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Douglas 1915 3 Spd-Gearbox and Clutch

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Carby and magneto levers for early 2 3/4

Started by cardan, 06 Jan 2014 at 00:38

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cardan

I've been quite interested in Douglas handlebar levers lately. Sad, isn't it?

Anyway, I have come across a small collection of Douglas/AMAC/Bowden levers of the type used on early 2 3/4s, say in the veteran era. The first picture shows a couple of these, with quite a small body, a spacer shaped to fit the handlebar, and a single bolt to hold it in place. My understanding is that these levers were a Bowden design, licensed to AMAC who sold them with their carburettors. Since early Douglases used AMAC carbs, this double lever is what I would call a "veteran Douglas lever". However I don't have access to much early Douglas literature, so can someone confirm?

Now to the questions:

1. Did Douglas ever use this lever with the handlebar clamp (rather than the single bolt though a hoe drilled through the handlebar)?

2. What magneto lever was used on Douglases of the 1913-14 period? There was a matching single lever made by AMAC/Bowden designed to be inward-opening on the left bar (for the magneto advance/retard), but other than the one in the second photo I have never seen another! If they were commonly used by Douglas, I would have expected to see more at 40 years of swap meets...

Thanks

Leon




Black Sheep

#1
Here's a view of the advance/retard lever on my 1913 2 3/4.



Hutch

I'm away from my computer at the moment, but I seem to remember a one page advert for Bowden controls in Dec 1914 (????) in "The Motor Cycle" (if my memory serves me correctly?), you may be able to look this up if you have digital copy of it. It shows some of the period variations of the Bowden Wire controls. There is a catalogue "The Bowden Book" which was avail. in 1914 and 1920 I seem to remember. That would be a fantastic reference book to get, but my searches have so far only uncovered  three copies in libraries.....and they are a long way away!

cheers

Ian


cardan

#3
Thanks you two.

The 1913 Douggie looks pretty original, and has the "barrel" AMAC levers bolted to the bars for the throttle, and a "pancake" Bowden (?) lever for the mag, also bolted through the bars. I've done quite a lot of riding on a 1915-ish 2 3/4 that seems pretty original, and it has the same mag lever, but a double "pancake" lever bolted to the bars for the throttle. I suspect all these levers were Bowden, or made under Bowden license.

What a memory Ian - Bowden advert below. [Don't know why I used July in the file name when it is clearly Nov 1914.] There were quite a number of levers available, either sold to the public by Bowden or built to order by companies like Douglas.

Still interested to hear if anyone has seen early levers clamped rather than bolted, or if the "barrel" magneto lever was ever seen on a Douglas.

Leon


Frank Lyn

The carburetor lever in the second picture (with a clamp) is as-found on my 1910 C.  The peculiar barrel catches the eye.  Also Pulling the cable Closes the throttle or air valve and slack opens them.  There was no magneto lever since it was directly controlled with a lever on the magneto cam box.   

Hutch

Thanks for the kind comments on my memory Leon, unfortunately these days it is more usually like early onset alzheimers :-) !!

cardan

#6
The barrel type lever was used by AMAC for years: according to the AMAC book it was the "standard" double lever until 1923, when the "pancake" style took over as standard. See the illustration below. I've ONLY seen the barrel style used with AMAC carbies, but a lever just sold on eBay http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/301055022802 that was labelled "Bowden Licence AMAC". Maybe there was a Bowden version of the lever that Douglas used with their salt-and-pepper-shaker carby? Not sure when it first arrived - levers were moving onto the bars in 1910 when you bike was made Frank.

Looking at photos of restored bikes, it might be that Douglas went to the pancake lever (No. 413 above) for the throttle/air in about 1915, but I reckon anything that opened and closed would have been fair game during the war!

Re the ignition lever on the left bar: has anyone seen the barrel lever in use there? Or always the pancake style?

Leon






graeme

Hi Leon
Levers 413 and 403 are fitted to my 1914 3 1/2hp outfit, which came to my dad in very original - though incredibly rough! - condition. And yes, Douglas carburettor levers work opposite to most as Frank mentions.
Cheers, Graeme

cardan


Thanks Graeme. That fits in well with the 1914-15 2 3/4 I mentioned above. Bolt through the bars on the 3 1/2?

Black Sheep's 1913 2 3/4 has a similar/identical mag lever (403) and the barrel throttle/air.

There might be some overlap, but I reckon these two combinations (403 mag lever, with barrel levers 1913-14 or 413 pancake levers 1914-15) might cover most of the bikes 1913-15, and probably through the war as well.

Any other suggestions?

Leon

graeme

Indeed, bolt through bars on the 3 1/2 Leon

Hutch

#10
Hi Leon,

Earlier this year I had a bit of time to look at some period photos of 2 3/4 Dougies on the internet. Most of the ones I was interested in were WW1  dispatch rider bikes, particularly the ones where the approximate date of the photo was known. I looked to see if the control levers were clamped to the handlebar or were bolt through. In some of the pictures I thought I saw a clamp, but then, after looking at the 1925 Parts Lists I realised that some  handlebars were reinforced/larger diameter where the controls were attached. With this in mind I revisited the period pictures and it appeared all but one were in fact bolt through (though sometimes hard to pick on fuzzy old photos) and that one was a magneto lever. So for the WW1 period I would guess that they were mostly supplied with bolt through control levers?. I would also guess from the 1925 parts list that bikes with AMAC carbies were supplied with AMAC made under license levers and the rest with Bowden ones??

Cheers

Ian






George Kulisiewicz

#11
I have included a few pictures of the handlebars on my 1913 Douglas... I know the controls are more modern and don't belong but there are no holes in my handlebars to accommodate the original style levers ... can anyone tell me or identify if these handlebars are original or not? They are definitely old and seem to lol like they could be ... maybe different models?  Also just to confirm... where would I be able to locate a number on the bike or engine to be certain the bike is a 13' . Thanks George










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cardan

No, I think not Douglas. But they're old and interesting so worth contemplating what you want to do with them. As they've been on the bike for a good while, should they stay, or be replaced with the "proper" Douglas item? And if they stay, do you drill for Douglas levers or use period clamp-on items?

Definitely best to find out what you've got first... Frame number should be stamped prominently into the frame lug near the gearbox, and the engine number - usually similar to but not the same as the frame number - is on top of the cases. Then off to the id page https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/html/identify-part1/veteran3.6.htm

Cheers

Leon