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Thread: Pacing motors" at late 1800's velodromes; the fore-runner of the early motorcycles?

  1. #1
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    Default Pacing motors" at late 1800's velodromes; the fore-runner of the early motorcycles?

    my understanding is Oscar Hedstrom was a bicycle racer before becoming a motorcycle manufacturer, and during those years, a "pacing motor" was used to set the speed for bicyclists racing in velodromes and the pacing motor gave Hedstrom the idea to create a motorcycle. does anyone know about this history, and have pictures of these pacing motors? my understanding is these pacing motors were on a single rail track, that went around the outside of the velodrome track. i didn't seem to have much luck finding any information on these early pacing motors, but i did find these which are not what i understand to be the type of pacing motor used in the late 1800's velodromes:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX6K3ZyhZ1w

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdLj2Nvv3k0

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Swan View Post
    my understanding is Oscar Hedstrom was a bicycle racer before becoming a motorcycle manufacturer, and during those years, a "pacing motor" was used to set the speed for bicyclists racing in velodromes and the pacing motor gave Hedstrom the idea to create a motorcycle. does anyone know about this history, and have pictures of these pacing motors? my understanding is these pacing motors were on a single rail track, that went around the outside of the velodrome track. i didn't seem to have much luck finding any information on these early pacing motors, but i did find these which are not what i understand to be the type of pacing motor used in the late 1800's velodromes:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX6K3ZyhZ1w

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdLj2Nvv3k0
    There is a good account, with pictures of this bicycle-pacing period and the development of the Indian motorcycle by Hedstrom and Hendee in Harry Sucher’s 1977 book “The Iron Redskin” published by Haynes, pages 17 - 25.
    The pacing machines, either one or two man types usually had deDion type engines.
    AFJ

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AFJ View Post
    There is a good account, with pictures of this bicycle-pacing period and the development of the Indian motorcycle by Hedstrom and Hendee in Harry Sucher’s 1977 book “The Iron Redskin” published by Haynes, pages 17 - 25.
    The pacing machines, either one or two man types usually had deDion type engines.
    AFJ
    thanks for your reply. i used to have Sucher's book back in one of my earlier lives, must have been where i got the idea i forgot i got.... anyone have any other pics, or info?

  4. #4
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    Steve, my mind is not what it used to be but there may have been a photo or two of the pacers in Steve's first book the American Racer? There was a pacer sold at an auction this year or last year. I thought it rare that one had survived. They didn't run on a track but were very similar to a regular motorcycle but the rider was seated way back as I remember. Rich p.s. I just bought a copy of Motorcyclist magazine from September 1966 and it has a three part (all in the same issue) story in it of the complete history of Indian Motorcycle. Very cool for four dollars at an antique store.
    DrSprocket

  5. #5
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    The tandem pacer illustrated in “American Racer” and Sucher’s “the Iron Redskin” is the same bike - a Henshaw & Hedstrom - “Built by O. Hedstrom New York N.Y. Dated as 1900 in the caption.
    AFJ

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