Classic Motorcycle Classic Motorcycle

Excelsior 4¼hp c.1922 550cc 1 cyl sv Blackburne


Excelsior 4¼hp c.1922 550cc 1 cyl sv Blackburne

Manufacturer: Excelsior

Model: 4 ¼hp

Year: c. 1922
Displacement: 548 cc
Cylinder: 1 Blackburne
Engine type: 4-stroke / sv
Bore / Stroke: 85 x 97 mm
Power: 14hp @ 3600 rpm
Compression Ratio: 1:4.8

Frame number: 450
Engine number: FD128

Excelsior, based in Coventry, was a British bicycle, motorcycle and car maker. They were Britain’s first motorcycle manufacturer, starting production of their own ‘motor-bicycle’ in 1896. Initially they had premises at Lower Ford Street, Coventry, and 287-295 Stoney Stanton Road, Hillfields, Coventry, Warwickshire before moving to Kings Road, Tyseley, Birmingham in 1921. Originally a bicycle company making penny-farthings in 1874 under their original name: Bayliss, Thomas and Co, they later sold bicycles under the names of Excelsior and Eureka and changed the company name to Excelsior Motor Co. in 1910. In the early years of motor-bicycle manufacture they used Minerva, De Dion, MMC and possibly a Condor 850 cc single but went on to produce a wide range of machines with engines from most major manufacturers. In 1914, they offered a JAP-powered twin. A deal to supply the Russian Imperial government with motorcycles ended with the Revolution and Excelsior wound up with an excess inventory as a result. The Walker family (father Reginald and son Eric) took over after World War I. R Walker & Sons of Tyseley, Birmingham had started as makers of ships lamps but in 1919 had made a range of motorcycles under the Monarch name to be sold by the London Department store Gamages. The company was re-registered as the Excelsior Motor Company Ltd, production moved to Birmingham and the Lower Ford Street factory in Coventry sold to Francis-Barnett. They made a range of motorcycles from 98 to 1,000 cc, mostly powered by JAP, Blackburne and Villiers engines, plus an 850 cc Condor engine. The new company put more effort in competition and racing. To avoid confusion with the American maker of the same name, they called themselves the "British Excelsior".

This sturdy bike is equipped with a 548cc Blackburne engine, heavy duty four bolt Sturmey Archer three speed gearbox, senspray carburetor and a massive flywheel to make sure that the engine runs very smooth. Special feature on this bike is the three bolt detachable cylinder head. This fine running chain-cum-belt Excelsior has been restored to highest possible standard the paint is perfect and the stripping is painted as well how it should be. The white paint gives the motorcycle a noble appearance.