From the August 1925 issue of Motorcyclist magazine
Predictions of far sighted students of trend in automotive design are coming true and the small motor is crowding out the big power plant more and more every year. The teacup engine is doing more, doing it better and doing it with less cost than ever was dreamed of with the high powered jobs.
No great changes have been made in the appearance of the Henderson
Look at the Indianapolis 500 mile auto race. Next year the engine limit is 91 cubic inches! Let that sink in, for that’s down in the motorcycle displacement field and they expect to average a hundred miles an hour or better for 500 miles. When this classic started, the engine limit was 600 cubic inches and every time the displacement has been cut, new records have been set with smaller motors.
We have heard phenomenal stories of blinding speed by watch-charm motors in Great Britain, and this has been confirmed by the American racing men who toured Australia last winter. They saw these little miniatures perform, they rode them themselves and their eyes stuck out when they got their clocking.
The American motorcycle rider has been brought up to expect that to get speed he must have a big motor and a heavy machine. Time was when there was a degree of truth in this, but “Them days are gone forever.” The tide has turned very strongly and today the little motor has the big fellow on the run and scared stiff when it comes to speed.
A few months back, at the Sea Isle City, (N.J.) Rally, American riders for the first time saw a little 45 cubic inch stock design machine, run away with the 80 cubic inch free-for- all class. When “Red” Wolverton flashed across the line with a big lead, he turned over a new page in American motorcycle history. For the first time, a little motor decisively had turned the tables on engines of nearly double its displacement. Such was the debut of the new Super Sport Excelsior.
Along about the same time. George DeKoker entered another Super Sport in a hillclimb at Rochester, (N.Y.) and upset some more traditions. George didn’t worry about the motor sizes of his competitors. He entered the Super Sport in every event he could. He ran with the 45 cubic inch class and, at the same time, made the high mark of the day on the hill. In the 61 and 80 inch classes. Orie Steele was the only one who could beat DeKoker and George placed just five feet behind Orie in the 80 inch free-for-all.
At Wilkes Barre, Palos Park, Des Moines, Elgin, Marion, Indianapolis and elsewhere, the little Super Sports surprised everybody and proved that huge motor displacement is not the real index of hillclimbing ability. While the Super did not win in every event in which it was entered, yet it always more than held it’s own with motors of twice its size.
At Des Moines, Portland and elsewhere, some of the boys who thought they had fast road machines tried conclusions with the Super Sports and found they needed more steam.
In Southern California recently, Denzel Klippel, emphasized another phase of Super performance-ease of control. Standing on the saddle, without touching the bars, he rode at a 30 miles an hour clip over the highway from Tia Juana, Mexico, to San Diego, California, a distance of 16 miles. Surely this spectacular stunt could not have been performed on a machine that did not have exceptional ease of balance.
Now, the Super Sport Model becomes a standard job and quite a number already have been delivered to Excelsior-Henderson dealers.
Externally, the Super Sport looks very much like the regular Super Model. The principal difference is the big carburetor and manifold. Internally though, there is quite a difference. The alloy pistons are of a new high compression type and the flywheels are special. A new cam of racing type is used.
The Super Sport motors, after assembly, are limbered up, tested on the dynamometer and then road-tested.