Douglas Dragonfly The Dragonfly was a British
motorcycle designed and built by Douglas motorcycles in Bristol, England and proved to be the last ever motorcycle produced by the company. The Dragonfly was newly styled but based around a previous design but it did not sell well and only 1,600 were produced before the company was taken over. After World War II, Douglas, like many companies, found itself in financial difficulty. As a result they reduced their output to the 350cc flat-twin models. The flat twin had been widely used by Douglas since 1906 and had a long history of Isle of Man TT racing victories. The Dragonfly, which was also known as the Dart while in development was launched in 1955. It was originally based on the Mk V Douglas and an earlier 500cc prototype. Aiming to overcome any previous outdated images, designers were bought in from the Reynolds frame of welded tubing, including a swinging arm with twin Girling dampers with leading link front suspension. The more strengthened and streamlined 348cc engine had a modern coil ignition AC generator with bolt-through cast iron cylinder heads and duralumin pushrods. When the Dragonfly was launched it was Douglas’ last chance to save the company. Although the Dragonfly gained a lot of interest from the outset, the Douglas’ stretched finances did not allow the company to exploit this initial demand. As a result the Dragonfly was not produced in very high numbers for another nine months and this proved costly for Douglas. Production delays were not the Tube Company to develop a completely new open duplex
The styling of the Dragonfly was radical with the lines of the fuel tank extending forward beyond the steering head and forming an odd looking nacelle. The London Douglas MCC has become an International Club for Douglas owners and now has over 1,100 members.
only problem facing the company at that time. The Dragonfly was bigger and heavier than any of its predecessors and no more powerful. It was also rather noisy and acceleration was slow. The Westinghouse Brake and Signal Company bought out Douglas in 1956 and production of all Douglas motorcycles ended in 1957. Today the Dragonfly has gained a strong following from vintage motorcycle enthusiasts and owners’ clubs from around the world.
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