About IMPS

The Indiana Motorcycle Preservation Society (IMPS) is a nonprofit organization created with the purpose of celebrating and promoting Indiana’s motorcycle history.

We collect motorcycle artifacts and stories throughout the State of Indiana to share here on our website, social media channels, and local events. Do you have a story to share about motorcycling or motorcycle racing in Indiana? Use our Contact Us form to share information.

Would you like to go ahead and pledge your support? Check out the included Ways to Give Chart or Donate Now! We know you have the choice of contributing to numerous worthwhile causes, so we thank you for considering the Indiana Motorcycle Preservation Society. Because without your support, we couldn’t fulfill our mission to preserve Indiana’s rich motorcycle history.

Wishing you clear skies, smooth roads and happy surprise around each corner! Ride on!

Board Members

Pat Michell, President
Jake Simpkins, Vice President
Loretta Tappan, Secretary/Treasurer
Dr. Don Osborne
Roger Tappan

Motorcycle Racing Returns to Post-War America

In 1919, excited fans and racers flocked to Marion, Indiana to witness a 200-mile international road race that promised to be the greatest event of its kind. Motorcycle riders came from every part of the country and at least fifteen thousand spectators cheered them on.

Harley Davidson is a Favored Contender

The Harley-Davidson people sent sixteen men from their factory who actually took part in the race. This number included six to eight riders, several pitmen and a team manager.

Heroes of Harley Davidson

Indian Brings an International Champion

With the entry of Percy Coleman, on the Indian team, the race assumed an international aspect, as Coleman was the reigning motorcycle champion of New Zealand.

Excelsior Rounds Out the Big Three

The Excelsior Company, along with their local dealer in Marion, jumped on board and sent four entries to the race.

Bigger Crowds In Attendance for the 2nd Annual Cornfield Classic

For the second consecutive time the Harley-Davidson wins the Marion 200-mile “Cornfield Classic”. It only took 2 hours 48 minutes and 37 and 12-100ths seconds, to establish Harley Davidson as the world’s top motorcycle manufacturer.

Marion Economy Grows as a Result of the Race

The influx of people was so great that special committees were appointed to secure accomodations at hotels, lodging houses, and even private residences. Restaurants welcomed thousands of visitors and entertainment apart from the race was provided. Civil War veterans of the local National Soldiers’ Home were given rides in sidecars on the race course.

Home of the Hog

But the most historic moment of 1920 came after the race. Earlier that day, Harley-Davidson’s Ray Weishaar adopted a piglet from a local farm and kept it close by. The first thing he asked after winning the race was “where’s my pig?” and to this day Harley Davidson motorcycles are still referred to as “hogs.”

Preserving Motorcycle History

Keeping alive the stories and vibrant history of motorcycle racing in Indiana is the mission of Indiana Motorcycle Preservation Society (IMPS). Founded in 2015, by a group of enthusiasts, IMPS supports  motorcycle-related events across the state in an effort to educate the public on the role cyclists played on the culture and history of the area and celebrate the communities that have long welcomed motorcycle riders in Indiana.