The steadfast, raw spirit that could be found in the ranks of Indian’s Wigwam factory racing team and Harley-Davidson’s Wrecking Crew first defined what it meant to be a professional motorcycle racer in America and became a cornerstone attribute of our culture. These two factory teams split nearly evenly a dominating ownership of America’s Golden Age of racing between 1907 and 1925.
Indian and the men of the Wigwam team were relentlessly victorious in those first years, the infamous age of the motordrome while the brass at Harley-Davidson chose to simply observe the birth of the sport. But in 1914, when the Motor Co. finally began to assemble their factory racing program led by Bill Ottaway they would prove to be a force to be reckoned with. And so began an all American rivalry, one which reached a fever pitch in the early 1920’s when both teams boasted rosters made entirely of legends, one which stretched through to the Class C flat track gridirons of the 1940’s and 50’s.In iconic competition for decades, the men of the Wigwam and the Wrecking Crew traded places at the top countless times, but after Indian fell too far behind in the business world it was Harley that was left alone, unchallenged to claim the crown as the American motorcycle brand.
Here are the men of Indian's Wigwam at the Fort Erie Championship races of 1911, and what would become the Harley-Davidson Wrecking Crew after their triumphant showing at the 1915 Dodge City race.
I’ve been working on something new, something that I think you folks will dig. Im excited to share it with you soon and will have everything wrapped up in the next few weeks and exclusively available in our store. So until then all you need to do is ask yourself which team you are you, The Wigwam or the Wrecking Crew?