A website dedicated to the construction of an accurate 1/2 scale replica of a 1937 Aero Douglas Motorcycle


Why? Why Not?


The motorcycle project was a strange one because it wasn't planned. It started when I was given a large lump of aluminium alloy. My vintage motorcycle had its gearbox out for maintenance and just by luck I held the aluminium block near the crankcase and pondered. Half scale seemed perfect, small enough to be made on the Myford lathe, but large enough to hopefully ride, or at least for someone to ride.

The biggest drawback I have found with this hobby is that drawings are very expensive and there will be errors on them somewhere which you won't spot until the very last moment or even when it's too late! The motorcycle I'm basing my model on has been around for at over 70 years, it was built in large numbers and tested by many independent riders.  

The manufacturing methods used in the 1930's are in easy reach of most model engineers with our machinery matching or bettering their equipment in accuracy and most importantly cost!   We now have the added bonus of CNC tools just to make life more interesting.  So when your in workshop are doing something that a like-minded man would've done 70 years ago, just on a smaller scale. 

The benefits of making a model of something that's already complete is that you can pick a part up, turn it over, have a closer look at it from what ever angle you want and even make slight improvements to the design even before you've cut metal. 
I have found this method of modelling to be much more satisfying than when working from a drawing. It has given me total freedom to copy what I want and leave off what I don't.  

Full size manufacture has given me hints and clues on how to produce things and also total respect for the pattern makers of that era, those cylinder castings are giving me nightmares!   Half scale is just about large enough to easily copy all the details you could ever want and small enough to machine in the myford lathe, which is my main machine.   

The finished engine will be 62cc and powerful enough to get someone, if not me, to a respectable speed for basically a 'monkey bike'.  I have managed to find some road legal tyres and will try to get it as road legal as possible.  

I would love to see more half size vintage or even modern motorcycles being built along the same lines - maybe even having their own club! 

A half scale Rudge, Vincent Black Shadow or Norton Commando would be rather special don't you think?