Heritage 1992 - 2002

What began in December 1992 as a small hot spark during a cold Minnesota winter at a Christmas gathering on the Hanlon family farm in Belle Plaine, ultimately was ignited into a motorcycle business venture that would span the world and spark debates between friend and foe alike--and sometimes continues to this day. However, none of that was known then. Only known was the fun times of sharing life's experiences in a large family gathering, and savoring the moments together before once again embarking on the daily grind of life.

Beginning as a sole proprietor in 1993, Hanlon Manufacturing had some lofty goals of developing a proprietary OEM motorcycle manufacturing company, adopting a rich American brand with the tradition of the earlier days of motorcycling. Almost 100%, it was universally stated or quietly assumed by others, that it couldn't be done--or simply stated that "you" couldn't do it. But why not? Motorcycles have been built for decades and continue to be ridden daily, so surely it's possible. Maybe difficult, but not impossible. The difficulty is not in developing the technology, but rather developing the infrastructure and longterm capital to simply make it happen, all the while needing to publicly maneuver in the marketplace long before the product is available. At the company, we would commonly state, "it is not the complexity of the tasks before us, but rather the sheer volume of things that need to get done in a short period of time." And, there will be no second chances. It's one-shot.

Therein became the company culture, that some revered and others castigated. But it is who we are. And we did it. Today, you can still buy and ride a 1999-2000 Excelsior-Henderson motorcycle that has stood the test of time--and is truly a proprietary OEM American motorcycle with a rich heritage in the rear view mirror.

There has been a significant amount of international and local media coverage all conveyed by third parties bringing the news to their audiences. And what a lot of excitement, and it was sometimes difficult to keep the company focused. There are many sources of information regarding the company, with some of them listed elsewhere on this site, so you can learn as much as you like. Your best resource is the book Riding The American Dream, and this snapshot provided here will provide a supplemental look.

Immediately below is a link that will take you to a new page that will allow you to view pages along with pages published in the Riders Handbook. It is approx. 20 pages, so you will need to wait while it downloads, depending upon your internet connection speed. If you have a dialup connection, you will not want to click unless you can wait for the download...

Press the  START  button to launch a recent chapter in time...