Author Topic: First circumnavigation of australia on a douglas  (Read 12531 times)

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Offline trevorp

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First circumnavigation of australia on a douglas
« on: 02 Jun 2005 at 09:55 »
does anyone know if this is a true story and is there a book about the trip
was supposed to be in 1925
Trevor

Offline Daren W Australia

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First circumnavigation of australia on a douglas
« Reply #1 on: 02 Jun 2005 at 10:43 »
Yes its true and it was recreated 10 years ago by Kevin Cass from Wongawilly (near Wollongong) on a 1926 CW restored by him
Regards Daren
too many dougli not enough time!

Offline trevorp

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circumnavigation
« Reply #2 on: 02 Jun 2005 at 11:37 »
wow incredible journey the older bikes must be a lot more reliable than i first thought
a feather in douglas's cap for reliability
Trevor

Offline Doug

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First circumnavigation of australia on a douglas
« Reply #3 on: 02 Jun 2005 at 16:30 »
First fellows name was Grady, I belive.  Trip was published in a article, and has been reprinted in magazines.

-Doug

Offline Ian

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First circumnavigation of australia on a douglas
« Reply #4 on: 02 Jun 2005 at 23:33 »
From what Kevin says about his run I think the rider had more reliability issues than the bike (apart from sprockets, etc)

Offline graeme

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circumnavigation
« Reply #5 on: 03 Jun 2005 at 00:39 »
Talking to Kevin Cass about his run and comparing it to the Grady ride, Kevin's conclusion is that Grady didn't do it! If you have read the original account, the trip was done without even suffering a puncture! Very suspicious. The time Kevin took to do the run - on tar roads, with good fuel supplies, spares back up etc etc was the same time as Grady allegedly took on dirt roads, or no roads in some areas - imagine the Kimberleys in the 1920s - it is huge and remote now, virtually nobody lived there then, so there would have been no roads at all. Kevin suspects Grady may have put the machine on a ship somewhere and sailed around the top end and started the journey again in perhaps Cairns or another Queensland port.

Offline alwyn

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Epic Journeys via Douglas
« Reply #6 on: 03 Jun 2005 at 01:46 »
Hi all,
While Doug is searching his archives for the article re this epic ride can anyone else point to a written history of this and/or any other such journeys via Douglas, 'One Man Caravan' excepted?
Alwyn
Site Mod.

Added comment:
After an couple of hours surfing the only reference to Grady I found on-line was a reference on a Guinness Records page
Quote
In 1924, Arthur Grady of Fremantle, Western Australia, made the first motorcycle circuit of Australia on a Douglas in five and a half months.

Alwyn
Quotable Quote - "640 k should be enough for anybody"! - Bill Gates - 1981.

Offline alwyn

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Re: circumnavigation
« Reply #7 on: 03 Jun 2005 at 03:12 »
Quote from: "graeme"
...cut... conclusion is that Grady didn't do it! If you have read the original account.... cut.....


Graeme,
Can you lead us to the "original account" please?

Alwyn
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Quotable Quote - "640 k should be enough for anybody"! - Bill Gates - 1981.

Offline KiwiJohn

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First circumnavigation of australia on a douglas
« Reply #8 on: 03 Jun 2005 at 03:19 »
Here is the original  http://www.geocities.com/xs400/Aust1925.txt

Quite a remarkable feat, if true, and a great example of Aussie 'bull-pulling' if not!

Offline KiwiJohn

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First circumnavigation of australia on a douglas
« Reply #9 on: 03 Jun 2005 at 03:42 »
Incidently, it appears from this account that Grady never went near Cairns having run from Cammoweal to Brisbane via the inland road  (now the Matilda Highway?)

Offline graeme

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circumnavigation
« Reply #10 on: 03 Jun 2005 at 06:57 »
It is a long while since I read the account - in a New Conrod many years ago. I unfortunately can't get into the link you have posted John - my work bans accessing geocities sites for some bizarre reason. Anyway, from talking with Kevin, he concludes that Grady's story is a flight of fantasy - whether he shipped the machine to Cairns or wherever would have been immaterial as to his account!

