Classic Van Auction Talk

Friday 24 April 2015

c1927 EXCELSIOR 750cc SUPER-X - BONHAMS 28-04-15

TUESDAY  28th APRIL 2015
  c.1927 Excelsior 750cc Super-X Frame no. 1779 Engine no. 1779 
 c1927 EXCELSIOR 750cc SUPER-X
Registration no. EX 7221 Frame no. 1779 Engine no. 1779
 The famous American Excelsior motorcycle was produced by the Excelsior Motor Manufacturing Company of Chicago, Illinois from 1907 until 1931, latterly under the 'Super-X' brand name. The first Excelsior was a belt-driven single cylinder machine, the engine of which formed part of the frame. A 61ci (1,000cc) v-twin joined the range for 1911, at which time Excelsior was acquired by bicycle maker, Ignaz Schwinn. In 1913 the twin was offered with all-chain drive while two-speed planetary transmission and a leaf-sprung, Indian-style front fork were two of the following season's innovations.

Alongside rivals Harley-Davidson and Indian, Excelsior offered a three-speed countershaft transmission for 1915, at the same time introducing a new frame with curved top tube and smoothly rounded tank, a first for Excelsior. Deeply valanced mudguards distinguished the v-twin of 1917. 'Military' olive green was adopted as the Excelsior livery that year and would remain the only option until 1920 when navy blue became the norm. In 1921 a 74ci (1,200cc) v-twin was added to the range, but by this time Excelsior had acquired the manufacturing rights to the Henderson Four and the days of the big v-twins were numbered. They were gone by 1925, Excelsior preferring to concentrate its resources on the Four and the newly introduced Super-X 45ci (750cc) v-twin.

Introduced to the US market in 1925, the Super-X retained the Big Twin's F-head valve gear while reverting to the leading-link front fork used on its earliest ancestors. Elsewhere though, it was extensively redesigned, featuring unitary construction of the engine/gearbox and geared primary drive encased with an alloy casting, innovations doubtless inspired by the contemporary Indian Scout and Chief. There was a higher-performance Super Sport model available and this pair of Super-Xs continued with few changes, other than a switch to a streamlined, teardrop-shaped fuel tank for 1929, until Ignaz Schwinn pulled the plug on motorcycle production in the spring of 1931.

First registered in the UK in August 1951, this Excelsior Super-X was purchased by the current vendor in August 1985, the previous keeper being recorded as one James Glyn Hunt of Beckenham, Kent. Last MoT'd in 2010-2011 (certificate on file) the machine will require re-commissioning and the customary safety checks before returning to the road. A copy parts list, two expired tax discs and a V5C registration document come with it.
 c.1927 Excelsior 750cc Super-X Frame no. 1779 Engine no. 1779 c.1927 Excelsior 750cc Super-X Frame no. 1779 Engine no. 1779 

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