New motorcycle brand: Excelsior Henderson


New motorcycle brand: Excelsior Henderson

USA today

With modern technology – four-valve cylinder heads and gasoline injection – the new US company with the big old names Excelsior and Henderson wants to shake the throne of Harley-Davidson.

“Men on a Mission” – men on a mission, that is an honorary designation in the USA that is given to boxers like world champion Evander Holyfield as well as to the 200 and 400 meter double Olympic champion Michael Johnson, who got his title on announcement.
But business managers who have a clear goal in their sights are also often given this honorary title. For example the brothers Dan and Dave Hanlon: “We will design it, build it and sell it profitably worldwide – the American motorcycle that impresses with top quality and at the same time reminds of the legendary and unrivaled quality of life of the earlier days of motorcycling.” Openly called a “mission” to reactivate Excelsior Henderson, the premium brand from the heyday of American motorcycle construction, at the beginning of all the activities of the Hanlon brothers. “We will build the best heavy motorcycle in the world,” the Excelsior Henderson founders self-confidently put it, “and we will have fun, our team in the company, our families, the dealers, the customers and the shareholders.”
Looking back on a history that goes back to 1871, the year Excelsior was founded as a bicycle factory, the current owners have not only made big sayings since the re-establishment in 1993, such as those from various attempts at the faded US luxury brand Indian resuscitation are known. At Daytona Bike Week, Excelsior Henderson presented three mobile and street-legal pre-series machines of their new Super X model in the Peabody Auditorium, a concert hall in the immediate vicinity of the Congress Center traditionally rented by Harley-Davidson.
The machine, which outwardly corresponds exactly to the popular cruiser / chopper concept, with which Harley-Davidson and increasingly the Japanese giants do good business, is technically at a far more up-to-date level than “the other heavy American cruiser bike”, as it is Dan Hanlon expresses it with subtle reserve. The 1386 cc V2 engine has four-valve cylinder heads, two overhead camshafts each and electronic fuel injection and is said to cost the equivalent of around 30,000 marks.
Exhaust gas cleaning by means of two regulated catalytic converters is planned for the start of series production, which is to take place in 1998. The Hanlon brothers, who, in addition to their passion for motorcycles, have proven to be quite successful businessmen, have made good provisions so that this date does not vanish into thin air. Dan as the owner of a company for environmentally friendly packaging materials, which he was able to sell in 1993 for a good profit, and Dave with a truck leasing company. As “Vice President for Production and Operations”, Allan C. Hurd, a man not entirely unknown in the motorcycle industry, is part of the management group of the new company. The Briton Hurd was responsible for the entire construction of the Triumph plant, which, like now at Excelsior Henderson, took place out of nowhere.
Hurd enjoys an excellent reputation as a logistician and technical organizer and can almost be considered a guarantee that the new factory, which will be built in the small town of Belle Planie in the US state of Minnesota and will move into at the end of 1997, will be state-of-the-art. The start of production is planned for the winter of 1997/98 with initially 150 employees, the number of which is planned to be increased to 500 within the next five years. The long-term production goal is around 20,000 machines per year, with a more sporty and a touring version being planned in addition to the model already presented on the same technical basis.
E.Another small piece of evidence of the seriousness of the Excelsior Henderson mission is the composition of the company’s board of directors. That’s where Carl Hass sits. And this man has a reputation like Donnerhall in the US auto racing scene. The Newman / Haas Racing Team he leads has already won numerous Indy Car championship titles and is one of the finest in this scene. Dan and Dave Hanlon, Allan C. Hurd and Carl Haas, with these “Men on a mission” the second life of Excelsior Henderson should definitely be crowned with success.

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