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Thread: How can I check my frame is straight

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Sarasota, Florida


    Tom, I looked through my Excelsior literature and it only states that their frames were 'heat treated'. I can safely say that Excelsior frames were not as strong as H-D, or Indian, and they are easy to bend. That probably had a lot to do with Excelsior being the hot rod of it's day as they were considerably lighter than the competition. I also remember the advice of an old time Excelsior enthusiast who said to always carefully examine Excelsior left side motor cases for cracking. Most suspect would be an Ex that did a lot of sidecar duty as much of the torque, and stress of lugging a sidecar went into the stressed member motor. I love Excelsiors, but there were some serious engineering short comings in their front motor mount that also acted as the magneto base. The Excelsior frame concept didn't really change from '07-'24, and even though it was fine in the early days of single cylinders, and poor roads; America changed fast, and motorcycles got faster, but Excelsior's frame didn't get stronger. Even worse, in 1918 Excelsior introduced the removable frame bar above the motor to facilitate de-carbonizing, and engine removal and that made the frame weaker than earlier frames. I believe it was Floyd Clymer who said, 'Excelsiors are a candle that burns brightly, but not for long.' Excelsiors had a great motor, but a weak frame, unlike the Indian Big Chiefs of 1921 and later with their super strong frames, and reliable sidevalve motors. In my opinion, Indian made the best motorcycles in the world into the 1920s.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2017


    Quote Originally Posted by T. Cotten View Post
    Are you 'channelling' Ignaz, Ryan?

    If so, set me up for a sťance!... thanks.

    PS: I guess "memory" should not only apply to making a frame straight again, but also to staying straight.
    A lady that lives beside my aunt has original complete sets of blueprints for several model years for the Super X and Henderson motorcycles. She also has several notebooks full of notes and process sheets for each model year he worked with. Her grandpa was a draftsmen for the company for 20 plus years and she is about 70-75 years old.

    That is the best I can do Cotten.

    PS: He also work with many Schwinn bicycles.
    Last edited by ryan; 07-21-2017 at 07:25 AM. Reason: Added the PS

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Central Illinois, USA


    Sounds priceless, Ryan!

    Even just scans...

    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

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