Piece of motorcycling history donated to Milton Keynes Museum

editorial image

A replica of one of the first generation of motorbikes has been donated to Milton Keynes Museum.

Motorcycling enthusiast Howard Bradley offered the 1910 Indian Boardtrack Racer replica to his ‘favourite museum’ for the Hall of Transport collection.

The Boardtrack Racers were based on bicycles with no rear suspension and very limited front springs. The engines were started by either being pushed or bump started, the rider only had two controls, a spark advance and a kill switch, and there were no brakes and so had to roll to a stop, often with the rider putting his feet down to slow the bike.

Forerunners of the more familiar motorbikes, they were used throughout the 19102-1930s for the hair-raising sport of boardtrack racing – racing on an oval wooden track, which led to a large number of fatalities.

Museum Director Bill Griffiths said: “It is this replica’s place in the development of the motorbike that makes it of interest to us and our visitors who can see it in the Hall of Transport. We are very grateful to Howard for allowing us to take it into our transport collection.”