A Look in the Early Development and History of Motorcycle Racing
The history of motorcycle racing can be traced back to the 20th century with Wright brothers leading the pack in the first race. As the motorcycle developed and started drawing crowds, Ford assembly line got interested and started manufacturing motorcycles that were to be used in future races.
Early Motorcycle Racing
Hender Company got into the field and introduced its 1.75 horsepower bike which was a one cylinder bike that was made in 1901. When Harley Davidson came up with his racing bike in 1909, the battle of motorbike racing ensued. The early races of the motorbike races were held on ovals but in 1909, wooden tracks were built for cars and motorcycles. This was particularly a common feature in Los Angeles and other parts of USA. In 1911, Ashley Franklin moved to the Southern California from Illinois where he was allowed to race his car and motorcycle around the year. He got involved in an accident where his career in motorcycle racing was almost halted. He ceded to an ultimatum from his wife who threatened to become estranged if he continued motorbike racing. Van Order decided to get involved in motorcycle photographing and was able to take photos of motorcycle racing between 1910 and 1920.
Introduction of Powerful Motorcycle
With time the motorcycle racing history became even more spectacular with an increase in the horse powers of the bikes that were to be involved in the races. The bikes that were built during that time were meant to run fast but lacked brakes. Bikes could attain the speed of 100 miles per hour and this can explain the frequent crashes that occurred at that time. In some cases the crashes were fatal but this could not deter the riders. Spectators too shared the risks with rider as they got crashed often. The great photographs that were taken by Van Order at that time explain in details what used to take place. One motorcycle rider Hepburn who survived a number of motordromes met his death as he was attempting to qualify for a car race in 1948.
Contributions of Van Oder
Motorcycle races started losing its appeal in 1920s when fatal crashes increased in greater proportion this affected motorcycle racing history. The motodromes were regularly referred to by the press as murderdromes. Deliberate actions were taken to improve this situation including implementing measures that could stop the carnage.
All in all the contributions and the effort of Van Oder in motorcycle racing and photographing contributed greatly to the history of motorcycle racing and the development of the modern motorbike racing. He goes in the books of history as a great contributor to this sport and generally enriched the motorcycle racing history.