Who remembers the Blandford Run last year? It was miserable: rained all day, mud everywhere and took me a week to clean my bike….
Not so yesterday. A bit overcast to start with but turned into a nice day. Many thanks to Peter Miller for putting together a very interesting 50 mile route to our lunch stop at The Fox in Ansty. I heard several members saying that they knew Dorset roads quite well but had never come across part of the route; certainly for me, the Bloxworth area was unknown.
How’s our new stick-on Star system working out? Did anyone spot any riders without the compulsory Star stuck on their headlight? If you did, it means they haven’t paid the £3 entry fee…or the Star fell off 🙂
I had a phone call from Martin Figg last night — he is the new Secretary of the South Dorset Section and he hopes to get the following into the May Journal Section Notes:
Support for the Section has been mixed of late, but following the AGM in March a fresh start has been made with the support of a core of local members. Recognition and thanks are extended to John Morey who has stepped down as Chairman after many years. Rod Hann becomes Chairman, Martin Figg, Secretary and Andrew Samways, Treasurer. Informal Section Meetings will be held in the skittle alley of The Three Compasses, Charminster, Dorchester DT2 9QT on the fourth Thursday of each month, the next being on 23rd May at 8.00 p.m. It is planned to establish a programme of Sunday Runs, initially once a month, starting from either Dorchester or Bridport. It is hoped to attract support from both former and new participants and additional events (to address members preferences) will be introduced, given sufficient support. If you’re a former rider, new to the Section, from a neighbouring area, or better still a potential recruit, you will receive an open welcome. Watch out for Diary events, just turn up, or contact one of the members named above. If you would like to receive information by email, please notify Martin Figg, as above.
You can contact Martin on 01305 774793, 07896507278 or email him at Figg.email@example.com. Rod can be contacted on 01935 872528 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wikipedia definition: The saying refers to the learning of a process without an understanding of why it works. Another definition implies the act of mimicry, usually with limited knowledge and/or concern for the consequences.
That’s us….I’m Monkey #1 and Paul Miles is Monkey #2 and we’re both following the monkey in the photo above. This is the story of how we got hold of three 1930 Douglas S6/T6 motorcycles and what we’ve done with them so far…
I’ve a friend Alan, in the Surrey/Sussex Section, who I’ve known for the last 30 years and he’s always had an interest in Douglas motorcycles, having owned all sorts of pre-war models. For the past 15 years, he’s owned a 1930 Douglas S6, so I’m fairly familiar with this model and I’ve always viewed them as rather ‘quirky’ motorcycles (more on this later); the S6 has all those pre-war features that Douglas is known for: external flywheel, fore and aft twin cylinder engine, etc.
About a month ago, I had a phone call from Alan informing me that the widow (and sons) of a well-known Douglas Club member was selling off her late husband’s Douglases. Alan had already visited her to buy a few spares but told me that there were at least three complete bikes under tarpaulins, and that nothing had been advertised. Quite sensibly, her sons did not wants hoards of oily bikers visiting their elderly mother, so initial contact was made via Bert, a Douglas Club member who was a friend of the family. At this point, I told Monkey #2 (Paul Miles), that I was off to see some Douglases and did he fancy coming along…which he did. So off we travelled to Bert’s house near Guildford, where we were blindfolded and bundled into the back of his car and taken to the secret location. OK, the last bit was not quite true, but it felt a bit like that.
When we got there, we were greeted by one of the sons who opened the garage door and rolled out three Douglas motorcycles:
Before arriving, we had no idea what to expect as no one had taken any photographs and we had no idea of the age of the bikes but as S6/T6 models were made from 1930 to 1935, I had assumed early 1930s, but a quick check of their V5’s revealed that all three were 1930, a big bonus as they’re all eligible for V&V events.
Paul and I decided pretty quickly that we’d like one each and as we couldn’t possibly leave the third one by itself, we each decided to take a half share in it. As for price, the son had already had valuations from the Douglas Club, so we made an offer for all three, headed home and waited for him to check with his brother. Later that evening, we each had a phone call confirming that our offer had been accepted. Result!
So what have we bought?
