Great News from "The Museum That Runs". Dale and the WTT staff have already begun the restoration of the 2013 Wheels Through Time Raffle Bike! 2013 marks the 11th year that the museum has held their annual raffle, and this year, we want you to weigh in on just what type of bike we should build.
The bike chosen to be raffled off next year is a 1939 Harley-Davidson 61 cubic inch Knucklehead. Our curator, Dale Walksler, has already freshly rebuilt both the engine and transmission for the bike, and our painter John Dills has the frame and front end already painted up in classic Harley gloss black.
Now the rest is up to you. We’re counting on everyone to spread the word about next years bike, and cast a vote as to what style the finished bike should be. The three options for next year’s machine are:
1) a Period-Bobber — cut fenders, hot-rod paint job, solo seat 2) a "Showroom Restoration" — a restoration resembling the machines original appearance off the Showroom floor 3) a Knucklehead Bagger — spotlights, saddlebags, windshield and maybe even a buddy seat!
Don’t waste any time casting your vote……Dale and the gang are ready to get to work!
** Keep in mind that proceeds from the 2013 Wheels Through Time Annual Raffle will go toward air-conditioning the 38,000 square foot museum facility. We thank you all for your support…..and GOOD LUCK!!!
Just back from the 2012 Wauseon, Ohio Antique Motorcycle Club of America Swapmeet and Vintage Races, and WOW what a weekend it was. We’d been looking forward to this past weekend since last year, and once again, the show was a great success. Hundreds and hundreds of vendors buying, selling and trading old parts; new and old friends alike catching up, swapping stories, and sharing tales from the road; countless amazing and historic machines from throughout motorcycle history; and of course, the 1/2 mile Flat Track Races Friday afternoon.
We took a ton of photos, and will be uploading a full photo album in the next few days……but first, a full report from the pits of the boardtrack class at one of America’s best Vintage Racing events.
Despite unbelievably dry weather during the months before, we were more than fortunate to get almost a day and a half of showers leading up to the event. Race promoter Scotty Brown and his Bike Days race crew did a wonderful job prepping the track, and by mid-Friday morning, the 1/2-mile oval was groomed to perfection and the pits were filling up with racers eager to get the green flag.
This year’s Boardtrack class had another great turnout, with a total of 12 riders competing on machines ranging from a 1912 Pope to late-1920s Harley Racers. After a full year of anticipation, our first time out was just as fun as we all remembered, and after a few practices, we all had our bikes dialed in and ready to give the crowd a show.
Here’s a little footage from the GoPro Camera mounted to my handlebars during the heat race…..
After the Davenport Races last year, I made quite a few changes to my bike, mostly to the internals of the motor. Lightening up the flywheels, which was done by my friend Paul Friebus (American Cycle Fab), made quite a bit of difference in the bikes accelleration. Then a few of WTT’s own racing secrets…….and the bike was running better than ever. As you can see from the practice, I was actually able to accellerate with Mike Lange, who is a whiz when it comes to getting the most out of a racing engine.
After a few laps of practice, we had a chance to make any necessary final changes, then we were on to the Heat Race. Boardtrackers were the 3rd race, the track was near perfect and the stands were packed. Take a look….
Because the boardtrackers have no breaks and no clutch, we do a rolling start similar to a Nascar race. The main difference is that there is no "poll position" assigned to each rider. If you want a position, you better get there, and have the guts and awareness to stay there while others try to take your spot. It usually takes 2 laps or so for everyone to gather, and once we all come out of turn four together, the starter drops the green flag and we’re literally off to the races.
Its really hard to guage how fast the bikes are going….that is, until your out there turning up the wick yourself. Each lap I seemed to get a better and better feel for both my bike and the track, but after doing my best to follow Carl Estes aboard the Pusherman Racing 1929 "Bottle Rocket" Harley, one thing was apparent……that guy is FAST!
The Boardtrack Main is always one of the most anticipated events of the weekend. Held under the lights, the stands are alwas packed to capacity with fans eager to get a taste of nearly 100 year old bikes rounding the track at 80+ miles per hour……..with no brakes, no clutch, skinny 2-inch tires, and dropped handlebars. Each year, the bikes seem to go faster and faster, and the competition gets stiffer and stiffer.
Here’s the main event!!!
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In the Main, my bike really ran well, and right from the get-go, I was glad that I put in all of the extra effort to revamp my engine over the past year. And after following Carl "Pusherman" Estes around the track in the heat race, I felt like I was going a little faster every lap. Each time out, I learned a little more, and felt more and more comfortable with each turn.
Thanks to everyone who was able to attend and cheer us on, thanks to Scotty Brown and the Bike Days crew for putting on a great show. We’ll definitely be back next year!
Just got my gas tanks back from pinstriper Mark Peters. I asked him to use his imagination and lay out some cool artwork that will help make my race bike look a little faster. Mark does fantastic work, and is a really pleasure to work with and learn from. Here’s a little sneak peak of the side of the tank before its installed on the bike.
Over the past week, we’ve had the great pleasure of hosting countless members of the Motor Maids from all over North America. Each year, the famed women’s motorcycle club holds a national convention and since this year’s event was in Spartanburg, SC, the ladies were just a short ride from Wheels Through Time.
"The MotorMaids are the first and oldest continuously operated womens motorcycle organization, and the history of its inception is quite a story! As stated on the MotorMaids website, "In the late 30s, a young woman motorcycle enthusiast named Linda Dugeau of Providence, Rhode Island, conceived the idea that there might be a number of women who onwed their own motorcycles and might be interested in becoming acquainted with one another. Linda wrote to dealers, riders, and anyone she thought might know of women motorcycle riders. After this extensive search, she compiled a list from which the Motor Maid organization was founded with 51 charter members in 1940. The American Motorcycle Association Charter #509 was issued to the club in 1941." (Motor Maids Website).
The founding premise of the Motor Maids was to unite women motorcyclists in promoting motorcycle interest. So let it be no surprise that each and every Motor Maid that attended the convention rode their motorcycle to the event….some from as far away as Canada, California, and Montana! In fact, the initial constitutional article establishing the requirements for membership has remained the Motor Maids hallmark since the first meeting — that membership shall consist of women who legally own and operate their own motorcycle, or one belonging to a family member.
This great organization now totals more than 1200 members from all over North America, and continues to promote a passion for riding while fostering a postive image of motorcycling and safe riding.
Pictured in the back row are Brenda Cox — Billings, MT; Teresa Cote — High, WV; and Cindy Black — Billings, MT The front row includes two wonderful women by the names of Margaret Wilson and Ev Straight. Ev is also from Billings, MT and Margaret is from Cedar Rapids, IA. Both are Golden Life Members of the organization, representing over 50 years of membership!
Thanks for stopping by Motor Maids!!! We’re looking forward to having you back this way again soon!