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Century-Old Cyclone Board Track Racer Owned by Steve McQueen Sold for $775,000

Someone told me once that the world of motorcycling will only end when bikes from the Steve McQueen collection will no longer be sought-after items. Judging by the price one of McQueen’s bikes sold for in a recent Mecum auction, the motorcycling culture is doing quite well, being alive and kicking. After all, a world in which an 100-year-old motorcycle is sold for $775,000 (€705,000) doesn’t look bad at all, does it?
1915 Cyclone Board Track Racer 13 photos
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We are looking at a Cyclone Board Track Racer which was built 100 years ago, in 1915, two years after Cyclone begun its bike building operations. Back then, the Cyclone was proud to be equipped with an engine considered to be the most advanced units built in America to that date.
Building road bikes doesn’t mean you can’t break records
Even though Cyclone was into building road-going motorcycles, it was racing which made them famous and remembered. According to the story accompanying the bike, in “1913, factory development riders JA McNeil and Larry ‘Cave Man’ Fleckenstein were timed at 108 MPH in a Minneapolis motordrome. The next year, McNeil was timed at 111.1 MPH at the Omaha, Nebraska, board track, which was nearly 20 MPH faster than the internationally recognized world record of 93.48 MPH, held by Indian, and a 100 MPH mark timed by Lee Humiston on an Excelsior. Officials at the Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) simply could not accept the 111 MPH figure.”

This Cyclone was owned by Steve McQueen and was previously sold in an auction in 1984, four years after his death. It was since restored by Stephen Wright. The v-twin engine packs 61 cubic inches (999.6cc) of displacement, had a modest 5.5:1 compression ratio but produced a solid 45 hp. And if you think that 45 horsies are not a big thing, take your time to remember that brakes were not the strongest point of board trackers. As in... they had NO brakes…

As for the price, not exactly $1,000,000 as expected for this Harley-Davidson Strap Tank, but anyway a hefty sum,

 
 
 
 
 

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