Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions Morthodites-"Non Factory" CORRECTED : H-D Flated Bottom End - JAP Top Ends

CORRECTED : H-D Flated Bottom End - JAP Top Ends

Built something weird, one-off or want to? Ask or tell us about it here.

Posts: 57
looking through some 1921 issues of the English periodical "motorcycling" ( of which I have a full bound set!) I see no evidence of the US Henderson/Excelsior dealers however there are several very low mileage fully equipped 4 cylinder Henderson bikes for sale so maybe some private "entrepreneurs " were bringing them into the UK. I also came across a mention that the import duty in this year on American bikes was 33 1/3 % WOW! I know that protectionism went the other way in America in the 1930's and may have helped instigate the type of manufacture we are discussing. Very few British bikes were exported to the US in the thirties but quite a few came here to Canada.

Posts: 1654
protectionism was rife in the thirties, in both directions. The British bike breakthrough in the US was really triggered by the 1949 devaluation ( from $4 = £1 to $2.80 = £1 ) , which of course was its desired effect.

American vehicles of all descriptions, especially Packard and Ford cars and shooting brakes, sold widely in the colonies, so I would guess that any Henderson or US Excelsior machines in Britain came from that source.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Posts: 591
Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Hi all,

I had the pleasure recently to recieve a CD from some archives, thumbnails of some 3700 period 8 x 10 glass plates of bikes in the UK, from early Penningtons to the mid 50's... A lot of them posed shots with white linen background held by various guys, from shows and such, plus Brooklands, TT races, etc.

You would not believe the amounts of US Iron Gear that made it over the pond, albeit in small numbers!!!

From the very obscure (Limited), the lesser known (Iver Johnson), the better known (Reading Standard) to the "common" ( 4 cyl Henderson, all periods from 1913 to late 20's, H-Ds and Indians galore...

I'll post a few shots if you're interested...


Posts: 1654
those Brooklands pics are always good stuff, especially if they are the Joe Bayley ones!

H-D and Indian both did well in the TT in the early years, although they don't seem to have returned after WW1 - unless anyone can show otherwise? Freddie Dixon had business connections with H-D, and raced them at Brooklands with considerable success in the twenties. There are various pictures of 8-valve and ioe motors being used. 8-valve H-Ds seem to have been used occasionally in European road-racing into the 30s, although the standardisation on 500cc engines seems to have killed them off for most purposes. Likewise JAP's extensive knowledge of port shapes and cam profiles for special fuels gave them dominance of the Brooklands and LSR scene.

of course there was no special treatment for side-valves either in Europe or the UK
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Posts: 57
There WAS midget car racing in Britain and there even was at least one very innovative manufacturer of at least 17 cars called the Skirrow. 4 wheel drive! powered by an 8/80 JAP engine.

Posts: 2688
Location: Los Angeles, CA
If you use to post your photos we would be able to see all of them.

Posts: 2
I also have a motor just like the one pictured except different magneto. Mine is from an old drag bike in modified VL frame.Do you know if your has home made flywheels and some special cams .I just assumed it was a home made motor,not so sure anymore.I also have never heard of a Gus Carlheim interesting.IF anyone knows more please post Thanks

Posts: 1654
I know someone in the Coventry area with a JAP-engined speedway car hanging on his workshop wall. It was originally powered by a 500cc single, which is why it is now hanging on his wall - he had so few opportunities to drive it, that he used the engine for one of his speedway bikes.

to the best of my knowledge it was 2wd.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Posts: 141
Location: USA
Koslow,I just have to say,that scooter of yours is just out of this world,I really can't say enough about it,out of thousands of bikes yours is truly memorable, one to aspire to.Once again the participants of this forum have outshown all others,the sharing of information and experience herein is uncontested and unmatched .If you have more pictures to share it would be appreciated.Thanks so much. :D :D

Posts: 2
I don.t know how to post it, But if you go to youtube and type in Indian cyclecar there is a short video of and early midget race car raced on the west coast with a powerplus drivetrain in it.Look closely it mostly shows the motor.

Posts: 85
There were midget building plans that used indian 741 motors plants in popular mechanics....1950s maybe.

I guy was selling the article/plans (where else?) ebay.


Return to Morthodites-"Non Factory"