Author Topic: On the road again soon!  (Read 7031 times)

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Offline KiwiJohn

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On the road again soon!
« on: 11 May 2004 at 04:11 »
In about 1982 I went on a work trip to London, from New Zealand, which was thought of as quite big deal at the time.  One of my workmates had a page from a motorcycle magazine with some London dealer advertising Douglas spares.

I don't think I had ever heard of a Douglas motor cycle at that time but I was keen enough to seek out the shop and get what he wanted.  He was looking for a handlebar magneto control handle but I am not sure why he thought it would be unique to Douglas.  Never mind though I got what he wanted and brought it back for him.  It would have been a happy story except when I got back to NZ I found the b#$@#%d at the shop had swapped a used control into the new box!

I saw my friend again about four years ago and he mentioned that I could have the Douglas if I wanted to restore it.  Of course I jumped at the chance and picked up the pieces. Although the bike was quite disassmbled fortunately the engine and gearbox had not been opened.  All numbers match and practically everything was there though a bit rusty, tank rusted through in places and chrome in poor condition.

New rims and spokes fixed the wheels and I cleaned and painted the rest,  the paint had been a rather hideous gold with green speckles that had never been clear coated and looked a mess.    With all chrome redone and repainted I got it reasembled into a rather smart looking bike that I actually got to ride around the block but not much further. There was just a little maron paint on the speedo drive box which I used to judge the colour.

When I got it going I found the engine to be as sick as a dog and petrol poured through both carbs, it was also very hard to start.

The mag has since been rebuilt and the carbs resleeved and float seats attended to,  we also found the valve clearance was set far too tight which explained the very poor power.  It also made smoke like  the Battle of Jultand.

The bike had taken a smack and the top of one fork tube severely bent which an earlier owner had 'repaired' by making an asymetrical top plate!
I have since repaired that as best as possible replacing the head bearings at the same time and resurfacing the oil seal surfaces on the leading links.


All parts I needed came from the London Douglas Motor Cycle Club which I recommend to all Douglas owners.

It was clear the engine needed a bit more work which is now making good progress, I am just today looking for a crankshaft oil seal which is pretty much the end of the job I trust.

It should be all together again soon and maybe ready for a real run this summer!

The bike was last on the road in 1965 and I have the original registration papers which shows it was registered in NZ in November 1951, the club tells me it was assembled late in August that year but the factory records do not record it as having been sold!  So of course it might have been stolen from the factory but a more likely explanation is that some Kiwi on his great "overseas adventure" bought the bike directly from the factory and had it shipped home hence not showing in the usual factory shipping records.

Interestingly enough the original owner lived in a rural part of the country where gravel roads would have been the norm and this bike is fitted with an air cleaner and woffle box exhaust.  Perhaps he specifically asked for these and the air cleaner in particular would have been a very good idea for his environment.


John

Offline Dave

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On the road again soon!
« Reply #1 on: 19 Nov 2004 at 01:58 »
Hello John!

How's that machine coming along? Have you got it on the road yet?

Dave

Offline KiwiJohn

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On the road again soon!
« Reply #2 on: 21 Nov 2004 at 07:37 »
Hi Dave

There has been a rather strong conflict of priorities that has delayed the engine work though I am ever hopeful of getting on to it 'soon'.  :lol:

The weather was so warm today I was wishing it was not still a pile of bits so the incentive is there!

John

Offline alwyn

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Your 80 Plus
« Reply #3 on: 21 Nov 2004 at 09:34 »
Hi John,
We don't seem to have had any photos of your 80 Plus machine yet - if you have some photos taken before or during the restoration I'm sure they would be interesting to us and all viewers - if so, e-mailing them to photos@douglasmotorcycles.net for publication would be appreciated.
Cheers,
Alwyn
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Quotable Quote - "640 k should be enough for anybody"! - Bill Gates - 1981.

Offline KiwiJohn

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On the road again soon!
« Reply #4 on: 22 Nov 2004 at 02:06 »
Hi Alwyn
I thought I had done that and was wondering why the never appeared.  I will find some and send.

John

Offline alwyn

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On the road again soon!
« Reply #5 on: 02 Dec 2004 at 05:53 »
Quote from: "KiwiJohn"
Hi Alwyn
I thought I had done that and was wondering why the never appeared.  I will find some and send. John


My apologies John - I changed my e-mail client to Outlook at about the time you sent the photos and some how in the transition they escaped my notice - I have now located them and am about to publish them - they will appear in the Members' Gallery very soon.
Alwyn
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Quotable Quote - "640 k should be enough for anybody"! - Bill Gates - 1981.

Offline KiwiJohn

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On the road again soon!
« Reply #6 on: 02 Dec 2004 at 08:17 »
Thanks Alwyn,  I hope they are of interest to the forum members.