In the early 1900s, some race tracks were made of wood. Called board tracks, they were constructed of wood because of the low cost and ease of construction. Bicycles were the first vehicles to be raced on board tracks. (The tracks were usually oval in shape and the lengths varied). The first motorcycle board track opened in California on April 8, 1910. The early motorcycle market was filled with manufacturers trying to prove their motorcycles were the most reliable and practical product available. Indian and Harley-Davidson both used racing to promote their brands, and during the teens, board track racing was very popular. The bike before you is a replica of a Harley-Davidson Board Track Racer. To start the bike, you pedal to a reasonable speed and then engage the leather belt which turns the motor over. The throttle is on the right twist grip and the left twist grip is used to advance and retard the ignition timing. There are NO brakes; this bike was designed with a singular purpose in mind, and brakes were deemed an unnecessary weight. As motorcycles improved and racing speeds increased, there were many fatalities on board tracks. Although initial construction costs were low, maintenance costs for the board tracks were very high. For these two reasons, by the mid 1920s, all motorcycle racing was moved to dirt tracks and board tracks ceased to exist.
Manufacturer: Harley-Davidson (replica)
Country of Origin: USA
Engine: Single cylinder, 500cc, air cooled
Transmission: Leather belt (chain after 1912)
Top Speed: 80 miles per hour
Years of Production: 1910-1915
Number Produced: ?
Original Cost: Unknown