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Lot 331: Indian Model F Boardtrack Racer

Motorcycle and Motorcars, Bonhams & Butterfields (14 November 2009)

In a matter of only 10 years from its humble beginning, Hendee Manufacturing became the largest motorcycle producer in the world with its line of Indian single cylinder and twin cylinder motorcycles. They also became world beaters on the tracks around the globe with a selection of production based race bikes and one-off factory exotics. The famous Hedstrom engine had an inlet over exhaust valve configuration that was quite powerful in its day although prone to wear from the complicated engine design. In 1914, one of the popular as well as spectacular attractions was board track racing. Velodromes using long wooden planks for a base made racing somewhat like a Roman circus where spectators could view the entire track from the comfort of their seats. Meanwhile the motorcycle competitors would speed around the highly banked surface on machines that had neither brakes nor throttles. It was equally dangerous as it was fast with speeds reaching 100 mph. An example of a production based Indian racer, this motorcycle lacks a clutch, gearbox and brakes! Machines such as this Indian racer were push started to get the motorcycle rolling and were full throttle until the end of the race where the rider would cut out the magneto to stall the engine. The engine is based on Indian's 30.50 cubic inch i.o.e. motor but features ported cylinders. Power is transmitted directly to the rear wheel from the engine. The engine is braced in a conventional Indian loop frame however it is skewed to the front to bring the engine closer to the front wheel thus improving the handling of the motorcycle at high speeds and cornering. Atop the rigid forks, Indian's signature board track handlebars were the rider's center of concentration. This Indian board track racer represents the waning years of the Hedstrom engine used by Indian before their transition to the new sidevalve Powerplus motors in 1916. Restored by Stephen Wright, this 1914 Indian single cylinder board track racer was once owned by motorcyclist and actor Steve McQueen. The motorcyle is also the subject of the painting "Wrought Iron" by Jay Koka, Lot 151A of this sale. Sold on a Bill of Sale.

Lot Details
Auction Motorcycle and Motorcars
Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number331
Estimate$65000-$75000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1914
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number
Engine number41F092
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors