Seeing a great future in producing a motorcycle having features never used before, William Henderson, a pioneer in four-cylinder motorcycle design, and his brother Tom founded The Henderson Motor Company in 1911 in Detroit, Michigan. That first year 25 bikes were produced and you could purchase one for around $325. The Henderson was a large and fast bike. It was because it was faster than anything else on the road at the time that Police Departments favored them for traffic patrol and although never intended for racing, numerous records were set on a Henderson.
By 1917, the Henderson four cylinder was considered one of the countries premier motorcycles and was also being sold overseas but due to financial difficulties merged with Excelsior in 1918 where production of the Henderson continued until 1931.
In 1925 when this bike made its debut, changes made in the production of the Henderson included redesigning the frame with a downward slope towards the rear for a lower center of gravity which allowed for the use of a shorter, wider 4 gallon fuel tank. Alterations were also made to the low and reverse gear ratios and bigger tires were added.
This is another one of the beautifully restored classics owned by Ross Van Etten from Colorado Springs who purchased it from its previous owner out in California. “I saw it advertised for sale and contacted them to get some pictures so I could see what it looked like”, said Ross. “Back in the 40’s, someone had painted it a lighter shade of blue and you could still see traces of that but it was pretty rough put together machine and everything needed refinished”.
Through his patience and expertise, Ross has resurrected this bike from cobwebs and rust to showroom condition and this is one of many motorcycles that Ross has restored that are featured at the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum. Ross is a dedicated motorcycle enthusiast who through his restoration efforts of these beautiful old machines shares with us what it was like to ride a motorcycle ~ back in the day!