From:Perry Ruiter
Subject:RE: RE: Too Many 1931 KJs ??? Date:Thu Feb 27 02:54:23 2014
Response to:5029
KL35143 is a good example since it is a bike with a well known history. The Summer 1997 AMCA magazine had an article by Steve Blanchard about John Scharle and his lifelong affair with Hendersons. It talks about KL35143 and calls it a 1930. Presumably that model year is based on Scharle's notes since Steve had access to some of them while researching the article. As you note, when Doc Cleveland owned it, it was also listed as a 1930.
We have to ignore the top case's casting date since it was an NOS case Scharle used when he rebuilt it and therefore not original to the bike. In all likelihood the original top case would have had an early March casting date (perhaps the 5th or 6th, as top cases with near serial numbers were cast on both those days). The bottom case however is original to that bike and has a 2-8-30 casting date. February 8th 1930. Given these dates, I think it's safe to say it was well out the factory doors before the 1931 models were being built.
I have top case KJ36196 here with an 8-11-30 casting date (August 11th). Who knows when it was a finished bike and left the factory, but arguably it was likely a 1930 model too, since it seems the 1931 model year may have started as late as January 1931. Hence my suggestion that 36000 should be considered the minimum and that 36200 (or even 36300) may be an even better line between 30 and 31 ... Perry

My KL is 35143. My father had it registered as a 1931. I have a copy of the old Excelsior-Henderson roster from the 80's (I think) which list Doc Cleveland as the owner of KL35143 and identifying the bike as a 1930, go figure. Casting date on the cases is early-ish 1930.

I have photos of the bike taken by John Scharle after buying it used in the 19030's showing the large headlight, DU-7 generator, and brake pulling from the top. Was everything rolling changes? I can't imagine with the depression setting in they would throw out old parts to use "new" stuff only.

I bet Perry is right about 36000 being a better cut-off point. Based on Dave's observation alone the number of bikes left doesn't add up,considering 1930 was a full production year whereas production was ceased in the spring of 1931.

It seems that an inordinate amount of 1931 KJs still exist.

There seem to be a lot of 1929's, and a lot of 1931's out there, but not too many 1930's.

Could Ballak's serial number list be wrong? They show

1929 - s/n 28000 (between 4000 and 5000 bikes)
1930 - s/n 33000 (between 1000 and 2000 bikes)
1931 - s/n 35000 (unknown when they stopped, but the highest serial number I've seen is 36862)

Does anyone have a bike with serial number 35xxx or 36xxx that has a title that says 1930?

It just seems odd that so few 1930's have survived.