Douglas Motorcycles

Douglas Motorcycles 1920s

Articles from period magazines and sales brochures covering many of the Douglas models produced during the roaring twenties.

A report on the 1924 Motor Cycle Show reads, in part:

DOUGLAS. Stand 37.

It is claimed that there are over 85,000 2 (1/2?) h.p. Douglases on the road to-day, this being the type and size of Douglas machine which was introduced in 1908,16 years ago, and which has ever since been held in high favour by users of motor cycles all over the world. A machine of this type will naturally be one of the outstanding features of the stand, and another model which may perhaps be described as a development from the first one is equipped with three-speed all-chain drive and several improvements, most important of which perhaps is the new exhaust system and silencer which consists of two tubes leading from the cylinder into a large section exhaust pipe with flat end. Visitors to the Show with a knowledge of Douglas machines will note many detailed improvements. The luxury model of the Douglas range is the Goo c.c. overhead valve model, with long stroke engine. Its frame is designed on the same lines as that of the T.T. winner, and grease lubrication is used throughout.

Special interest attaches, so far as readers of this paper are concerned, to the 1925 I.O.M. model. This is an exact replica of the T.T. winner and for those who want racing it is the mount. The Douglas sidecar chassis has been entirely re-designed. The sports body is worthy of special attention and has an adjustable seat. It is, in addition, graceful and pleasing in outline. Douglas Motors, Ltd., Kingswood, Bristol."

Motor Sport Magazine

An article on the 1926 Tourist Trophy Races in Motor Sport Magazine reads:

These machines do not appear to have undergone any radical change from last year, and resemble standard O.C. T.T. models. The star riders are F. W. Dixon:and J. Whalley, both of whom have been well up in previous races. Douglases are usually among the fastest machines in the island, and their entry is always keenly watched by rival firms."

Motor Sport Magazine

Extract from a report on the 1926 Olympia Show:

Messrs. Douglas Motors have always believed in racing, and to this end they market the special o.h.v. I.O.M. machines in 500 c.c. and 600 c.c. forms. The bulk of their output, however, consists of purely touring machines ; but this year, however, they are showing " sports " models as distinct from racing machines.

The chief sensation is the new 600 c.c. E.W. Model, which closely resembles the wonderful 1926 E.W. in appearance, but has, of course, a larger engine, embodying detachable cylinder heads. For the trials man desirous of all the excellent E.W. features plus a little extra power, the 600 c.c. model should approach very near the ideal. Great interest is sure to be aroused by the announcement of the first super-charged motor-cycle available to the public. This bold step has been taken by the Coventry Victor firm, who are always well to the fore with bright ideas. A " Berk " supercharger is fitted to one of the well known 500 c.c. o.h.v. models, and provided the necessary strengthening of the engine has been carried out, a very remarkable machine should result. The other "talking point" on this stand is a new silencer, which is claimed to be very effective, and which is also marketed separately as a proprietary article."

Motor Sport Magazine

Reports on sports machines of 1927 (penned in 1949)

Next a 350-c.c. "E.W." Douglas came along. The "E.W." had been introduced in 1925 and mainly followed the original Douglas specification of 1912. It created a favourable impression from the very commencement and seemed to have inherited its fine tick-over from the then-obsolete 4-h.p. model, for 2 3/4-h.p. Douglases never numbered this amongst their strong points. The "E.W." handled well, was quiet both from its exhaust and mechanically, and in 300 miles, in spite of being put through a Colmore Cup Trial in that distance, the only attention required was adjustment of the exhaust tappet of the front cylinder.

The 80-mile run from London to Stratford to the start of the trial was accomplished at a 27-m.p.h. average in spite of thick fog for the last twenty miles, and the P. & H. headlamp required only one fill of carbide and provided perfectly adequate illumination. Fuel consumption came out at about 90 m.p.g., 60 m.p.h. was obtainable under good conditions and comfort was of such an order that the rider felt no soreness or aches after going through the "Colmore" as already recounted and immediately riding the 80 miles home, again in the dark. The hills mostly proved easy, although the Hutchison semi-balloon tyres tended to promote spin unless small throttle openings were imposed. Snags were that it was impossible to make a snap-change from second to top gear and that the front brake was entirely inoperative even when wheeling the bicycle! But on the score of lightness, sturdy build, low price and comfort the "E.W." Douglas got full marks."

Motor Sport Magazine

Sports Mounts for 1928

"Douglas, as usual, show a very sporting range, and all eyes will be turned, again as usual, to that super machine, the T.T. model 494 c.c. A machine similar to this has lapped Brooklands at 103 m.p.h., which should satisfy most riders. The gear box and frame construction are now famous, and the brakes are still further improved for 1928. This particular model cost £88.

A totally new model is shown, known as "Model D.28." This machine has a 348 c.c. o.h.v. engine, with enclosed valve gear, and push-rods covered in telescopic tubes. The gear lever mounting is interesting, being reminiscent of the earlier track machines, and is mounted forward of the engine, low down on the frame.

This model should prove an excellent fast mount, and costs but £48.

Models "G.28" and "H.28", both with 596 c.c. o.h.v. engines, incorporate the T.T. frame, and cost 265 and 267 respectively. The latter is equipped with twist-grip control, which so many fast riders prefer."

Motor Sport Magazine

1929 Model Reports from The Olympia Show, 1929

Douglases now market the latest thing in "Dixon" "T.T." models, which ran so well but so unluckily in the I.O.M. this year.

This model has the re designed engine with chain driven timing and entirely enclosed overhead valve gear. The very successful lubrication system fitted to this machine, entirely devoid of pipes, is now fitted also to the well-known 350 c.c. E.W. model. Triumph have produced an extremely attractive 350 c.c. machine, with an engine modelled on the larger T.T. edition. This has two ports and enclosed valve gear, and is mounted in a simplified edition of the new frame used in the I.O.M. this year.

Two very sturdy side valve machines bear very little resemblance, and appear to be a great improvement on the N.'s, P.'s and Q's which they replace."

Motor Sport Magazine

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