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1930 Excelsior Henderson

Written by Motorcyclepedia

1930 Excelsior Henderson

This Streamliner model, more commonly known as “KJ”, appeared in 1929. It was the return of the IOE (Inlet Over Exhaust) valve configuration, and it featured improved cooling. The Henderson produced 40 brake horsepower (bhp) @ 4,000 RPM. It featured a 5 main bearing crank shaft, and down draft carburation. The streamline was capable of 100 mph. It was in production from 1929 until 1931, and could be purchased for $435, which was a high price for this time period.

New for Henderson in 1928-29 was the leading link parallelogram fork, which was inspired by Harley Davidson. The rocker arms were also made longer so that max fork travel was increased. The wheels and tires were also made larger, 27×4 inches. The basic specifications weren’t changed through the end of production in 1931, but there were 57 improvements advertised. Some of which include: forged steering head, one-piece rear fender that could be pivoted for simplification, the inlet manifold was integrated with rocker arms, valve springs and valves. Henderson also installed an instrument panel, 7 years ahead of Harley and 8 ahead of Indian.

Also from 1929-1931 there was a clutch petal with toe activated lock down and heel. Other fitted speed modifications for the era include a large carburetor, polished inlet and exhaust ports, stronger valve springs, and a camshaft with higher lift and/or increased valve overlap.

The K model Henderson was the first new motorcycle from the Henderson company following its takeover by Schwinn and was designed by Arthur Lemon. The KJ model was introduced in 1929, it was the same as the K, but had a stronger crankshaft capacity.

By the 1920s Henderson was a large supplier of police motorcycles, but by 1929 when the Great Depression hit, motorcycle sales plummeted. On March 31, 1931 Ignaz Schwinn made the announcement that the company would immediately cease opereations

New for Henderson in 1928-29 was the leading link parallelogram fork, which was inspired by Harley Davidson. The rocker arms were also made longer so that max fork travel was increased. The wheels and tires were  made larger, 27×4 inches.

The basic specifications weren’t changed through the end of production in 1931, but there were 57 improvements advertised. Some of which include: forged steering head, one-piece rear fender that could be pivoted for simplification, the inlet manifold was integrated with rocker arms, valve springs and valves.

Henderson installed an instrument panel, 7 years ahead of Harley and 8 ahead of Indian.

•Engine: Four Cylinder, IOE
Displacement:     79 ci – 40 hp
•Transmission: 3 Speed with Reverse
•Drive Train: Chain
•Carburetor: Schebler
•Ignition: Bosch Magneto
•Frame: Steel Tubular
•Suspension:
Front: Leading Link Spring
•Specifications:
Top speed: 100 mph

•1930 Prices:
Average Income- $1,973  / 52 weeks = $37.94 per week
New Car- $610
Gas Per Gallon-  $ .10
Price of Motorcycle- $435

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