There was no Dot dealer in Saskatoon. They bought it by mail order. That wasn’t particularly strange; at the time, people bought entire houses from the Sears catalog in the United States or the Eaton’s catalog up in Canada.
It wasn’t exactly Amazon Prime, though. Although the Dot company happily accepted the boys’ Canadian bank draft, no one told the lads that Dot was in dire straits and that production ground to a nearly complete halt. When letters to the company went unanswered, they appealed to the editors of The Motor Cycle, who shamed Dot into shipping the bike to Canada. The Nicholson brothers’ Dot finally arrived after eight months. The next year, they ordered a 350 cc Douglas and sold the Dot at a profit. Nicholson Brothers Motorcycles was born. Their first shop was a shed made from wood they'd salvaged from motorcycle crates.
Bernie spent two years at technical school, but was really a self-taught motorcycle mechanic. At the beginning of World War II, he trained dispatch riders for the Canadian military. Maybe that experience honed his didactic skills; he certainly had a knack for understanding — and more important, explaining — the way motors worked.
Once it was apparent the allies would win the war, he wrote Edward Turner describing the 750 cc twin that he felt Triumph must build if it was to succeed in the North American market. "Very interesting," replied Turner. Then he went on to explain that there could be no demand for such a machine in Triumph's home market. Besides, they well knew the existing design “would not stand stepping up to 750 cc.”
Bernie was only 25 when he printed the first edition of "Modern Motorcycle Mechanics and Speed Tuning" in 1942. Over the next couple of years, while still training dispatch riders for the Canadian military, Nicholson revised and expanded the book, and the Second Edition, published in 1945, included many detailed line drawings, courtesy of the respected English magazine, The Motor Cycle.
Nicholson continued to update the book right into 1970s. (My copy of the Seventh Edition includes a chapter on Kawasakis, including the Mach III two-stroke and the original Z.) All told, he sold over 100,000 copies. Johnson Motors, the storied western-region Triumph distributor, was a bulk purchaser; so was Floyd Clymer. It may be the best-selling self-published motorcycle book of all time.