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model 19

American 1000cc army motorbike.

American Excelsior model 19. This is a 1000cc ioe V-twin of late 1918 early 1919. This motorbike has the reinforced front fork and has served in Europe at the end of WWI.
Excelsior was known as the fastest American 1000cc motorbike, many races were won with an average of over 100 miles/h (160km/h!). Before delivery to the army, all motorbikes were tested by soldiers of the Quartermaster's Department. They had to ride 2000 miles in mountainous areas and through deserts. This without being allowed to adjust, check or maintain anything. During this ride two motorbikes had their gears locked in top gear and had to do a 180 mile mountain ride with gradients up to 40%. The 3rd gear was sealed by government testing officers and after the ride the motorbikes were checked and declared intact. They also had to do a test drive over a 22.5 mile dirt road that was declared impassable for motorised transport only accessible by caterpillar tractor. The first time, the three Excelsiors drove the 22.5 mile dirt road(!) in 2 hours and the second time in 1h45. This proved once again the incredible power of this V-twin.
This army model was also available as a public model from 1918 and this sturdy front fork could be obtained for an extra 5 dollars. An option much used by sidecar riders.
This model is much rarer than Indian or Harley. During WWI, 3,500 Excelsiors were delivered against 41,000 Indians and 15,000 Harley's.

This motorbike is complete apart from some very small details and needs a technical overhaul.




model 19



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