Whether you call it flat track or dirt track racing, it’s a thrilling form of motorcycle competition unique to America. Now Allstate Motorcycle Dirt Track Heroes presented by J&P Cycles brings together nearly 30 race bikes, over 20 sets of leathers and countless photos, paintings and prints. It’s been assembled to build a great exhibition in tribute to the #1 Plate Grand National Champions, tuners and other dirt track greats and many of the motorcycles they raced.
Triumph 650’s, the Harley WR’s, KR750’s and XR750’s, BSA Gold Stars, and some fine short trackers like the Bultaco Astro are all in the mix. Rare #1 leathers King Kenny wore, Aldana’s “skeleton” design as well as leathers Daytona 200 winner Don Emde also wore when he raced the TransAtlantic Match races decades ago. Paintings by Scott Jacobs, prints by Harry Miller as well as photos from Camel Pro photographer Bert Shepard help give action to the exhibit.
Rare among the bikes is a one off that uses a Honda CX500 engine, long before Honda built their own, the NS750 and a machine powered by a Polaris 440 show mobile power plant. Don Castro’s outrageous Tracy-bodied Triumph, outlawed after its first race, Bart Markel’s Harley KR750, his rare bronze Mechanics Award and the checker flag he won at Springfield are on display as well. Terry Poovey’s XR750, Shobert’s RS750, the last Triumph Gary Nixon raced at the end of his professional career and even a Harley MX250 Bill Werner tuned that helped Scott Parker and Jay Springsteen to three National race wins. The story of steel shoe master builder Ken Maely is also included with over a dozen steel shoes on display including his personal shoe, “KM” arc welded onto its toe. And you can check out the “race shop” with master frame builder John Kite’s frame jig, even a flow bench and tool box once owned by Harley racing director, Dick O’Brien.
The exhibit is open now, but you are invited to attend the official dedication on June 8 during Vintage Rally 2013 and meet Bubba Shobert, Jay Springsteen, Chris Carr even Bill Werner. Hall of Famers, #1 plate guys, among the hardest working men in Grand National Championship history. Meet them at Vintage Rally 2013. Get an autograph, ask them questions, hear their stories in the Panel Discussion. Or if it’s Beach racing that you marvel at in racing history, talk with Bill Tuman, Dick Klamfoth and Bobbie Hill plus Iowa flat track racer John Tibben. Authors Greg Pearson and Gerald Foster will have plenty of their books on dirt track racing so you can get your copy, maybe add some champions’ autographs. All at the National Motorcycle Museum June 8 and 9 during Vintage Rally 2013 as we dedicate Allstate Motorcycle Dirt Track Heroes presented by J&P Cycles.
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