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1920 Excelsior Series 20

In America, Cruiser, Vintage by Tom Wacker0 Comments

Excelsior introduced its first motorcycle in 1905 after starting in the bicycle business. In 1910 Excelsior introduced their first V-Twin and by 1911 the company had been bought by Ignaz Schwinn of the bicycle firm that bore his name. 1915 saw the introduction of the ‘Big X’ V-Twin, a 61 CID power plant that would carry on to 1925. The …

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Indian Chief Replica – 2005 Kawasaki Drifter 800

In Cruiser, Japan by Abhi0 Comments

In 1994, Denny Berg worked with Cobra USA to take a Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 and create an “American Classic” custom. It was a success on the show circuit, and the next year Kawi released a “Classic” version of the Vulcan. The next year, Kawasaki went back to Cobra, Denny, and Don Emde (son of the legendary racer Floyd Emde). Don …

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The Time Machine – 1972 Honda CB750 Chopper

In Cruiser, Custom, Japan by Abhi1 Comment

2-8-17 Update: 14 months later, this Tracy-bodied CB is back up for sale with a lower asking price. Find it (still in Houston) with a BIN of $2,350 here on eBay. Post Listing Update: This CB750 got no interest at the asking price of $3,750. Based out of Tracy, California, Tracy Fiberglass Fabricator Works used to create custom bodywork for …

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Free – 1986 Kawasaki LTD454 Project

In Cruiser, Japan by Abhi0 Comments

No, that’s not a typo. If you’re in the Bay Area, Evolution Motorcycles has a Kawasaki LTD that’s been sitting for a while (with compression issues in one cylinder) that they’re trying to get rid of. It needs work, but you can’t argue with the price!

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Bookends – Harley Davidson VLs: 1930 and 1936

In America, Cruiser, Vintage by Tom Wacker0 Comments

The Great Depression ravaged the entire economy of the United States, and Harley Davidson was no exception. Total production plummeted and dealers and the company struggled to survive. The 1930 model year saw the introduction of a brand new 74 CID V-Twin motor. Sidevalve design it would become known as ‘the Flathead’ in the HD lexicon. It offered a huge …

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1949 Harley-Davidson Hydra Glide

In America, Cruiser by Tom Wacker0 Comments

1948 was the first year for the PanHead motor which featured alloy heads and hydraulic valve adjustment. In 1949 Harley Davidson introduced hydraulic telescopic fork front suspension to their big twins. The combination put a dagger in Indian’s heart. Harley had become the technology leader by a large margin. Hydra Glide. Doesn’t seem like much today, but the Hydra Glide …

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1911 Harley-Davidson Model 7

In America, Cruiser, Vintage by Abhi0 Comments

1911 was a very big year in the history of Harley Davidson. The motor company expanded from 150 employees in 1910 to 550 at the end of 1911. They put out a stunning 5,625 units, more than double the 1910 production. All were model 7, and most were the 30 CID single cylinder but the Model 7 D featured a …

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Ending Soon – 1968 Harley-Davidson FLH Electra Glide

In America, Cruiser by Tom Wacker0 Comments

1968 was not a particularly good year in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Electra Glide had debuted as a 1965 model and 1966 saw the brand new Shovelhead motor for the big twins. The Shovelhead made roughly 10% more power than the Panhead which more than made up for the added weight associated with electric start and rear suspension. That part was …

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1912 Indian V-Twin

In America, Cruiser, Vintage by Tom Wacker0 Comments

1912 was a very good year for Hendee Manufacturing Company of Springfield, Massachusetts. So good that the Indian brand would sell 32,000 units in 1913 to make them the largest manufacturer of motorcycles on the planet with 42% of the US market. The company didn’t officially change it’s name until 1923 when it became the Indian Motocycle (no r) Company.

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1973 Triumph Hurricane X-75

In Cruiser, England by Abhi0 Comments

Considered by some to be the world’s first “factory custom”, the Triumph Hurricane was the brainchild of Craig Vetter (well known as a motorcycle designer and manufacturer of custom motorcycle fairings) and Don Brown (General Manager of BSA). Brown wanted a better looking British triple, as he believed the Trident and Rocket III weren’t selling well in the US because …

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Return from WWII – 1946 Indian Chief

In America, Cruiser by Tom Wacker0 Comments

In 1946 Indian resumed production after the war with exactly one model: the Chief. The Duponts were actively trying to sell the company and decided that just marketing their most popular model was the economic choice for the company. Turns out that was another decision that contributed to the demise of Indian.