This is a renovated Harley Davidson SCA Board Track Racer, probably from the early 1920â€™s – I think. I was so enthralled with photographing what I consider to be “Moving Sculpture,” I didnâ€™t pay much attention to what was being said ABOUT the bike, fool that I was.
Board track racers were considered the deadliest form of racing in the history of motorsports. And itâ€™s easy to see why. The bikes had no brakes. They could reach speeds approaching 100 miles per hour. They incorporated a â€˜total lossâ€™ lubricating design – meaning oil lost from the engines spewed not only over the bikes and racers but also transformed the rickety board tracks into greasy wooden nightmares. Couple that with the fact that the racers had virtually no protection, it’s no wonder they called these motodromes â€œmurderdromes.â€ This was absolute insanity.
Photographed at Wheels Through Time in North Carolina as part of a story on the history of Harley race bikes. A huge thank you to Dale Walklser for opening up his motorcycle museum, and letting us photograph a few of the hundreds and hundreds of bikes there. I think I could shoot there every day for a year and not even come close to documenting all that heâ€™s collected there. The place is both overwhelming and magical.