How many times have you seen this picture? How much do you know about it? How about a little background on one of the most reposted and iconic images in motoculture?

In February of 1921 Otto Walker, one of the original members of Harley Davidson's legendary Wrecking Crew threw his leg over a state of the art banjo 2 cam 8-valve factory racer and became the first man to win a race at an average speed of over 100 mph on the boards of the Fresno Speedway. 

The image is used most often as the quintessential representation of board track racing, however by the 1920's the tight, steeply-banked circular motordromes had all disappeared. Although the 1-mile long Fresno Speedway was surfaced in the same manner as the early circular motordromes, it was oval in shape with flat straightaways and banked corners, as was the standard construction style after WWI. The last of the circular dromes was built 7 years prior in 1914, and the sanctioning body in America, the M&ATA had outlawed races on any tracks less than 1 mile in length in 1919. 

Otto piloted his two-wheeled rocket to just over 107 mph in the 1-mile time trail, and won the 50-mile at just over 101 mph. Walker also earned the title of winning the most races at a single event that same day, sweeping all categories at over 100 mph each. One odd detail, after serving as an aeronautic mechanic in France during the Great War Walker acquired a rather unique crested German pilots helmet which he debuted upon his return to professional racing in 1919. In what is arguably one of the most iconic images in motorcycling history Walker's signature helmet is missing, Id like to think for aerodynamic purposes.

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