Author Topic: My Douglas 2 3/4 HP TT Rep So Far . . .  (Read 1734 times)

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Offline pvn06

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My Douglas 2 3/4 HP TT Rep So Far . . .
« on: 08 Jul 2016 at 18:40 »
You might have seen a few posts from me in the last few months, showing progress on my 1920 Douglas 2 3/4 hp, which I am in the process of building as a replica of the 1912-1914 TT/Brooklands models.
Well last weekend I was at a Brooklands motorcycle meeting, in which I was running one of my Norton's up the test hill (a 1938 Racing International on methanol), but it was also a great opportunity to show the Douglas so far, in 'semi-built' condition.
I had prepared a board with period photographs of the Works bikes used for competition between 1912-14, including pictures of Les Bailey who in 1912 set a number of records at Brooklands in the Junior class - on a 2 3/4 HP of very similar specification to the one I am building.

I have to say - the interest the bike generated was fantastic!  I was fortunate in that I was asked to park both bikes right in front of the Brooklands clubhouse (a lovely location - one I have visited many times over the years, including in the early days of my visits - with a close friend now no longer with us - Bob Pike who was a well known dealer in the 30's - 60's and a genuine Brooklands Gold Star holder).

Anyway, although the Douglas was only 3/4 complete (and being built up first - before strip down for painting/plating), it still had that nice period look of an Edwardian race bike, and something I am not used to - people kept walking straight past my Norton to look at the Douglas!
It was probably helped by the fact that the 'Works' racing style handlebars I had been preparing had come back from my handlebar makers just two days before the meeting.  I had previously machined the special central mounting lug from a billet of 2" steel . . . to provide a mount on the headstock that allowed the handlebars to mount below the top links (which looking at close ups of the 1912 TT bikes, seemed to have been the case).  I had tried to bend the tube myself to the correct profile - but no matter how careful, had got kinks in it.  So having got the profile right - I sent it off to my handlebar makers with the central lug mounted where I would like them to place it - as I would not be able to fit it after bending.
Unfortunately, although they got the profile right - the handlebars were still too wide - I don't have room in the garage!, so still had to chop them in half, machine an inner sleeve then braze them all up to the desired profile.
I also have acquired (from Bert Poll in Holland - great guy, visit his site if you need early Douggy stuff: http://www.bertpol-vintagemotorcycles.com/) a pair of early Douglas handlebar levers, and after searching on ebay - correct style Bowden throttle/mag levers, but have not had chance to fit these yet - but still decided to wrap some cloth medical tape round the handlebars to give them the correct 'oily grips' look!  Notice they are wider at the bottom - a period trick to stop your hands slipping off the bars on the bumps - I used to do the same on my old Rotrax JAP grasstrack bike.
Unfortunately, in one respect the day backfired on me, the bike got so much positive attention in its current guise that a number of friends were aghast when I told them that the bike was only in temporary trim . . . before I strip down again and paint/plate - including the petrol tank.  Particularly, old friend and Norton racing colleague Ian Bain (whose wonderful Brooklands KTOR race engine Brough Superior bike was a few bikes down from mine - his father John Bain is in one of the photographs below) was aghast when I told him I was going to repaint the petrol tank - he was adamant I should keep it as is, hey ho. 

Anyway, although a lot of work still to do, it was good to take the bike in its current build state, looking like it had just come out of a barn - and I could not think of a place more appropriate to show it than Brooklands, it was nice that it seemed to raise as much interest as it did, particularly from the general public.
A few photos below of how it currently looks, and feel free to give me an opinion on repainting tank or not . . . still to be persuaded! (although I now have a genuine 1912 tank as well. Rough condition, but could be cleaned up and refabricated as a Works style tank with external oil pump and repainted). 
I will also do a Brooklands meet article from my own website soon, including a few video clips of bikes going up the test hills .
Best wishes
Paul Norman
www.racingvincent.co.uk
« Last Edit: 09 Jul 2016 at 05:02 by pvn06 »

Offline pvn06

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Re: My Douglas 2 3/4 HP TT Rep So Far . . .
« Reply #1 on: 08 Jul 2016 at 18:48 »
and as always, photos inserted afterwards:

Offline RockDr.

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Re: My Douglas 2 3/4 HP TT Rep So Far . . .
« Reply #2 on: 25 Jul 2016 at 11:53 »
Definitely keep the tank as is especially if it doesn't need resoldering. Nice progress .

Offline pvn06

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Re: My Douglas 2 3/4 HP TT Rep So Far . . .
« Reply #3 on: 12 Aug 2016 at 19:48 »
it needs soldering, it needs soldering . . . ha ha

Offline Dirt Track

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Re: My Douglas 2 3/4 HP TT Rep So Far . . .
« Reply #4 on: 16 Oct 2016 at 04:50 »
Leave the tank as is for Gods sake!