Here’s your chance to buy an entire motorcycle brand
Starting a new business is tough, especially when it comes to vehicles. In addition to establishing a brand, you need to design a chassis, powertrain and more, all before you sell anything. But if you’re looking to start building motorcycles, Mecum Auctions offers a possible shortcut to get started, as the auction house sells the Excelsior-Henderson brand of motorcycles.
In case you are unfamiliar with the business, Excelsior-Henderson dates back to the early 1900s and was operated by the Schwinns of past and present fame. According to Mecum, the company remained in business until the Great Depression, when it closed the motorcycle line in 1931. While in operation, the company built a wide range of motorcycles in four-cylinder and twin-cylinder configurations in V, and built a few racing bikes, some of which had engines close to 1000 cc in displacement.
The company’s closure in 1931 was not the end. A man named Dan Hanlon started working at a motorcycle company that would build bikes with stock frames and drivetrains in 1993. According to his company’s website, he started the company as of Hanlon Manufacturing before renaming the defunct Excelsior-Henderson company in 1996. The company’s first and only motorcycle, the Super X, named after and inspired by an old Excelsior-Henderson bicycle, was revealed in 1996 at Sturgis and went into production in 1998. You can see one of the company’s employees doing a burnout on one in the video above. According to Mecum, the company built just under 2,000 before closing in 1999.
Now, as to how this is a potential shortcut for budding motorcycle industrialists, buying the Excelsior-Henderson brand comes with every bit of the company’s intellectual property. This includes various marketing elements such as logos, branding and websites, but it also includes complete chassis and engine designs used by the company, as well as expired patents. All of these things would be a boon for a new motorcycle company, as it would provide a bit of a starting point, rather than starting completely from scratch. The brand and its associated intellectual property are up for sale at the Mecum Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction which runs from January 23, 2018 through January 27, 2018.