Harley-Davidson Presents A New Night Speedway Racer

By “hap” Jameson, Photography by Unknown

IT MADE its first appearance at the New York Auto show, this brand spanking new Harley-Davidson. It appeared along with the rest of the knee actions. And, these cinder trackers are the original knee action “wheels.” If you don’t think so just watch the boys in action.

Those who have the urge to bend a few broadsides (even those who haven’t) will smell castor in this new speedway motor.

All-American, the Harley-Davidson is the first factory built machine for the new sport on this side of the tariff wall. It was designed “from the buttons up,” not made over. From all indications it will travel with the best of ‘em.

If I am a judge this new equipment will go a long way to help put over night speedway racing in America. When old John Public gets a load of the circus the new cinder machines will provide we will be on our way toward enjoying motorcycling at its best-just like Europe. Before long we’ll hear much about these night speedways. Power to them. And speaking of power these new Milwaukee mades are teeming with it.

The illustrations show what the machine looks like. To really appreciate them you must actually see them, sit on one, or ride it. When you feel one of this new breed you just naturally want your picture taken with it-no foolin.’

The new racer was tried out in California. She went West and took curves that Mae West never heard of. Hank Syvertsen took a brace of them out to Los Angeles where the night speedways are in full bloom. The boys played with those jobs plenty. The little motors asked no favors, just a chance to meet the pack in the field. All the boys rode ‘em. First one; then another. The same rider would then ride against the machines on another brand. No matter what the combination the test machines held their own against all comers. That is the kind of a test that counts-and it was the kind of a test that brought praise from all the boys who were on hand to put the new Harley-Davidson speedway machines through their paces.

Heretofore, if you wanted a racer-well, you just wanted it. Now your Harley-Davidson dealer will handle this job just the same as stock equipment. In other words, he can get you one no matter who you are or where you are. May the best rider win.

Speaking of horsepower-these 30.50 jobs put it out. Not the catalog kind, you understand, but the good old fashioned hay and oats kind-the kind that pulls on the tugs. And windup! There’s up to 6000 revs tucked away in every one of those power houses. That’s revs. How long does the piston stop at top center before it changes its mind? Ha! -just like the Cuban government, a hundred revolutions per second.

There are big doors for the gas and fire so to speak, the inlet valve being 1 ¾ in diameter and the exhaust 1 5/8. Just imagine how these traps flop at 6000 revs-like old fashioned Congressmen.

Flywheels are roller bearinged on both sides. The piston push is quite considerable with a ratio of 14.5 to 1. The crank pin can take it, being 1 1/8 in diameter.

Enclosed push rods clean up the job and make for more satisfactory and permanent adjustment. Rocker arms work in roller bearings. Guides have alemite fittings. As you will note from the photographs the motor design is held down to strict simplicity. A clean little crate.

Of interest to those who have already been racing is the fact that the Harley-Davidson motor can be fitted into the J.A.P. racing frame. This offers an opportunity for Harley-Davidson powerizing of present equipment.

A special Linkert racing carburetor with a specially designed Harley-Davidson air cleaner (to keep the clinkers out) mixes the TNT. A fuel pot and cleaner that will mix up the air and gas like the gold dollar situation-and that is mixed.

And now as to the family skeleton. Harley-Davidson is noted for backbone and the new racer is no exception. It must withstand track torture. For that reason the frame is made of Chrome Molybdenum heat treated. The result is a tough, springy and light frame. The frame members start at the fork crown and make a cradle support to the rear wheel brackets. The top bar tubes are also twin. All reinforcing is according to best track practices. The bar on the left side is an additional harizontal support. This bar is adjustable. The spring fork is simple and makes for better riding control. (Surely the oval kings are not looking for comfort.) The stretch is 52 ½ inches, just right to get along and there’s a steering damper to control the front end.

A highly polished, cast aluminum gas and oil tank makes the whole job stand out. Strong, light and durable, that’s just what the boys want. Do they look swell? Just like being wrapped in cellophane. Fuel capacity is two quarts, and for oil, one quart. Look what repeal has done.

Since cinder racing calls for all angles from up to down, the chain often divorces the rear cog. No departing here, the guarded sprocket “pulleys” the chain to the teeth for keeps. Both chains are special racing design. Chain construction eliminates “binding.” This will appeal to all the boys, for chain bind on ordinary chains is bad. The front chain is 5/16 inch by ½ inch pitch and the other one is ¼ inch x 5/8 inch pitch.

A compensating sprocket helps soften the jump and jerk. Something must give. This sprocket gives.

The standard gear ratio is 8.74 to 1. Other gear ratios from 8.33 to 1, and 9.17 to 1, may be obtained. Cogs for any kind o’ goin.’

This all-American fire wagon is Firestoned. And are they knobby? Square ones way down on the sides where useful. No sense in going abroad for rubber when we can get tires like these right here at home. They know their cinders. The construction is 100 percent in design and make-up.

Wheels are 28 inches in diameter. That seems to be standard.

The spokes are soldered at crossings. There are many “tricks” on this job learned from many years of successful racing machine make-up. It takes experience to build a racer that will win and stay together.

The whole job is dressed up like an Auto Show. Everything is spic and span. The big

2-inch exhaust pipe is chromed, the tank is polished-well, boys-”Ain’t she purty?”

She weighs 210 pounds stripped for action. 210 pounds of the finest machinery you ever saw.

The cost? Not much considering what you get. She lists at $465.00 F.O.B. Milwaukee. Here is the most racing sickle that 465 bucks ever bought. I paid nearly twice that for one back before Will Rogers discovered chewing gum. And it was “ported.” Should have been ex-ported.

Thousands of dollars went into the design and development of this new racer. It had to be right before it said “Howdy” to the public.

The factory is now putting the first batch through the racing department. Some of these have been sold. If you want one, order it from the first batch. The next batch will not come out ‘til later in the Spring. Hope you like it.

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By “hap” Jameson
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