Last year Matt, my husband, and I purchased an Excelsior Series 19 Military fork from our friend Gene at the Lincoln Highway National AMCA meet held every February in Nebraska.
During World War I Excelsior had to meet the extraordinary requirements of the Army. They did this by improving their Double Truss Fork with crown plates and side trusses. They advertized this fork in 1917 as the strongest fork ever to be put on a motorcycle. They also stated, this double truss in connection with the three point handle bar casting and the five leaf, scroll type spring makes a fork that is, for all ordinary purposes, absolutely unbreakable. Could this be why Excelsior racers, during this period, used them on many of their race bikes? I believe so!
As with so many used antique motorcycle parts, my old fork needed some work, in order to put it to use on my race bike. The top of the fork had been pretty beat-up from the years of wear and tear, so we decided to make a new neck stem and extend the outer fork tubes which had previously been cut down. You can see in the picture we had to cut and grind the stem out of the fork.
In the image below I am making a parts assembly diagram and blueprint of a new neck stem for my racing fork. The original Excelsior neck stem measured 1.1250 inch, however we wanted to run a 1.000 inch stem so we could use springer neck cups and races, which we reproduce and therefore parts are much easier for us to obtain. We need to keep things like this in mind because I cannot simply go to the nearest dealership and order parts to repair my bike for the next race. Most of my parts will have to made custom and by hand.
I love my fork and appreciate all the help of my family and friends.