358 Vintage Road Racer

Excelsior motorcycle
This is one of the most unusual creations we’ve seen for a while. It was built by Paul Brodie of Washington State, a talented engineer with a penchant for classic motorcycles. Brodie was reverse-engineering an Excelsior boardtrack engine using modern materials, and needed a test mule for his embryonic motor. So he built this ‘358 Vintage Road Racer’ using an extraordinarily diverse range of parts from Aermacchi, Moto Guzzi, Honda, Kawasaki, Aprilia, Gas Gas and Jawa. The engine is a modern recreation of the design used in a 1919 OHC Excelsior boardtracker: It’s 1000cc, and the dyno records 70.9 rear wheel horsepower at 6000 rpm. (In a bike weighing just 300lbs dry (136kg), that means pretty serious performance.) Bolted to this engine is a Triumph five-speed transmission, controlled by a Jawa speedway clutch. The carburetor is a traditional 40mm Amal, but ignition is modern electronic. Brodie documents his projects in detail, with clear photography of all stages, so his website is invaluable stuff for bike builders. The 358 Vintage Road Racer section is 13 pages in all, covering almost two years of fabrication and building. And since the engine was first fired up in May last year, Brodie has put in an extra 500 hours refining it. It’s an old fashioned labor of love mixing old and new technology—and I don’t know about you, but I reckon the world is a better place for this sort of thing. [Head over to the Flashback Fabrications website for this and other Excelsior projects, plus restorations ranging from an 1895 Roper Steam Bike to a 1972 Aermacchi Ala d’Oro.]

Excelsior motorcycle
Excelsior motorcycle

  • Ed’ B

    I would like to shake his hand.

  • Bravo! What a wonderful combination of pieces from various eras, and yet it all comes together so well. I love motorcycles that look…like motorcycles.

  • Rod Houghton

    An ABSOLUTE masterpiece,to comment further would only do you an injustice!!! ATTABOY!!!

  • completely inspiring. So cool. Thanks so much

  • Ecosse




  • Well, that’s pretty cool.

  • Andrew

    You know, I see these guys crafting working model engines in miniature and I wonder why, when a guy with those skills could make the full-sized thing and actually use it to create forward motion on wheels. I’ve always looked at antique machinery and especially the early years of motorcycling and wondered what if they had materials and techniques like we do now. In many instances, their concepts were held back due to the materials they were stuck with. And they still managed 100 mph at a time when there were still horses on the streets. This is great!

  • johnrdupree

    His build pages are fookin’s amazing. I’m reading them with awe and wonder.

  • joe momma

    …nearly better than girls and sliced bread……reminds me of my threat to buds…..if the xb9 motor ever gives out i’m putting straight piped ’28 chief motor in the chasis…..wonder if i could make the fuel injection work??….

  • mingh

    Paul brodie earned respect in the mountain biking world for his exquisite steel frames. the work he did on the Excelsior and other motorcycles send most “custom” builders straight back to square 1. Not even falcon comes close.