1913 - 1915
Excelsior stopped manufacturing the single-cylinder model. The
two-cylinder model used an all-chain drive and remained a single gear
machine. Excelsior was advertised as the only motorcycle with
"complete control in the handlebars," with the right-hand grip
controlling the throttle and the left the clutch.
Henderson's 1913 model changed considerably; the engine displacement was
increased to 64.9 c.i. (1064 cc). A touring machine, the Henderson
did not figure in track racing or hill climbing at first. However, it
was a record-setting long distance and endurance competitor. In 1913,
Carl Clancy became the first motorcyclist to circle the world, putting
over 18,000 miles on his machine.
Henderson offered a two-speed rear hub as an option, but otherwise the
machine stayed the same. Excelsior also offered its first two-speed
model, using a planetary gearset. Excelsior also returned to the
single-cylinder market in 1914, offering the Lightweight, its first
two-stroke machine, with a 15 c.i. (250 cc) engine.
Excelsior made major design changes in its existing models' performance
and appearance. A new model was also introduced, the "Big Valve
X." The Big Valve X had a 61 c.i. engine and Excelsior's first
three-speed transmission. It was advertised as "The Fastest
Motorcycle Ever Built."
5 of E-H History
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This history was collected from
the 1999 Super X Rider's Handbook, as published by the
Excelsior-Henderson Motorcycle Manufacturing Company.