Indian 1915 8 valve Boardtrack Racer



Indian 1915 8 valve boardtrackracer  Engine # 8VH257

This amazing 1915 Indian 8-valve racing motorcycle was made by the  Indian Motocycle Company for 1915.
Based on the Indian twin-cylinder engine introduced in 1907, the eight-valve (four for each of the two cylinders) was created strictly for competition purposes.
The few that were made were reserved for the Class A factory racers and for qualified customers.
These machines were used mostly in board-track racing, in which riders chased around steeply banked ovals built from  wood planks, at speeds of 100 mph or more and on skinny 2 1/4-inch tires and without any brakes.
To start the engine the bike was towed, pushed or got a bump-start to light the engine.
Then the rider had, in this case, only two things to operate: the left handgrip, which functioned as a spark advance and a compression release; and a kill switch, currently not present on this machine.
Mostly, they’d leave the throttle wide open and hit the kill switch or spark advance for speed control.
The real stunning things are those exotic four-valve, extra ported, heads, operated by a pair of slender push rods and the base-ported cylinders.  
At the time, most motorcycles were using inefficient inlet-over-exhaust valve or side-valve designs.
This spectacular eight-valve racer is equipped with the shorter version of the Indian racing fork and the gas tank is a slightly longer version of the production model’s tank.
The pedal-crank is in a free rotating position on this machine. 
The drive chain for the pedal crank was removed and was not allowed on the racers. 
There was no clutch as such, only a compensating sprocket that acted as a sort of shock absorber if adjusted well and races were begun from a running start.
This ca 1915 Indian 8-valve racer is in a condition one would like to find a motorcycle always, totally unrestored and “virgin”.  
However, this racer  was rebuilt, for safety reasons, over a period of years using as many original parts as possible and with great care regarding the conservation of its original patina and battle scars.
It is equipped with new 28×2 1/4" clincher racing tyres, a Mesinger racing saddle and Hedstrom carburettor.
Unfortunately, the machine’s racing history is not known, though quite likely it made its racing debut in Australia somewhere in the mid nineteen teens.
Firing up this amazing piece of history, means loud,  screaming and thrilling sound and a lot of flames, from the ported cylinder heads,  ported cylinders and short exhaust pipes..
This fine and unspoiled racer runs extremely well, but it would take a brave man to exploit its full potential on the dirt or board track.

Watch the flames and hear the Indian running

Watch the only known to excist film on early board tracking at