|Subject:||RE: Re.Re Otis Spiker Newsletter DeLuce Picture||Date:||Mon Oct 14 00:22:08 2013|
In Rich Schultz's book, the first Henderson to have a hand clutch lever was the 1916 model, and perhaps only on the 2-speed model. I doubt they were solely for police units.|
My Ace motorcycles all have hand clutch levers, so it isn't a mystery to me. The reason for the lever was the fact the motorcycles didn't have a front brake. On an incline, the rider needed one foot for balance, one foot for clutch and one foot for the rear brake. That is exactly why the hand lever was required. I found this out from use. Even my 1921 Reading Standard has a hand clutch lever, as did period Harley-Davidsons except theirs were short levers close to the gearbox, and may have originated the first "jockey" lever. I think Indian had their version beginning with the Powerplus.
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Please find attached a copy of a photo that I purchased some years ago on eBay. It shows a 1922 Henderson DeLuxe Police Special complete with the optional hand clutch. All of the linkages for the hand clutch are clearly visible.From what I remember of the description of this photo it was taken ouside a Henderson dealership somewhere in Maine. The bike looks as though it has just been unpacked. I hope you all find this of interest.......Nick.