Thursday, 13 September 2018

Excelsior Manxman

Excelsior Manxman

Excelsior was the UK's first motorcycle manufacturer. The company's best-known bike, the 'Manxman', was named for the TT - or, Tourist Trophy - the devil-may-care road-race, on the Isle of Man.

After Excelsior won the Lightweight TT - in 1933 - people began to sit up and take notice. The bike was was the so-called 'Mechanical Marvel'! Keen to capitalise on their success, Excelsior conceived a 'racing replica' roadster. At the last, though, the project was cancelled. Excelsior feared its engine would prove too complex for 'Clubman'-level 'tinkering'.

While that change of heart was a loss to amateur racing, it was a boon to road riders. Instead of the 'race rep', Excelsior served up the Manxman. Its single overhead camshaft engine came in 250, 350 and 500cc guises. Light tuning sorted it for the track. Standard, it was more than adequate for country lane heroics. The Excelsior Manxman, then, was a product which pleased everyone. The finest hour of an historic marque!

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