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Tuesday, November 7, 2023

A Journey Through Time: Frank Westfall's Unique Motorcycle

ONE-OFF - In the realm of motorcycle enthusiasts, a captivating history unfolds, characterized by passion-driven projects that culminate in truly remarkable outcomes. Among these, a project that has earned widespread acclaim is the extraordinary motorcycle owned by Frank Westfall, who is not only a prominent motorcycle collector but also a well-known local figure in Syracuse, where he runs Middle Earth Leather Works. This exceptional motorcycle, crafted in the art-deco style, has left admirers and onlookers in awe as it elegantly traverses the city streets.
1930 Excelsior KJ Henderson custom motorcycle is built and designed by Orley Ray Courtney. (Picture from: BikeExif)
This extraordinary masterpiece finds its roots in the chassis of a 1930 Henderson KJ Model 'Streamline' Four motorcycle, a timeless classic. Crafted by the master motorcycle builder Orley Ray Courtney in 1936, this motorcycle stands as a testament to the harmonious union of artistic ingenuity and engineering excellence. At its core lies an inline four-cylinder engine, producing 40 bhp at 4,000rpm, propelling the machine to an impressive top speed of around 100 mph (160 kph).
1930 Henderson 1,301cc Model KJ 'Streamline' Four was the base of the Orley Ray Courtney's art-deco style custom motorcycle. (Picture from: Cars.Bonham)
The KJ body shell, which stands as a symbol of radical innovation, represents a departure from the conventional. This streamlined marvel defies traditional design, boasting a curved, vertical-bar grille reminiscent of the Chrysler Airflow, one of iconic cars of 1930s while its rear end exudes the elegance of an Auburn boat-tail speedster. Each of its panels has been meticulously hand-formed from steel, a laborious process executed with precision and a power hammer.

In the annals of motorcycle history, Henderson was once a respected marque, owned by the renowned American motorcycle manufacturer, Excelsior Motor Mfg. & Supply Co. During the 1930s, it stood tall among the "Big Three" of American motorcycle companies, alongside Harley-Davidson and Indian.
1930 Excelsior KJ Henderson custom motorcycle is powered by an inline four-cylinder of 40 bhp at 4,000rpm, which can be made it run at the top speed of 100 mph (approx 160 kph). (Picture from: AFinePress)
Regrettably, the Henderson marque has faded into obscurity, with a brief attempt at revival in the late 1990s. The enigmatic figure behind the design, Orley Ray Courtney, remains a mystery to many. However, his name resurfaces in a 1953 Popular Science article, accompanied by images of another motorcycle he transformed in 1950, reflecting the evolving style of the times.
1930 Excelsior KJ Henderson custom motorcycle is owned by a collector named Frank Westfall of Syracuse, and had caused a stir in June 2010 when it appeared at the Rhinebeck Grand National Meet. (Picture from: AutoEvolution)
The meticulous restoration and reconstruction efforts undertaken by Frank Westfall are nothing short of awe-inspiring. The unique motorcycle, with its captivating form and undeniable charm, made a significant impact when it graced the Rhineback Grand National Meet in June 2010. This motorcycle show, located just a few hours' drive north of New York City, provided the perfect stage for the world to witness this magnificent creation in all its glory.
Should you possess additional insights or information related to this remarkable marque, we welcome your contributions and comments in the section below. Frank Westfall's art-deco styled motorcycle continues to captivate, reminding us of the boundless possibilities when passion and creativity converge in the world of motorcycle customization. If you're intrigued by the modern version, explore NMoto and Jakusa-Design's motorbike offerings.

Kept spur your adrenaline on the power of the two-wheeled monster and stay alive with true safety riding. May God will forgive Your sins and so does the cops...... *** [EKA [01072020] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | DRIVE2.RU | BIKEEXIF.COM | CORE77 | AUTO EVOLUTION | CARS.BONHAM | AFINEPRESS | FUZZYGALORE | MIKEZINE ]
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