From the July 1929 issue of Motorcyclist Magazine.
Is it time to begin racing again? Is the motorcycle industry losing something by not devel
For the past few years I have discouraged local racing, holding the same opinion as most of the factories, that it was dangerous and that by racing, many motorcycle sales were lost on account of parents objecting to their children buying motorcycles.
There is however a steadily increasing demand for motorcycle races, not only from the rider standpoint but from the sport loving public as well. On May 30 races were held at Overland Park, Denver, in connection with the automobile program of racing. Riders came in from miles around who would never think of coming to a picnic, Gypsy Tour, or other form of entertainment. Even the thrills of a good hillclimb fail to equal motorcycle racing in the minds of most lovers of the sport.
With the exception of the commercial and police markets, motorcycle factories and dealers must depend upon the sport loving public for their sales. Motorcycling is a sport. It always has been and it always will be, and sales to riders for sport will always be a very large percentage of the business.
Danger is less thought of today than it was a few years back. The papers are full of accidents of all kinds. Car accidents are so numerous that motorcycle accidents do not have the same effect on the public as they did years ago.
The average young chap today is a hero worshiper. He loves the dare-devils, the speed, and in fact anything that defies death or requiring unusual ability whether it be on the ground or in the air.
Every motorcycle manufacturer and dealer in the United States could devote the rest of their lives and their money, and they could not change the idea in the minds of most people that motorcycles are dangerous, noisy, and dirty.
This condition exists and no sensible man can doubt it. It has existed for years and no small group of men can change it. Except in limited numbers the business man is not going to ride motorcycles to and from his work. A few do, but not many. Even the man who wants cheap transportation will not use the motorcycle in large numbers. What then is there left?
The young red-blooded sport loving fan that is neither afraid of dirt, speed, or noise offers the largest possible outlet for sales.
The older rider who outgrows, or graduates (in his opinion) from a motorcycle to a car, is, has been, and always will be with us. It is a natural step. But the younger ones keep right on growing and taking the places of the ones lost to the automobile.
Here in Denver there has developed an interest in motorcycling among the young chaps that is surprising. Their enthusiasm is just as great as mine was ten years ago so far as racing and riding day and night is concerned. They live on their motorcycles. No car or other form of sport can take the place of their motorcycle. Probably as time rolls on their idea will change but for the present-NO.
Therefore isn’t it the logical thing to get more of these young fellows on motorcycles? To do the thing they want to do, to live their life and try to put ourselves exactly in their shoes. It isn’t a hard thing to do if we just turn back a few years and recall the enthusiasm that we had.
I can remember when I thought the most important things in my life consisted of winning a race meet, getting a wire of congratulations from the factory, reading the motorcycle trade papers, beating some other make of motorcycle, or in the earlier days just being recognized by such riders as Hasha, Balke, Armstrong, or Slivers Boyd, all heroes of the early days of Denver’s racing.