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Tuesday Edition


Antique Motorcycle Racing



The first race was scheduled for October 2016 but had to be cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew.

Daytona Bike Week March 2017, they raced for the first time and Billy Lane’s dream became a reality – Sons of Speed – premiered as THE place to be for the twentieth-century board track Vintage Motorcycle Race.
New Smyrna Speedway track was chosen for the inaugural event. People came from all over the country to watch motorcycles compete in heat after heat for the coveted checkered flag! After the success of the initial event, a second event was hosted in Sturgis, SD, August 2017, and brought in many of the same racers to compete on the dusty dirt track next to the Full Throttle Saloon.

Hurricane Irma couldn’t keep them off the track for the Third event since inception – Biketoberfest 2017 Sons of Speed race at New Smyrna Speedway.

Now the event held in March of 2018 during Daytona Bike Week is in the record books.

The original motorcycles all had identical hand built racing chassis holding pre-1925 1000cc American V-Twin engines with the racers choosing handlebars, exhaust, fenders, foot pegs, fuel tank and oil tanks.

The motorcycles were as stripped down as they could be, direct drive meaning no transmission and if the engine is running the back wheel is turning. The way most are started is to push the motorcycle to the high bank and roll it down as the rider tries to balance the motorcycle and get it started. Oh did I forget to mention - No Brakes?! Anything to make it a little more exciting!

A group of motorcycles race in what is called a heat and through a process of elimination winners are chosen. For 2018, they have added two more classes – Hot “61” and one for motorcycles with 45 cubic inch engines.

The early “61” class is basically bikes that have engines not modified with modern aftermarket performance parts. The Hot “61” class consists of bikes that have been modified with performance camshafts, reproduction high performance cylinders, crank assemblies, and connecting rods. Early “61” machines produce around 7-10 horsepower, the Hot 61 machines are making 15-30 horsepower.
The 45 class hosts American air-cooled 45-inch twins from 1925-1972, (mainly Indian Scouts, Excelsior Super-X, and Harley-Davidson R, D, W, WLDR & WR models).

The gates at the race track opened at 11-a.m.
12 a.m. there was a meet and greet
Followed by the 45 Shootout at 1 p.m.
The Early Vintage Race at 2 p.m.
And the Hot 61 Race at 3 p.m.

Speedy recovery wishes go out to Josh Owens of “Moonshiners” fame, who was thrown from a 1919 Harley-Davidson antique motorcycle when his front tire exploded March 16th during practice runs. He was treated locally and recuperated with friends in the Daytona area.

I asked Berry Wardlaw of Accurate Engineering in Dothan Alabama to write about his experience with this race: Here it is:

