Author Topic: question: what year  (Read 1427 times)

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Offline andertheke

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question: what year
« on: 25 May 2017 at 17:32 »
Hi,
the Picture Shows a douglas I want to buy. The engine and the front top of the frame gives me some doubts that it is before 1920. The papers tell me that it should be from 1914)
What do you gess?
Thanks and best gegards
Peter

Offline Domas

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #1 on: 26 May 2017 at 06:03 »
Hast du Rahmen und Motornummer?

Do you have frame and engine number?

Offline andertheke

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #2 on: 26 May 2017 at 07:48 »
leider erst morgen - wenn ich sie tatsächlich kaufe. Mich irritiert die Rundung des Rahmens zum Lenkkopf, da irgendwie das kurze Rahmenteil vorn über dem Tank in Richtung Lenkkopf zu fehlen scheint. Außerdem sehe ich die Schrauben an der glatten Motor-Platte hinter dem Vergaser. Die 1914er haben da oft eine Schraube oben in der Mitte, die hier fehlt. Auch irritieren mich die kleinen Kühlrippen am Auslass, die auch auf ein späteres Baujahr hinweisen. Es scheint aber eine 350er mit Zweiganggetriebe ohne Kupplung zu sein.

Google translation:
Quote
Unfortunately only tomorrow - when I actually buy it. I am irritated by the rounding of the frame to the steering head, because somehow the short frame part in the front over the tank in the direction of steering head seems to be missing. Also, I see the screws on the smooth engine plate behind the carburetor. The 1914s often have a screw in the center, which is missing here. Also irritate me the small cooling ribs at the outlet, which also point to a later year. It seems however a 350s with branch gearing without clutch to be.

-Site Moderator

[Add machine translation. 26may17 -Doug, Site Moderator
« Last Edit: 26 May 2017 at 17:41 by Doug »

Offline Domas

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #3 on: 26 May 2017 at 09:00 »
Das Bild ist ziemlich schlecht wenn man es ranzoomt.
Anhand der Vorderradbremse erkenne ich die eckige Version die bis 1919 gebaut wurde.
Das fehlende Rahmenteil am Lenkkopf ist tatsächlich kurios.Hat das einer rausgeschnitten? :o
Vielleicht ist es ja ein Frankenbike?

Google translation:
Quote
The picture is pretty bad when you zoom.
From the front wheel brake I recognize the angular version that was built until 1919.
The missing frame at the steering head is actually curious. Has the one cut? :O
Perhaps it is a Frankenbike?
-Site Moderator

[Add machine translation. 26May17 -Doug, Site Moderator]
« Last Edit: 26 May 2017 at 17:42 by Doug »

Offline cardan

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #4 on: 27 May 2017 at 05:50 »
Hi Peter,

The frame is post 1914 - not only is the triangular support for the steering head missing, but the rear stand pivots on a drop-down lug, as they did from 1915-on.

I see nothing on the motor to make me think 1914, when there would be cylinders without fins around the inlet valves, stepped timing cover, swirl exhaust etc.

The petrol tank and the tank-top oiler are later than 1914.

The front fork is as used in 1914, but it was also used well into the war, and when bikes came home there was a lot of mixing and matching of parts. I have read that some 1919 models were still being fitted with the early fork, but I'm not sure.

Douglas made bikes with 2-speed gears and no clutch into the mid 1920s.

Don't buy the bike if you want a ride in the Pioneer Run to Brighton, as I doubt it would be eligible.

Use the engine and frame numbers to check.

Cheers,

Leon

Offline andertheke

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #5 on: 27 May 2017 at 18:18 »
Thanks Leon,
that was very helpful indeed. The Frame No. is 18xxx
Where can I find the production years of the Frame numbers?
Best regards
Peter

Offline Domas

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Offline andertheke

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #7 on: 27 May 2017 at 19:25 »
thank you very much

... so it must be a 1914 Frame!
But I am confused about the top frame which has a curve to the steering head.
I haven's seen that before.
Has anybody an idea?

Offline eddie

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #8 on: 27 May 2017 at 21:06 »
Are you sure the frame number is 18xxx and not 78xxx? That would seem to be more in keeping with the year of the rest of the bike. The frame, engine and petrol tank are all post 1914. Only the forks are of veteran type. You should be able to date the engine - the drive side crankcase should have the year cast into it (behind the flywheel).
Regards,
                Eddie.

Offline cardan

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #9 on: 27 May 2017 at 22:36 »
... so it must be a 1914 Frame!

This frame is 18xxx - note the position of the rear stand pivot (and the engine, exhaust, tank...)

Buy at your own peril - you have been warned!!!

