Racing And Setting Records On Old, Vintage And Antique motorcycles During The 75th Sturgis Rally

1Brittney-Olsen-&-Jim-Wall-Pappy-Hoel-Vintage-Sturgis-Races-2014220th-Century-Racing-Indian-Team-120th Century Racing is a group of old motorcycle lovers aiming to preserve the magnificent history of early motorcycles racing by generating excitement, to educate current and future motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world through their antique motorcycle racing adventures.

During the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the 20th Century Racing team led by Brittney Olsen will revive the racing roots of the rally in commemorating the historical half mile Sturgis races hosted by Pappy and Pearl Hoel.

For this purpose, Brittney Olsen is restoring a 1938 Indian Sport Scout Class C hand shift race bike, a faithful representation of those raced in 1938. Named “The Spirit Of Sturgis”, the project is sponsored by the local Sturgis Indian dealer. It is built to meet the Class C rules for AHRMA road racing and AMA flat track racing, while staying true to the “Ride It To The Track And Race It” culture by remaining legally usable on State highways.

20th Century Racing is close to complete the bike. Then, the vintage racing team will test the limits of the freshly rebuilt machine and tune it to run like a street legal rocket. Brittney has committed to taking the old-fashioned Indian Sport Scout racer on a unique, unpaved route to the 75th Annual Sturgis

“Spirit of Sturgis” will make its grand debut during the 2nd Annual Pappy Hoel Classic Half Mile Vintage Flat Track Races at the Sturgis Fairground’s historical half mile race track on Tuesday, August 4th at 11:00 a.m. The bike will be on display for the entire duration of the rally at Michael Lichter’s “Motorcycle as Art. Naked Truth” exhibition at the Buffalo Chip. Follow on Facebook

10 Responses to “Racing And Setting Records On Old, Vintage And Antique motorcycles During The 75th Sturgis Rally”

  1. 1 Rodent Jun 5th, 2015 at 8:27 am

    According to the website admission is going to be only 15 bucks. At that price it should be a sell out. A interesting race.

  2. 2 Sharkey Jun 5th, 2015 at 9:05 am

    This would be interesting to watch and more publicity for the Indian name, too!

  3. 3 Joe Mielke Jun 5th, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Congrats to Brittney and Jim Wall who you also see in the photos above. If you know the Olsen family you know how deeply rooted they are in vintage motorcycles. I’m sure the motorcycle and the event will be outstanding. We here in South Dakota know how to do motorcycles right! Have a great Friday! #southdakotaproud

  4. 4 richards Jun 5th, 2015 at 10:33 am

    I won’t be there this year. Too many people etc. However, this is the one activity I will miss.

  5. 5 nicker Jun 5th, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    I’m with Richards on this one.

    But must add a big thank you to all the Olsen clan, keepers of the flame.

    “… Brittney Olsen is restoring a 1938 Indian Sport Scout Class C –hand shift– race bike, a faithful representation…”

    Not to mention a big thank you to Cyril for “faithful terminology” … no more ‘suicide-shift’ blather….. 🙂


  6. 6 Chris Jun 5th, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Totally off topic here:

    You seem to be a pretty savvy guy with a good knowledge of history and different models. Since you made the comment, I’ll accept your interpretation of the nomenclature. Help me out here.

    Hand shifter=up on the tank

    Jockey shifter= off the tank, but between the knee and the tank/engine

    Suicide shifter=short handle off trans requiring a reach behind the leg

    I had a similar discussion with a fellow who had too many drinks so our conversation went nowhere, but I think there are three distinct styles.

    What say you?

  7. 7 Steal Your Face Jun 5th, 2015 at 3:58 pm


    Suicide refers to a foot clutch that is not the rocker pedal type. The rocker will stay disengaged if you take your foot off of it. It engages when you rock it or let it out.

    A suicide pedal just pushes in and spring releases.

    That way if your at a stop in gear and lose balance or your foot/clutch coordination you will be rolling into whatever is in front of you, hence the term suicide.

  8. 8 nicker Jun 5th, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Chris has the clutch issue down pat (rocker or spring loaded).

    And anyone who’s run a Bobber without a front break around the San Francisco hills knows why the spring loaded clutch was called a “suicide clutch.”

    Now in my dim memory i recall seeing a parts manual listing the spring loaded clutch as a “Sport Clutch.” Which makes sense. In racing you haven’t much time for a rocker clutch. All you want to do is dab the clutch and bang the next gear.

    Regarding shifter location; If they weren’t on the tank captured in positioning gate (a tank shift) they were mostly short handles coming directly of the top of the transmission. Since you had to reach for it under and behind you, like you were using a riding crop on a horse, they were called a “jockey shift.” Can’t remember seeing many other workable alternatives.

    Next time someone tries to rationalize a “suicide shift” try this out on em:

    Look, if taking your hand off the handlebar to shit is so dangerous as to be considered suicidal then the law wouldn’t require you to give hand signals and a jockey-shift would have been called an “Armageddon-catastrophe shift”…. 🙂

    TV shows like Wain Corini and the American Picker have been spreading “suicide shift” like a an STD among the “brake-in-biker” Time to stop that ignorance.


  9. 9 BCinSoCal Jun 6th, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Subject, sucide arraignment! I’ve been riding them off and on for about 40 years, it’s a sucide clutch, and a jockey shift, a clutch pedal which works like a car clutch, press down, it comes back up at you. Jockey shift a pre ratchet shift with the lever attached to the shift arm on the tranny where the linkage from the original tank shift attached, starts upright usually behind riders left leg, shifting forward thru the gears 4th gear will be with the shifter pointing forward laying about flat on the primary,on your way to 4th, you may find a neutral between each gear 😀

  10. 10 nicker Jun 7th, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    “…you may find a neutral between each gear…”

    It should be said, any type of “hand-shift” on ratchet top box is makes no sense at all.
    (“poserism” at its peak)


Comments are currently closed.
Cyril Huze