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1921 Harley-Davidson

Ride of the Week

1921 Harley-Davidson “Banjo Two-Cam” Board Track Racer

Vintage Harley-Davidsons can be hard to come by, especially ones that are close to, or over 100 years old. Luckily, we were able to come by one at this year’s Mama Tried motorcycle show. Michael Lange showed us the hard work and dedication it took him to get his 1921 Harley-Davidson, not only in working shape, but ready for high-speed competitive board track racing.

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The extraordinarily rare Harley-Davison “Banjo two-cam” engine housed within the frame is not original, as there are said to be less that 10 known to exist. Instead, Lange took a single-cam Harley-Davison engine from 1996 and built the rest of the legendary engine replica himself.

“I took a single-cam Harley and made my own cams, all the gears and oil pumps, right hand crank case, and then I made the frame and hand-formed the gas tank and oil tank,” Lange says.

Despite being such a vintage relic, Lange has gotten his fair share of use out of the bike. Since building it, he’s been racing it for two-and-a-half decades. In fact, right before Mama Tried the bike had a three-win weekend in Daytona at the Sons of Speed racing event.

“It’s very fast, we were doing about 90 to 95 mph on a high bank paved oval,” he says. “It’s like a bicycle with a hot rod engine in it. There’s not a lot of weight here and the power-to-weight ratio is great.”

Daytona was the first time in two years that Lange had raced the bike, but you wouldn’t know that from watching him. For 101 years old, this Harley-Davidson sure can move!


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