1903 was, of course, the first year that Harley Davidson introduced its line of motorcycles. There were three built during first year. 21 Year old William S. Harley and 20 year old Arthur Davidson built these first machines in 10 x 15 wooden shed on Chestnut Street (later renamed Juneau Avenue) which is still the address of Harley-Davidson’s head office, later joined by Arthur’s brother, Walter.
This had a single cylinder motor with 3-1/8-inch bore and 3-1/2-inch stroke yielding 7.07 cubic inches (116cc). They make a more powerful motor with the assistance of Ole Evinrude – better known as the inventor of the outboard motor. It is designed for use on the wooden velodromes where popular bicycle races are held.
This model used a belt drive and was designed as a racing machine. The Board Track Racer has all the feeling of the spirit of the day. From the straight pipe to the laid down seat and handlebars and absence of fenders for weight savings- it’s what it was all about.
The motorcycles designed for board-track racing had no brakes. Brakes were, perhaps ironically, considered more dangerous than not having them. The only way to stop the bikes was to flip a switch on the handlebar that grounded out the charging system, and then coast home.
This bike is a conversation piece at its best and draws a crowd wherever it is shown.
This creation is inspired by the bravery and bravado of the racers and the danger of the sport during that incredible time. Truly when men were men.