From:Ken Lee
Subject:RE: RE: Re.Re Otis Spiker Newsletter DeLuce Picture Date:Mon Oct 14 04:17:59 2013
Response to:4872
Hello Douge/Nick , I think Nick is refering to the handlebar clutch operation as used on Excelsiors , one would disengage the clutch with the foot pedal and then it can be kept disengaged with the left hand 'throttle' and engaged by turning the twist grip outwards , leaving the left foot holding you upright as the right foot would be on the brake !! See the rod operation on the picture running down the front down tube . The rider has his foot firmly on the footboard but the foot pedal is down and long clutch lever forward , held there by the left handlebar throttle . That's what I think/see anyway , cannot understand IF I am right , why the Henderson also has a long clutch lever too. Harley's , Indians and ACE's amongst others had long hand levers on the tank side , although Harleys were shorter , best wishes , Ken

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.

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.