2020 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
Lot
105

c1914 Excelsior 'Big X' V-Twin 1000cc Solo Motorcycle (Project)

$40,700

Melbourne

Sold

Specifications

Engine 1000cc V-twin
Gearbox Two-Speed Manual
Colour Grey & Red
Trim Brown
Wheels Wire Spoke
Brakes Rear Drum

Description

This lot is no longer available

Excelsior Motor Manufacturing & Supply Company was an American motorcycle manufacturer operating in Chicago from 1907 to 1931. Bought out by bicycle maker Arnold, Schwinn & Co in 1912, an Excelsior became the first motorcycle to be officially timed at a speed of 100 mph in that same year. Excelsior expanded five years later with the purchase of the Henderson Motorcycle Company and by 1928 had become the third largest brand in the American motorcycle market, behind Indian and Harley-Davidson. The mainstay of Excelsior’s production through the 1910s and into the 1920s was the 1000cc BigX model which had an inlet-over-exhaust V-twin engine, firstly with belt drive and later two speed and then three speed gearbox. Readily identifiable by the BigX graphics on its tank, the BigX was initially only available in grey with red panels, before a 'Military Model' joined the range in khaki (a green-brown shade). In the 1920s, the Excelsior BigX was finished in a very dark blue with fine gold pinstriping, and a handful were also built with 1210cc engines during this time. Excelsior exported a number of BigX units to Europe and Australia. Production of the BigX continued until 1924, when it was replaced by the Super X. In 1929 the Stock Market crashed, and the resulting Great Depression caused motorcycle sales to plummet. Two years later, Schwinn chose to pare back its operations to its core business of bicycle manufacture, so Excelsior motorcycle operations ceased in September 1931.