Excelsior 1918  Model 18-3 974CC  2CYL IOE


Excelsior 1918     model “18-3”     974cc   IOE V-twin  frame # 18923  engine # 85883

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 (974cc) 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  around 1917. ‘Military’ olive green was adopted as the Excelsior livery that year and would remain the standard colour 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. This machine has the double trussed military fork  that had been fitted since 1917 to Excelsior machines  for military service.  Model “18-3” was delivered without lighting system and had magneto ignition. A new feature for 1918 was the removable horizontal frame tube directly above the engine.  By  removing this tube and the petrol tank  it was possible to take off the cylinders for service without having to take the complete engine out of the frame, as had to be done with earlier models.  This impressive American twin has been restored a number of years ago in a  pre-1918 colour scheme and comes with handlebar-mounted push horn.