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Introduction and Information Please

Started by mattb31daytona, 13 Feb 2007 at 22:30

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My name is Matt and I have just registered. I am a classic bike owner and regular rider with the VMCC in Northamptonshire. My current on the road stable consists of 1947 Speed Twin,1947 B31,1953 Matchless G3LS,1961 Twenty One and 1970 Daytona - all these bikes are good to very good condition and in use each week.

This weekend I will be adding a 1947/8 Douglas T35S ( I believe it will be a Mk 3) which is cosmetically good + known faults a slipping clutch and no doubt when I get it home a good few other things as it has been sitting around for a good few years so I am unable to road test it - Is it only a fool who buys a classic blind - I hope not.

I would be very grateful for any information regarding what I should be looking out for it recommissioning this machine as I have never owned or even ridden a Douglas before. Also whilst I have obtained an original 1948 Douglasoperationand maintenance handbook of 75 pages is there a source for other manuals if so what should I be looking out for.

I will try and submit a photo and other info in due course but would be interested in making contact with other owners living in the Northants Bedfordshire areas and maybe you would even like to meet up on one of our local "East Northants Classic Motorcycle Club" rides.

Best Regards,


PS anyone got an idea of the current price of these machines.


Dear Matt,
Welcome to the Douglas web site and welcome as a new owner of a Douglas machine!
Hopefully over time you will realise what you have been missing from your fine classic stable and keep hold of your new purchase.
Your first port of call should be to register with the London Douglas Motorcycle Club via Reg Holmes
From there, you may access spare parts from Eddie Turner and also correct dating of your machine.

If you look on the left side of your headstock on the tube running down from the headstock (toward the top) to the lower left frame rail, you will find your model and engine number stamped.
Look on the crankcases on the left side just below the magneto platform and you will find the engine number.
This may or may not match the frame number by now.
From this we can give you further info as to what you have.

Next, if you can post some pictures, your bike can be identified as to correct parts for the year.
Most parts on the post war series are interchangeable so mods may have been made over the years.
The colour scheme of the paint and things like correct toolboxes, mudguard's & subframes can be identified for you.

Slipping clutch is no real problem. They are a car type and it will probably be worn friction plate or the oil seal at the back of the crank or both!
I have one in the garage the same at the moment. I covered 2K miles on it last year though. I rode from Huddersfield to Portsmouth and the clutch started slipping near Oxford on the way down. I made it to portsmouth and all the way back to Huddersfield.
Took it easy and as long as I did not rev it through the gears and backed off the throttle when the engine note picked up she continued happily.
I kept it between 55 and 60 all the way home!

To access the clutch the engine and gearbox will have to come out and be split.

These bikes are great, even for touring. At 60 on the M1 everything goes past you.
Don't let people tell you old bikes are no good for modern traffic. It is only the rider who maybe unwilling these days.

As for the prices of these machines, you are probably the best placed to comment as you just bought one!
For UK, prices have been moving back up steadily for a while now.
You can find anything from £1,000 to £3,500 depending on condition.
1 to 1.5K will get a restoration project.
2 to 2.5 oily rag to good restored and 3 to 3.5K mint, correct and original parts for the year. (in my opinion)

There are many enthusiasts that can help you on this site.
Give a little more information and pictures and you will be enlightened!

Best regards




Hi Matt,
             Welcome to the Douglas Clan in this the Centenary year for the marque.       
           As Tom has already said, the clutch slip may be due to oil on the plate - it could also be caused by lack of clearance on the release bearing. Fist of all, take off the small inspection plate on the left hand side of the clutch belhousing and check there is some free movement on the lever operated by the clutch cable. If this is not the problem, then oil is probably the culprit. A quick and effective 'dodge' is to block the drain hole in the bottom of the bellhousing, pour in about ½ a pint of petrol, lift the clutch and operate the kickstart a good few times. This will wash most of the oil off the plate. Then drain out the petrol again. If this does the trick, make sure you give the release bearing a couple of shots of grease - in case you have dried that out - before replacing the cover. Whilst this is a quick fix, several owners have found it to be quite a long lasting remedy!!
          Membership of the London Douglas MCC will give you access to our spares scheme - we stock most of the parts needed to keep your bike on the road.


Thanks Tommy and Eddie for such quick and informative replies I am indebted to you already.

Unfortunately I am not an owner of the T35 yet, it will depend if the seller is prepared to be a little flexible on his price as the bike will (on his description) certainly need stripping down in order to replace the clutch plate. He has just sent me a rather basic photograph in an e-mail and it seems in fact, from other pictures I have seen, to in fact be a standard T35 with DOUGLAS embossed on the Rocker Covers, it's in pretty good nick according to what I am told and can see from photo(but don't photo's lie now they are digital cameras). I will certainly be negotiating as from your replies it should not be too much trouble to get the parts for repairs, which was my greatest concern - I will just have to learn to wield a big spanner.

Notwithstanding that I might not actually end up owning a Douglas, my sister did in fact buy her husband a 1948 T35S from North Norfolk Motorbike Museum last month, hence my sudden interest in the marque he has joined the Douglas Owners Club and just received his first copy of "con rod ?". I assume this is the same club that you refer to or should he join the London Douglas Club as well? Currently they don't have access to the internet otherwise I would certainly be telling him to get registered here - perhaps however I can become a go between and get some information about his bike posted anyway.

Once again thanks for the info and if anyone else has anything to add it would be appreciate.

Now all I have to do is put on my negotiating hat and see if I end up with a Douglas at the weekend.....fingers crossed!


PS In my response (14th Feb) to Tommy and Eddies reply to my Introduction in
the general discussion group introduction. I mentioned the fact that my
sister had however bought her husband what I thought was a T35S - well I
hope I have managed to attach photos herewith.

Matt's photos appear below....

Larger View

Larger view


Hi Matt. The "Douglas Owners Club" that your brother in law joined is in fact the London Douglas Motor Cycle Club Ltd. and their Journal, published every other month, is entitled "The New Conrod". I am not an expert on the Mark series but the photos shown look more like a Mark 3 Sports with up and over exhaust systems. However, if it is 1948 it is probably a T35 Mark 1 with modifications. Chris.


Hi all,
Matt's brother-in-law has provided the following information by email.

Quotechassis number T35/S/1093 engine number T35/S/1266 in youe expert opinions does this look right.
thanks Alan B

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


This motorcycle is already listed in the LDMCC Machine Register as a 1948 Mk 1. The registration number is also listed. Chris