The Wall of Death

Bo-Fact_TrviaWALL OF DEATH – I had the opportunity to see the Wall of Death 3 years ago at the Black Thorne motorcycle rally in East Durham N.Y. The Wall is still one of the coolest stunts I have ever seen. Inspired directly from US motorcycle boardtrack (motordrome) racing in the early 1900s, the very first carnival motordrome appeared at Coney Island amusement park  in 1911. Riders soon learned a neat trick that with speed, centripetal force made it possible for them to stick their bikes sideways in turns on a completely vertical wall.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The following year portable tracks began to appear on travelling carnivals and in 1915, the first “silodromes” with perpendicular walls were seen. These motordromes with perfectly straight walls were soon dubbed the “Wall of Death.” This carnival attraction became a staple at swap meets and biker events with the phenomenon reaching its heights in the 1930s with more than 100 motordromes on travelling shows and in amusement parks.

In the USA Miss Samantha Morgan Storm actually rode a specially adapted bike and side car containing a fully grown Lion around the wall. When interviewed she said If you do hit the floor, of course, the rush is drowned out by the pain. And she has hit the floor, dozens of times. There have also been three big hits, which means a broken back. The most memorable time was at a show in France; she was so broken — pelvis, back, knee, shoulder, rib cage, sternum she said  that she couldn’t go home for four months. The upside, she said, “is I speak French now.”

TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE MONTH:

This year Harley is unveiling a new sportster called the XL1200T, factory equipped with saddlebags, a windshield and larger fuel tank.

The T in XL1200T stands for touring. But this not the first XLT, what years did Harley Davidson first release a touring sportster model? 

If you think you have the answer, email Hogshoppe@aol.com
Look for the answer in next months issue of
“Full Throttle Magazine.

           ANSWER TO LAST MONTHS TRIVIA QUESTION

QUESTION. Which US President received a 2 hour tour of the Harley-Davidson York Pennsylvania plant?

  ANSWER:. Ronald Reagan
     

                                         Bo’s Monthly Words of Wisdom:
                              “
Never argue with a fool. People might not know the difference.”

UNTIL NEXT MONTH
“Live to Ride or Step Aside”
Written by Bo
“The Hog Shoppe”