Author Topic: New Member with Old Photos  (Read 11253 times)

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Offline Russ

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New Member with Old Photos
« on: 17 Jan 2012 at 10:08 »
I'm a virgin to the forum so please be gentle.  :lol:  Just wondering if you could help fill in some blanks.  Attached is a photo of my grandfather in 1926. I know absolutely squat about Douglas Motorbikes but how could you have a photo like this and not try to gather as much information as possible and what better way to start than this forum.  The information I have is sketchy.  His name is W.R.B. Reynolds and the photo was taken on Seven Mile Beach in Tasmania where I'm sure I was told he had an agency or was a distributor for the Douglas.  I do have better photos that I'd like to share later if interested however the other photos were sent to me via facebook so downloading from there is a bit of a technical challenge for me ( but when my son gets home, I'm all over it ). I wouldn't mind starting to gather some information about the bike if there is enough to go on with just this photo.



« Last Edit: 17 Jan 2012 at 19:30 by Dave »

Offline Doug

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Re: New Member with Old Photos
« Reply #1 on: 18 Jan 2012 at 03:22 »
Russ,

Piece of cake. It is a 1923-25 RA model. This was Douglas' racing OHV machine of the time. I would need a little better picture to narrow it down to a specific year!   :)

-Doug

Offline Russ

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Re: New Member with Old Photos
« Reply #2 on: 18 Jan 2012 at 05:23 »
Thanks a lot Doug.  Finally worked out how to get photos to here from Facebook.  So was this the 500cc Douglas and if so, would it have been capable of 100mph ?



« Last Edit: 23 Jan 2012 at 18:58 by Dave »

Offline Doug

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Re: New Member with Old Photos
« Reply #3 on: 18 Jan 2012 at 13:30 »
Russ,

The RA could be had in 350, 500, and 600cc displacements. By far most were 500cc models. Yes, they 500 would have been capable of topping 100mph. It is a great picture! From the frame details it can be narrowed down to a 1924-25 model. For racing it would not have been fitted with a rear parcel carrier, however this could have been easily added later to carry gear to and from the racing venue (if ridden to the event, as indicated by the horn and licence.) But, Douglas did offer a TW model which was an RA for the colonial markets (sort of a super-sports enthusiast machine) that was alledged to have a rear carrier, but no specific picture of one has been seen.

-Doug

Offline Russ

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Re: New Member with Old Photos
« Reply #4 on: 19 Jan 2012 at 01:05 »
Thanks again Doug.  The reason I was asking if it was capable of 100 mph is that on the back of both the photos above is 103.7 mph.  I just wanted to see if it was possible first.  As you may know in the Australian biking world there is a thing about who was the 1st to break 100 mph in Australia on a bike.  The world record in 1926 for a bike was only around 122mph so Im thinking that, although not official, this is in the ballpark and could be in with a shot. 

Below is another shot of my Grandfather taken in Tasmania.  This is a different bike isn't it ?  The guards, etc removed and side car added ?  rear sprocket ? 



« Last Edit: 23 Jan 2012 at 18:59 by Dave »

Offline graeme

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Re: New Member with Old Photos
« Reply #5 on: 19 Jan 2012 at 04:05 »
Doug,
I note that the RA pictured has different sized wheels - have you seen this before?
I now live near Seven Mile Beach - I must check it out.
Cheers, Graeme

Offline Doug

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Re: New Member with Old Photos
« Reply #6 on: 19 Jan 2012 at 04:32 »
Russ,

Hard to say, but my impression is this is not the same machine or even a Douglas. Front forks have certainly changed. There is some sort of rear brake on the right-hand side and no visible chain line.

Graeme, no I have not seen a smaller rear wheel fitted to an RA. Very peculiar.

-Doug

Offline cardan

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Re: New Member with Old Photos
« Reply #7 on: 19 Jan 2012 at 07:18 »
Hi Russ,

Great photos, and nice story so far. If you go to the NLA Trove site http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper you can search Tasmanian newspapers online. Attached is a teaser from the Hobart Mercury for Jan 3, 1925 - I'll leave you to dig out other treaures. Good luck.

Leon

« Last Edit: 23 Jan 2012 at 19:07 by Dave »

Offline eddie

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Re: New Member with Old Photos
« Reply #8 on: 19 Jan 2012 at 07:53 »
Hi All,
         Could this bike be a 1922 3hp Sports? It looks very similar to the ones being discussed in another current topic.
          Regards,
                       Eddie.

