First Indian Motorcycle Built in 1912
1912 Indian 61ci Board-Track Racing Motorcycle
Engine no. 700001
There being no purpose-built motorcycle racetracks in the sports pioneering years, the first competitive events were held on existing velodromes built for cycle racing. Indians co-founders George M Hendee and Carl Oscar Hedstrom had both been successful racing cyclists in their day and so were well aware of the valuable publicity to be gained from racetrack successes. Indeed, Hedstroms interest in motorcycles had been kindled when he built a motorized pacer for use on cycle racing tracks, and Hendees favorable impressions of this machine had brought the two men together. Indian was soon profiting from its products competition successes, to such an extent that the firm was overwhelmed with orders and had to turn for assistance to the Aurora Automatic Machinery Company, of Aurora, Illinois, which from October 1902 was contracted to build the Hedstrom-designed engines under license.
At first, Indian motorcycles used in competition were modified road models, and not until 1908 did the Springfield company offer a purpose-built racing motorcycle for sale. The following year Messrs Hedstrom and Hendee opened their own home-town, pine-board motordrome in Springfield, thus providing Indian with its own test track and works rider Jake DeRosier - one of motorcycle sports first superstars - with a stage to showcase his immense talent.
The very first motorcycle to leave the Springfield factory in 1912, this Indian board-tracker was raced originally in the Mount Rainier area of Washington State. Owned by the current vendor since 1990, it is presented in complete, unrestored and original condition.
- Lot 873, a 1912 Indian 61ci Board-Track Racing Motorcycle, has the incorrect engine number listed. The correct engine number is 70D001.