Author Topic: Buying a Pioneer Douglas — advice please  (Read 963 times)

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Offline SteveC

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Buying a Pioneer Douglas — advice please
« on: 28 Apr 2020 at 15:41 »
 Hello everyone. Pleased to meet you. I'm a newbie and I'm hoping you brand experts will give me some help

Many years ago I was allowed to ride a 1913 Douglas I didn't own in the Pioneer Run and then in the Graham Walker Run. It confirmed what I'd been told by influential adults all my life — that Douglases re special.

Ever since those days (mid-1980s) I've thought about buying my own Pioneer Douglas, but either not got around to it or missed buying the right bike by a hair's breadth. I've just had a big birthday and now's the time to get serious. Or I'll never do it, which would be a pity.
Here's my request...

I'd like to know the most suitable Pioneer Douglas model for me. I'm a bloke of 6'1" and around 15 1/2 stone. I know I could go for something with a bigger engine, but I'm not interested in them. I like the Douglas for all the reasons you do: history, docility, simplicity, smoothness. Besides, the 2 3/4hp bike I borrowed was fine.

I get the feeling I should be looking for a 1912-onwards bike with engine lower in the frame, and a mechanical inlet valve. But is there more to it than that? Please tell. I want this bike to take me on some nice adventures over the next few years: Pioneer, Graham Walker, Banbury and local events.

Last thing: does anyone have a suitable machine they want to sell? I'm a cash buyr (once lockdown is over). Needs a Pioneer certificate and to be totally healthy, though previous experience with a concours bike (Vincent) leads me away from those. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards, all
SteveC

Offline Black Sheep

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Re: Buying a Pioneer Douglas — advice please
« Reply #1 on: 29 Apr 2020 at 15:36 »
I ride a 1913 2 3/4 Douglas regularly. It's great! However I'm a measly 11 stone and 5' 8". You may possibly find one a bit small and underpowered. Depends on where you live - where I am there are lots of hills but it nearly always copes...   

Offline SteveC

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Re: Buying a Pioneer Douglas — advice please
« Reply #2 on: 29 Apr 2020 at 15:55 »
Many thanks Black Sheep. Greetings from Gloucestershire. Does your bike have the mechanical inlet engine? I'm just wondering if the atmo inlet version would move me (I know where there's one for sale). The bike I rode is like yours, I think, so even though so I'm so damned heavy, I think it'd cope. Are you selling, or commenting? Best wishes, SteveC

Offline cardan

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Re: Buying a Pioneer Douglas — advice please
« Reply #3 on: 30 Apr 2020 at 00:27 »
The atmospheric version will carry you along on the flat, but probably expire on anything resembling a hill. However the early models usually come with a big plus: pedals! If you can pedal, it will climb. Bicycle training helps.

Cheers

Leon

Offline SteveC

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Re: Buying a Pioneer Douglas — advice please
« Reply #4 on: 30 Apr 2020 at 08:37 »
Thanks, Leon. Valuable info. I've been wondering if an atmo bike would move me.
Best wishes, SteveC

Offline eddie

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Re: Buying a Pioneer Douglas — advice please
« Reply #5 on: 30 Apr 2020 at 08:58 »
In the 'Douglas' video, Ray Cordy tells of how he won a shield for riding an automatic inlet valve Douglas from his home in Bristol to Portland Bill, then on up to Gretna Green, and back to Liverpool (over 400 miles in 24 hours), and then completed 2 laps of the original TT course (Peel to St Johns and back) at an average speed of 39 mph.

   Eddie.

Offline SteveC

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Re: Buying a Pioneer Douglas — advice please
« Reply #6 on: 01 May 2020 at 15:35 »
Thanks Eddie,
I'll see if I can find it. Thanks for the info and best wishes
SteveC

Offline Black Sheep

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Re: Buying a Pioneer Douglas — advice please
« Reply #7 on: 10 May 2020 at 09:07 »
Mine, well in fact, my wife's is not for sale - it's too much fun! The lack of clutch and minimalist brakes mean that you learn a completely new riding style. Anticipation is everything.
A year or two back one was ridden in the Cannonball run. An interesting tale but not something I would recommend. 

Offline SteveC

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Re: Buying a Pioneer Douglas — advice please
« Reply #8 on: 13 May 2020 at 14:35 »
Too bad, but thanks. And enjoy it!

Offline DJS

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Re: Buying a Pioneer Douglas — advice please
« Reply #9 on: 13 May 2020 at 16:31 »
Verralls currently have a 1911 Model D for sale Steve if that’s of any interest to you?
It’s not cheap though at 17k!!

Offline Black Sheep

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Re: Buying a Pioneer Douglas — advice please
« Reply #10 on: 14 May 2020 at 08:08 »
Car and Classic has this one: https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1211510 £10,000.

Offline cardan

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Re: Buying a Pioneer Douglas — advice please
« Reply #11 on: 14 May 2020 at 10:09 »
Car and Classic has this one: https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1211510 £10,000.

Some very nice "veteran-ish" parts on the bike: it looks earlier than the 1920 date given, but overall it doesn't look like something that the Sunbeam Club would let loose on the London to Brighton.

However there is another Douglas on C&C that might do the trick: https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1159288

A number of rogue bits on this one, and a shortage of close-up photos, but the engine is 1912 and the frame pre-1915, so a Pioneer Certificate may be no problem. But don't quote me on that! Seat, handlebar levers, footboards etc could be tidied up as you go...

Best to verify engine, frame and gearbox numbers as a fist step.

Cheers

Leon

Offline SteveC

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Re: Buying a Pioneer Douglas — advice please
« Reply #12 on: 27 May 2020 at 15:54 »
Cheers, Leon. Very helpful and best wishes, SteveC