Early twin carb Knuck in VL Frame

Early twin carb Knuck in VL Frame
This is a fine example of KNUCKIN FUTTY! An early Bonneville Lakester sportin' a dual carb Knuck in a VL frame!! Gotta Love It!!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Meltdown Drags!!!!!
6th annual vintage drag meet
July 17-19 2015
Byron Dragway, Byron Illinois

Well the date is set and Pre-Registration is upon us! If you love Vintage drag racing this is it folks!! Both Cars, rails, as well as Motorcycles from 1966 and earlier will be there.

The fine folks that run this are a group of like minded guys and gals that simply want to recreate a specific time in drag racing history.  "We choose 1966 and older for cars and that is the era we want to focus on.  A time when gassers were king!"  

For Motorcycles, they are a bit more open on years, BUT the "Look" needs to be there, borrowed from Vintage Drag Bikes FB page.. "I had a man call about rules for vintage Dragbikes again. I told him my opinion of what it should be. First vintage is vintage, meaning period correct 4'' tire, stock cases, stock heads any mods OK. Hand clutch,foot shift, no wheelie bar. Fuel or gas. Bikes that have vintage engines but run wheelie bar, air shift but stay with 4'' tire I call mod. vintage."

Vintage racing is an incredible piece of living history. Instead of collecting dust in some barn or worse, these machines have been saved and kept on the track for all to see how it was once done in a time of imagination and innovation!! Come on out and show your support or even better, get that Vintage Dragbike running and come out and have some fun!!!

Here is a fine example, Asshole's Garage Knucklehead Vintage Dragbike

For more information follow these links to Meltdown Drags as well as Vintage Dragbike Racing on Facebook 


Monday, March 3, 2014

Today's Knuckin Futty Spotlight.....

The restoration of Vintage Racers, whether its cars, boats, planes, or motorcycles has always piqued my interest. Racers have a unique problem vs. other items of vintage, they are often destroyed during competition, or cannibalized and updated to remain competitive in future seasons destroying their original configuration. When they are no longer competitive, they are essentially useless, and the now outdated “one-off” performance parts available at the time are very hard to find even if they were commercially produced. Because of this increased difficulty, going down this path can indeed drive you knuckin futty!!

Just like all of the early transportation industries, at the turn of the century Racers led the way when it came to innovation in the motorcycle industry. This is when racing was extremely dangerous. Race cars of the day like Ford's famous, Barney Oldfield piloted, 999 had a wooden frame and a tiller style steering wheel and certainly no rollcage. Board Track motorcycle racers of the day had no brakes and riders wore, by today's standards, no protective gear. A wipe out on a board track was often accompanied by foot long wood slivers penetrating your body if you were lucky, or death. Many sporting events and types of racing disappear over time do to lack of attendance, this was not the case with board track racing, it was the deaths of riders.

Motorcycle board track racing was the deadliest form of racing in the history of motorsports. Hundreds of lives were lost, both racers and spectators, during the relatively short-lived era of the boards. Yet in spite of, or perhaps partly because of, the dangers, motorcycle board track racing in the 1910s was one of the most popular spectator sports in America. Races attracted crowds of up to 10,000 fans. Young riders knew of the dangers, but chose to ignore them because the payoffs were so lucrative. Top racers could make $20,000 per year racing the board tracks, nearly a half-million dollars in today’s currency.”

Today's spotlight is about the re-creation of a Board Track Racer, an OHC Excelsior! What many modern Motorcycle enthusiasts do not realize is that there is really nothing new in motorcycles. The very earliest examples of motorcycle racers had many of the so-called modern performance features. 4 Cams, 2 Cams, 4 valves per cylinder, Overhead Cams, you know... all those performance buzz words used by today's motorcycle manufactures. The only thing that held these designs back, back in the day was metallurgy and manufacturing techniques available to the talented tinkerers, mechanics, and engineers of the day.

The Excelsior brand was built in Chicago, IL and used frames built by Schwinn. They were fast in the day and it did not take long for them to start breaking records.

