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.
Where do they get their speed? Principally from the advanced design and the elimination of losses which sap a greater portion of the power developed by less efficient engines. Nearly every bearing in the Super is of the roller or ball type, which reduces friction to a minimum. The Super Sport engines are very free and are designed for high r.p.m. The regular Super engines, while not quite so fast nor so powerful as the Super Sports, have plenty of “pep” for the average rider.
The Super Sport Excelsior is just a souped up Super X job but it promises to upset some re
The roadability of the Supers is one of their most attractive points. They have a very low center of gravity which holds them to the road and enables the rider to use as much speed as he desires on almost any kind of surface.
Another very attractive feature is the accessibility of all parts. The Super was designed so that almost any part can be removed without interfering with any other units.
These highly efficient little motors can show surprising fuel economy in consumption of gasoline and oil, a matter of some importance in long distance touring and in figuring maintenance cost for an entire year.
The changes in the Stock Super are few and are in nature of refinements.
Little has been changed in the Henderson for 1926. Helical timing gears are an added refinement giving quieter valve gear action. Henderson performance has been co conspicuously satisfactory that no other changes were deemed necessary. Henderson wheels now are enameled a rich cream color which harmonizes with the blue.
The Excelsior-Henderson sidecar now is available for the Super. It has been thoroughly tested on the Henderson by riders all over the country and has proven thoroughly satisfactory. The distinctive feature of the chassis is the patented stabilator spring connection. This absorbs road shocks from the sidecar wheel, eliminates all side drag and makes the sidecar outfit as easy to handle as a solo machine.
1926 Henderson-Excelsior Coast Prices
Henderson DeLuxe with cast iron pistons $465.00
Henderson DeLuxe with alloy pistons 485.00
Henderson Sidecar 135.00
Super Excelsior 325.00
Super Sport Excelsior with
Splitdorf magneto 400.00
Super Sport Excelsior with
Robert Bosch magneto 410.00
Super Sport Excelsior with
Scintilla magneto 425.00
Super Excelsior Sidecar 125.00
Above prices are for machines fully equipped and ready for the road.
Specifications of the 1926 Super Excelsior
Engine-Unit power plant with the integral clutch and transmission; two-cylinder “V” type; bore 3-inch by 3-7/32-inch stroke; 45 cubic inches displacement (under 750c.c.). Roller or ball bearings throughout.
Lubrication-Double force system, mechanically operated, gear driven positive pump with baffle distribution, insuring adequate oiling in proportion to motor speed. Independent hand pump.
Electrical Equipment- Splitdorf high tension magneto for ignition, Splitdorf separate unit generator, Wico battery lighting system. Ammeter, horn, head and tail lights.
Starter-Foot type segment and pinion gear, folding foot lever, automatic valve lifter.
Carburetor- Latest improved Excelsior Schebler.
Frame-Low saddle position, double cradle Henderson type made of heavy seamless tubing with special forged steel joints, reinforced and braced . Three point motor suspension.
Front Fork- Balanced plunger type with straight-line fork sides; forged rockers.
Tank-Heavy leaded steel, Henderson type, capacity approximately 3 gallons of gasoline and 3 quarts of oil. Auxiliary hand pump.
Transmission-Built into crankcase, auto type three speed, oversize gears, main shaft carried on annular ball bearings, counter shaft on large non-gran, bronze bearings, double shifter gear, meshing for low and second and engaging dog clutch for high gear, positive locking device for different gear positions, shift-lever on left side of tank.
Clutch-Steel and Raybestos discs running in oil, release actuated by a simple cam arrangement operated by combination heel and toe pedal on left side. Clutch built into crankcase.
Drive-Primary drive by helical gears running in oil bath; bearings, roller or ball type. Secondary drive by chain from transmission to rear wheel.
Hubs-Interchangeable with Henderson, Timken bearings front and rear.
Wheels-Fitted with “24”-“CC” rims, 18 inches in diameter to fit the new 25-by 3.85-inch Firestone four-ply Balloon Cord Tires.
Brake-Standard equipment, external contracting band (same as Henderson), controlled by foot pedal on right side. Internal expanding brake controlled by heel pedal can be furnished at extra cost.
Handlebars-Heavy service “sport” type with cross brace and grips at a comfortable wrist position.
Controls-Left grip controls spark timing; right grip, throttle. Gear shift at left side of tank; clutch controlled by heel and toe pedal. Brake pedal at right side.
Finish-Sage green with red and black striping, cream wheels. Handlebars, lamp brackets, etc., finished in black.
Saddle-Similar to Henderson; large bucket type with DeLuxe spring suspension.
Wheelbase- 56 1/2 inches.