have no winner.
Quiz #36 (posted 3/29/2007)
was our second quiz in a row with no correct answers.
The motorcycle is
a Spanish-built Sanglas. Shown here is the advertisement
from which the image was taken, published in Cycle
Sport in July, 1968. It was provided by Carl
Hess, who once submitted stories and photographs to that
founded in Barcelona in 1942, manufactured motorcycles
until 1981, building a durable four-stroke single sold
mostly to the Spanish police. Two-strokes were added to
the line in 1962, using Zundapp and Spanish-made Villiers
engines. The company became affiliated with Yamaha in
1978 and was acquired by the Japanese firm in 1981, at
which time the Sanglas brand ceased to be.
I had the good fortune to study a collection of photographs
and clippings owned by the heirs of Carl Escherich (pictured
here), a notable board track racer who was born circa
1892 and competed mainly in Wisconsin.
Although one clipping from September, 1915 describes Escherich
as a “Milwaukee
boy,” promoters billed him as “the German Champion from
Descendants who remember him report that he spoke with
a pronounced German accent, and they believe he immigrated
in his late teens. Records indicate that a Karl
Escherich, age 18, arrived at Ellis Island from Wegscheid,
Germany in 1909. There was also a Carl Escherich, age
20, who arrived from Weysheid (sic) in 1911. Our
hero might have been either of these men, though his heirs
recall that he was still in his teens when he arrived.
In this case, he would have been the former, despite the
difference in the spelling of his forename. At any
rate, he must have arrived with significant racing credentials,
because he was able to secure rides on both a factory
eight-valve Indian and a Cyclone. He competed against
such top-tier riders as Otto Walker, Joe Wolters, Bob
Perry, and Glen Stokes. Within the memorabilia collection
is a panoramic photo from the Madison Race Course – a
dirt track – depicting Escherich with these and other
is known that he worked at the Wisconsin Motorcycle Company,
an Indian dealership, in 1913, and that he negotiated
a ride on the Cyclone team in 1915. Below is a photograph
of Escherich, posing aboard a Cyclone. After his racing
career he took a job a chauffer for one of the Briggs
and Stratton families, although his descendants do not
know which family
he worked for. He later owned the Blue Danube Tavern in
and died on June
15, 1969 at the
age of 77.
want to thank Dave Larsen, Bill Roseman, and Herb Wagner
for providing information on Escherich. Others who have
any documents or information about his life and career
are encouraged to E-mail Ed@motohistory.net.
image is taken from an advertisement that appeared in
the United States.
What is the brand, where was it built, and when was it
available for sale?
the first to name the bike, its nation of origin, and
when the ad was published (plus or minus three years),
and you will win two tickets to The Legend of the Motorcycle
International Concours d'Elegance taking place May 5 at
Hotel at Half Moon Bay, California. In addition, you will
win a much-coveted, personalized Motohistory Know-It-All
Diploma. Send your
answers to Ed@Motohistory.net.
exhibit will honor
Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum has announced "Malcolm!,"
a new exhibit scheduled to open July 26 that will honor
the career of legendary off-road racing champion, movie
star, motorcycling ambassador, philanthropist, and mega-dealer
Malcolm Smith. The dedication ceremony
will be preceded by a special June 7 exhibit preview and
Museum fundraiser at Smith's Riverside,
dealership. "Malcolm!" will be sponsored by
Tucker Rocky Distributing Company.
As one of the most multi-faceted competitors ever to take
to the dirt, Smith excited fans for over three decades
with numerous trips to the victory podium. His racing
career included six Baja 1000 victories, four Baja 500
wins, eight gold medals at the International Six Days'
Trials, and a string of four-wheel victories. However,
it was his co-starring role in the 1971 film “On Any Sunday”
that earned him national recognition. Produced by
Bruce Brown and Steve McQueen, the movie introduced Smith
to thousands of new fans. Ever active and passionate
about motorcycling, today he continues his work as an
industry ambassador and successful multi-line motorcycle
dealer. He also donates his time to give back to
the country where he made such an impression as a racer
through support of an orphanage in Mexico.
"Malcolm!" is the fourth in a series of “Legends
exhibits” at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum.
Curated by long-time friend and colleague Tom White of
White Brothers Performance, the exhibit will feature machines
and memorabilia from Smith's own collection. Significant
motorcycles will include his first racing bike, a 1950
Matchless, the Husqvarna 400 Cross he rode in “On Any
Sunday,” his first two-wheeler, a Lambretta scooter, and
the 1967 Husqvarna on which he earned his first ISDT gold
Collectors wishing to lend their Malcolm Smith bikes or
ephemera in support of the exhibit are invited to contact
Museum Executive Director Mark Mederski. Call 614-856-2222
or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read Malcolm Smith's Motorcycle Hall of Fame bio, click
For more information about the Motorcycle Hall of Fame
Museum, click here.
courtesy of Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum.
Emde and his BSA dirt tracker
Emde, who won the Daytona 200 in 1972 aboard a 350cc Yamaha,
first earned national prominence aboard a BSA. Emde recalls,
“It was a great bike for the time. It had a Trackmaster
racing frame with Ceriani forks, and the 650cc A65 motor
was spec'd out for us by Tom Sifton. We used all his stuff:
cams, pushrods etc, and we would send our cylinder heads
to him to be polished and packed with his valves and springs.
My father Floyd knew Tom from his racing days on Harleys,
but Tom was right on top of what the BSAs needed when
AMA rules let us go from the 500cc to 650cc engines in
1969. That was the year Jim Rice won six Nationals for
BSA with Sifton equipment.”
an Amateur, Emde won many main events at Ascot
aboard the BSA,
plus the Amateur National at Oklahoma
City and the California
State TT Championship at Ascot.