On December 30th, 1912, Humiston circled the banked one-mile oval on his direct-drive Excelsior in 36 seconds flat, to become the first motorcyclist in the world "officially" timed at 100 mph. One week after his milestone accomplishment, "The Humiston Comet," (as he was promptly nicknamed by the press) surpassed DeRosier's record for 100 miles, trimming nearly seven and a half minutes from the fatally injured rider's best time.

Excelsior had won the race to the magic 100 mph mark and they had smashed the Indian-held record for the 100-mile distance as well. The publicity was enormous. Every school boy in America knew that a man had traveled at 100 miles per hour on a motorcycle, and that he had accomplished this feat on an Excelsior built in Chicago.”

Think about that for a moment.... for those of us who have exceeded 100mph on modern motorcycles, how fast would you be willing to push an old Board Tracker??? An engine on a glorified bicycle frame, sans brakes or protective gear, running around a steeply banked track made of wood... THINK ABOUT IT!! Absolutely knuckin futty!!

Well Excelsior, just like any company with a quality racing program did not rest on its laurels, it continued to innovate. That innovation led to the Bevel Drive OHC Racer. Overhead cams are quite common today, back then not so much, and how to drive the camshafts was another thing entirely. Excelsior chose a beveled gear drive arrangement, and it worked.

This particular OHC Racer however was short lived, and it was over before it could make its mark. The program died with it's best rider, board track racer Bob Perry on January 2, 1920. Bob Perry was close family friend of Ignaz Schwinn, owner of both Schwinn Bicycles and Excelsior. Upon hearing about the death of his friend, Ignaz destroyed the remaining OHC Excelsior's leaving nothing but a few photographs as evidence of the innovative and significantly historical racing machine's existence.

This is where this story takes an incredible turn, the re-creation of a Racing Legend, based only on photos and intuition using modern metals and manufacturing. You think you have seen art? Maybe you have seen restorations that are amazing with flawless repairs and paint that brings the project to better than new status.. What about fabrication? Have you seen some great fabricators that can see something in their head, fire up a welder or get in front of an english wheel and BAM! there it is? How about talented machinists that can create impossible things out of a chunk of metal???

Well, here is an absolute work of art, that is not only functional, but is as close as possible to the original as you can get without using a single original part. Here is the Excelsior Bevel Drive OHC Racer re-created by Paul Brodie of Flashback Fabrications.

If you admire those that take the time to restore and revive vintage racers, please take the time to check out his blog and follow along as he recreates an incredible piece of Motorcycle Racing History. Not only did he build these from scratch, he also put the engine in a modern chassis to race in vintage road racing classes so that he could iron out the engine and make necessary changes for durability, just like they would have done back in the day of factory board track racers!! Talk about Knuckin Futty!!!

Here is a link to follow to Flashback Fabrications Blog,  There are tons of quality photos to drool over, and if that was interesting, please check out the other links provided about Board Track Racing.

Thank you for re-creating and preserving history Paul Brodie!!!

Dan Hendrickson

"Thrillsand Funerals": Researching the Board Track Era of Motorcycle Racing in America's Historical Newspapers, by Larry Lawrence

Pioneersof American Motorcycle Racing, by Daniel K. Statnekov

Sunday, February 23, 2014

AMA Pro Racing Releases 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Schedule

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (December 3, 2013) - AMA Pro Racing is pleased to announce the complete AMA Pro Flat Track schedule for the upcoming 2014 season; an agenda that includes 16 rounds featuring non-stop entertainment and thrilling motorcycle racing action from the AMA Pro Grand National Championship (GNC) and AMA Pro Singles classes.

"We're excited to be announcing the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track schedule today," said Michael Gentry, Chief Operating Officer of AMA Pro Racing. "AMA Pro Flat Track is America's original extreme sport, and we're looking forward to watching our riders thrill crowds across the country during another action-packed season of racing in 2014."

Of the 16 races scheduled as part of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track calendar, the GNC Expert Singles will compete at four of the rounds, broken down into two Short Tracks and two TTs, while the thundering GNC Expert Twins will contest the remaining 12 rounds, consisting of six Half-Mile and six Mile tracks. Fans can also expect to watch the sport's finest up-and-coming talent battle for fame and glory in Pro Singles races at the majority of the events.