Cheers

Leon


Offline cardan

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #10 on: 27 May 2017 at 23:00 »
But I am confused about the top frame which has a curve to the steering head.
I haven's seen that before.
Has anybody an idea?

No, I haven't seen that before but I'm not an expert.

Perhaps someone has grafted a veteran steering head (complete with forks) onto a later frame, and has turned the top tube up to meet the top part of the lug, but ground off the lower part. This might have happened in 1927 or 2007.

Just an idea.

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #11 on: 27 May 2017 at 23:21 »

The 1914 motors used the stepped timing chest. The top part of the timing chest was both narrower (when viewed from the side) and stepped back, so that the 1914 manifold sat above the lower part of the chest. Obviously the timing cover was in two parts. You can see this in the photo below.

From 1915, and into the 1920s, the timing chest was the same width all the way up (when viewed from the side) and the one-piece cover was flat. The manifold was cranked out to clear the timing chest. Just like on the bike that is the subject of this thread.

Cheers

Leon

Offline eddie

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #12 on: 28 May 2017 at 05:52 »
Also, the lower tube of the rear triangle looks to be of a narrower section than normal - with the brake block mounted on a longer arm (definitely not standard).

Eddie.

Offline andertheke

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #13 on: 28 May 2017 at 06:40 »
@yesterday:  if it would be 78xxx instad of 18xxx. What year would it be?

Offline Domas

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #14 on: 28 May 2017 at 07:52 »
Strange

Offline cardan

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #15 on: 28 May 2017 at 09:16 »
@yesterday:  if it would be 78xxx instad of 18xxx. What year would it be?

1925

Offline andertheke

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #16 on: 29 May 2017 at 19:51 »
The engine Comes from 1921, but the frame ...... ?

Usually the pipes are connected with other parts of the frame with a special outer sleve so that the pipe comes into that outer sleve and is soldered afterwards. My frame exists with not one single of those outer sleves. It is surely not welded too. It looks like an inner sleve (like a bolt) which ist soldered. Has anybody an idea?

Offline cardan

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #17 on: 29 May 2017 at 22:18 »

I think we'll need some photos Peter.

Cheers

Leon

Offline andertheke

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #18 on: 30 May 2017 at 15:22 »
photos:

the Frame No. leads to 1914 (begins with 1)

Offline eddie

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #19 on: 30 May 2017 at 16:46 »
This looks like a 'home brewed' frame! I would take an educated guess that only about 50% of it originated in the Kingswood factory. It is devoid of most of the lugs found on Douglas frames. A distinct possibility is that it started as a poorly cared for frame where the tubes had rusted out (except for those soaked in oil under the engine) and the rest was built up again without using forged lugs. It also looks as if the tank repairer had come across a job lot of soft solder (and intended to use most of it!).

Regards,
              Eddie.

Offline cardan

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #20 on: 30 May 2017 at 22:15 »

I'd worry about the safety of using the bike on the road. Frame breakages can be quite disastrous. Look for a replacement frame and throw this one away.

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #21 on: 30 May 2017 at 23:07 »

Hi Peter and all,

This bike raises a really serious issue: safety of 100-year-old motorcycles.

Our club is running the Australian National Veteran Rally (for pre 1919 motorcycles)  later in the year, and we're currently finalising our risk management strategy. There are lots of things that organisers can do to to try to minimize risk to people riding in a rally, as well as the general public around the rally. Risk is assessed by looking at the likelihood of an incident occurring (say unlikely, quite possible, or probable) and combining this with the consequences (say minor, major, or disastrous).

The rally committee has recently gone through the process of identifying all the likely problems that might occur at the rally, assessing the associated risk, and putting in place all the measures needed to minimize the risks. Some might think this is a pile of bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo - so be it - but we are taking it seriously. We don't want people leaving the rally in an ambulance, and we will do what we need to to avoid it.

One of the major risks we've identified is one that is hard for us to deal with: unsafe motorcycles.

We've decided to do the following: We're asking riders to be responsible for the safety of their own machines. This is a good start, and probably works OK for competent people who restore their own motorcycles. Most can identify bad rust, a dangerous crack, bad wear and so on, and deal with it appropriately.

But what of people like Peter who buy a "restored" motorcycle? How do we know that there is metal (and not Bondo) under the paint? How do we know that the fork stem is not about to snap off where it has been rubbing after ten years of riding with no balls in the bearings? It's a very serious issue.

Our approach is that all organising committee members will keep an eye on the bikes on the rally, and if they see something worrying on a machine they will report it to the chairman of the committee, who will then decide on what to do - up to disqualifying a bike from the rally.

In the case of Peter's bike (if it were 1914), I'd hope it would be spotted early, and I have no hesitation in saying that it would be disqualified from the rally, for the safety of both the rider, the other riders, and the public. Think about it: the likelihood of the frame failing is possible-probable and the consequences are potentially fatal. It's an unacceptable risk.