He is pictured above flying off the jump with the late
in 1970. Don says, “While I never won anything big on
it my Expert year, I credit this bike for earning me a
spot on the BSA factory team in 1971.”
has just been reunited with the motorcycle, which he found
surprisingly close to the condition in which he last rode
it 37 years ago. He explains, “I got a call from my sister
Nancy who had been notified by a friend that the bike
was on eBay. When I showed my wife all the little things
on the bike that my dad made by hand back when it was
new, she convinced me we should go for it.” You can tell
by the smile on Emde's face that he is pleased to be reunited
with his old two-wheeled friend. He says, “It was a great
moment to have the old steed back in my barn.” To read
Don Emde's Motorcycle Hall of Fame bio, click here.
provided by Don Emde.
show at Saratoga
March 18 the Saratoga Automobile Museum of Saratoga Springs,
New York opened a new exhibit entitled “Born 2 Ride: America
on Two Wheels.”
The display, which is scheduled to run through July 22,
contains a diverse array of motorcycles ranging in age
from 1914 to the present, including land speed record,
touring, track racing, custom, road racing, scooter, sidecar,
and motocross machines.
The 21-motorcycle exhibit explores the cultural influence
of motorcycling, often through the trend-setters and important
people who rode them. The motorcycles owned by famous
Americans are sometimes depicted by replicas or similar
models, such as those ridden by Elvis Presley or Rollie
Free, but often the true pedigreed machines are on display,
such as Joe Petrali's speedway bike, Cal Rayborn's Bonneville
streamliner, Dot Robinson's Harley/Hannigan sidecar rig,
or Von Dutch's customized Triumph.
The displays are
by giant graphics of some of the celebrities
and sportsmen and women associated with
Saratoga Automobile Museum, opened in 2001, is located
within the expansive pine forest of Saratoga Spa State
Park in a former water bottling plant built in 1935 in
the Georgian Revival Style by architect James F. Friedlander.
In addition to thoroughbred horse racing, Saratoga Springs
is noted for its pure spring waters and was at one time
a favorite summer resort for the rich and famous. While
“Born 2 Ride” is the current feature exhibit of the museum,
a display of famous racing cars and automobiles manufactured
in New York can also be seen on the upper level of the
museum. For directions and more information, click here.
interior photos by Steve Potter, Saratoga Automobile Museum
Louis Moto Museum opening in April
Louis, which already
has two outstanding motorcycle collections open to the
public, will soon have a third when Moto
located at 3441 Olive, near St.
opens in April. Featuring the collection of Steve Smith,
its 15,000 square feet of exhibit space will include approximately
100 motorcycles by 75 manufacturers from 20 nations. Open
exhibit spaces with high ceilings will be divided by brightly-colored
banners into seven “halls,” each representing a geographical
region of the world. With a focus on rare and vintage
bikes manufactured before 1975, the collection features
many brands not commonly
seen in the United
States, such as the
Hungarian Panonia (shown below with a Duna sidecar), the
Sarolea, the French Alcyon (bottom photo below), the Polish
Junak, or the German Adler (pictured here).
pictured above with a Maicomobile in the process of restoration,
is an active motorcyclist whose interests are as diverse
as his collection. When not pursuing his day job or working
on his museum, Smith likes to cruise on his Harley, partake
in spirited street riding aboard his MV Agusta, or ride
off-road with his KTM. In his day job, incidentally, he
is CEO of the St.
office of The Lawrence
Group, one of America's
largest architectural, interior design, and urban planning
firms. It is apparent how Smith has applied his professional
knowledge and skills to the conversion of a formerly distressed
inner city property into housing and a public attraction
that will enhance the whole neighborhood. And for anyone
who would love to live around beautiful and rare vintage
motorcycles, Smith's development
will offer loft apartments on the
upper floors of the Moto
is kicking off the opening of Moto Museum with an International
Motorcycle Festival in downtown St. Louis April 26 through
29. Admission for the festival, which will feature vendors,
outdoor bike shows, food, music, and movies, will include
admission to the Moto Museum. For more information about
Moto Museum, click
information about the St. Louis International Motorcycle
Festival, click here.
turbo month at Solvang
will be Turbo Month at the Solvang Motorcycle Museum in
Solvang, California. Some of the turbos on display will
include CX500 and CX650 Hondas, a Yamaha Seca Turbo, and
a Suzuki XN650. Anyone who arrives at the museum aboard
a turbo will get in free. To read our story about Virgil
Elings and his Solvang Motorcycle Museum, go to Motohistory
News & Views 3/12/2006). For more information about
the museum, click here.
Ham Celebration Ride set for April 4
recently reported on a plan by the Wheels Through Time
Museum to race a 1937 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead (pictured
here) for 24 hours to commemorate the 70th anniversary
of Fred Ham's historic marathon record run at Muroc
For more details see Motohistory News & Views 3/10/2007).
We have just learned that April 4 has been confirmed as
the date when the event will take place at Talladega International
Speedway. Rider Wayne Stanfield will take the green flag
at 4 p.m.
on the afternoon of the 4th and hopefully ride to the
checkered flag at 4
p.m. on the afternoon
of the 5th. For more information about the Wheels
Through Time Museum, click here.
brand shootout planned:
expected to ride
Nixon and Dave Aldana are expected to be on hand at the
American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association double-header
national championship that will take place at Square Deal
Raceway in Harpursville, New York June 29 and
30, and it is rumored that Hugh's Bultaco is preparing
an Astro for Aldana to ride. In addition, there will be
a 250cc support class both nights for all Spanish brands.
More information will be provided on the Metro Racing
web site as plans are developed. To reach Metro's site,
For directions to the Square Deal Raceway, click here.
David Uhl painting to be unveiled at
of the Motorcycle International Concours
year's Legend of the Motorcycle International Concours
d'Elegance, scheduled to take place May 5 at the Ritz-Carlton
Hotel at Half Moon
should be a spectacular event, based on current planning.
