1928 Henderson De Luxe Four
Frame no. D23472A
Engine no. D23472A
Simply elegant. Those two words embrace the Henderson four-cylinder motorcycle. First marketed by Tom and Will Henderson in 1912, their namesake motorcycle targeted those riders who appreciated a more sophisticated approach to motorcycling. That same year, a Henderson became the first motorcycle to be ridden around the globe. However the Henderson brothers were better engineers than marketing whizzes and they soon ran into financial hurdles. It was at this time that Ignaz Schwinn became interested in the Henderson. Schwinn already manufactured the Excelsior motorcycle and wanted to add a four-cylinder machine to the lineup. In fact, Schwinn already had a prototype four cylinder Excelsior motor in his experimental department. It made more sense to obtain the cash-strapped Henderson company, which Schwinn accomplished in late 1917.
With the move of Henderson assets from Detroit to Chicago, more than the tank decals were changed. Still the finest motorcycle on the American market, the Henderson changed in ways to eliminate royalties paid to the Henderson brothers. Both brothers eventually left the employ of Schwinn with Tom leaving for Europe and Will introducing the new four-cylinder Ace in Philadelphia.
A newly engineered Henderson emerged in 1920, called the K-Model. The engine, long an F-head motor with an integral 3-speed transmission, became a new sidevalve motor. Easier to manufacture and less prone to wear, the new engine was cradled in a substantially new and heavier chassis, making the Henderson an extremely rugged machine and perfect for sidecar work. The first De Luxe Henderson was introduced in 1922, and was improved in many ways. The final incarnation of the De Luxe came in 1928. The bike gained new drop center wheels shod with motorcycling's first 4.00 inch balloon tires, and Henderson's first front brake. The Full Floating front fork was another significant improvement to the handling and stability of the motorcycle. The 79 cubic inch sidevalve engine now had higher compression and ran with alloy pistons.
Many collectors of fine motorcycles consider the Henderson De Luxe, the finest American motorcycle ever made. They were incredibly smooth and refined, yet fast and durable. This 1928 Henderson De Luxe was obtained from a South African collector where the Henderson was ridden in the famous Durban to Johannesburg Run. The workmanship of the restoration is beautiful with embellishments of extra plating. Finished in Royal Blue with cream colored wheels, the motorcycle is stunning. With 4,349 miles on the odometer, it is reported that the engine runs very well. Henderson motorcycles are not often offered in public sale. This is your opportunity to experience elegance on two wheels.