Author Topic: Basic question about Douglas motorcycles  (Read 9911 times)

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Offline thesloth

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Basic question about Douglas motorcycles
« on: 23 Jul 2008 at 13:03 »
Very Nave question, but I am a newcomer to motorcycling and although I have owned several ancient cars I have not yet owned any old bikes.   I am hoping to rectify this situation as soon as possible.

So in short, do you think a Douglas would make a nice first British bike? To me machinery from the 1930's is usually the most beautiful and appealing but with no experience of ridgid frame/girder fork machines would this be running before I can walk..?

The post-war pre-Dragonfly bikes also look beautiful but I have heard it suggested that the rear-torsion bar system leads to rather a bouncy ride which sounds scary.

Or maybe the sloth is just being a chicken and it should suck it and see.

Any tips would be very gratefully received.


Thank you so much in advance.
Sloth



Offline sidecar willy

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Re: Basic question about Douglas motorcycles
« Reply #1 on: 23 Jul 2008 at 15:25 »
There are so many machines out there to choose from...yes the Douglas are a great bike  and you certainly would not go wrong...that is assuming you know what to look for in terms of condition...but so are Norton, BSAs, Triumphs, AJS ...the list is endless. It's whatever takes your fancy and your budget and depends if you wish a restored bike or one that needs work. Place a wanted advert in this website...and you may find someone to sell you a machine.

Regarding rigid frames and girder forks...are part of the era and development of machines. But they do handle, you only have to read accounts of speeds those machines achieved as well as timings in race circuits. Yes...further developments of frames with telescopic forks and swinging arms shockers etc made handling and comfort better. If you are seeking a 30s machine...and I do agree the era produced some fine machines...but dont put down earlier machines..they have their beauty too, just like the Dragonfly of the 50s.

Offline MRD

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Re: Basic question about Douglas motorcycles
« Reply #2 on: 23 Jul 2008 at 18:50 »
Welcome Sloth

I may be bias but all Dougie's are great, Any one you choose you will have pros and con of all models. But you will find this with any make .

As to the Dragonfly, whoever told you about the rear suspension must have their information confused. Yes Douglas did build a post war bike with torsion-bar but that was the "Mark" series (1948 - 1954).
The Dragonfly which was built after the "Mark" had Conventional damper type rear suspension. With a leading link front suspension with similar damper units to the rear.

Neither of these models had a "bouncy" ride.

What ever model you decide upon, I think you will enjoy it.
Regards       Martin

Offline graeme

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Re: Basic question about Douglas motorcycles
« Reply #3 on: 23 Jul 2008 at 23:08 »
I have no experience in riding post-war Douggies, but have heard enough to know that the Mark series machines handle very well. As for pre-war machines, once the frames were beefed up in the late 20s, the handling is absolutely superb. I wouldn't be at all worried about starting out on a late 20s or 30s rigid/girder machine - they are very easy to ride. And yes a Douglas is certainly a good choice - but then I am somewhat biased here! :D

Offline Ian

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Re: Basic question about Douglas motorcycles
« Reply #4 on: 24 Jul 2008 at 05:18 »
It also depends on what you want to use your machine for. Even the earlier 2 3/4 hp Douglas is a delightful machine to ride - just wouldn't want to try to cover long distances on it. If the rallies, etc you would be using it on are in the 100km range then no problems. Going back even earlier the veterans were actually quite advanced and great things to ride.

Offline thesloth

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Re: Basic question about Douglas motorcycles
« Reply #5 on: 24 Jul 2008 at 11:38 »
Chaps,

Thank you all for your excellent advice. Having a friendly and enthusiastic owners group for an old vehicle is a great plus point for a Marque, and Douglas certainly seems to have that.

Douglas goes to the top of my wish list, relegating Velocettes and New-Imperials to second and third place.

All the best for now.

Sloth

Offline pjondeck

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Re: Basic question about Douglas motorcycles
« Reply #6 on: 24 Jul 2008 at 23:20 »
As the owner of a 1948 MK3S and proud to say considered by the riders at the Australian Centenary Rally 2007 to be the "Most Desirable Bike" at that rally, I thought I should make a contribution to the topic.
I have a BSA B31, BSA Y13 and an SS80 Brough Superior. I'm not as young as I like to think I am and if the arthritis is a consideration in the choosing of which bike to ride, the Dougy comes up trumps every time. After a day on the MK3S I can step off and feel no pain! It is the most fun bike that I have ridden. True it's only 350cc and you spend a bit of time shuffling gears, an aspect that I actually enjoy. After the big V twins I find the 350 drops the bundle a bit on the hills. On the flat though, it will sit on 60mph no worries and the exhaust note is just delightful. It is free of vibration and so, so easy to start. I would be happy to provide any assitance I can if you aquire one. I am obviously unbiassed about the Dougy as you can see!!!


 
 
« Last Edit: 25 Jul 2008 at 22:08 by Dave »

Offline Ian

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Re: Basic question about Douglas motorcycles
« Reply #7 on: 24 Jul 2008 at 23:36 »
I am obviously unbiassed about the Dougy as you can see!!!
Of course you are unbiased Peter - just looking at the big grin on your face every time we see you ride it says you are quite impartial.  :wink:

Offline trevorp

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Re: Basic question about Douglas motorcycles
« Reply #8 on: 27 Jul 2008 at 06:50 »
You can tell a happy douglas rider by the number of insects in teeth, im told count them at the end of a ride lol
If you dont smile when riding its not enjoyment