Duggie #1: As the lead was mine, I had first choice and chose PL2257, an S6, which had the best overall cosmetic appearance*. It has a conventional foot kick start. Douglas 4 speed box fitted — they usually have a 3 speed box.
Duggie #2: Paul chose the other S6, GH6846* which has a very rare hand start lever. Douglas 3 speed box fitted.
Duggie #3: Half share in the T6, GF5656. It has a conventional foot kick start. Douglas 4 speed box fitted — they usually have a 3 speed box.
S6 (sports) and T6 (touring) are very similar: same engine, frame, gearbox etc. T6 has foot boards rather than foot rests, has a carrier and has different girder forks with side springs. Handlebars are fixed (non-adjustable) on the T6.
None of these bikes have been ridden / started for at least 10-15 years. The T6 looks the most neglected and has a tax disc dated 1984, which maybe when it was last used.
*On our recent Spring Run, in which Duggie #1 and #2 were ridden, to Paul Miles’s great amusement, it soon became clear that Chrome Doesn’t Get You Home but In Rust, We Trust. It is possible that, mechanically, Duggie #2 might be marginally better than Duggie #1….or maybe I just need to lose some weight! 🙂
As neither of us have a double trailer, it took several trips to fetch the bikes. Plus, we subsequently bought all the spares that were in the garage and outside workshop. Duggie #1 was the first to arrive in Dorset:
As Monkey #1, I set about Duggie #1 immediately. No intention of cosmetically restoring it; my first oily rag bike and I love it. Did the following to get it up-and-running: new tyres and checked wheel bearings, checked out magneto on the bench, cleaned carb of old sticky fuel, new clutch springs fitted, new clutch cable and work on clutch thrust bearing, new chains front and back, drained old oil and cleaned all gauze filters, checked tappet clearances and ignition timing, semi-fluid grease added to gearbox.
Having done the above, it didn’t take much to start it. Although initially quite smokey, that soon cleared and after 5 miles on the road, it is smoke-free and the plug colour perfect.
Duggie #2 and #3 were fetched together about a week after Duggie #1:
And in true Monkey #2 fashion, and with In Rust, I Trust ringing in his ears, Paul got Duggie #2 up-and-running, and on the road, in record time. But I guess if you only do an oil change, things are quicker 🙂
Monkey #1 is still working on Duggie #3, the T6. It is up-and-running but it is not running very smoothly at the moment. As both compression and magneto spark are good, I’m hoping this is just a carburetion issue. In addition, the clutch thrust bearing needed quite a bit of work:
As per Duggie #1, lots of old oil to burn off, but it really needs a blast on the road to do that and I’m not quite ready for that:
On The Road
Monkey #1 and #2 have met up several times on their respective S6 Duggies. Initially, a short run to Thyme after Time Café at Spire Hill near Stalbridge and then, in at the deep end, on Bernard Jones’s Spring Run where I covered 80 miles before I got home and during those gruelling 80 miles, I realised that Duggie #1 needed a little more work 🙁 :
Duggie #2 Hand Starting. Remember, In Rust, We Trust
Duggie #1 Kick Starting. Remember, Chrome Won’t Get You Home
The Quirky Douglas
I mentioned at the beginning that these S6 Douglases were ‘quirky’ and maybe the list below applies to all pre-war Douglases, and some other makes as well, but here are some of my observations that have amused / confused me:
You adjust the primary chain by sliding the engine back and forward. It’s very easy: you just loosen the two large clamp nuts under the sump and use the pull/push adjuster at the front of the engine. And unlike conventional adjustment of the primary chain, this one doesn’t affect the rear chain.
The oil pump is also the sump drain plug. It must also be one of the longest motorcycle oil pumps out there.
The clutch is inside the flywheel and when you operate the clutch, it not only moves the clutch plate but also the engine sprocket and primary chain.
The Amal carb (5/116/S) is an updraft one and is position over the hot exhaust pipe. It is a type 5 (75, 275) carb but has many unique parts such as the float chamber, needle jet, jet needle and main body…only the slide is interchangeable with other type 5 carbs. Amal / Burlen in Salisbury have all the technical drawings but not the parts.
