During the great reorganisation of 2014 I bought a 1914 Douglas 3.5hp (500cc) motorcycle to replace the 1914 Triumph, you may ask why they are both 1914 and apart from coincidence this was the year the war started and thereafter most if not all production went to the armed forces. So as Veteran in Australia is up to 1919 there is precious little to be had 1915-1918.
The maiden voyage of the Dougie was the Veteran Car Club’s Annual Rally in November and as the rally went through Warragul it was an easy choice. The weather unlike today was quite hot and the first 40 km were trouble free until the clutch would unadjust itself whenever it was applied, this required a roadside adjustment although as I did not quite understand the finesse required, it was only on the 3rd attempt that I managed to apply the small amount of brute force needed the ignorance was a given.
The rest of the day was a pleasant ride on the lesser roads north of Moe/Morwell to the Motel. All good you might say, but alas in the morning after filling up both myself and the bike it was pointed out by an eagle eyed RACV man the the front forks had a crack in them and did I really want to continue? As a person used to having 4 wheels between me and the tarmac, the thought of suddenly losing one of only two made the decision for a trailer ride home compelling.
So what’s the lucky break?
After I removed the forks I thought that as I had most of the front off the bike I might as well remove the head stem as well, here is what I found. Although the picture is not that clear there is a crack going around about 270º so the handlebars were held on by about 10mm x 1.5mm of brittle steel.
That could have been exciting.