Editor’s Note: Over the last few years customizer Billy Lane has focused on vintage racing machines like this one. Rather than translate his thoughts on it, we’re going to let him speak for himself.
I’ve always been influenced by the raw simplicity and light weight of racing machines. There is an unfinished presence to racers, because we only get to see a glimpse of the evolution of a perpetual improvement in the performance of the machine. The last-minute, pre-race modifications made to a racer often become the future technology for production machines, and this was certainly the case during the first two decades of the 20th century.
My raw racer is created from the best, race-tested design features of the teens, created around an overhead valve (OHV) 1914 Perry Mack engine. Mack was ahead of his time, and his design was proven successful in racing machines from the factories of Jefferson, Waverly, and Pope. OHV engines weren’t commonly introduced in production motorcycles until the legendary Crocker Hemi-Head and Harley-Davidson Knucklehead were simultaneously released over two decades later, in 1936. My Perry Mack racer, through contemporary materials and construction methods, resurrects a century-old engine and transforms it from a novelty into a living, fire-breathing thing.