Seymore Turns New Fast Time At Daytona Beach

Escanaba Flash Knocks off Record of 112.63 Miles Per Hour with “30-50” and 132 Miles Per Hour with “61”

By R.d. Pepin

From the February 1926 issue of Motorcyclist magazine

Daytona Beach, Fla., Jan. 12. –Johnny Seymour, the Escanaba (Mich.) Indian Flash, who has been “breaking ‘em” right and left during the past several months, struck the apex of motorcycle sensationalism when he performed the most astonishing and wonderful feat of his career on the beach here, yesterday and today; namely, establishing the world’s greatest speed on the two-wheeler-112.63 miles per hour on an Indian four-valve, “30-50” and 132 miles per hour on an Indian eight-valve “61.”

That Johnny Seymour is well known throughout motorcycle row and even to the average layman is without a doubt a surety. His exploits, especially during the past 10 and 12 months, have been sung from mouth to mouth and even across the “Big Pond.” In Australia, during the winter of 1924-25 he met with much success in competition with the natives, though unfortunately returned to the States in May, 1925, still suffering from an injury sustained during a race meet. The latter part of July found him fully recovered and all set to enter a stiff racing season in his home country. He purchased a 30-50 Indian and started free lancing at some of the more important race meets. About the first meet he entered was at Jackson, Michigan, on July 26th. True to the Seymour consistency, he started off with a bang and cleaned up every one of the solo events in which he entered.

August 16th found Johnny at Grand Rapids, Michigan. There he copped first places in the 5, 6 and 10-mile “30-50” open events. Then came the big Syracuse Meet on September 19th-and how that boy did annihilate the program is nothing to be sneered at. The much heralded 5, 10 and 25-mile National Championships were proudly annexed by Johnny and his Indian, saying nothing of establishing new records on all three. He also won the 15-mile open event and broke its existing record. One-mile time trials had always been Johnny’s favorite “meat” and he proved it by going so far as to break his own record of 49 seconds, lowering it to 44.30 seconds. This was a truly wonderful performance and the day’s work netted Johnny Seymour great praise and admiration from over 80,000 spectators.

At Allentown, Pennsylvania, on September 26th, the plucky Indian rider again beat his way to the front by taking first places in the 3, 5, 10 and 20-mile open races, incidentally breaking track records for the 5 and 10-mile.

Then there followed the last meet of the season, held at Readville, Massachusetts, on October 12th. It was there that Johnny, with much success, introduced the new Indian Single in the “21.35” class, guiding the lightweight to first place in both the 5 and 10-mile events. He also carried away the lion’s share of events in the “30-50” class.

This practically ended a glorious season for Johnny Seymour, a young man, who off the track is a gentleman both in looks and actions. No matter where he may be when off the track and away from the dust and dirt of the saucer, he can always be found immaculately neat and well-groomed.

With the season ended Johnny had nothing to do but see himself back to Springfield for the customary brief rest that is the lot of motorcycle racers. However, Johnny, being more or less aggressive, didn’t do much hanging around. It was not long, barely three weeks ago, that he quietly shipped off with Charlie Gustafson of the Indian experimental department, and came here, not only to enjoy the glory of the climate but incidentally with “big doings” in the process of development in the recesses of his mind.

Nothing was heard from Johnny till yesterday, when the wires burned the news that the single under Seymour’s guidance had made 122 miles an hour and the twin had set the pace of 130 miles an hour. These times, however, were later corrected to 112.63 miles an hour for the former, the latter holding its own. Today he went out again on the twin and broke yesterday’s record by 2 miles, having pushed the Indian to 132 miles per hour.

This was truly a wonderful performance and it now stands on record as the best official time ever made, which applies also with the single, and its time of 112.63. The electrical timing apparatus used registered 19.344 seconds for the mile with the “30-50” motor and 16.378 for the mile with the “61” motor.

These speed trials were officially sanctioned and refereed by the A.M.A., over surveyed course and electrically timed. F.B. Bailey, former mayor of Daytona refereed. It is quite a coincidence that it is just a few months shy of six years ago that the late Gene Walker established on the same straightaway the record of 115.75 miles per hour, which held its own up to this time.

By R.d. Pepin
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