Saturday, February 28, 2015

Pro Dragster motorcycle

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Joe Smith in 1966 made his last passes on this gas powered Knuckelhead before converting it to nitromethane power and installed a Shovelhead engine into the chassis and joining the fuel wars that same year. Joe went on to win his first of three NHRA, US Nationals, titles for Top Fuel Harley in 1971 with a single engine, high-gear nitro Harley. Photo courtesy of Joe Smith photo archives.

Gordon Kateley, a west coast Top Fuel bike racer scored wins in 1969 with this Harley Davidson Sportster powered fuel bike. By 1971 these bikes while common were quickly becoming obsolete due to the progress in Top Fuel bike class by double engine bikes. Photo courtesy of Gordon Kateley, Dan Zieman – photographer.

Jim Milsted of NJ, a former Top Fuel Harley racer and former Tech Director for the sanction Dragbike! was the idea man behind the creation of the class Pro Dragster or “Pushrod Dragster” as he envisioned it in 1978. Dragbike! – Thomas Loughlin photo.

Tom T.C. Christensen and John Gregory in the 1970’s were the men behind “The Hog Slayer,” a double engine Norton powered Top Fuel bike that had an enormous impact on double engine Top Fuel bike racing. The doubles effectively ended the era of the single engine, carbureted, high-gear Top Fuel bikes by the mid 1970’s. Tom McCarthy photo.

Jim McClure in his first year of drag racing on asphalt, in the 1979 season became the first class champion for Pro Dragster and was awarded the very first #1 plate for P/D with the DRAGBIKE! sanction. Chris Rasile photo, taken in 1980 by Chris Rasile.

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