1957 Douglas Dragonfly 350cc boxer twin
72 mph 365 lbs 17 bhp
The Douglas motorcycle company existed for 50 years between 1907 and 1957. The final ‘real’ motorcycle produced was the Dragonfly. 1,570 being built between 1955 and March 1957. For many years Douglas had the same design philosophy as BMW – place the cylinders directly in the airflow to ensure good cooling. Differences to BMW, however, are the final chain drive and the single carburettor (Amal Monobloc 13/16 inch on the Dragonfly). The intention was to develop a 500cc version but the resources were never really there for this.
For the development of the Dragonfly, Douglas approached the Reynolds Company to design and develop a sturdy unbreakable duplex frame. This was accomplished using Reynolds 531 aircraft quality tubing mated to Earles forks and Girling shocks. Brakes are 7 inch single sided drums (SLS) front and rear.
The engine was essentially a cosmetic evolution of what was already there. Compression was 7.25:1.
The most distinctive feature is the rather bulbous nacelle/fairing extending from the large (5.5 gallon) fuel tank which houses the headlight and instruments – and unusually results in the headlamp being fixed forward and not moving with the handlebars.
The bike was highly regarded, but the company needed the next step up to get the performance to compete against other UK manufacturers. Sadly this did not happen.
This bike was acquired in the UK in good running condition. It is 2WheelsMiklos intention to ultimately do a full repaint in the stone and green colours.