1913 Excelsior 61ci Model 7C Twin
Registration no. BF 5971
Frame no. 39398
Engine no. 39390
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. The engine itself was an inlet-over-exhaust 'F-head', a design then much in vogue because, whatever its limitations, it enabled the exhaust valve to be directly cooled by the incoming mixture, a positive advantage at a time when the science of metallurgy was in its infancy. 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 innovations introduced for the following season. By this time the original Excelsior single had been dropped, being 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 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.
This Excelsior Model 7C was imported into Europe from the USA, where it had been owned by a Mr David Dallam since at least 1999, and was purchased by the current vendor in 2009. Since acquisition it has formed part of the owner's significant private collection and been kept in heated storage. The Excelsior successfully completed the 2011 and 2012 Pioneer Runs, and is described as in generally excellent 'untouched' condition, with strong engine and serviceable transmission, though there is some play in the latter's controls. An imposing motorcycle from any angle, this magnificent early American v-twin is offered with Maryland Certificate of Title; Sunbeam MCC Pioneer Certificate; starting instructions; Swansea V5C document; road fund licence to 31st December 2013; and photocopies of an Excelsior parts list, operating instructions and other literature.
- Both the Frame and Engine numbers are 39398