Dana Peters and I drove down to Billy's shop on Monday, March 12. This was after repairing the crankcase and assembling a 1911 Hedstrom Indian engine and building a strong 1937 W 45 Harley-Davidson. I had already been working 7 days a week for a couple of months and now I was headed to another crash course in motorcycle construction, engine building and tuning with some very talented friends. It's truly an experience that I dearly love.
Little or no sleep, sleeping bags on the floor, no concept of time, coffee, lots of coffee. Bourbon, pressure, venison grilled on the truck tailgate, expectations, disappointments, rebounds, work, work, and more work. I look around and can't believe my good fortune.
I'm working and hanging with Mike Beland, Rick Petko, Billy Lane, Steve Broyles, Keith Ball, Rogue, Xavier Muriel, Michael Lichter and his son Sean, Chris Callen, Moonshiner Josh, Big Tony, Tom Keefer, Danny "Spike" Johnson, Dana Peters, Bob Kay, Bob McKay, Rick Kaylor, Grott and many more. I can assure you that, for me, these are the best of times.
Steve and I got the 1911 Indian running after a carburetor change and then moved on to working with the others on building the 1937 W race bike. Yes, we had to build the bike and we had two days. Every curve was thrown at us and we continued to knock them out of the park. Hours and hours and hours of work. We got the 45 running the early morning before testing. We put about 11 minutes on the little hot rod and went out to the track to make some laps.
We stuck the front exhaust valve, brought the bike back to the shop and went at it again. Rick, Steve and I pulled the top end off, hard honed the guides for a little more clearance, reassembled the bike in record time with help from others but we paid a price as we were all dead tired.
We had a great four hour sleep, double bacon BLT's and it was off to race day. At the track the little 45 was making competitive lap times but then broke the primary chain. When we all chipped in to build the bike, we had dug parts out of boxes what we could use. Some good, some bad, and some ugly. The only engine sprocket we had was a 22 that was paired with a very rusty, slightly tuckered out Servi-car 96-link chain. It was that chain that failed.
Matt Olsen hooked us up with a new 100-link primary chain but that meant we now had to have a bigger motor sprocket. Matt happened to also have a 27 tooth engine sprocket but this now changed our overall gear ratio to 3.9:1.
I wasn't sure the engine would pull that gear but others that had seen the bike making laps were confident it would. Steve, Mike, Dana, Danny and I thrashed to get the bike back together for another heat and we made it just in time. Ebay Jake made two laps of 25.8 and 26.2 seconds on this half-mile paved oval. Decent times but the engine was sticking. Jake still made it to the final but we had some more work to do.
Once the engine cooled down the engine again spun freely. There was no time left to "dig in" so we let the engine completely cool off and when it was time for the final, we sent Jake out again. Due to the taller gearing and a hurt engine he was slow to get going but eventually moved into the second spot and was gaining on the leader.
I was getting overwhelmed with excitement as Jake inched closer and closer to the leader when all of a sudden the engine seized. Fortunately Jake was able to clutch it and haul the brakeless bike to a safe stop. Hero to Zero. Been there before but we'll be back!
Dana and I brought the little 45 back to Dothan along with four other engines. We are prepping the 45 "Vigilant" for TROG in June. What happened to our little 45? When the primary chain broke it wrapped up in the primary cover and around the front sprocket. In doing so it shifted the flywheels and pinched them at the 12 o'clock position at the crankpin. When the engine got hot the rod to flywheel area seized and when it cooled the engine would spin freely. That was a first for me.
The experience never ends. I have such wonderful friends; I'm a very lucky boy. 

The list of riders I got from Billy Lane included the following.
Riders may have been added or removed if they did not pass inspection or qualify.

88- Doug Woethke (45)

96X- Dan Rose (45)
97- Rich Packer (45)

5X- Go Takamine (45)

9907- Charles Kichton (45)

Doug Young
Doug Young

98- Doug Young (45)

7X- EJ Kowalski (45)

The winners of the 45 Shootout were:
98- Doug Young (HD)
13X- Brittney Olsen (Indian)
5X Go Takamine (Indian)

Riders in other classes were:

8- Freddy Bollwage

76- Dave Morrill
14- Ken Curtis

00 Billy Lane – 1912 Flying Merkel
46- Tom Keefersd

67- Bill Rodencal – 1915 Harley

2-Rick Oetko

18- Rhett Rotten – 1916 Harley

28- Shelly Rossmeyer-Pepe – 1915 Harley

111- Mark Hanna

63- Jody Perewitz

17-Carey Maynell

27- Josh Young
40- Matt Harris – 1924 Harley
22- Matt Walksler – 1921 Harley
113- eBay Jake

13X- Brittney Olsen – 1923 Harley

Winners Of The Early 61” Board Track

1-14- Ken Curtis (HD)
2-28-Shelly Rossmeyer- Pepe (HD)
3-2- Rick Petko

Winners Of The Hot 61” Board Track

1-22- Matt Walksler (HD)
2-113- eBay Jake (HD)
3-13X- Brittney Olsen (HD)

A big shout out of THANX goes out to all of those involved for putting this show on, and for making it a badass experience! I often wonder what the original owners of these bikes would say if they saw the event today – resurrecting yesteryear’s iron!

Let us not forget Berry’s dog Molly and Billy Lane’s cat Stinky who helped out at the shop.

It was good to see everyone including Gloria Tramontin Struck and get a copy of her new book and then there was Pete Hill long time racer and so many more.
Bill Lane & Pete Hill
Bill Lane & Pete Hill


A big shout out of THANX goes out to all of those involved for putting this show on, and for making it a badass experience! I often wonder what the original owners of these bikes would say if they saw the event today – resurrecting yesteryear’s iron!

The Races are Great But there is so much more about the people and what they go through to get these motorcycles put together and put this event on for all of us to enjoy and I want to personally Thank All Of Them For Doing Such A God Job.


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