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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Bull Motorcycles Brings the 1920 Indian “Daytona” Back to Life


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.

In the early days of the motorcycle, no spectacle was quite on par with board track racing. Held in wooden motordromes, these events featured the fastest motorbikes of the day and brought racers to the absolute limit, and unfortunately very frequently beyond. 
The low-slung Indian Powerplus Daytona was one such star of the board track racing world, engineered for breakneck speed. But this isn’t one of them.

Rather, this stunning two-wheeler is the work of Illinois’ Bull Motorcycles, which aimed to build a modern day bike that pays homage to the Indian board track icons. The cycle recently rolled onto the eBay auction block, and already it’s garnered quite some attention. Then again, it’s not hard to see why.


From front to back, the bike’s entire frame has been meticulously airbrushed and given an aged, distressed look. Greasy smudges dash the oil tank, dark deposits line the bottom of the gas tank, and the whole frame teases signs of cracking paint. Pair that with the aged leather seat and vintage downturned handlebars, and the custom bike has an almost barn find persona, despite the fact that there’s brand new metal underneath.

In 1920, the Indian Powerplus would have boasted either a 1000cc or later 1189cc v-twin engine, good for over 60 mph. This turn of speed made them quite the hotfoot in the hands of racers, however this custom bike wasn’t built for racing.

 The company says these motorcycles are mainly used as display pieces (we can imagine why), but that isn’t to say they can’t be brought out to play. Tucked in the frame lies a teeny 66cc two-stroke motor, which will top out at around 30 mph but nets an impressive 80 miles per gallon.


Ultimately U.S. board track racing went out of fashion as the Great Depression waltzed in. The wooden tracks proved to be ruinously difficult to maintain, and many fell by the wayside in a hurry. The iconic bikes however have survived the test to time, and it’s good to see their designs tuned and tweaked into eye-catching customs like this.