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March 2012

President Gene Walker 5531 Lardon Rd NE Salem, OR 97305-3248 (503) 428-6641 (503) 371-4363 Vice President Gary Kelley 20000 NE Jaquith Rd Newberg, OR 97132-6694 (503) 537-0802 (503) 860-6442 garyk@amcaotc.org Treasurer Tom Ruttan 3761 SW Olson Ct Lake Oswego, OR 97034 (503) 638-1746 tgruttan@earthlink.net Secretary Shannon Kelley 20000 NE Jaquith Rd Newberg, OR 97132-6694 (503) 537-0802 (503) 784-0760 shannonk@wildriders.org

A Love Story
I recently got an email from a fellow member who had just purchased a motorcycle only a real enthusiast could love.

Board Track Racing

Bicycle racing on banked, wooden velodromes was enormously popular at the turn of the 20th century. Board tracks were constructed with 2x4 boards and banked up to 45. Some venues, such as Fulford-by-the-Sea and Culver City, boasted unconfirmed banks of 50 or more. Later, banking angle was increased to 60. The effect of this change was higher cornering speeds and higher G-forces on riders. Fans sat on the top of the track looking down at the racers. When a rider lost control in a corner, he could slip up off the track and into the crowd. Many of the first machines identifiable as motorcycles were built by bicycle mechanics and used as "pacers" to train bicycle racers. The first motorcycle race may have occurred when two pacers where on the track simultaneously.

1918 Indian Racer

He contacted OTC after using serial number data on the website to identify the year of engine manufacture as 1918. This motorcycle is of particular historical significance as 1918 was the last year Indian used Hedstrom-Hendee engines in production. None were sold in the US beyond 1915/early 1916. The few that were made in 1918 went to Australia, New Zealand, England and Europe. Overseas these bikes were used primarily for TT and dirt track racing. In the US in the early 1900s, board track racing became popular. Earlier versions of this bike sped around board tracks from California to New York. The owner has decided to repatriate this bike to a well-known local restorer where, eventually, this machine will roar back to life. I hope to publish a picture when its ready to ride.

Pacer motorcycle on the cycle board track

Timber and labor were cheap. With the help of an engineer from New Jersey named Jack Prince, board track racing spread across the nation.

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Oregon Trail Chapter March 2012 The Coliseum in Los Angeles, over a quarter mile long, opened in 1909, followed immediately by a one-third mile track in Springfield, Ma. In 1910, full mile tracks in Playa del Rey California and Salt Lake City opened. Tracks up to two miles in length were thrown up in 1911 in Oakland, Denver, Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago, and Detroit. 1912 brought tracks to Milwaukee, Omaha, Houston, Cleveland and Atlantic City. Technical competition among the manufacturers was just as fierce as the racing itself. The race for prestige led famous manufacturers like Indian, Excelsior, Cyclone, Thor, and Flying Merkel to develop purpose-built racing equipment with the highest attainable horsepower they could squeeze from their motors. Few were as successful as Indian!

On the Boards in Springfield Massachusetts 1911

By the early 1930s, board track racing had fallen out of favor, and into eventual obsolescence, due to both the danger and the high cost of track maintenance. However, several of its most notable aspects have continued to influence American motorsports philosophy to the present day, including: A technical emphasis on raw speed produced by the steep inclinations; ample track width to allow steady overtaking between competitors; and the development of extensive grandstands surrounding many of the courses.

Rider Profile Bert le Vack, UK

Herman Bert le Vack was born in London of Scottish descent in 1887, the son of upholsterer and antique dealer Albert Edward le Vack. Bert's grandfather was John le Vack, a Scottish locomotive engineer. Bert le Vack was a motorcycle world speed record holder throughout the 1920s earning the nickname 'Wizard of Brooklands' for his exploits. An expert engine tuner, le Vack worked for some of the great marques. Bert began his racing career on bicycles but once he visited Brooklands, he began tuning motorcycles and won the first hill climb he entered on a 1909 Triumph.

Board track racing was lucrative. Race promoters routinely made $10,000 daily in gate receipts. High speeds and a lack of safety precautions lead to spectacular wrecks on the board tracks, often killing a half-dozen racers and spectators at once. Controversy over safety had already caused the national sanctioning organization to switch the 1913 National Championship from the boards to the safer, but less profitable, dirt ovals. True to form, racing improved the breed. Motorcycles went from able-to-keep-up-withbicycles in 1900 to the first 100-mph average lap, turned by Lee Humiston riding a "Big-Valve" Excelsior at Playa del Rey in 1912.