Over 200 rare and collectible motorcycles will be on display
and a lifetime achievement award will be presented to
Willie G. Davidson. The commemorative marques are Vincent,
Excelsior, and Henderson.
Among the special Vincents committed to appear are the
1946 1X prototype, the first Vincent built after the Second
World War, the John Edgar Black Lightning on which Rollie
Free traveled across the Bonneville Salt Flats at
150 miles per hour to set an unstreamlined speed record,
and two motorcycles – a 1947 Rapide and a 1949 supercharged
Black Lightning – on which Marty Dickerson set speed records.
will be an auction by Bonhams, and the Concours judges
will include Bud Ekins, Pierre Terblanche, Erik Buell,
Oriol Bulto, Marty Dickerson, Mert Lawwill, Craig Vetter,
and Wayne Rainey, headed by Ed Gilbertson, the chief judge
at the legendary Pebble Beach Concours. In addition, celebrated
artist David Uhl has created an original 24 x 30 inch
oil-on-linen painting (pictured above) depicting Bob Perry
and the overhead cam Excelsior on which he met his untimely
death at Ascot Park in Los Angeles early in 1920. It will
be sold at auction to the highest bidder, but limited
framed prints of equal size will be available. Paul
Brodie is expected to have a running example of his Excelsior
OHC recreation ready in time for the event. To read Daniel
Statnekov's account of Bob Perry and the Excelsior, click
For information about the Legend of the Motorcycle International
Concours d'Elegance, click here.
To reach artist David Uhl's web site, click here.
To read about Paul Brodie's Excelsior recreation, go to
Motohistory News & Views 8/22/2006 and 8/29/2006.
To read about the project on Brodie's Flashback Fabrications
web site, click here.
of Bob Perry and 1920 OHC Excelsior provided by David
scrambler for the street:
photohistory by CHess
time our chronicler of the 1960s amateur racing scene,
Carl Hess, provides us a nice photo of a Honda Scrambler
at speed. Honda introduced its 250cc CL72 in 1962 and
its 305cc CL77 model in 1965, and they were offered through
1968 as ready-to-race motorcycles complete
with small tank and high exhaust pipes. But the bike came
also with full lighting, indicating that Honda may have
been hedging its bets as to its true competitive ability.
four-stroke Honda Scrambler arrived when the two-stroke
was coming to the fore, and while many – like the rider
in our photo – took the bike's name at face value and
tried to race it on the scrambles track, it did not take
long for most to discover that it was too heavy and unresponsive
to be a consistent winner. Still, that brutish styling
was so cool, and its even-more-brutish sound was even
better, so the “street scrambler” was born. They came
with red, blue, or black frames with silver sheet metal.
The red-framed bike was most appealing in its sheer unorthodoxy.
Despite its questionable
racing pedigree, the Honda Scrambler was enormously popular,
especially on college campuses where long rows of them
could be seen parked along the curb outside the classrooms
by day and the bars by night.
the CL models were not competitive bikes for the average
amateur scrambles rider, in the hands of accomplished
racers they had some notable achievements. For example,
Dave Mungenast gave Honda its first AMA national championship
title aboard a CL72 at a 24-hour marathon held at Riverdale
Speedway near St.
Louis in 1964. Pictured
above is Mungenast on the occasion of his Riverdale victory,
with pit crew Pat O'Mara and Jim Hardie.
S'Cool restorer Eric Johnson reports that he has just
completed a year-long restoration of a Rex Staten
Yamaha YZ250 owned by Cody Tellis. To check out
the project, click here.
Johnson has also created a web site about Staten. To visit
it, click here.
Tim Pickering, a Kiwi who lives in Fiji, has created a
very informative web site about Charles Franklin,
the man who designed the legendary Indian Scout.
To learn about Franklin, click here.
Motohistory links page now has over 260
sources of history, wit, and wisdom. Click here.
ultimate Vincent fan, Big Sid Biberman, reports that during
the Barry Sheene Memorial Race held at the Eastern Creek
International Raceway in Australia March 9 through 11,
Craig McMartin of New South Wales (pictured here) rode
his K.H. Equipment Irving Vincent to six victories in
six starts, defeating single and double overhead cam Hondas,
Suzukis, Kawasakis, Yamahas, and Ducatis. Biberman writes,
“The single Vincent entry won all six races it entered.
A friend who
was racing a Ducati in those events told me, ‘This Vincent
is indeed the fastest classic racing motorcycle in the
world.' He watched it pass him on the track and described
it as ‘scary fast.'”
also informs us that his Vincati hybrid (pictured below),
first seen at Motohistory (see Motohistory News &
and later featured in Cycle World, will be featured
again in the March issue of Great
Classic Bike Magazine.
more information about the Irving Vincent, click here.
For information about the Post Classic Racing Association
of New South Wales, click here.
For more information about the Barry Sheene Memorial,
To reach Big Sid Biberman's Vincent web site, click here.
provided by Sid Biberman.
we published an article about Triumph Corporation, known
as TriCor, the brand's eastern U.S. distributorship located
in Timonium, Maryland, a Baltimore suburb (see Motohistory
News & Views 2/28/2007). Our story ended when Norton-Villiers-Triumph
consolidated all U.S.
operations at Duarte,
Seth Dorfler writes with more interesting information
about the ex-TriCor facility:
Ed, just a small foot note to your article regarding the
history of Triumph in America.
Don't know if you are aware that the Berliner Brothers,
Joe and Michael, were the last to own the Triumph
facility in Baltimore.
