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Bajaj purchases Excelsior-Henderson name

Bajaj Auto has filed a trademark for Excelsior-Henderson name. They have bought the name under the use of motorcycle parts and clothing. The clothing trademark could be used for riding gears and apparel. The trademark was filed with EUIPO or European Union Intellectual Property Office. This is not the first time that the Indian manufacturer has filed for Excelsior-Henderson. In 2018, Bajaj filed a trademark to run this name for a motorcycle design class, which includes vehicles, service, and parts. It is still too soon to make predictions about what Bajaj will be doing with the brand.

History of Excelsior-Henderson

Excelsior-Henderson was formed in 1876 as Excelsior Supply Company. The newly formed company used to supply and manufacture cycles and cycle parts. It wasn’t until 1912, that Excelsior-Henderson found some serious fame. The Chicago-based manufacturer produced the first motorcycle which was officially timed at 160 kmph or 100 mph. In 1912, Excelsior was bought by Schwinn who was also a Chicago-based manufacturer. It was 1917 when Schwinn decided to also buy Henderson motorcycles decided to merge Henderson and Excelsior brand name. Thus the name Excelsior-Henderson was formed. Unfortunately, Schwinn decided to focus on only cycles and shut down the Excelsior-Henderson even after having a full order book because of the Great Depression that hit the market in 1931.

It was not until the early 90’s that we saw Excelsior-Henderson make a comeback. It was revived by Minnesota-based Hanlon Manufacturing Company who bought the rights to the Excelsior-Henderson name and its products. The manufacturer produced the Excelsior-Henderson Super X motorcycle. It was powered by a 1386 cc, four-stroke, air-cooled, twin-cylinder engine. The engine featured DOHC setup, fuel injection and 4-valves per cylinder. The engine was mated to a 5-speed gearbox and the rear wheel was driven through a belt drive instead of traditional chain drive. Unfortunately, only 1,950 units of the motorcycles were sold before the manufacturer stopped the production. The company did not produce anything after that, but it continued to exist until 2018 where it was put up for an auction.

Bajaj and Excelsior-Henderson 

In the 2018 auction, no one bought the brand so Bajaj Auto stepped in and filed the trademark. The first trademark with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) was for the vehicles, parts and service. Then on 25th December 2020, the Indian manufacture filed the trademark for clothing which might include some type of riding gear. Bajaj is not the only manufacturer to take up a classic motorcycle brand. TVS acquired the legendary British Brand, Norton for Rs. 153 crores, which was an all-cash deal. However, Norton continues to exist with its own identity in the international markets. There is still no official word on how TVS will be implementing the Norton in India. More recently, Harley Davidson announced its exit from the Indian market. Due to which a lot of dealerships and customers were unhappy. This is when Hero Motocorp stepped in and took the charge of handling the sales and after-sales for Harley Davidson. Hero will also be developing some new products which will be sold as Harley Davidson and will be co-developed by both the brands.