Peter I'm not directing this at you, but instead it is a plea that we try to keep our hobby as safe as possible for everyone. If your frame tube is rusty, machine it out of the lugs and replace it with a piece of high quality tube, pinned and brazed in place. If your lugs are rusty, replace them. If you're uncertain, ask the most experienced people you can find for their advice, then follow it.

Peter: do us a favour and don't ride the bike. Cut up the frame and throw it away - or give it back to the person you bought it from. Let's face it, it's a death trap. If the frame looks like this, what is under the paint on the front fork?

Be safe everyone!

Cheers

Leon


Offline Domas

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #22 on: 31 May 2017 at 18:31 »
I could use parts :wink:

Offline andertheke

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #23 on: 04 Jun 2017 at 16:50 »
@cardan:
You said:"the rear stand pivots on a drop-down lug, as they did from 1915-on"

Do you know exactly the month of that change?


Offline cardan

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #24 on: 04 Jun 2017 at 22:09 »

No, sorry. The stand mounted on the rear axle lug was being used in late 1914 (say October) for the 1915 models, but of course stuff was happening at that time and I wouldn't claim that the 1914 pattern stopped abruptly to be replaced by the 1915 pattern. Presumably whatever was to hand went together.

Cheers

Leon

Offline oil baron

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #25 on: 05 Jun 2017 at 04:01 »
The Sunbeam MCC which runs the Pioneer Run or "The Brighton Run" for Veterans Motorcycles manufactured up to the end or Dec. 1914.  This cut off date was determined in 1938, when a system of Registration of the machine with the Sunbeam Club was adopted to ensure that the machine was a genuine veteran and not one of the large numbers of machines built in WW, which in many cases almost identical to the 1914 models of the particular manufacturer.  The Pioneer Run is only open to machines which are approved or registered with the Sunbeam Club.
When dating Douglas machines,  they used the rule in past and probably still do, that if the rear stand fixings are not mounted on the rear axle lug, the frame is deemed to be later than the end of 1914.  As Leon says it may not be clear cut as that and early 1915 models may well have have been made with the earlier type of rear stand fixing. There are lots of factors the Dating Committee have take into consideration, such has the frame correct, has it got the steering head support tube; the type of front forks fitted; is the oil sight glass the correct type, is the correct date as cast on the drive side of crankcase,  the number of fins on the cylinder barrels,  these are amongst some of the many pointers they use to determine whether a particular machine is eligible to run in the Pioneer Run. Its all about originality not how pretty or how good the restoration of the bike is. 
In Britain this cut off date of end of 1914 for determines whether a particular bike is classed as a veteran.  In other parts of the world, the term veteran covers machines built up to the end of 1918.
Hope this helps

SteveL
Steve L

Offline andertheke

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #26 on: 05 Jun 2017 at 07:45 »
I have learned that in most companies the business year began at 1st October and ended at 31th September. I do not know when this System began. There is indeed a propability that the change of that part of the bike has been established before the 1st of January 1915. This could be proved if anybody owns a Motor cycle newspaper from january 2015 or erlier with a picture of the Douglas.

Offline eddie

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #27 on: 05 Jun 2017 at 08:10 »
You are wasting your time being pedantic about when the stand mounting changed, as the majority of the frame is not of original manufacture - in all probability, most of the frame was manufactured closer to 2014 than 1914!

Regards,
              Eddie.

Offline cardan

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #28 on: 05 Jun 2017 at 09:50 »
I have learned that in most companies the business year began at 1st October and ended at 31th September. I do not know when this System began. There is indeed a propability that the change of that part of the bike has been established before the 1st of January 1915. This could be proved if anybody owns a Motor cycle newspaper from january 2015 or erlier with a picture of the Douglas.

Hi Peter,

I hope you understand that your bike is not a 1914 Douglas, regardless of the frame number. In fact, with that frame it's barely a motorcycle at all. See if you can find an early 1920s TS frame that is usable; at least then you could build a safe rideable bike. (Even if it had a complete 1914 frame in good condition the bike would never get a dating certificate with that motor, tank, etc.)

Cheers

Leon

Offline Chris

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Re: question: what year
« Reply #29 on: 05 Jun 2017 at 13:34 »
Just to throw in another contribution to the discussion as to what constitutes a veteran Douglas. Many machines went back to the factory for repair and repairs appeared to be made to the later and probably stronger design then current. Some machines that have a frame number that clearly indicates pre-1914 have had factory repair of the rear end of the frame with the rear stand pivot on a plate below the axle and this has disqualified them from a Pioneer Certificate. Chris.

 

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