I was working for Berliner/Premier Motor Corporation
when I traveled with Michael and other Berliner employees
Our job was to clean out the building and
close it down. As a side bar, the Berliners were also
owners of the Indian factory in Springfield,
Berliner is still with us and a wonderful source
of American motorcycle history. Joe Berliner has
passed on, and their sister, Rose, who
worked for her brothers just passed away a few weeks
ago. Just think about what the Berliners have done
for Motorcycling in the USA,
including the importation of Zundapp, Jawa, Sacks, Norton,
Matchless, Ducati, Moto Guzzi, and Metzler and Pirelli
tires. And did you know that the Berliners supplied Knievel
with Nortons, and provided a Norton for the movie “Bye
Bye Birdie?” Also, the Berliners gave many young riders
the opportunity to ride great equipment. This included
Freddy Spencer, Frank Scurria, Mike Baldwin, Jimmy Adamo
and many more. Michael is not getting any younger, and
I for one think it is time the Motorcycle Hall
of Fame recognize what these two Hungarian emigrants did
for American motorcycling.
included a wonderful picture of a very young Freddie Spencer
with Reno Lioni (above), and a photo of Michael Berliner
with Dr. Fabio Taglioni and the famous
Imola winning Ducati ridden by Paul Smart in 1972, shown
here. He also sent us a photo of Cook Neilson and Old
Blue taken at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days two years ago
(below). If you have not read our interview with Neilson,
is as good a time as any to say something to American
Motohistory readers about the U.S. Motorcycle Hall of
Fame nomination process. The process, described on the
Hall of Fame web site, is no great secret, and it is as
straightforward and non-political as such a process can
be. I frequently have people say to me, “Why isn't so-and-so
in the Hall of Fame,” or “So-and-so should be in the Hall
of Fame.” Well, folks, it begins with
you. Anyone can nominate anyone to the Motorcycle Hall
of Fame, but it takes a nomination to get the process
started. Just click here,
review the instructions, sit down and explain in writing
why someone should be placed in nomination, and buy a
stamp. Or, forget the stamp and submit your proposal electronically.
Granted, getting inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of
Fame is not easy, but the nomination process is, and that's
what has to come first. If you are aware that someone
has been nominated, but has not yet been voted into membership,
then write a letter of support. It cannot hurt.
provided by Seth Dorfler.
our commentary on the art of Michael Ulman (Motohistory
News & Views 3/6/2007), Mark Begin writes,
how your piece on the Electrolux-inspired sculpture of
Michael Ulman made me chuckle. The familiar tank
of the household convenience seems to make perfect sense
in the architecture of the sculpted side hack. So
glad you were able to “steal a look” for the rest of us.
somehow this association of vacuum cleaner and motorcycle
is more than sculptural. How weird is that?
Your mention of the Electrolux/Husqvarna union reveals
the symbiotic attraction of the vacuum manufacturer to
the two wheel convenience – err, sorta. Perhaps
the best example of that uniquely Scandinavian vision
is in the Danish Nimbus. This fabulous four-cylinder
machine was built for 26 years by Fiskar & Nielsen,
manufacturers of the famous (in Europe ) Nilfisk vacuum
cleaner. Not only did the Nimbus feature a four
cylinder, overhead cam engine with hemispheric combustion
chamber and aluminum head, but also a telescopic front
fork (sorry, no damping). The motorcycle is resplendent
in cheerful colors and engineering delights. Although
it is not a marque particularly well known in the States,
it was sold here and is certainly an important piece of
motohistory. After all, it was made by a guy named
do enjoy your news and views, Ed.
Mark. We all enjoy a little whimsy, but I hope you noticed
that in my original story I scrupulously avoided the old
joke about the difference between a Hoover and a Harley
(Oh damn, there I did it!). Readers who want to see a
nice profile picture of a Nimbus, click here.
For more information about Nimbusses (Nimbi?), click here.
educated, passed up a career on Wall Street to go to work
for Cycle Magazine in 1967, advancing to the
position of Editor in 1969 at the age of 26. Through editorial
innovation and selection of good talent, including Phil
Schilling, he took Cycle to the top of its field,
pushing circulation to nearly a half-million readers.
Perhaps his success was earned in part because he stayed
in touch with motorcycling on a personal level. He road
raced, campaigned a Harley-Davidson drag bike, and set
speed records at Bonneville in 1966 and ‘69. He and Schilling
were not only aces on the editorial desk, they were also
a successful team on the race track where they raced a
Ducati named “Old Blue,” tuned by Schilling and ridden
by Neilson to victory in the Superbike class at Daytona
in 1977, pictured above.
suddenly, just when he was at the top of his game, Cook
Neilson resigned from Cycle. He and his wife
Stepper moved to Vermont, seeming to leave the motorcycle
industry behind for good. But in his time at the helm
of Cycle Magazine, Neilson left too much of a
legacy to be forgotten. Recently, his past has come back
to haunt him, though in positive ways. Cycle World
has called upon both Neilson and Schilling to pen
historical or nostalgic features. During 2006 both
were inducted into the Ducati Racing Hall of Fame, and
last October Neilson was inducted into the prestigious
U.S. Motorcycle Hall of Fame. In addition, Ducati has
introduced, with much fanfare, “New Blue,” a state-of-the-art
tribute to Neilson's Daytona-winning superbike.
Neilson might have been happy to live out his days away
from the limelight, but his friends and fans appear unwilling
to let that happen. He is a significant person in American
motorcycle history, and he deserves to be celebrated as
such. We contacted Cook late in February and asked if
he would share some time with our Motohistory readers.
