Douglas 1923 2 ¾ HP “TS” 348cc side valve opposed twin frame # 64130 engine# 62516
This Bristol-based firm developed the horizontally opposed fore-aft unit in about 1907 and continued utilizing this engine layout well into the thirties. The earliest Douglas models had direct belt drive, but in 1910 a two-speed gearbox was added, with the control on top of the petrol tank. Douglas machines became very popular because of their lightness, ease of starting and speed: in the 1912 Junior TT races Douglas took first, second and fourth places. In the First World War thousands of 2¾ HP machines were commissioned for use by despatch riders and performed splendidly. In the early twenties year by year small improvements were made and many Douglas machines were sold each year. In a publicity booklet announcing the 1924 models the company claimed that “well over 75,000 Douglas 2 ¾ machines are giving satisfaction every day to their owners.”
The company saw no need for big design changes: “ For many years now it has not been found necessary to alter the main design, which incorporated the vibrationless twin-cylinder engine, because, as a mount world famous for economy, ease of control and great comfort, it had withstood the buffeting and battering of every clime since 1908, under all conditions, in the hands of riders of both sexes and all ages.”
It would be two more years before a real design change was carried through by then Chief designer Cyril Pullin in the form of the new EW model.
In 1923 three models in the 2¾ HP class were available, the basic two-speed, clutchless “TS”, the “W” that boasted a three speed gearbox with clutch and kick-starter and the all-chain drive three-speed 3SC. A “TS” will only need a slight push or paddle to come to life. She weighs only about 95 kg so she’s a very practical vintage model.
In the British sales brochure the TS is equipped with footrests and flat handlebars; this machine was sold new in The Netherlands and the brochure of Dutch importer Croes & Co shows the TS with high handlebars and footboards. The former owner of this unspoilt Douglas had her in his custody for more than 50 years. With the machine comes a dating certificate of the Dutch Vintage motorcycle Club, issued in 1964. This TS comes with Powell and Hanmer acetylene lighting system, bulb horn and correct Binks carburettor. She is a runner but has not been ridden for a number of years so she would benefit from some tender love and care.