6. Excelsior-Henderson

1930 Excelsior Super X Streamliner

Bicycle icon and AMA Hall of Famer, Ignaz Schwinn, purchased Excelsior (not to be confused with the British and German brands of the same name) in 1911. Six years later he purchased the Henderson Motorcycle Co. Within the next decade Excelsior-Henderson was the third largest U.S. motorcycle manufacturer behind Indian and Harley-Davidson. The Great Depression convinced Schwinn to shutter his motorcycle division in 1931.

Around 62 years later Dan Hanlon re-established the Excelsior-Henderson marque. A significant investment was made from various sources, and a new factory built in Belle Plain, MN. After producing upwards of 2,000 models over the course of two years, however, the company ran dry of capital and ceased operations.