He readily agreed, and the 6,000 word interview he gave
is far too comprehensive to publish in whole in our News
& views section. Rather, we have published it as a
special Motohistory Feature. So click here and
on as Cook Neilson remembers.
invasion of the hand-shifters
Daytona has not seen so many hand-shift motorcycles since
the late 1940s, thanks to a contingent of 28 Australians
who arrived with eleven Harley-Davidsons and seven Indians
to participate in vintage races organized by the American
Historic Racing Motorcycle Association. Prior to their
arrival in Daytona, the group visited the Wheels Through
Time Museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, then traveled
on to Savannah,
where they raced at Roebling
Tony Blain, chief organizer of the invasion, says, “There
is just nothing quite like Wheels Through Time, and we
could not have asked for better hospitality
than Dale [Walksler] provided. We were there until two
three in the morning, starting motorcycles, riding them
around, and having a great time.”
Roebling Road the Australians took eight of the top ten
places in their class, then Robbie Hermans, their best
rider, won the first day of vintage competition at Daytona.
Blain explains, “We're like vintage racers everywhere.
Some of our group are very good, but for most of us it
is 80 percent enthusiasm and 20 percent talent. We‘re
doing it for the fun, and as for me, well, just one lap
of Daytona made the trip more than worthwhile.” Blain
runs a vintage motorcycle parts business in Sydney and
has a personal collection of 40 motorcycles, all Harley-Davidsons.
The gem of his collection, he believes, is the 1973 ex-Cal
Rayborn XRTT road racer that he bought at the J. Wood
Auction during Daytona bike week in 2006. To read more
about the invasion of the Aussie hand-shifters on the
AMA web site, click here.
by Peggy Cozart/AHMRA
Harley dealer becomes new
Farrow Harley-Davidson and Buell of Columbus, Ohio is
the oldest Harley-Davidson dealership in the nation, having
been founded by Alford D. Farrow in Nelsonville,
Farrow moved his shop to Columbus
in 1924, and after his untimely death in 1925, his wife
Lillie continued to run the business as one
of the first female motorcycle dealers in the nation.
The dealership grew into
several locations in Columbus,
ending up near the center of the city on West
in 1941. It has been in that location ever since.
month, in celebration of the dealership's 95th anniversary,
a second location – called A.D. Farrow at NorthStar --
was opened on Interstate 71 just north of Columbus
near the town of Sunbury.
In acknowledgement to the Motor Company's great tradition,
the new 30,000 square foot facility on 18 acres is designed
to reflect the architecture of Harley-Davidson's red brick
factory – now its corporate headquarters – on Juneau
Farrow's Principal owner Bob Althoff says, “There is no
greater icon in American motorcycling than Harley-Davidson,
and for fans of the brand the Milwaukee
factory is sacred. I can think of no greater way to honor
the Motor Company and to celebrate our 95 years in business
than to create our new NorthStar facility in a style reminiscent
of the headquarters.”
new dealership's large acreage will allow for special
events and includes a Rider's Edge motorcycle training
range. The grounds include a five-acre lake and a pavilion
for gatherings and picnics. Althoff explains, “Owning
a Harley-Davidson is more than just owning a mode of transportation.
It is also admittance into an elite fraternity, a membership
card to a worldwide travel club and membership in a huge
family. It is only fitting that America's oldest dealer
has created a place that is a clubhouse for this fraternity,
a training and resource center, and a kind of ‘kitchen
table' around which the family can gather.” For more information
about the world's oldest Harley-Davidson dealership, click
For more photographs of the new NorthStar facility, click
provided by A.D. Farrow Harley-Davidson and Buell
Ham's endurance ride on 70th Anniversary
April 8, 1937, California motorcycle patrolman Fred Ham
(pictured here) rode his Harley-Davidson Model EL “Knucklehead”
a distance of 1,825 miles on a five-mile circular course
at Muroc Dry Lake, averaging 76.62 mph and smashing 44
separate speed and endurance records held by the Indian
brand since 1922. Ham's feat helped establish the reputation
of the new Model EL as a superior high-performance motorcycle
that would carry the Motor Company out of the Great Depression
and establish Harley-Davidson as America's leading motorcycle
brand. On April 7, 2007, a team from the Wheels
Through Time Museum will celebrate Ham's record-setting
ride at Talladega Motor Speedway, using a 1937 Harley-Davidson
Knucklehead similar to the motorcycle used by Ham seven
decades ago. Dale Walksler, owner and curator of the Wheels
Through Time Museum, prepared the motorcycle and will
serve as crew chief for the effort. Wayne Stanfield, 59,
of Santa Ana, California, will ride the motorcycle, hoping
to travel over 2,000 miles in a 24-hour period.
and Stanfield are veterans of the Great American Race,
both as competitors and teammates. After meeting each
other while competing on different teams, in 1995 Walksler
fielded a 1937 Harley-Davidson that Stanfield rode from
to Mexico City,
finishing 5th out of 95 teams in the Great American Race
and becoming the only motorcyclist to complete the event
that year. In 1996 Stanfield rode the Wheels Through Time
Harley-Davidson from Tacoma
finishing second overall and missing victory by only one
second. In 1997 they set a cross-country record aboard
a 1917 Henderson
says, “Wayne and
I have a lot of experience working together. I've proven
that Wheels Through Time can
field a motorcycle that can go the distance, and Wayne
knows what it takes,
both mentally and physically, to successfully complete
an extreme endurance test.”
new Harley-Davidson EL that Ham rode in 1937 was basically
a stock motorcycle, prepared by Bill Graves. The cases,
piston rod, and crankshaft of the engine were polished
to reduce friction, but otherwise the motorcycle was unmodified,
except that a small windscreen was added to protect the
rider and a special induction tube was mounted on the
carburetor to keep the abrasive dirt from the surface
of Muroc Dry
out of the engine.
Walksler has prepared the Wheels Through Time motorcycle
(pictured above) in a similar way. He explains. “It is
all Harley-Davidson. I have polished internal parts just
did, but that's it. There are no non-stock high performance
parts incorporated in the engine.” Walksler reports that
the motorcycle has performed well in over 800 miles of
testing. He says, “I think we will demonstrate what a
superb machine the Harley-Davidson Knucklehead was and
is. Though it is now 70 years old, I have every confidence
it can achieve what it did when Ham rode it new in 1937.”
