May We All Look as Good at 100 as This Indian Board-Track Racer

A crown jewel from the dawn of motorcycling is up for sale

By Athena Wisotsky

 
May We All Look as Good at 100 as This Indian Board-Track Racer
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03 April 2018

Board-plank racing, popular in the 1910s and ‘20s, is one of those sports that, while sounding fun as hell, went by the wayside for a reason.

In those early, blurry days between bicycles and motorcycles, the tracks available for racing — called, to this day, “velodromes” — had formerly been bicycle-only. They were also constructed of wood, which is where the board-plank nomenclature comes from. And racing on them was extremely dangerous.

But also fun! Splinters breaking off, shards going every direction ... tire failure … undurable construction … again: fun!

1918 Indian Motorcycle Restoration (3 images)

Above is a 1918 Indian Twin Board-track racer, a velodrome vet.

The bike’s current owner rebuilt and restored the machine from a state of 85% completion to what you see today, which, in the listing’s own words, included “replacing the gas tank (antiqued to match the rest of the bike and the original factory paint, which is still visible), handlebars, two pistons, front forks and rear stand — all hand-built to original specs, the rest is believed to be entirely original.”

Parts, labor, pedigree … it all adds up to about $150,000, if you're looking to add a new pony to the stable.

For our money, we’d like to see this piece behind glass. But not before a couple thousand knock-offs are made for kicking around the ‘hood.

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