1928 Douglas DT 5 494 cc OHV horizontally opposed twin. frame: TF 760 engine EL 763
Motor cycle racing on “dirt”originated in the U.S.A.
Previously races were mainly held on hard surfaces but this became more and more dangerous to riders and spectators: it was evident that natural laws limited the cornering speed on board tracks.
So riders and organisers turned to loose-surfaced tracks.
By 1913 the American record for dirt tracks with a one-mile lap had been cut to 43 seconds, a speed of more than 83 miles per hour!
The new sport spread to Canada and from 1920 to Australia, where it developed a very high spectator value and became “big business” for promoters and top riders.
In 1928 a small group of Australian professionals came to Britain to try and establish the sport there.
Within a few months speedway racing was a huge success.
The Australian riders favoured adapted Douglas SW 5 racing motorcycles because of their low centre of gravity. When the “new” sport caught on Douglas were quick to launch an adapted version of the SW 5 , the DT 5.
This machine had no brakes or clutch, 3 speed gearbox , special frame, dual control twin carburettors and strengthened rear wheel construction, to name just a few dirt track specialities. Alcohol fuel and a 14:1 compression ratio made this a very fast machine.
This DT Douglas was raced in Australia by the late Alf Chick and is in excellent restored condition.