Author Topic: Identifying Douglas motorcycles- Part 1: Pre-1926  (Read 23055 times)

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Offline Doug

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Identifying Douglas motorcycles- Part 1: Pre-1926
« on: 05 Apr 2005 at 01:52 »
Identifying old Douglas motorcycles
Part 1: 1907-26 Models 2-3/4hp, 3-1/2, and 4hp

Owners and folks finding an old Douglas motorcycle (or bits and pieces of one) often need to know how they may be able to identify the year and model.  What follows is a personal attempt to provide a guide to the codes and numbers that the factory put on the main parts of Douglas machines -specifically, frames, engines and gearboxes.  Supplemented with a description of salient features that in the addition/absence of the codes, might help also to identify a specific year, or indicate a mixture of parts. 

Some (probably quite a few) of these early machines are, strictly speaking, hybrids - bikes that are made up of parts from around the same period and/or similar models, so the data on these can be a little deceptive.  Douglas made basically the same machine, known as the 2-3/4hp, for a very, very long time with small incremental changes from year to year.  They must have been one of the last firms still offering a belt drive machine in 1926! 

The link below will take you to a page with additional information and tables to identify the various models and years.  These pages will be updated from time to time as additional information comes to light.  So note the version number near the top, and compare it to any copies you might have saved or printed.  There are also hyperlinks back to this post, and to Part 2 and Part 3 covering the rest of the Douglas range. 

The information in these tables has been collected from various sources: factory records, registers of extant machines, Douglas publications, articles in the London Douglas Motor Cycle Club magazine the New ConRod, and personal knowledge.  While every effort has been made to provide the most accurate information available, the information provide above is offered as a guide only.  It is not recognized as official dating data by any licensing authority.  The numbers and codes shown in these files are what appear to me to be representative of most of the machines registered as that model.  You may find them useful as indicators, but for final confirmation please do check with the experts in the London Douglas Motor Cycle Club (LDMCC), as I cannot accept any responsibility for any errors that may occur through the use of this information for identifying something that you find. 

If you have any additional information, corrections, or constructive criticism, the author would be pleased to hear from you. Please address your comments by e-mail or Personal Message using the link appropriate to your choice in the left block beneath the avatar. Alternatively, to make public comment  please use the Back button on your browser to return to the Topic Index and post a new topic by selecting the Start New Topic link at the top of the page.

If you have questions about a particular part or bike you are trying to identify, please use the Back button on your browser to return to the Topic Index and post a new topic by selecting the Start New Topic link at the top of the page.

-Doug K.

Copyright Doug Cross, Doug Kephart, April 2005

The Link:
Part 1: 1907-26 Models 2-3/4hp, 3-1/2, and 4hp

ftp://doug@douglasmotorcycles.net@198.252.100.130/images/html/identify-part1/veteran3.5.htm
« Last Edit: 19 Apr 2016 at 15:44 by Doug »

Offline Doug

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Re: Identifying Douglas motorcycles- Part 1: Pre-1926
« Reply #1 on: 22 Oct 2006 at 01:57 »
Please note that the Identification of Douglas Models above has been updated. Correspondingly, the version number below the title in the linked "Part 1" has been indexed. If you have a copy of the tables, you may wish to replace it. You may notice a skip in the version numbers; they are indexed based on working copies which might go through several iterations before being released. The latest and greatest is what you see posted. Enjoy!

-Doug 

Offline phil_h

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Re: Identifying Douglas motorcycles- Part 1: Pre-1926
« Reply #2 on: 24 Aug 2009 at 19:34 »
Gosh, but they made a lot of engines in 1913 !
 :wink:

Offline borleyfolksworth

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Re: Identifying Douglas motorcycles- Part 1: Pre-1926
« Reply #3 on: 12 Aug 2011 at 21:01 »
I am sure ,but always open to contradiction, that when the Munitions Department contracted the firm to produce WD machines during the war that they were not released from the contract till November 1919. All 25,000 machines produced were roughly Model V's, many of which had the 1913 pattern rear carrier. I have an original 1917 V which was civilianised by the factory during that low period in 1919 and regisered for the road in 1919. As I understood it although publicity suggested otherwise, that the internal fork link forks version as described rather than the "veteran" version were only fitted to 4hp models. The 17 by the way had, before I changed it, a Thompson and Bennet mag fitted complete with WD arrows on it and not an EIG.
I know for fact that so many machines had engine changes and repairs during action that very few had matching frame and engine numbers. I have never seen one ever.
Regards Colin

Offline Doug

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Re: Identifying Douglas motorcycles- Part 1: Pre-1926
« Reply #4 on: 19 Sep 2015 at 22:02 »
New version 3.5 uploaded. New and revised details about the 1907-1911 models.

Previous version 3.3.

-Doug

Offline Doug

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Re: Identifying Douglas motorcycles- Part 1: Pre-1926
« Reply #5 on: 19 Apr 2016 at 15:45 »
New version 3.6 uploaded. New and revised details about the CW frame numbering and cork plate clutches 1915-1921.

Previous version 3.5.

-Doug

 

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