It has an external flywheel as did many bikes in the 1920s and earlier, but Douglas stuck with them well into the late 1930s.
The hub brakes do not use two shoes as normal bikes, but an expanding band. They don’t work very well!
Wheel nuts on these S6 Douglases are left handed. Why?
They use the infamous pancake dynamos. No field coils but permanent magnets instead; if the latter have lost any of their magnetism over the last 90 years, you’ll get no charge.
Some people paint silly spirals on their flywheels…
Initially, I thought I might like to own both an S6 and a T6, but they really are so similar, it makes no sense. I’ve owned near identical Ariels in the past and there really is no need for it — one gets used and the other doesn’t. Monkey #2 has already made it clear that his half of the Duggie #3 T6 is up for sale once we’ve got it running nicely. And before we sell it, we’d like to have all three taking part in some Dorset Section run. That would be cool.
As for Duggie #1 and #2, the S6s, I guess only time will tell….
Yesterday, spring had definitely sprung! And it looks like sunny and dry weather for the next 10 days at least, so if you haven’t done it already, brush those winter cobwebs off your bike and get it ready for the Blandford Run on the 7th April.
But yesterday was all about the Spring Run. Great turnout and a chance for Paul Miles and your Secretary to try out our recently acquired 1930 Douglas S6 twins. Let’s just say that one went a lot better than the other and maybe I should have stuck with Ariels… 🙁 .
With approx 40 miles from Henstridge Golf and Leisure to the lunch stop at the Windwhistle Inn between Chard and Crewkerne and another 50 miles to get to the start and back home, it was a long run for me. Even more so for our friends North of the Wall (A303) who covered about 130 miles.
Full marks go to Mike Ward for stopping to help a broken down biker and giving him a pillion lift to the pub while waiting for breakdown recovery. And thanks to Bernard Jones for putting a great route together.
What a difference three weeks makes! The show was cancelled at the beginning of February due to snow and re-scheduled to the past weekend (23rd/24th February) which was warm and sunny — I’d rather have been out riding my bike than stuck in the Mendip hall for three days but hey ho…..
Special thanks to Andrew Rae for stepping in at short notice to take over from Ray and Linda who were on holiday. And more thanks to all those who helped out on the stand over the three days.
Dry roads, sunny skies and an unusually warm day saw a huge turnout for the Harts of Stur sponsored Vintage & Classic Vehicle Run, and, as is usual, members from our Section turned up in force with a fantastic variety of two wheeled machines.
The bikes set off first but due to a severe shortage of route maps, somehow I ended up leading them for part of the route…hope you all managed to keep up 🙂 . About 35 miles later, we ended up at Henstridge Golf & Leisure where many of us indulged in an excellent carvery.
Last year, the Dorset Section received an Xmas Card from the Stonehenge Section. Your Committee thought it appropriate that we should do something similar this year, so a design was put together and we purchased 12 cards from Moonpig.
One card went to Henstridge Golf & Leisure and the remaining to each Secretary of the 11 surrounding Sections*: Cornwall, Devon, East Devon, Dartmoor, Bristol, West Wiltshire, Somerset, Stonehenge, Bournemouth & New Forest, Wessex V&V and Isle of Wight. I also enclosed our 2019 Programme Card with each Xmas card.
*apologies to the South Dorset Section. You didn’t get a card because there is no postal address listed on the VMCC website for your Secretary or Chairman.
We were too late to get the cards signed by members at our Social evening last Wednesday 12th December, so Phil Allen and I have signed in our respective capacities as Chairman and Secretary.
The 2019 VMCC Dorset Section Programme is out! The printed cards will be available at the Social Evening and Buffet Club Night on Wednesday 12th December and at the Xmas Lunch on Sunday 16th December. If you can’t wait that long, then you can either print off the two images below or click here to download the PDF file.
All of our events have been entered into the Events calendar on this website and here you will find further details on many of the events. If you use an online personal calendar such as Google Calendar, Apple iCal etc, you can automatically copy all of our 2019 entries from the Events calendar to your personal calendar — ask for help if you get stuck. Click here to list all events for 2019.
To print images: click an image, then right mouse click and choose “Save image as…”