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Oregon Trail Chapter March 2012 In 1912 Bert competed in the London to Edinburgh Run and in 1913 was working with another J.A. Prestwich (JAP) test rider at Brooklands named John Wallace. At the outbreak of the First World War Burt and John turned their talents to assembling and testing aircraft engines. After the war, Wallace designed a racing motorcycle engine and sold the design to the Portable Tool and Engineering Company of Enfield Highway, who employed Wallace as their chief designer. Bert le Vack helped with development and between them created the Duzmo in 1920. Towards the end of 1920 Bert moved on to the Hendee Manufacturing Co at their London Depot. In 1921, Bert le Vack set a new record on an Indian 8-valve with an average speed of 107.5 mph. The 8-valve, 61 ci. V-twin racer was introduced in 1911 and produced until 1918. Indian sold these bikes to the public for $350. The initial idea behind the four valve per cylinder design Hedstrom pioneered for Indian in 1910 was not gaining horsepower, but to overcome valve breakage. Exhaust valves could not take the extreme heat of racing temperatures. Hedstrom's theory was several smaller valves could better dissipate their heat resulting in a cooler running motor, more likely to survive the longer races. Hedstrom's theory proved correct. When valve timing was adjusted to take advantage of increased valve area, Hedstrom's 8valve design solved the heat problem and was faster. Bert used his experience with Indian to help JAP develop their British vee-twin - the 'Super Big Twin', so called because of its 986 cc ohv engine. Although le Vack only stayed with JAP for four years, he played a significant role in their success. JAP advertisements in The Motor Cycle showed Bert on a Brough Superior with the 976 cc vee-twin JAP engine. Described as a quiet spoken man with few friends, le Vack became something of an enigma. In a rare interview for The Motor Cycle in 1923 with the title 'The Making of a Speed Man' he described his early days when he nearly blew himself up by looking into a fuel tank at night with a match. Bert le Vack rode for Brough Superior and helped keep T. E. Lawrence's Broughs tuned. He also rode for the leading manufacturers of the 1920s, including Indian, New Imperial and Zenith. After a time in Birmingham at the New Hudson works, Bert went to Motosacoche and rode for them in the 1914 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Races. Motosacoche built racing motorcycles and le Vack joined as a works rider, chief designer and tuner. Bert le Vack perished in the Swiss Alps on September 17, 1931 while testing a Motosacoche A50 on public roads near the factory.

Bert le Vack in 1920 on an Indian 61ci , 8-valve v twin

The 8-valve featured overhead-valve heads with four valves per cylinder and was easily capable of speeds over 120 mph. In various forms, the 8valve was raced on dirt as well as boards with great success. Its unknown how many 8-valve racers were manufactured, but production was very limited. Most machines were ridden by factory riders or "loaned" to promising privateers. Like other board track bikes of its era, the 8valve lacked amenities such as brakes, clutch, or even a throttle. Carbs were run wide open with an ignition cut-out controlling engine speed.

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Oregon Trail Chapter March 2012

Visit us online at amcaotc.org

Oregon Trail Chapter March 2012

Upcoming Events
Check out these upcoming antique and vintage motorcycle events.
Date March 10 March 18 March 25 March 31 April 14 April 28 April 29 April 29 Event OTC Business Meeting, Brooks OR Vintage Motorcycle Show & Swap O'Connor Fieldhouse, Caldwell, ID ABATE Swap Meet, Monroe WA Clubmans All British Field Meet San Jose, CA OTC Business Meeting, Brooks OR Mt Vernon Swap Meet. WVM Chapter ABATE of Oregon Spring Swap Meet Portland, OR Classic & Vintage Show & Swap Tsawwassen, BC