On March 13 and 14, 2014, DAYTONA Flat Track will once again play host to the AMA Pro Flat Track opener as the series kicks off the 2014 season with a doubleheader on the quarter-mile lime rock track located just outside Daytona International Speedway's west banking. At the 2013 season opener in Daytona Beach, Fla., fans witnessed four riders claim their first career victories at the professional level in dramatic fashion.

Next up, the series will make its first annual stop in Springfield, Ill. for the Springfield Mile on May 25, 2014 and will return again to the legendary venue on August 31, 2014 for the second go-around. Last season, Brandon Robinson made his money at Springfield, earning two convincing victories in a crucial late-season doubleheader weekend.

The series will head to Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa on June 15, 2014 for Round 4. Kenny Coolbeth earned a split-second victory at the Knoxville Half-Mile in 2012 over then defending champion Jake Johnson. After taking a break from the Marion County venue in 2013, the series is scheduled to return to Knoxville Raceway in 2014 to run in conjunction with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series and provide the same exhilarating action that it does everywhere else.

Round 5 of AMA Pro Flat Track will take place at the Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio for the Lima Half-Mile on June 28, 2014. Dating back to 1984, AMA Pro Flat Track has made the trek to Lima to take on the pea-gravel circuit and the 2014 event should be another weekend filled with exciting racing.

It wouldn't be a normal 4th of July weekend without AMA Pro Flat Track racing in Hagerstown, Md. The series is set to roll out the thundering twin-cylinder motorcycles on July 5, 2014 at Hagerstown Speedway for the Hagerstown Half-Mile. Eventual 2013 Grand National ChampionBrad Baker earned his first win at the GNC Expert level at Hagerstown last season and will look to have similar success following America's Independence Day in 2014.

The first west coast tour begins on July 19, 2014 with a Half-Mile event at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash. The venue will serve as the first time that AMA Pro Flat Track tires will have touched this particular soil and the event will be hosted by a new promoter.

On July 26, 2014, the series will make its second west coast appearance at the famous Sacramento Mile in Sacramento, Calif. Last season, Bryan Smith recorded his first of two wins on the year at the Cal Expo and the Flint, Mich. product will look to continue his success on mile-long tracks when the series returns to Sacramento in 2014.

The first TT event will take place at Castle Rock Race Park in Castle Rock, Wash. for the Castle Rock TT on August 2, 2014. Jeffrey Carver recorded his lone win of the season last year in AMA Pro Expert Singles competition as he crossed the stripe a little over a second ahead of second-place finisher and 2012 Grand National Champion Jared Mees.

Next up, the series heads to Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, S.D. for the Sturgis Half-Mile on August 5, 2014, run in conjunction with the largest annual bike rally in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts will flock to the 74th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the timing couldn't be any better with the Grand National Championship coming to town in the midst of all the excitement.

The Indy Mile at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Ind., returns to the 2014 schedule on August 8, 2014 and the event will once again coincide with both the Indiana State Fair and MotoGP's state-side return for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indy Mile will run on a Friday this year as opposed to the usual Saturday night that it has in the past.

Next up is the second and final TT of the season, and the granddaddy of them all, scheduled for August 17, 2014 at Peoria Race Park in Peoria, Ill. Henry Wiles has owned the Peoria TT for nearly an entire decade and he will look to collect his 10th win at the Midwest venue next season. The Peoria TT has been a staple on the Grand National circuit since 1947 and still packs the hillsides with spectators eager to watch the high-flying singles takes to the track.

After a successful inauguration to the Grand National scene last season, Colonial Downs will host Round 13 of the AMA Pro Flat Track schedule on August 23, 2014. The 1.25 mile-long circuit, located in New Kent, Va., measures in as the largest track on the schedule and will surely provide for some thrilling racing action.

Following the second Springfield Mile event on Labor Day weekend, the season wraps up with two final bouts on the west coast with the Santa Rosa Mile in Santa Rosa, Calif. on September 28, 2014 and the Flat Track Season Finale on October 11, 2014 at the LA County Fairplex in Pomona, Calif. These two races proved to be critical at the tail-end of last season, as Brad Baker,Bryan Smith and Brandon Robinson were neck-and-neck going down the homestretch of 2013. In the end it was Baker who sealed the final victory at Pomona to cap off an amazing season and capture the coveted No. 1 plate.

