1929 Harley-Davidson Board Track Racer. The only surviving motorcycle of its type, I think if Michelangelo were a bike builder, this is what he would have sculpted. Board track racing was, without a doubt, the deadliest form of racing in the history of motorsports. Hundreds were killed - both racers and spectators - during the heyday of the boards. Yet, in spite of the danger - or perhaps because of it - board racing during the early 20th century was one of the most popular spectator sports in America. Top racers could earn $20,000 a year, nearly half-a-million in today’s currency. Crazy money for a crazy sport. “Thrills and Funerals,” as one historical newspaper dubbed it.
Photographed at Wheels Through Time, a museum dedicated to the history of American motorcycling, for an article on the racing heritage of Harley.