Motorcycle Throwback - The Remodeled 1930 Henderson
Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Motorcycle Throwback - The Remodeled 1930 Henderson

This remodeled version of the 1930 Henderson is a beautiful remake of the classic.

Every now and then a restored motorcycle comes along that really makes you revel in the beauty of the classics. Many people look at some of the motorcycles that were being produced in the 1930's with their head cocked to one side asking, "What were they thinking?" This time period was drenched in the obsession with art deco and the futuristic. The artistic expression was reflected in all aspects of culture including many motorcycles like the 1929 Majestic. And in 1930, Henderson motorcycles put out their own art deco inspired ride.

Henderson Motorcycle Co. was founded in 1911 in Detroit, Michigan when William G. Henderson and his brother Tom W. Henderson put their heads and money together to start creating some of the most popular motorcycles in America. But it would be the 1930 Henderson that would be remembered so vividly today. Though the company went under due to the Great Depression in 1931, a man by the name of Frank Westfall would reintroduce their last model at the Rhinebeck Grand National Meet in 2010.

Westfall's motorcycle was originally not built by the Henderson Motorcycle Co., but was built in 1936 by O. Ray Courtney who was inspired by the Hendersons' final production. And when Westfall got his hands on it, the motorcycle was once again restored to look just like the beautiful art deco inspired 1930 Henderson. While this ride isn't straight from the history pages, it surely does embody the beauty of the bikes of that time period.

The owner Frank after he revealed his masterpiece at the Rhinebeck Grand National Meet in 2010.   The original 1930 Henderson.
The owner Frank after he revealed his masterpiece at the Rhinebeck Grand National Meet in 2010.   The original 1930 Henderson.

One of the most unique things about these art deco inspired motorcycle chassis of the time period was that they were the first to completely enclose the engine. This style has very obviously influenced the touring bikes of today. And, though there has been some speculation of what kind of engine lies beneath that massive shell of metal, the engine of this bike was revealed to be an inline four cylinder. Unfortunately, even with a fairly hefty engine, the size of this beast makes the motorcycles a little difficult to ride. Especially since the frame of the bike was designed for the body style in the 1930's, which was markedly smaller.

Still, this remake of the 1930's Henderson is truly a beautiful remembrance of the classic art deco inspired motorcycles of the time. Photos from

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      Wednesday, August 3, 2011 11:10:13 AM
      Mark Janes said:

Thanks for bringing these to us. The Henderson looks very much like an Art Deco version of the Honda PC800. Even ran an inline four- was it air or liquid cooled? It'd be interesting to know more technical details, such as frame design, type of transmission (how many gears?) and final drive, suspension, tires and wheels, performance, range, that sort of thing. But again, thank you.


      Wednesday, August 3, 2011 11:51:46 AM
      BikeBandit said:

Hey Mark! It's my pleasure to write about these beauties. I'm glad that you enjoy them as much as I do. Unfortunately, not a whole lot is known about what really lies beneath the chassis of this beast. But if I do happen to come across any more info on the engine specs, I'll be sure to update you!



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