Competition Motorcycles

February 11, 2017

Sons of Speed Classic Boardtrack Style Antique Motorcycle Races

Billy Lane and a growing number of his friends are recreating antique motorcycle boardtrack racers with modern frames, forks, wheels and gear but original antique V-twin motors.

Buzz Kanter’s 1915 Harley-Davidson tracker on the Daytona Beach

They plan to race these machines March 17 and 18, 2017 on the banked 1/2 mile oval at the New Smyrna Speedway fifteen minutes south of Daytona Beach.

Slim profile of a boardtrack racer of the teens

Typical of a boardtrack racer of the teens and early 1920s, the machines were stripped down of everything not absolutely needed. No brakes, no transmission, no clutch and total oil lubrication system. There is virtually no suspension with a rigid rear section and less than an inch of travel in the forks. Note the drop bar style handebars to allow the riders to get low against the wind. Skinny wheels and tires and no controls other than a throttle, hand pump oil override, and magneto kill switch.

F head Harley engine with magneto ignition mounted in a new reproduction keystone frame.

American Iron Magazine is a big supporter of this event. In addition to featuring Rick Petko’s Indian motorcycle racer in the current issue and Buzz Kanter’s Harley motorcycle racer next month.  Also Buzz will be competing on Team American Iron Magazine by racing his bike in this year’s event.

You can pre-purchase your tickets at Sons of Speed Tickets. You can subscribe to American Iron Magazine (in print or digital delivery) and help support Team American Iron efforts at Subscribe.

Watch for full coverage of the races in upcoming issues of American Iron Magazine.

Filed under Classic Harley History, Classic Indian Motorcycle History, Competition Motorcycles, Events, News by Buzz_Kanter

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October 26, 2015

1916 Excelsior Motorcycle Boardtrack Racer Info Needed

Hi all:

I am researching this particular 1916 Excelsior racer for a future article in Motorcycle Rides & Culture magazine.

1916 Excelsior motorcycle boardtrack racer

It was a well known West Coast racer in the teens and twenties, and was later owned by Rusty Kay. It was restored in the early 1970s by Dave “Huggy Bear” Hansen of The Shop.

Rare antique motorcycle racer

It was on display at the Peterson museum for a few years. All info, details and history on it is appreciated.

Thanks – Buzz Kanter

Filed under Competition Motorcycles by Buzz Kanter

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January 3, 2015

Fred Luther Tried 200 MPH on Antique Motorcycle Racer in 1934

Amazing article from www.theoldmotor.com.
Fred Luther Tries for 300 MPH on a Plymouth - Powered Motorcycle at Bonneville

Fred Luther Tries to Go 200 MPH on a Motorcycle at Bonneville

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And what a monster the machine turned out to be. Into a stretched and reinforced Excelsior frame, Luther installed a 1934 Plymouth six-cylinder engine. He was assisted by Adolph Thuiller who helped him with the frame modifications and Jimmy McNeil who prepared the engine and raised the horsepower from 77 to 117. The engine drove through the original Excelsior transmission that was later replaced with a Plymouth unit.

Of particular interest is the braking system that was built for it. Both sides of the rear of the machine carried pivoting lever-controlled arms complete with steel skids that were used to slow it down and also keep it upright when stationary.

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After testing at the Muroc Dry Lakes and further refinements Luther took it to the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1935 to try for the 200 m.p.h. goal. There he was only able to get in two runs with the machine. His first trip down the salt resulted in a speed of 140 m.p.h. On his second run The engine broke a connecting rod at 150-160 m.p.h. and his attempt was finished. The text from the June 1950 Cycle magazine article The Plymouth Monster below tells the complete story. Luther’s machine has survived and can be seen here.

Fred Luther Tries for 300 MPH on a Plymouth - Powered Motorcycle at Bonneville

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Filed under Competition Motorcycles, Random Ideas by Staff Report

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