frame designed and built by rider Ted Argall from Victoria, Ted, having ridden for Rayleigh and Walthamstow in the 1950’s he returned home at the beginning of the 1970’s and settled on the Gold Coast and produced a few frames called the Drive Master - those who have seen these frames praise the workmanship and attention to detail. Basing the rear end on the Rotrax giving the frame separate chain and seat stays, the connecting bolt holes sleeved and tapped. The forks were initially spade end but that was changed later the Jawa type of forkleg being used.

Douglas DT5 & DT8

Click here for Douglas

Duggan Black Swan

The lightweight diamond frame that proved so popular in the latter years of speedway is credited by some to two people who it seems although working separately came up with the same sort of answerers. One of this engineers was Max Grosskreutz but here we are interested in Vic Duggan.

Vic a skilled and excellent welder who had spent his war years as a airframe fitter brought his mind and talents to building a strong lightweight frame for the speedway rider, producing the Black Swan at the same time Max Grosskreutz had come to much the same answer and also produced a light strong diamond frame but he produced his in large numbers where as Vic Duggan really only produced them for his own use. The frames were copied, of course, and are now accepted as the norm but it was Max and Vic who put their skills into the original concept.


Dula Engineering a fabrication firm established in Hertfordshire, did not, as far as I am aware, have a production of speedway frames but they did make frames to the order for riders including amongst their number Simon Wigg.

Denco NZ Denton Dirtrax Dixon DKW DMW Drive Master Douglas Duggan Dula

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