Offline alwyn

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Grady Epic
« Reply #11 on: 03 Jun 2005 at 07:47 »
Quote from: "KiwiJohn"
Here is the original  http://www.geocities.com/xs400/Aust1925.txt

Quite a remarkable feat, if true, and a great example of Aussie 'bull-pulling' if not!


Thanks John,
Will now have a read and perhaps do a little research on its authenticity.
Alwyn
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PS Perhaps the Guinness entry gives the story some credence?
Quotable Quote - "640 k should be enough for anybody"! - Bill Gates - 1981.

Offline KiwiJohn

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First circumnavigation of australia on a douglas
« Reply #12 on: 03 Jun 2005 at 22:09 »
How could anyone not believe the story?  It is quoted as having been
Quote
By the manufacturer of the machine.
Messers.  The Douglas Motors LTD.
:lol:

Offline Doug

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First circumnavigation of australia on a douglas
« Reply #13 on: 06 Jun 2005 at 02:38 »
The Grady tale also appeared in “Classic Motorcycling” No. 18, wherein Grady recounted his tale to Paul Reed in 1981.  Included was a route map around the continent.  It has a bit of an introductory and postscript but the part about the trip is a much abbreviated account (with the portion of the carter with the TS model slung under the wagon miss-printed twice) compared to the version credited to the "Motor Cycle", June 11th 1925.  Much of that abbreviated portion of the actual trip is verbatim to passages in the longer version, indicating that rather than printing the complete tale as contemporarily related by Grady, the author relied on extracts of the older publication.  I do not know when this version was printed, as the date does not appear in the photocopy I have.  But it does mention at the end Grady died in 1987, so it must postdate that.  It also mentions the trip was sponsored by Douglas Motors, Bates tyres, and the western Australian agent Armstrong (of Freemantle?) to promote the new all chain drive CW model.  It is said the machine was sent back to England, and later displayed in the Douglas museum, what ever that was.  The current whereabouts of the machine was unknown.  

In the "Motor Cycle" version, in the portion “A Word from Grady”, it refers to the tale as “Previous to the historic attempt recorded in this booklet…” suggesting it was publish as a monograph.  Probably by Douglas; like they did after a win in the TT.  One wonders if any copies survived of the Douglas-Grady version.

As mentioned in this thread, it was also reprinted in the New ConRod a few years back.  But exactly when and which version I can not recall.  Unfortunately the NCR is not indexed, so looking up such items is tedious.  

-Doug

Offline gsx1100s

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First circumnavigation of australia on a douglas
« Reply #14 on: 10 Aug 2005 at 06:46 »
Quote from: "KiwiJohn"
Here is the original  http://www.geocities.com/xs400/Aust1925.txt

Quite a remarkable feat, if true, and a great example of Aussie 'bull-pulling' if not!


Thanks for the wonderful read. I particularly like this quote:

-He is a tall good-looking chap, with auburn hair, and to quote an Australian
newspaper- "enough to make the average girl envious" -he is a typical
British character.-

I wonder what effect this "British Character" would have had on our above "average Australian girls".... :roll:
As to the absence of any flat tyres it does seem that this may be one of the first product endorsements to make it to print , here's a quote:

-The Douglas and Bates Tyres I cannot give too much honour.  Not one spare
part was used on the machine which never once failed me and Bates Tyres
never once punctured.-

If it's true , then bully for them!
Again thanks for a great read.I'd love to follow the ride he did one day.......

cheers Michael
"My first car was a motorcycle"

Offline Dirt Track

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First circumnavigation of australia on a douglas
« Reply #15 on: 11 Aug 2005 at 11:22 »
G'day all
Lets not forget Neil Bromilow's effort on his c1922 Martinsyde, not sure what year Neil did it but I can remember him riding into Goulburn Showgrounds during the anniversary rally of the Goulburn TT. Graeme you would have been there...what year was it? I suspect about 20 years ago.
I always thought that the Douglas factory had produced a commemorative booklet for the Grady ride although I have never actually seen one in the flesh.
Regarding Kevin's exploits...he also rode one of his Hendersons to Perth and back some years ago...and I think most of it done without a backup!
Howard.

