The early ancestors to motorcycles were essentially motorized bicycles with the clever placement of a small engine, gas tank, and additional drive chain. They even retained their pedals to help with propulsion. And like pretty much anything on wheels, humans had the urge to compete against others and make them go as fast as possible. Thus board track racing was born, which was based off of European velodrome bicycle racing around a banked oval track made of planks of wood.
In the United States, board track motorsport (motorcycles and cars) was quite popular in the 1910s and 1920s and race tracks popped up in numerous locations because they were cheap to build, but also required a lot of maintenance. As with many things, the Great Depression was a party pooper and pretty much put an end to this early 20th-century spectator sport and the majority of companies that manufactured the bikes used in such races.
One such manufacturer was Excelsior Motor Manufacturing & Supply Company, founded in 1907 and ultimately acquired by the Schwinn Bicycle Company, perhaps the most-recognized American bicycle manufacturer in the US to this day. For almost a quarter of a century, Excelsior made motorcycles and was always the third-wheel to the better-known Indian and Harley-Davidson brands, which is why you’ve probably never heard of them unless you are a motorcycle geek.
Excelsior is best known for producing the first motorcycle to officially do the ton, or British slang for the 100 MPH mark. On offer is a 1914 Excelsior Board Track Racer replica by Design Studio. It is a working and functional example complete with vintage-looking patina, as if just discovered in Aunt May’s barn after a hundred years of storage…without the mouse droppings and hay.
It comes with a petite 80cc two-stroke motor, low-slung handle bars, a questionable front suspension system that would still likely rattle your teeth, and the rear stand necessary for the bump start. But damn, it still looks cool and is an affordable option to the real deal. It is currently up for bid on Ebay with a current bid of $3,383.33 and counting.
Make: Design Studio Excelsior replica
Model: 1914 Board Track Racer
Engine: 80cc 1-cylinder two-stroke
Price: $3,383.33 current bid (Reserve not met)
This is a very nice excelsior replica produced by Design studio up for sale. the bike has been stored at my studio for display, however is a working example of a 1914 excelsior racer with a new 80cc two stroke motor – started but not ridden – this is the last one we produced that has the barnfind patina that draws the most attention – the finish was replicated from auto examples at the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Mich. Like my antique motorcycles this bike requires tinkering and adjustments – that’s part of the mystique. antique and newer parts comprise the build – steampunk style with new drive train – motor and drive train kept stock.The rear stand is included – needed to bump start bike. The 4th and 5th pic were the inspiration photos used to replicate – since most cant afford and or obtain real boardtrack racers these were replicated.