Author Topic: 1915 Douglas Models  (Read 1344 times)

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Offline ianpenrose

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1915 Douglas Models
« on: 31 Oct 2020 at 06:14 »
I have read Douglas made a model U, model V and model W in 1915. All were 2 3/4hp with either 2 or 3 speed gearboxes. The model W had the woman’s frame. Can anyone tell me the difference between the models U and V?
What model is the attached photo. Ian Penrose Western Australia

Offline cardan

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #1 on: 31 Oct 2020 at 07:11 »
Hi Ian,

The Model U came with no name, but featured valanced mudguards front and rear, foot boards, and "sit up" handlebars. The Model V was the "Light Touring Model" and had plain bladed mudguards, two pairs of footrests, and dropped handlebars. Both were two-speed-no-clutch.

To fully understand the bike in the photo we'd need the frame and engine numbers. The frame is certainly 1915 or later. The rest looks pretty OK for 1914-1915-ish: only the saddle is (for me) a "must change". It is extremely rare these days to see a veteran Douglas exactly to catalogue spec: even very original bikes (particularly in the UK) went though wartime/postwar rebuilds.

Cheers

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #2 on: 31 Oct 2020 at 07:31 »
The model W had the woman’s frame.

For the record, the 1914-15 ladies' ("Open Frame") model was the Model X. The Model W was something like a Model U, but with two-speed box, clutch and kick start.

Leon

Offline Hutch

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #3 on: 31 Oct 2020 at 08:07 »
Ian and Leon,

From the 1915 Preliminary List "Douglas 1915 Improvements" (curtesy of Doug K.) the model U was a touring model with footboards and 2 or 3 speed, no clutch. It had valanced mudguards front and rear. The model V had dropped handlebars, 2 or 3 speed, no clutch, footrests and non-valanced mudguards (the 2 speed model would be more or less your "typical" 1915 dispatch rider bike). The model W was the top of the range, 3 speed, clutch, footboards and valanced guards and the model X was the ladies model which in 1915 was the same spec. as the model W (the 1914 model X being 2 speed with clutch).

Although 3 speeds were offered in the preliminary list for 1915, I don't think many 3 speeds were made between 1915 and 1919 - maybe less than 600 or so?


The carrier and a few other items on the bike in the picture don't look 100% original for 1915.

cheers

Hutch

Offline ianpenrose

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #4 on: 31 Oct 2020 at 10:28 »
Thanks Doug and Hutch for your replies.
Engine number 27455 Frame number 27114.

Offline cardan

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #5 on: 31 Oct 2020 at 11:38 »
Both somewhere late 1915 or early 1916.

https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/html/identify-part1/veteran3.6.htm

The rear carrier is one of a couple of styles that were used in this era.

Leon

Offline ianpenrose

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #6 on: 01 Nov 2020 at 06:36 »
Leon, you say the saddle is a must change. What does an original saddle look like? I am familiar with the later  vintage TS saddles with the front leaf spring attached to the frame but have no idea what should be on this 1915 veteran.
Ian P.

Offline cardan

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #7 on: 02 Nov 2020 at 00:58 »
Hi Ian,

The original saddle c1915-16 would have been either a Lycett or Brooks pan saddle. Both are pillar mounted, but the on the Lycett the rods from the saddle pan to the bottom of the in-tension springs run outside the spring, before bending at 90 degrees to attach to the bottom of the spring. This design is to circumvent the Brooks patent where the rod ran down the middle of the spring. Almost always on Brooks saddles there is small compression spring inside the in-tension spring.

Not sure what the saddle on the bike in the photo is, but certainly "veteran Douglas inappropriate"!

Cheers

Leon

Offline ianpenrose

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #8 on: 02 Nov 2020 at 02:33 »
Hi Leon
Thanks for the detailed photos. The bike should be delivered to me here in WA on Wednesday so I can have a closer look at the seat. Looks like a vintage style bicycle seat from EBay to me. Will  do me until I can get the correct one for 30 shillings as advertised.
Does anyone have photos of the seat frame without the cover. Looks like I could fabricate a close approximation if I g gg ad a bit more detail.
Cheers
Ian P

Offline Alan

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #9 on: 02 Nov 2020 at 03:03 »
The attached seat support came in a box of Duggie parts ( some quite old) many years ago but never able to identify what and date...maybe fitted to an early model ????

Offline Rob

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #10 on: 02 Nov 2020 at 03:34 »
Ian,

I think this is the Brooks B170 seat frame.



Rob

Offline cardan

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #11 on: 02 Nov 2020 at 09:28 »
The attached seat support came in a box of Duggie parts ( some quite old) many years ago but never able to identify what and date...maybe fitted to an early model ????

