This stunning Henderson was once the finest motorcycle of them all

Harley-Davidson and Indian might be most closely associated with American motorcycling, but back in the 1910s and the dawn of personal transportation, it was Henderson which built the very best bikes. This über-rare Henderson Model D from 1915 has just emerged for sale on Classic Driver…

“The longest, most difficult, and most perilous motorcycle journey ever attempted,” is how The Bicycling World and Motorcycle Review described New Yorker Carl Steams Clancy’s circumnavigation of the world in 1912. Clancy’s steed was a Henderson Four, and if there was any doubt that the Detroit-based manufacturer built the fastest and most robust motorcycles, his 19,000-mile feat of endurance dispelled it. 

Today, the exquisite machines built by Henderson represent the pioneering golden era of motorcycling and, perhaps unsurprisingly, are highly sought-after by collectors. The superb example you’re ogling is a Model D from 1915, which was the final Henderson fitted with the spectacular long frame. Powered by a quiet and smooth 1,075cc inline-four capable of propelling the bike to 115kph, a frankly dizzying figure for the time. 

Not only does this motorcycle benefit from a meticulous restoration, but it also resided in the collection of one of the world’s foremost Henderson experts, who was able to certify its origin. The beauty of this bike is such that it would look every bit as good sat in the corner of your office or living room as it would in your garage. The intrepid among you might even dare to replicate Carl Steams Nancy’s epic round-the-world journey. Now that would be a story to tell the grandchildren. 

Photos courtesy of Renaissance Motorcycle © 2020 

The production of this story was kindly supported by Renaissance Motorcycle. You can find this beautifully restored 1915 Henderson Model D listed for sale in the Classic Driver Market, in addition to Renaissance Motorcycle’s entire inventory of stock