Ray Weishaar "Kansas Cyclone"

Ray Weishaar was coined the “Kansas Cyclone”– dominating the county fair circuits of Kansas from 1908 to 1910. He was a dominant racer– the Kansas State Championship two years in a row. His second win came even with his handlebars breaking halfway off– although he won the race, he didn’t break his previous year’s record. Ray Weishaar became part of the Harley-Davidson factory racing team in 1916, finishing third at Dodge City that year and winning the FAM 100-Mile Championship in Detroit. Weishaar was also offered a Harley-Davidson dealership and became a dealer for three years. Weishaar was by no means finished with racing though, and returned to the competitive circuit in 1919.

One fateful race, Weishaar was battling Gene Walker for the lead– Johnny Seymour drafted past them both, sending Weishaar’s bike into a high-speed wobble. The bike went into a skid and Weishaar fought hard to save it before hitting the outside fence. Weishaar went through the wooden fence and incredibly was still conscious. He was not thought to be seriously injured in the crash. His wife, Emma, drove him to Los Angeles General Hospital where he tragically died just a few hours later from internal injuries. The motorcycle racing community rallied to support Weishaar’s surviving wife and six-month-old son and generously paid off the mortgage on the family’s home.

(Via: http://theselvedgeyard.wordpress.com)