Excelsior 1916 “ Model 16 “ 3 speed IOE 974 cc V-twin Frame # 2314 7 Engine # 84841
1911 was a landmark year in Excelsior’s history, for the firm was acquired by bicycle maker Ignaz Schwinn and introduced its first v-twin model that year.
In 1913 the 61ci (1,000cc) 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 1915.
In 1917 ‘Military’ olive green was adopted as the Excelsior livery that year, and would remain the only option until 1920 when blue became the norm.
During the Great War, Excelsior was together with Harley Davidson and Indian first choice for the US Army to serve the US troops in their home land as well as the battling troops in Europe.
In 1921 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.
This Excelsior ‘Big Twin’ dates from 1916, one year after the model was face-lifted.
This well running mighty bike is an example of the 974 cc twin, with bore and stroke dimensions of 84×88 mm and has been restored a long time ago.
It still has traces of the grey / red livery which must have been impressive when fresh.
It has a three speed gearbox and a foot operated clutch.
The seat post is sprung for extra comfort.
This impressive American quality machine runs well and comes complete with full acetylene lighting system, horn and Corbin speedometer.
One will hardly find another make of motorcycle depicting the legendary style and grace, typically for the famous US motorcycle suppliers of the nineteen ten era.