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Old 10-21-2006, 11:59 AM   #31
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Default Re: The Legacy

Great stuff, Fred. The guys who rode on those old machines certainly had "adventure" touring down pat. My Dad told me stories of my Uncle Freddie, who had been the "southeast racing champion" on board an Indian, some time in the 1920s or 30s. He had a factory machine that the local dealer had got for him as a sponsored racer.

My dad always tried to tell me that riding motorcycles was dangerous and not to be done in the heavy traffic in in 1960s. But that admonition could not stand against the stories of Uncle Freddie. Once in the 30s, dad was sitting in a bar in Savannah. Two cops were sitting close to him, having a beer. Uncle Freddie went roaring down Bull Street, which was unpaved, speeding much, much faster than the twenty miles and hour or so that was the posted speed limit.

The young cop jumped up to pursue him, and the old cop just put his hand on his arm and sat him back down, saying, "Don't worry about it, son. That's Freddie Kuck. You don't have a chance in hell of catching him."

I bought my first bike in 1969.

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Old 10-21-2006, 12:35 PM   #32
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Thanks Fred!

I miss my crazy Grandfather, too.

He didn't ride, but he helped build the paved roads and the Interstate highways as an heavy equipment operator.

He had some wild stories.
You would not understand,
this is not how I am...

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Old 10-21-2006, 01:30 PM   #33
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You should really get some of those stories on tape, or commit them to paper, record them for posterity. I used to listen to my Dad and his buddies when I was a boy, and the stories he told about when HE was growing up - I always meant to get him to tell them to me when I could record them, now I've no way to do so.
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Old 10-21-2006, 01:49 PM   #34
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Great stuff Fred, you made my eyes get all wet, damm you
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Old 10-21-2006, 07:10 PM   #35
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When cage drivers ask, "Why is it so damn important that you ride a motorcycle?" I can point to this article and say, "Because."

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Old 10-21-2006, 09:25 PM   #36
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Fred, you are the Pulitzer writer when it comes to motorcycles. The thing that puts a tear to my eye tho, is as a grandfather, i owned one of the Hanlon's flawed bikes.

Thanks for some memories

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Old 10-21-2006, 11:18 PM   #37
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great article...

actually it looks like there are 3 Fred Raus...
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Old 10-22-2006, 03:02 AM   #38
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Thanks, Fred.
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Old 10-22-2006, 10:52 AM   #39
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But was this Excelsior really a power cruiser or not? Where is Ace when we need him?

- cruiz-euro
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Old 10-22-2006, 11:21 AM   #40
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I was interested in Fred Rau's article since I feel he unfairly maligned the new Excelsior Henderson's and got his facts wrong about the old bikes in an article in another publication. I do appriciate the nostalgia of the story the only thing correct on the accomplishments of the Excelsior is that Lee Humiston was the first to break 100mph on 12-3-1912. A month later he broke the 100 mile record of 75 minutes by doing it in 68 minutes. In 1915 they were advertised as the fastest motorcycle ever built. As far as going around the world, that was Carl Stearns Clancy on a 1912 Henderson set in 1913. The transcontinental run by Alan Bedler was also done on a Henderson (3,296 mi. in 7 days 16hr 15 min.). He also set a 24 hr record of 1154 mi. avg. speed 48 mph at Ascot Park on a Henderson. Also, on 7-19-1917 Roy Artly went from Blaine, Canada to Tijuana in 3 days 25 min. (1667 mi). He also set a 300 mile board track record averaging 77 mph on a Henderson. For 100 of those miles he exceded 80 mph.

In the time period mentioned in the article these were seperate motorcycles and seperate companies (Schwinn bought Excelsior in 1911 and bought Henderson in Nov. 1917) They were always seperate branded motorcycles - Excelsior was a V-twin and Henderson was a inline four, although through the years after 1920 styling similarities came in because they had the same owner. I enjoy most of Fred's articles, but please check the facts.
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