Fred Ham prepared for his record run in late 1936, he
swam daily at a local YMCA, reducing his weight from 210
to 180 pounds. Stanfield is already at fighting weight
at 180 and reports that his preparation is primarily mental.
He says, “I know what it takes to do this kind of ride.
I am already in good physical condition, and I am mainly
working on mental preparation. I have been going to bed
and getting up at 4:30
a.m., learning to
function with a minimum of sleep.” He adds, “I am studying
diet and making adjustments that will improve my stamina
and mental alertness. We will be stopping the motorcycle
every 90 minutes for fuel and servicing, and at those
times I will probably walk around and stretch my legs,
but I do not intend to sleep during the 24 hour period.”
Stanfield explains that if the ride can be completed without
mechanical incident, the Wheels Through Time team should
easily surpass Ham's record because the original team
lost a full hour to replace and repair damage caused by
a stretched primary chain.
for their personal histories, there are interesting similarities
between the riders, Ham and Stanfield. Fred Ham established
his reputation as a winner of California's
grueling Big Bear Enduro, and before his 24-hour run at
Muroc he set several over-the-road records including the
Three Flags Run from Canada
Stanflield's motorcycling experience also includes off-road
enduro competition plus his over-the-road Great American
Race achievements. Ages, however, are significantly different.
Ham made his 24-hour endurance ride at the age of 29,
30 years younger than Stanfield.
is quick to point out that while approaching or surpassing
2,000 miles in the 24-hour period is a goal, the effort
is by no means intended to upstage Fred Ham. Walksler
says, “He was one of the greatest endurance riders, and
no one will ever surpass his feat of 44 records at Muroc
Besides, that was then and this is now. He was on a hard
dirt surface and we are at a paved super speedway. And
although we have tried to duplicate his motorcycle in
mechanical detail, it is a fact that lubricants and tires
are far superior today, and all of these factors will
give us an advantage.” He explains, “Our effort is to
honor Fred Ham, celebrate his accomplishment, prove what
a fine motorcycle the Harley Knucklehead was and still
is, and publicize the unique nature of Wheels Through
Time among America's
leading motorcycle museums.”
unique quality of Wheels Through Time is characterized
by its slogan, “The museum that runs.” Over 98 percent
of the more than 250 antique motorcycles and automobiles
on display in the Maggie Valley Facility are kept in running
order and are often started and operated for the enjoyment
of visitors. Walksler says, “This is a true museum piece
with which we will celebrate Fred Ham's ride. If it were
not for the fact that Wayne Stanfield will be storming
around the banks at Talladega Motor Speedway at speeds
approaching 100 mph, it would be sitting quietly on display
–- but ready to run -- at the Wheels Through Time Museum.”
70th anniversary Fred Ham celebration is being documented
in detail in video and will be available through The Time
Machine, a video series accessible through the Wheels
Through Time web site. Walksler reports, “Throughout engine
assembly, machine preparation, and testing we have already
completed ten shows for The Time Machine. By the time
we have finished our endurance run at Talladega
in April, we will
create perhaps a dozen more shows. Subscribers to the
Wheels Through Time's Time Machine will be able to enjoy
every aspect of this historic effort. It will surely leave
them with a better understanding of the wonderful accomplishment
of Fred Ham and the Harley Knucklehead seven decades ago.”
Harley-Davidson of Jacksonville, Florida
will be an associate sponsor for the Fred Ham Celebration
Ride. To read Fred Ham's official Motorcycle Hall of Fame
bio, click here.
For more information on the Wheels Through Time Museum,
To read about The Time Machine, click here.
Ham photo from the Don Emde collection.
Fastest Motorcycle” now on DVD
World's Fastest Motorcycle,” which aired to rave reviews
in the United States
on SPEED Television
in December is now available on DVD. The show chronicles
the three best motorcycle streamliner teams in the world
going head-to-head at the International Motorcycle Speed
Trials by BUB at Bonneville in September, 2006 where the
16-year-old world record for motorcycles fell several
times. This two-hour DVD, produced by Ignition3 and Chet
Burks Productions, captures the unprecedented three-way
battle for the record, using helicopters, on-board cameras,
and film crews assigned to each of the key teams. Dave
Despain narrates this compelling story with the knowledge
and understanding of a seasoned Bonneville expert. Bonus
material includes an Easyriders documentary
about setting the record in 1990. “The World's Fastest
Motorcycle” is available at motorcycle dealerships and
all major DVD websites for $29.95. To order a copy click
Or, you can acquire it at Letsgoracing.org. Click
For more information about Chet Burks Productions, click
to life in prison
March 1, Michael Goodwin, the man credited with the creation
of the sport of Supecross, was sentenced to spend the
rest of his life in prison for the 1988 murders of his
former business partner Mickey Thompson and his wife Trudy.
