1929 Henderson 1,301cc KJ Four Engine no. KJ-30829

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Lot 141
1929 Henderson 1,301cc KJ Four
Engine no. KJ-30829

Sold for US$ 74,750 inc. premium
1929 Henderson 1,301cc KJ Four
Engine no. KJ-30829
• First year Henderson KJ model
• Fully restored example

William and Thomas Henderson entered the motorcycle market in 1912 with their unique four cylinder engine, housed in an equally unique chassis that featured a long cylindrical gas and oil tank mounted between two frame tubes, which was standard for the time. Not the most successful businessmen, their company ran into financial problems being undercapitalized. In late 1917, the Henderson enterprise was purchased by bicycle magnate, Ignaz Schwinn who already owned the Excelsior motorcycle from a prior purchase. Schwinn already had a prototype four cylinder engine made but it was far less expensive to purchase the Henderson, and perhaps avoid the competition. Under Schwinn, the Henderson motorcycle improved each year and became extremely popular with riders and police departments. The original Hendersons had inlet over exhaust valve configurations and in 1920 they used sidevalve engines. The final engine was developed by Arthur Constantine and returned to the i.o.e. configuration.

The Henderson KJ (the more powerful Henderson Special KL debuted in 1930) was introduced to the motorcycle market for 1929, and ran until 1931 when Schwinn ended motorcycle production to save his bicycle industry during the Great Depression. The literature claimed 57 new features from the earlier Henderson motorcycle. Most notably was the styling. The former DeLuxe models still retained the antique looking square tanks between frame tubes as common from motorcycling's inception through the 1920's. Now there was a beautiful streamlined pair of cast aluminum saddle tanks. Beneath was a new frame that used an I-beam forged head casting, regaled by the company as the newest innovation in the industry and the strongest. But secured within the steel tubing and fresh sheetmetal was the heart of the Henderson, an all-new power plant. A newly designed 5-main bearing crankshaft ensured the power was transmitted smoothly, reducing any vibration to the point of being non-existent. The inlet-over-exhaust top end used an efficient new manifold and downdraft carburetor, claiming that the cold starts in frigid Chicago was not an issue. A three-speed, hand shift transmission provided the directional motion and even was available with a reverse gear for sidecar aficionados.

This first year Henderson KJ was restored using correct Henderson colors of burgundy with cream side panels, running in cream colored wheels. It also features Henderson's new for 1929 rocker clutch pedal and a reverse gear. This KJ has zero miles put on the bike following that extensive work. One couldn't ask for a prettier motorcycle to enjoy and own. When compared to the Indian Four of that period, the Henderson was like a sports car. It was quick off the line, fast, smooth and comfortable. Even today, it is a great motorcycle to enjoy on modern roads.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.

Saleroom notices

  • No notice.
Contacts
1929 Henderson 1,301cc KJ Four Engine no. KJ-30829
1929 Henderson 1,301cc KJ Four Engine no. KJ-30829
1929 Henderson 1,301cc KJ Four Engine no. KJ-30829
1929 Henderson 1,301cc KJ Four Engine no. KJ-30829
1929 Henderson 1,301cc KJ Four Engine no. KJ-30829
1929 Henderson 1,301cc KJ Four Engine no. KJ-30829
1929 Henderson 1,301cc KJ Four Engine no. KJ-30829
1929 Henderson 1,301cc KJ Four Engine no. KJ-30829
1929 Henderson 1,301cc KJ Four Engine no. KJ-30829
1929 Henderson 1,301cc KJ Four Engine no. KJ-30829
1929 Henderson 1,301cc KJ Four Engine no. KJ-30829
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