Douglas Motorcycles Dragonfly (1956)
Vehicle descriptionAn extensively redesigned flat twin replaced Douglas's earlier models in 1955. Known as the Dragonfly, the newcomer featured a revised engine with stronger crankcase, single carburettor, alternator electrics and coil ignition. The duplex swinging-arm frame employed conventional Girling dampers in place of the preceding torsion bar set-up, while the old Radiadraulic front fork was dropped in favour of an Earles-type leading-link arrangement. The large headlamp nacelle extending back to the five-gallon fuel tank was another distinctive feature. Douglas's final model, the Dragonfly did not receive the development it deserved, production ceasing in March 1957 following the company's take-over by Westinghouse. Classic Bike magazine tested a Dragonfly in 1982, finding that although its top speed (79mph estimated) was down when compared to more modern machinery, it nevertheless offered remarkable grip and surefootedness in tricky conditions. Its 3.25-gallon tank and fuel consumption of around 80 miles per gallon attracted favourable comment too. This example was completely restored by the current owner over approximately a four-year period, commencing in 2003, and has covered only some 1,200-or-so miles since completion. New main and big-end bearings, valve guides and a complete gear cluster were supplied by the Douglas owners' club, and the rebuilt engine was fitted with Honda pistons and a Lucas distributor, the latter replacing the inferior Miller original. After completion the Dragonfly was featured in The Classic Motorcycle magazine (May 2009 edition, copy article available).
|Registration no:||686 XUG|