The Thompsons were shot in the driveway of their California
home by assassins
who fled on bicycles and have
never been caught. The prosecution maintained that Goodwin
the killers after losing a series of legal battles to
Thompson. Declaring his innocence, Goodwin told the judge
before being sentenced to two consecutive life terms without
the possibility of parole, “I can't apologize because
I am not guilty of this crime.”
to the Associated Press, Collene Campbell, Thompson's
sister who has worked relentlessly for over 18 years to
bring the killers to justice, said, “Michael Goodwin is
a coward and a bully who hired and arranged for shooters
to kill Mickey and Trudy. I just hope that he hurries
up and dies.” Deputy Public Defender Elena Saris argued
for a new trial, saying that the judge's rulings denied
Goodwin the chance to put on an adequate defense, and
that his right to a speedy trial had been denied since
he was held in jail without parole for five years. Her
motion for a new trial was denied, but Saris says Goodwin
will appeal his conviction. To read a report published
by ABC News, click
read a story published in the Orange County Register,
photohistory by CHess
shooting the 500cc Expert class at a TT scrambles hosted
by the Keystone Motorcycle Club of Emmaus, Pennsylvania
19, 1968, Carl Hess
captured the kind of transitional drama that was taking
place at race tracks throughout America
at the time. It
was the End of Days for the big British four-strokes as
they faced defeat at the hands of two-strokes of smaller
capacity. Here, Bob Sweeten, riding a 350cc Bultaco, battles
with the Royal Enfield of Dave Knowles.
the world championship level, the era of four-stroke domination
effectively came to an end after Jeff Smith won his second
motocross world title in 1965. The process of change began
in the early 1960s when MZ engineer Walter Kaaden discovered
the principle of the expansion chamber, developing a two-stroke
machine that came within one race of winning a road racing
championship in 1961. But Kaaden's rider, Ernst Degner,
sacrificed the title to defect to the West, taking MZ's
secret with him to a new job with Suzuki. Within 24 months,
what Kaaden knew was understood by every motorcycle manufacturer
in the world, launching a two-stroke revolution. It is
a story of Cold War intrigue, betrayal, and industrial
espionage that was told in detail by Dean Adams in July,
2006 at SuperbikePlanet.com. To learn more, click here.
speaking of MZ, Leo Keller, Motohistory contributor from
Germany, reminds us that 2007 is the centenary of the
brand which was founded by Joergen Skafte Rasmussen in
Zschopau on April 13, 1907. Keller has written a history
that will appear in the German press in May, then be translated
into English for publication in VMX later in
fantastic art of Michael Ulman:
recently came upon the sculpture pictured here at a gallery
featuring artists who work exclusively with found objects,
more commonly referred to as “junk.” Luckily, I managed
to bang off a photo before I was informed I was not permitted
to do so. Initially, I was attracted by the whimsy of
this creation built around a derelict Electrolux vacuum
cleaner, and I could not help but think of the fact that
in 1986, the Swedish company Husqvarna was acquired by
Electrolux. This only added to my amusement toward the
sculpture. As it turns out, Electrolux wanted Husqvarna
for its line of appliances and quickly sold the motorcycle
division to Cagiva in Italy,
so they never had an opportunity to build a motorcycle
with their vacuum cleaner technology, which presumably
would have resulted in something like this.
work is by Michael Ulman, a Boston-area artist, and while
it still makes me smile, the more I looked at it the more
a found in it the beauty of a well-executed artistic vision.
I had to know more about the man who created this art,
and I tracked down Ulman on the Internet. My E-mail through
his web site was promptly followed by a returned phone
call and a very enjoyable conversation. Ulman, I learned,
is in fact a motorhead. He is between rides at the moment,
but his most recent bike was a Buell. As a child, he apprenticed
to his artist father, and about his own work he says,
“As my own art developed, an obsession with motorcycles
would become apparent in my life and work. Powerful motors
are the central force behind my work. My challenge is
to create static sculptures that evoke the sound, movement,
and raw power that inspire them. When people look at them,
I want them to hear the throaty roar of the exhaust as
they are drawn into my world.”
I was one of those drawn into Ulman's world with fascination
for his Electolux-based sidecar machine. Then when I perused
his web site, I was simply overwhelmed by the power, beauty,
grandeur, and even humor inherent in his work. To me his
work is fantastic, both in the vernacular and correct
meanings of the term. During our phone conversation he
told me that someday he wants to build his own functioning
motorcycle from scratch. When that happens, I expect it
will be truly astonishing. To enjoy the mechanistic yet
dreamlike creations of Michael Ulman, click here.
biography to be republished
Penton and the Off-Road Motorcycle Revolution,” published
by Whitehorse Press in 2000, went out of print in late-2006
after several printings. Now the book will be
republished in a hard-cover edition by Motohistory in
the Penton Owners Group. POG President Paul Danik says,
“Because the first shipment of Pentons arrived in America
in March, 1968, 2008 will be the 40th anniversary of the
Penton motorcycle. The POG is planning several special
events and publications to celebrate this landmark year,
and a new 40th Anniversary Edition of John Penton's biography
will be just one part of our program.” Individuals interested
in acquiring the new hard-cover edition, which will still
be priced at $19.95, will be advised of its availability
soon through the POG web site. For more information on
the Penton Owners Group, click here.
party draws off-road's history makers
Williams, National Affairs Editor of Trail Rider Magazine,
reports to Motohistory that the publication's annual Indianapolis
trade show reception was a big success. He writes, “We
had a good turnout of ISDE veterans such as John and Jack
Penton, Mike Lafferty, Ray Munganast, Ron Ribolzi, Tom
Buckles, Kevin HInes, Dane Leimbach, Dwight Rudder, Scot
Harden, Jimmy Lewis, Fred Hoess, Bill Berroth, Drew Smith,
Jeff Fredette, and others.” Pictured here are Trail
Rider Editor Paul Clipper and Fred Hoess. The party,
which started seven years ago as a casual affair in Williams'
kitchen, was held in the Stutz
in the building where the original Stutz Bearcat was built.
Williams says, “It's a really cool place for a party and
I want to thank Trail Rider Magazine, Motorcycle
Product News, and Repairmanual.com for sponsoring
the event. If it were not for their support, we might
still be holding the party in my trailer home.” For more
information about Trail Rider Magazine, the primary
sponsor of the gala, click here.
provided by Charlie Williams.
vintage off-road club formed in Indiana
Eddy has recently formed a new club called the Indiana
Vintage Off-Road Motorcycle Enthusiasts. The club plans
to host two AHRMA Great Lakes Regional Series events in
2007. For more information, click here.
23rd Annual Arizona Antique and Classic Motorcycle
Show and Swap Meet will take place at the El
Zaribah Shrine Auditorium in Phoenix on April 1.
