Icon 1000 Axys Collection

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