Offline alwyn

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Re: First circumnavigation of australia on a douglas
« Reply #16 on: 08 Jul 2006 at 02:00 »
Hi all,
Apparently Douglas Motors Limited was well aware of Grady's adventure - this reproduction of an advertisement from a 1925  issue of the magazine 'Motor Cycling' refers to Grady having reached Adelaide in South Australia on his epic ride.

Not sure what they were offering in relation to the "1000 Mile$ Free" catchcry - perhaps free petrol - if so there's nothing new today really - every car vendor is offering the same to varying degrees!

Alwyn

PS The advertisment is currently being auctioned on e-bay. See here

« Last Edit: 14 Jan 2008 at 04:32 by Dave »
Quotable Quote - "640 k should be enough for anybody"! - Bill Gates - 1981.

Offline Dirt Track

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Re: First circumnavigation of australia on a douglas
« Reply #17 on: 27 Jul 2007 at 04:16 »
G'day all
I had a conversation by phone last night with Neil Bromilow from WA. Neil is not a computer enthusiast and admits to not knowing how to turn one on!
Someone has brought this posting to his attention and he would like to make a comment and has asked me to put it in writing on the posting.
As you would expect he and Kevin Cass are great friends having both done the same trip as Grady, Neil and Kevin have spoken many times about both their own trips and Grady's original journey and are both agreed that Grady certainly actually did the trip, there is plenty of pictorial and other evidence backing this up.
But what they also agree on is that they doubt very much Grady's journey was as "uneventfull" as claimed, certainly they both had problems along the way even with modern tyres. wheel spokes and other more serious breakdowns.
Lets not forget that the event was "sponsored" by Douglas, Bates Tyres and other parties.....not much good advertising you went through 15 tyres en route....much better if you can say you had no problems!
Grady had done a couple of similar shorter runs previous to his Douglas effort....on a v twin BSA and then a single cylinder Harley taking them across the Nullabor.
Douglas enthusiast George Stevenson has done a hell of a lot of research on Grady's trip and has come up with a paper on it....shortly available.
Neil would be very glad to talk to anyone re Grady (unfortunately Kevin is not enjoying the best of health at the moment) and can be contacted by phone....should anyone want to contact Neil please email me and I will pass on his phone no.
George would also enjoy a chat about his research...same applies re phone no.
Howard.

Offline Doug

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Re: First circumnavigation of australia on a douglas
« Reply #18 on: 27 Jul 2007 at 07:32 »
The National Library of NSW in Sydney has a copy of the brochure printed to commemorate the Grady trip. The text is verbatim to the online version in the geocities link. If folks are not able to read/access that, I can paste in a copy as I made one into a poster for the Australian Douglas Centenary Rally. Unfortunately printing issues at the last moment meant I was unable to bring a copy along. Copies (printing problems solved and with the addition of illustrations from the brochure) were sent to the Bristol Cavalcade and the LDMCC annual rally in Stowe. After the adventure of getting through down-town Sydney to find the library, I can only admire Grady for having found his way around an entire continent!

-Doug


Offline MRD

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Re: First circumnavigation of australia on a douglas
« Reply #19 on: 02 Dec 2007 at 11:36 »
Dear all
I have a printing plate advertising this event by Douglas Motorcycles.
The plate is approximately 4 1/4 inches wide and 3 3/4 inches high.
It shows an outline of Australia with a CW in the top left, there is also a series of straight line which I guess is the route taken.
The plate reads :-
9,00 miles-
     this the greatest ride in the history of motor cycling, was left to-
STANDARD 2 3/4 H.P. (348c.c.) CHAIN DRIVE

DOUGLAS
MOTOR CYCLE

Which successfully completed
that which many others had
attempted but failed

In the face of appalling heat conditions,
blinding storms and trackless wastes, the DOUGLAS
did not once give cause for anxiety
FOR RELIABILITY CHOOSE A
DOUGLAS

On the bottom right it reads
We can supply an
exact replica for
£45
Tax only 30/s

I hope this is of help
Regards    MRD

« Last Edit: 02 Dec 2007 at 19:44 by Dave »