For more information, call Mike at 602-841-6064 or Karen
6 through 8 are the dates for the 2007 Bench Mark Works
Vintage BMW Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis,
Mississippi. For details, click here.
Ohio Valley BSA Owners Club has announced
its schedule of events for 2007. It will include
the Spring Classic June 2 and 3, its 26th Annual British
and European Rally on August 10 and 11, and the Pyle Driver
Ride in October. For more information call Clark
Francy at 740-544-5984 or Bud Kubena at 724-945-6018.
Third Annual Wild and Wonderful Mountainfest
will take place in Morgantown, West Virginia July 26 through
29. For more information click here.
Oregon Vintage Motorcyclists will host
their 4th Annual Vintage Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet
at Skagit County Fairgrounds, Mt. Vernon, Washington on
April 21. For details E-mail email@example.com.
Perkiomen Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club
of America will host its annual national meet
at Oley, Pennsylvania April 27 through 29. For more
information, call Doug Strange at 610-683-5855, or E-mail
AMCAdoug@aol.com. For a complete listing of upcoming
AMCA meets and road runs, click here.
St. Louis International Motorcycle Festival
featuring the newly-opened Moto Museum will take place
April 26 through 29. For more information, click
Rainey to be inducted into
Motorsports Hall of Fame
Rainey, winner of AMA Superbike championships in 1983
and 1987, and three consecutive 500cc road racing world
championships from 1990 to 1992, will be inducted into
the International Motorsports Hall of Fame at Talladega,
on April 17. Rainey, who was on his way to a fourth
world championship when his career was ended by injury,
was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999.
For more information about the International Motorsports
Hall of Fame, click here.
To read Rainey's official Motorcycle Hall of Fame bio,
photo courtesy of American Motorcyclist Association.
wins mention at Sundance
short film made in 2006 by German director Jeorg Wagner,
has received an honorable mention at the 2007 Sundance
Film Festival. One review states, “'Motodrom'
stylishly captures the atmosphere in beautiful black-and-white
imagery using energetic camerawork and pulsating sound.
A dying fairground attraction portrayed in a thrilling
homage at 5000 rpm.” For a short review of this short
film (nine minutes), click here.
Marshals named for
Vintage Motorcycle Days 2007
G. Davidson (below) and Jay Springsteen (left) have been
named co-Grand Marshals at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days
2007, which will take place at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car
Course in Lexington, Ohio July 27 through 29. The
Harley-Davidson Sportster will be the "Featured Marque"
at the event. Introduced as the XL in 1957, the Sportster
celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. An AMA news
release states, “This landmark line of motorcycles, like
Willie G. and Springer, has become an
indisputable icon in American motorcycling and has had
a significant impact on American culture.”
addition to the XL, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days 2007 will
honor the Sportster's siblings, including the K, KK, KH,
KHK, KR and XR models. Owners of these motorcycles are
invited to bring their machines to AMA Vintage Motorcycle
Days 2007 for display in the Sportster Corral. A select
group of early and significant examples will be chosen
for a special Marque of the Year display. For more information,
contact Will Stoner at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 614-856-1900
ext. 1227. For more information about AMA Vintage Motorcycle
Days, click here
and Davidson photos courtesy of American Motorcyclist
USA Speedway National Awards Banquet and Team USA Speedway
Testimonial was held aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach
harbor January 27 and 28. Special honorees included Scott
Autrey, Mike Bast, Barry Briggs, and Cordy Milne. Greg
Hancock was named Rider of the Year, presented by former
two-times world champion Bruce Penhall, and Bill Hancock
received a Lifetime Achievement Award. A display of 18
vintage and special interest speedway motorcycles included
bikes provided by Rick and Pat Newlee's Arizona Speedway
Museum and from the collection of Gary and
Sandy Hicks. Among the motorcycles on display were Mike
Bast's first speedway bike, a 1947 JAP in a Rudge chassis
(pictured above), and an unusual Bultaco-powered grass
track machine (pictured here). For more photographs of
the event, click here.
To see more bikes from the Arizona Speedway Museum, click
more information about USA Speedway, click here.
provided by USA Speedway.
have no winner!
looks like Quiz #35 surpassed the assembled wisdom of
our Motohistory readership. I think this is the second
time it has happened in over four years. We had only two
guesses, which were SWM from Italy
and Islo from Mexico.
motorcycle pictured in our quiz is a Flink, built in Sweden
in the mid-1960s.
Gustav Flink was the owner of a machine shop in the town
north of Goteborg.
He was one of several people who built high-performance
parts – including intake manifolds, cylinder, and heads
– for the 175cc Husqvarna Silverpilen. In addition, he
designed and built his own 250cc engine. Eventually he
also designed an entire monocoque frame in aluminum, and
this is the bike pictured in our Motohistory Quiz. It
was built to accept Husqvarna suspension parts and wheels,
and could accept Flink's engine or a Husky engine. The
example pictured in our quiz contains a CZ engine retro-fitted
by a private party.
Just as the first ten
bikes were completed,
taking the project
with him to his grave. A drawing of Flink's innovative
chassis is pictured here.
are indebted to Swedish motorcycle industry experts Tosh
Konya and Gunnar Lindstrom for providing graphics and
history on the Flink. Lindstrom reports that at least
six Flinks are known to survive. Interestingly, Flink
is not a unique brand name. There was also a Flink built
in Germany – a 150cc two-stroke – from 1920 to 1922. This
company has no historical connection with the Swedish
project, and was acquired in the formation of BMW in 1923.