Vintage Workshop
Services for Brough Superior motorcycles and their contemporaries

1926 350 cc Douglas model EW

Well, that's how the bike was found.

Not too bad, but the exhaust system, saddle, footboards, one tool box and most levers were missing.

Unfortunately the mudguards proved to be beyond repair and the rear brake drum was empty.

I have re-spoked the wheels, fitted new tyres, obtained an exhaust from Armours (not quite the correct shape) and a pair of footboards.

I studied the oiling system and made the pipes and taps for it.

I have also found a saddle and made the missing toolbox and had both covered with leather. This picture, however, has been taken before fitting these.

I have fitted new mudguards, but now I have a problem: With the tank and frame in a nice 'oily rag' condition I do not know what to do with the 'guards....

So the project has come to a halt a few years ago, and this is how it still is!

1/2010:I think the above picture dates from ca. 1990, and I must admit I have done nothing to the bike since. While extending the house the poor Douglas got almost buried under all kinds of things that were stuffed into the room where it sat, but recently I tidied up the room and gave the bike a good wipe with an oily rag.

So this is how it looks now from the timing side...

... and from the drive side.

As far as I remember, I had dismantled the engine and gearbox 20 years back and hadn't found anything seriously wrong. Thus I had just cleaned and re-assembled the lot. I think I fitted new piston rings at that time.
The mudguards, having collected a little surface rust in the meantime, are now almost blending in with the rest of the bike. No, I am not serious - naked steel mudguards look a bit strange and they are not very practical either.

What does not blend in at all is the new saddle leather. Maybe I should try to dye it with dark brown leather paint?

The same applies, of course, for the nearside toolbox.

3 / 2010: having looked at a number of pictures of original bikes and following some advice I got on the Douglas net (www. I decided to attend to the leather. I was advised not to use one of the leather paints, but a leather stain instead, which leaves the original surface of the leather intact. 

Unfortunately leather stain relies on being absorbed by the leather, which will not happen with the waxed and polished leather of my newly covered saddle pan. So I scrubbed it down with lots of solvent until it seemed quite dried out and applied a dark brown leather stain then. After two applications, followed by waxing and polishing I obtained a finish which I was quite happy with.

3 / 2010:

The mudguard problem, again. With the new mudguards, I could only see two ways: Do a nice and shiny paint job on the whole bike or try to fake worn paint on the new mudguards.

Looking at the tank again I was now absolutely sure I would not strip and re-paint the bike.

When I replaced the mudguards, I had  kept the original ones. So I thought I'd make an effort and try to save them


The silencer is still another problem. It isn't badly made, but it is too big, and has the wrong shape. When I received it, I complained to the makers that this is not a silencer for a 1926 model, but for the later (B29?) saddle tank model. The terse reply was "we have not got any others"...

I have now finally started to make a silencer of the correct shape

Looking at this picture, you might possibly ask yourself "why has he taken all the trouble" but I think it was worth it!
So this is the Douglas today, i.e.27.12.2010. The silencer still needs an attachment bracket, and it wants painting, of course...

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