February Meeting Minutes

Gene called the meeting to order at 2:13. Attendees: Gene Walker, Tom Krise, Don & Gail Woodard, Jackie & Chuck Hodson, Tom Ruttan, Shannon & Gary Kelley Correspondence: Shannon sent 5 email renewal reminders. She will send one via mail. Dropped Jean-Claude Drouet. Long time member Howard Dawson of Cottage Grove passed away January 28. The club has been discussing purchasing museum bricks in memory of active members. More information will be forthcoming. Gary received email from a member looking at serial number data on our website. He used the data to identify a bike he purchased. Hes having it restored locally. Tony Kirk from Medford has had issues getting signed up with OTC. Shannon will take care of it. Treasurers Report: TomR presented the February financial report. Business: Were waiting for an AMCA board decision on our 2013 bid for a national. The vote occurs in March. Not too soon to think about a location. Tom Ruttan reported on the Las Vegas auctions. The three auctions were well attended. Different rules for each, such as having to buy bidder numbers at Auctions America. He feels the market has continued to soften over the past three years. Meeting adjourned at 2:59.

March Business Meeting Agenda

The March Business Meeting is being held at the Powerland Texaco Saturday, March 10, 2012. Topics well discuss: Review of February meeting minutes Treasurers report 2012 Road Run Committee Report New Business Our Business Meetings are where we discuss issues important to Chapter operation. Your thoughts are needed to make decisions for the future. We hope to see you there. Visit us online at amcaotc.org

Oregon Trail Chapter March 2012

Gold Rush Run July 12~14

Gary has signed a contract with the Village Green for room discounts, drink vouchers and Saturday Banquet plans. See the Gold Rush Run web page for additional details. The RV Park is co-located on the site and is the central location for road run activities. RV spaces are on a first come first serve basis. Reservations are not taken in advance. The plan is for the first to arrive to secure spots for the remaining campers. RV rates are $27.50 per night. We will reserve an additional space for meetings and evening meals. Tent camping is not available. Standard room rates are $109.00 per night, $119.00 for a Deluxe. Rates include a continental breakfast. Rates are based on single or double occupancy. Additional guests are $10.00 per person per night. City room tax is 10%. Check in time is 3:00pm and check out time is 11:00am. Guests arriving before 3:00pm are accommodated as rooms become available. To reserve a room, call 1-800-343-7666 and identify yourself as a participant in the Antique Motorcycle event to receive the special rate. Reserve your room before June 11, 2012. Members are responsible for their room reservation, tax, and incidental charges at checkout. A 48-hour cancellation fee is enforced, additionally should any guest choose to checkout prior to their confirmed departure date, a checkout fee of $25.00 is charged. A deposit equal to a one nights stay or credit card guarantee is required to hold each room reservation.

OTC Forum Classifieds

By Our Members 1951 FL, 3 speed and reverse with 1941 sidecar. Very nice outfit, runs great, fresh rebuilt Linkert, interior of sidecar in nice shape, spare tire on the sidecar. Email gene@roguehawg.com for more information and pictures or call 541-944-7641. 2 Scouts for sale. 45-inch in a 741 frame. Needs finishing with wiring and misc stuff to get it running. Painted a beautiful, $1500.00, 2-tone blue. 52-inch in a 741 frame. Has vertical twin front forks and wheel, TT warrior rear wheel and Jr. Scout tanks. Contact Ben Beberness, bbeberness@aol.com

Editors Note:
OTC Forum Classifieds are available to all AMCA members registered on the OTC Forum. Advertisements posted on the forum are listed here when space is available. Please remove your ads from the forum as soon as possible following the sale.

Northern Rockies Run July 19~21

The Kaslo Hotel is run headquarters for the Northern Rockies Chapter National Road Run. The run officially begins at 1:00 pm on Thursday July 19. However, like most rides, some members show up on Tuesday and Wednesday for early riding and tire kicking. Run registration opens Thursday morning and remains open through Friday. If youve never experienced motorcycle riding in this part of the world, youre in for a treat. If you have, I am sure well see you in Kaslo to once again enjoy this most beautiful of places.

Board track display at the Harley-Davidson Museum

Deadline for articles, advertisements or other submissions to the Trail Gazette is the 20th of the month. Send submissions to garyk@amcaotc.org

Visit us online at amcaotc.org

Oregon Trail Chapter March 2012

Visit us online at amcaotc.org

Oregon Trail Chapter, AMCA 20000 NE Jaquith Rd Newberg, OR 97132-6694

Northern Rockies Chapter Road Run July 19, 20, 21 Kaslo BC