Hi Alan,

What you have there is the remains of a Brooks B175 - pretty much a B170 with an extra linkage and spring under the nose. It was not in the 1916 Brooks catalogue, but was in the 1919 edition, so it came out sometime late-war.

Cheers

Leon

Offline ianpenrose

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #12 on: 02 Nov 2020 at 12:53 »
Thanks everyone,
All these illustrations are great thanks but now I am really confused. So many models of Saddles. Which model would have been fitted to a 1915 Douglas? Before I start trying to fabricate one does anybody have a suitable one or even a frame for sale? I see on EBay that Brooks still make cycle saddles. Do they do replicas of their old motorbike saddles?
Cheers Ian P

Offline arturro

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #13 on: 02 Nov 2020 at 13:10 »

Offline Hutch

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #14 on: 02 Nov 2020 at 22:03 »
Ian,

1915 was the second year of WW1 and supply chains were in a state of chaos. Douglas had big contracts to fill for the war effort and were also still trying to supply bikes to the public (they were stopped from doing this in 1916 or so).

I think Douglas would have fitted any saddle they could lay their hands on at the time. Attached is a picture of the Douglas factory from the Mortons archives from March 1915. This was published in The Classic Motorcycle Dec 2014. It is a great picture showing what appear to be a few 1914 and most likely some 1915 model Douglii awaiting to be completed. They are missing many of the bought in components, i.e. tyres, saddles etc and as reported in the TCM article - magnetos (for obvious reasons as Douglas would have supplied Bosch  prior to the war).

Also attached is the saddle shown in the 1916 The Handbook of the Douglas Motorcycle (It shows a 1915 engine in the parts sections so I am assuming the saddle may also date from 1915 - but it could be 1916?). Not sure what brand it is as it is hard to read in the picture, but some features appear to be slightly different to the Lycett or Brooks equivalent.

So I think you would be safe to use any period seat post mount pan saddle or good replica from the major manufacturers of the time, but as Leon said earlier they were probably most likely from Lycett or Brooks. There were a few other brands as well in that period as well to choose from and they occasionally turn up on ebay.

Quite a few "blind eyes" were turned on patent infringements in WW1 and I'm sure there could have been some Lycett and Brooks copies made for the war effort. There is an interesting story behind the Bosch magneto patents in WW1 in the US if one has time to look into it.......

I had no luck finding out if Brooks are going to remanufacture motorcycle saddles when I looked a few years ago (I think I sent them an email but cannot recall getting a reply - or if I did it was in the negative) - would be good if they did!

Cheers

Hutch

« Last Edit: 02 Nov 2020 at 22:51 by Hutch »

Offline cardan

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #15 on: 02 Nov 2020 at 23:16 »
The "1915-1916 Douglas saddle" in Ian's post above is badged "La Grande", one of the models made by Lycett. They also toyed with the "Lyco" brand.

There were a few UK saddle manufacturers in the period, but the big players were Brooks and Lycett, with XL All a long way third, and some minor makers like Middlemore and Lamplugh. All had leather-covered-steel-pan saddles, which by 1915 were fitted to almost all full-sized motorcycles. Douglas usually shows Lycett (with the support rod outside the coil spring) in the catalogue, but there are photos and survivors with Brooks saddles. Any British-made pan saddle from the era would not look out of place.

Cheers

Leon

Offline Hutch

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #16 on: 02 Nov 2020 at 23:42 »
Well spotted Leon, "La Grande" it is !. Something new learnt for today :-).

I have a circa 1919 XL All in very poor condition but I may get around to restoring it one day - They are easy to pick due to the way the springs are arranged. I guess they did that to get around the Lycett and Brooks patents.....

Cheers

Hutch

Offline RockDr.

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #17 on: 05 Nov 2020 at 01:19 »
Hi Ian I'm guessing you are chasing something like this Brooks style base

Offline RockDr.

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #18 on: 05 Nov 2020 at 01:21 »
Underside

Offline ianpenrose

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #19 on: 05 Nov 2020 at 05:09 »
Hi Dr Rock, Yes that looks like what people on this forum are telling me should be on the bike.

Offline ianpenrose

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #20 on: 05 Nov 2020 at 05:18 »
The bike arrived yesterday. Metallic clinking when started. Drive chain side was just touching the flywheel. Pulled off the flywheel and found there was no Distance collar for Sprocket part number 571. Found “ The Douglas”  in raised letters and1915 stamped on the casting behind the flywheel.

Offline cardan

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Re: 1915 Douglas Models
« Reply #21 on: 12 Nov 2020 at 05:54 »
Hi Ian,

Hope you're enjoying the bike. Carriers were mentioned above: here's a page from Doug Frost's little booklet on Douglas models showing the 1916 offerings. Notice that the funny carrier on your bike - a bit 1914 and a bit 1916 - is the same as the one fitted to the middle bike.

Cheers

Leon