Moto Entries - August 1909 at IMS

The attachments below contain three articles that provide a nice overview of the motorcycles and riders entered in the first motorized competition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August 1909. All this content appeared in the Indianapolis News the week of the event which was originally scheduled for August 13 and 14. 
The article in attachment IMSmotoNewsiiii shouts the headline, "Official Entries Out For Motorcycle Races." Subheads assert that the leading riders of the world expected to set new speed records. Both were sensational and speculative with limited substantiation. That's not to say there were not talented riders of championship caliber. There were.
The article also asserts that entries had closed. It also reports, despite repeated concerns that the crushed stone track running surface was treacherous, that riders were predicting unprecedented speed. Two of the riders noted were the "professional champion" Jake DeRosier and the "amateur champion" Stanley Kellogg
The article reports that all arrangements were in order both at the track and throughout the city at the various meeting and entertainment venues for the Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) convention. The endurance riders were expected to arrive on the journey from Cleveland the following day. Expectations were high, too, for the big motorcycle parade throughout the city on Thursday of race week. It was referred to as a "monster parade."
Racing at the Speedway was scheduled to start on Friday at 2 p.m. This did not happen due to rain. Speedway management was expecting a large crowd of approximately 50,000 people - and would be disappointed not just due to weather but also a general lack of interest. Still, the local Big Four train and interurban rail service planned special runs to accommodate increased traffic.
Attachment IMSmotolistNews081209 is an excellent reference resource for the races, riders and bikes entered in the Speedway's first big event weekend. Understand, though, that much of this changed as the teams and riders studied the track and started practice.  Recognizing that the crushed stone surface was hard on tires and created hazardous conditions making skidding - and falls - more likely. Many packed up and went home.
This item is, for the most part, an extensive list of dozens of riders and bikes of all makes, including Harley-Davidson. In fact, none other than co-founder Walter Davidson took part in the ride. While it makes no sense to reproduce the entire list here, click on the attachment and study it for more reference. The artifact is of poor-to-fair quality, but usable. There were several other major names in early days bike racing who participated in the races. The big ones I recognize:

Attachment MotoAuto081009 presents a chart that compares record speeds for distances of one mile to 100 miles as established by cars and bikes. The chart is not entirely legible, so it is difficult to determine the times for either vehicle category in the longer distances of 25 and 100 miles. Certainly, in the shorter distances, the bikes were faster. For example, an Indian motorcycle ridden by Fred Huyck covered the mile nearly nine seconds faster than Ralph DePalma's Fiat. Huyck's time was 42.6 seconds. 
It is interesting to note as well that every motorcycle speed record on the chart was set by an Indian. Fred Huyck and Jake DeRosier are two of the better-known riders listed as record holders. As for the auto racers, Ralph DePalma in his Fiat is credited with the one, five and 25-mile records with Barney Oldfield holding the three, ten, 15 and 20-mile marks with his Peerless Green Dragon. Bob Burman owned the 100-mile record driving a Buick.

IMSmotoNewsiiii.pdf294.71 KB
IMSmotolistNews081209.pdf816.7 KB
MotoAuto081009.pdf275.65 KB