In August of 1913, at age 22, Carl Stearns Clancy returned to his home in New York. This might not seem a particularly noteworthy fact until you discover that Clancy had been away from home for the better part of a year and during that time he had managed an 18,000-mile journey, circling the globe via motorcycle. This was history’s first documented trek of such consequence. Clancy, at the time an advertising copy-writer would go on to direct and produce films for Will Rogers, and later the U.S. Forest Service.
It was however, Clancy’s motorcycle trek around the globe that would be he his everlasting claim to fame, the feat being documented in the 2010 book Motorcycle Adventurer by Dr. Gregory Frazier. Of course, if one were to attempt such an endeavor you would need a stout and reliable steed and Clancy’s 1912 Henderson Four Model B proved to be all that and more. Active from 1911 through 1931, Henderson motorcycles out of Detroit Michigan were considered to be the fastest bikes of their era and were coveted by police for that reason.
The Henderson was the third four-cylinder motorcycle produced in America and the inline flat head engine makes a unique sound as you can tell from this video of the cold start of a 1918 model. It’s well worth hearing and an excellent start to the work week. Hendersons continue to set records today, as examples sell for outrageous money when at auction. Because it’s Monday, let’s live vicariously and imagine riding just such a restored Four on our own trip around the globe.