Offline graeme

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Re: New Member with Old Photos
« Reply #9 on: 19 Jan 2012 at 11:49 »
I reckon you are on the money here Eddie

Offline Russ

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Re: New Member with Old Photos
« Reply #10 on: 19 Jan 2012 at 22:32 »
Doug -  Thanks for the info so far.  Trouble is that family history can so easily be lost forever but my niece now has a keen interest in bikes and has just bought her first, so Im sure this information of our family history will live on. 
 
Leon - My earlier comment that I heard somewhere that my grandfather was an agent for Douglas was told to me possibly 30 years ago and I couldnt remember how much credibility I could put behind the statement. But there it is now in black and white, thanks Leon. I will certainly pursue this website.

Graeme I have other photos that Im sure you would be interested in.  Like this one below riding through the snow up around the Steppes on one of his Indians.  He grew up on a property called Hopevale in the midlands somewhere around Melton Mobray ( I think ).   I just have to get some time to dig them out, copy and download them.   ( I didnt break any law did I,  in posting another bike make on this forum ). 

Eddie - My knowledge of the Douglas is gradually growing and comparing the photo of my Grandfather above, to this photo of a 1922 3hp Sports below does, to me, as a complete novice, look very similar.
Ill be over in Southampton in July/Aug for 6 weeks and Ill be looking at taking in some bike rallies. Do you know of any around that time ? 





« Last Edit: 23 Jan 2012 at 19:02 by Dave »

Offline cardan

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Re: New Member with Old Photos
« Reply #11 on: 19 Jan 2012 at 23:57 »
Hi Russ,

How nice to be able to help with the family history.
I can add something to the "first to 100 mph in Australia" question: Jack Booth did a flying mile on an 8-valve Indian on the Gawler Road (north of Adelaide) at 102.8 mph on 7 October 1916. At the time it was feted as a "World's Record", but I assume it was a one-way run only, and was certainly hand timed, so I doubt it appears on the "official" list. It wasn't until January 1921 that A.N. Smith (Harley Davidson) exceeded 100 mph on Sellick's Beach, the site of most of our beach racing in SA. Your grandfather may not have been "first", but 103.7 mph, if it can be verified, is blindingly fast for any motorcycle on any surface in the 1920s.
Your grandfather's Indian is a Chief (or Big Chief) most likely 1924 with after-market wheel discs. Bit of a lapse of taste in comparison with the RA and Sports Douglases!

Leon

Offline Doug

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Re: New Member with Old Photos
« Reply #12 on: 20 Jan 2012 at 01:24 »
Quote from: Eddie
Could this bike be a 1922 3hp Sports?
You know, it could well be. It does have at the rear axle what looks like the Tommy-bar arrangements used on the 1922-23 Sports. Pity the engine are seems to be covered up with something.

-Doug

Offline Russ

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Re: New Member with Old Photos
« Reply #13 on: 20 Jan 2012 at 02:50 »
Don't know Doug but I'd say that he's covered the engine with a raincoat or similar to save the cleanup from racing around a muddy paddock.

That's great Leon.  You're right, he may not have been the first to 100mph and in reality it doesn't mean much anyway.  Why is 100 so much more important than 99 ?  Both speeds can kill ya !   I'm also sure that their methods of time measurement were always tweaked in their favour.

I just found that I already had a better shot of the Indian downloaded.  Were you right with your identification ?





« Last Edit: 23 Jan 2012 at 19:03 by Dave »

Offline cardan

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Re: New Member with Old Photos
« Reply #14 on: 20 Jan 2012 at 10:36 »
That's better. Balloon tyres and "half-pan" saddle = 1926.

(Just a small point of forum etiquette - if you have more non-Douglas photos, maybe start a new thread in the "Kingswood Pub" section of the forum. Keep the Douglas ones coming in this thread!)

Cheers

Leon

Offline Russ

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Re: New Member with Old Photos
« Reply #15 on: 25 Jan 2012 at 05:51 »
Good point Leon and I just read Daves thread above after the fact.  I never have been known for correct etiquette and always tend to learn the hard way.

Now where is that Kingswood Pub ?  My shout.


Offline Doug

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Re: New Member with Old Photos
« Reply #16 on: 25 Jan 2012 at 23:43 »
Russ,

The Kingswood Pub is in the same Category as this Douglas Motorcycles - General Discussion sub-forum.

It is the seventh one down from the top. As its description says, a good place for anything not quite Douglas that you think your fellow Douglas enthusiasts might take an interest in.

-Doug

 

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