From the first year of 61ci Big Twin's production, in unrestored and original condition
1915 Indian 61ci Board-Track Racing Motorcycle
Engine no. 74G762
There being no purpose-built motorcycle racetracks in the sport's pioneering years, the first competitive events were held on existing velodromes built for cycle racing. Indian's 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, Hedstrom's interest in motorcycles had been kindled when he built a motorized pacer for use on cycle racing tracks, and Hendee's 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 hometown, pine-board motordrome in Springfield, thus providing Indian with its own test track and works rider 'Jake' DeRosier - one of motorcycle sport's first superstars - with a stage to showcase his immense talent.
Dating from the first year of the 61ci Big Twin's production, this original and un-restored board-track racer was purchased from John Pryor during the Korean War, circa 1952/53. John's father was Lee Pryor, an Indian dealer in Willmington, Delaware. It should be noted that the engine is not properly installed but was merely placed in the frame for the photo shoot. Spare parts offered with the machine include a pair of crankcase halves, timing cover, cylinder and head, drilled/lightened piston, Schebler racing carburetor and a modified intake manifold. Offered on a bill of sale.