...Riding The American Dream...
The Official Story of Excelsior-Henderson Motorcycles  

This is a first person narrative book written by Dan Hanlon regarding his experience in being part of the Excelsior-Henderson Motorcycle Manufacturing Company, beginning in 1992 with Hanlon Manufacturing Company and published in 2003. The book has been widely circulated around the world, including being a university text book. The hardcover version is sold out except for remaining inventory with some resellers, and used copies. There is a new reprinted softcover version of this book available for those who have not read it and are interested.

Even if you are not a book reader, you may find this book very interesting as it captures much of the inside strategies and workings of the company. It is not solely about building a motorcycle, however instead is about building a company, whose mission is to revive an American motorcycle brand. This is an important distinction that is often overlooked as some just want to look at the motorcycle itself, when in reality the motorcycle represents an output of what the inputs are into building the company. In part, that is what this book is about, the inputs of building this company.

Another key point, is that companies don't build things--the people within the company do, so it becomes a collection of the people and their knowledge...that build the company...which in turn builds a motorcycle brand. It is important to recognize this chain of events, as it is too easy to focus on the end product--as that is what most customers only experience--when additionally the focus should be on the front process as that determines the end process. And who determines the front process?

Therein lies the heart and soul of Excelsior-Henderson. The people represent the front process. Many former employees of EH will state that it is collectively the most talented group of individuals working together as a team that they have ever worked with--before or since--and this didn't happen by accident. It was the plan. From day one. The company's focus is on the people and culture of the company, because in the final tabulation, they are the company, and they will accomplish what the product is.

"This was the most talented group of people that I have ever had the privilege of working with," states Dan Hanlon, "and would again in a second." It is amazing what was accomplished in such a short period of time--a proprietary OEM EPA DOT manufactured motorcycle here in America...that has now stood the test of time...

And most likely, will be the last great independent proprietary American motorcycle company that was launched...with an internal combustion engine.

 

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