William Edward Hasha, Indian Big Base 8-Valve, Fall 1912

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William Edward Hasha, Indian Big Base 8-Valve, Fall 1912

If there is one machine which embodies the storied era of the board track motordrome it would no doubt be an Indian, and no configuration to have come out of the Springfield factory was more perfectly tailored for the infamous slanted timbers of America’s fabled dromes than Indian’s Big Base 8-Valve. Perhaps even more synonymous with the treacherous glory of the American motordrome is one of the company’s most notable talents, the young Texan William Edward Hasha.

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Arthur George Chapple, Brighton Beach Motordrome, Sept. 1912

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Arthur George Chapple, Brighton Beach Motordrome, Sept. 1912

Arthur George Chapple, the man rocketing up the Fort Lee hill in December, 1909 as covered in this week’s previous post, was one of America’s first and most loved motorcycle racing stars. A pioneer of the sport, Chapple’s racing career dates back to the earliest days of competition, when daring early adopters found themselves duking it out with the very men responsible for the machine’s creation, men like Glenn Curtiss, Oscar Hedstrom, and Joseph Merkel. He became a fixture competitor...

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A.G. Chapple during the Fort Lee Hill Climb, Dec. 4, 1909

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A.G. Chapple during the Fort Lee Hill Climb, Dec. 4, 1909

A popular early form of motorsport was the hill climb, which in its original form dates back to the very introduction of the automobile and motorcycle.However, these early hill climbs were not the outlandish grudge matches with nearly vertical slants like the ones America fell in love with in the 1920’s and 30’s. The earlier bouts were timed ascents up inclined local roads throughout the country and were only slightly more civilized. This photo comes from one such early hill climb, an event staged in the palisades of New Jersey in the fall of 1909...

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The American Motorcycle and WWI, Part II

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The American Motorcycle and WWI, Part II

By this day 100 years ago nearly half of humanity had been tearing itself apart across Europe for nearly 2 years, trapped in the desolation of the world’s first global conflict, the war to end all wars. Death had kept busy ushering millions near the tranquil waters of the Marne and the Somme, and from the once peaceful pastures at Ypres and Verdun to their doom, but on this day, April 9, 1917, he extended his necrosed arm across the Atlantic and drew the United States into the carnage.

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