Complete 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Schedule
1. March 13 - Daytona Flat Track I, Daytona Beach, Fla.
2. March 14 - Daytona Flat Track II, Daytona Beach, Fla.
3. May 25 - Springfield Mile I, Springfield, Ill.
4. June 15 - Knoxville Half-Mile, Knoxville, Iowa
5. June 28 - Lima Half-Mile, Lima, Ohio
6. July 5 - Hagerstown Half-Mile, Hagerstown, Md.
7. July 19 - Grays Harbor Half-Mile, Elma, Wash.
8. July 26 - Sacramento Mile, Sacramento, Calif.
9. August 2 - Castle Rock TT, Castle Rock, Wash.
10. August 5 - Sturgis Half-Mile, Rapid City, S.D.
11. August 8 - Indy Mile, Indianapolis, Ind.
12. August 17 - Peoria TT, Peoria, Ill.
13. August 23 - Colonial Downs Mile, New Kent, Va.
14. August 31 - Springfield Mile II, Springfield, Ill.
15. September 28 - Santa Rosa Mile, Santa Rosa, Calif.
16. October 11 - Flat Track Season Finale, Pomona, Calif.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dates set for second season of NHRA Harley-Davidson Drag Racing Series
Wednesday,November 13, 2013
The second season dates for the wildly popular NHRA Harley-Davidson Drag Racing Series have been announced for 2014 by officials from NHRA and Harley-Davidson. The series will thrill fans of high-energy motorcycle racing with 10 races in the coming season.

The NHRA Harley-Davidson Drag Racing Series will compete at tracks across the country and will hold at least one race in each of the seven NHRA divisions. The events will take place in conjunction with NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series events with the Top Fuel Harley category featured at two NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events, the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway and the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
These thrilling two-wheeled machines will race at two new tracks in 2014 as they visit Cecil County Dragway in Rising Sun, Md., and Rocky Mountain Raceways outside of Salt Lake City.

Doug Horne will attempt to defend his crown in Top Fuel Harley that he secured in the inaugural season. Top Fuel Harley, Pro Fuel Harley (formally Pro Drag), Pro Gas, Draggin’ Bagger, Street Pro, and Hot Street will all take to the track during the course of an event weekend.

An updated rulebook and a follow-up announcement will be released, shortly as NHRA finalizes the program and class structure.

The racers will vie for an exclusive NHRA Wally Trophy awarded to winners in each category during winner circle activities.   The season-ending champion in Top Fuel Harley will receive a specially designed Wally Trophy as well as a year-end bonus. The best seven of 10 races will count for points toward the year-end championship.
"Our partnership with the NHRA for the NHRA Harley-Davidson Drag Racing Series has been a great success and has exceeded our goals of  increasing the visibility of Sportsman Harley drag racers at venues across the country and shining a spotlight on our Screamin' Eagle performance products that help our customers showcase their speed and talent to new audiences," said Harley-Davidson Racing Manager Kris Schoonover. "We look forward keeping that momentum going strong into next year."

2014 NHRA Harley-Davidson Drag Racing Series Schedule
March 7-9
Royal Purple Raceway Schedule
April 4-6
Virginia Motorsports Park
Petersburg, Va.
April 25-27
Royal Purple Raceway (Top Fuel only)
May 16-18
Summit Motorsports Park
Norwalk, Ohio
June 6-8
Mission Raceway
Mission, B.C.
June 13-15
Bristol Dragway (Top Fuel only)
Bristol, Tenn.
June 13-15
Bandimere Speedway (Non-Top Fuel Event)
Morrison, Co.
June 20-21
Bristol Dragway (Non-Top Fuel Event)
Bristol, Tenn.
July 18-20
National Trail Raceway
Hebron, Ohio
Aug. 15-17
Cecil County Dragway
Rising Sun, Maryland
Sept. 26-28
Rocky Mountain Raceways
West Valley, Utah
Nov. 6-9
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas