1930 Excelsior 750cc Super-X
Engine no. 7206
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. By this time the original Excelsior single had been dropped, replaced for 1914 by a 250cc two-stroke lightweight. 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 45ci (750cc) Super-X v-twin.
Introduced to the American 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 within 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 '31.
This particular Super-X was purchased in 2005 from a jointly owned private collection in Spain. The machine previously belonged to prominent collector Hubert Fehrenbach in Germany and is offered with German registration documents.
- The frame number for this lot should read 2371.