The 1918 Indian Twin Board-track Racer found its notoriety on tracks used for cycling. In the early days of motorcycles, there weren’t any dedicated tracks. Instead, racers competed on the board tracks of velodromes meant for bicycle racing. Indian’s heritage actually started out as a motorized pace cycle meant for those races. Motorcycles used for these races initially were modified road models. It wasn’t until 1908 that the first board-track racers were built.
Indian’s co-founders George M. Hendee and Carl Oscar Hedstrom were aware of these bikes, having been successful racing cyclists themselves. Their original models—based on those pace bikes—garnered so many orders that they were soon overwhelmed and had to contract with Aurora Automatic Machinery Company of Aurora, Illinois, to build their engines.
The sport’s life was much like the races themselves—short, exhilarating, and dangerous. Because the style of racing didn’t last long, there are few examples of board-track racers out there. Heroesmotors.com is offering one such model. The owner bought the motorcycle mostly finished. He replaced the gas tank, handlebars, two pistons, front forks, and the rear stand. Each of the replacement parts was handcrafted to match the motorcycle’s original shape perfectly. The builder was also dedicated to retaining as much of the original as possible, even going so far as to maintain some of the original paint. Considering the purpose of the bike, and its 102 year old age, it’s in amazing shape, and is a wonderful recollection of American Motorcycle History.