Dot Motorcycles return with two new retro 650s

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Small-scale British bike name Dot Motorcycles have whipped the covers off two Kawasaki-powered retro 650 twins at Motorcycle Live.

The sporty-looking Reed Racer and scrambler-styled Dot Demon are built to order in Greater Manchester and were developed in conjunction with Guy Martin, who tested the bikes before their reveal.

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Both use the liquid-cooled 649cc four-stroke parallel twin motor from Kawasaki’s Euro5-compliant Z650 and produce a claimed 67.3bhp at 8000rpm and 47.2lb.ft at 6700rpm. Housed in TIG-welded steel trellis frames, they share the same claimed 169kg kerb weight and a tiny 10-litre tank.

The Dot Demon scrambler can be personally engraved

Where the two bikes differ the most is in their riding positions, with the Reed Racer offering a more hunched-over, focused experience, while the Dot Demon allows the rider to sit more upright. The latter also features slightly heavier bracing in the chassis to cope with some light scrambling.

“We’ve got CNC machines, we’ve got autoclaves, so we can make all the parts in house,” Dot’s Dr Anthony Keating told MCN. “Customers can have whatever colours they want.”

Both bikes feature dual 300mm front discs with four-piston Brembo calipers, plus a single disc Brembo at the rear. Bosch ABS is standard.

There’s also adjustable 40mm Showa forks and a monoshock, with both sprung to the riders’ weight before being delivered.

Bikes are built to order in the UK by a small team

Of course, bespoke building and quality chassis components don’t come cheap, as Dr Keating explains: “The scramblers start at £18,500 and the cafe racers start at £21,000. We can’t make the bikes for any less than that because everything’s made in the UK.”

Despite the high price tags, Dot say they have taken orders over the first weekend of the NEC show, with the first customer bikes arriving at the end of February, or early March.

The stripped back Reed Racer is named after company founder, Harry Reed, who took victory at the TT in 1908 on a Dot. The firm are now working on an electric motorcycle, which will join the line-up next.

Dot 650 twins explored:

  • Easy power The liquid cooled DOHC 649cc parallel twin is taken from Kawasaki. It’s Euro5 and makes 67.3bhp. It’s a reliable motor, but produces less power than an MT-07 or SV650.
  • Sitting pretty An 800mm seat height on the Reed should suit shorter riders, with the Demon scrambler sibling featuring a much taller 880mm perch.
  • Build-a-bike Dot Motorcycles say that it takes between six and 12 weeks to turn around a finished bike – providing the customer makes no further changes once they’ve ordered.
  • Small team The Dot Motorcycles team consists of six engineers, with the capacity to build 60 motorcycles a year.
  • Make it personal Alongside colours, a small circular panel on the scrambler can be engraved with your choice of letters and/or numbers – to make the bike personal to you.

Dot Motorcycles 650 twin engine

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Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

Acting News Editor, sportsbike nut, and racing fan.