Here is a pic of my now restored Speedway bike. It's a 1949 JAP 500. I found the motor in New Zealand and had to scrounge around for the rest of the bits. If ever you went to watch the Speedway years ago then this is what they were riding. The ultimate form of motorsport. All the bikes were identical. 500cc. One Gear. And No Brakes! You had to be really brave and have huge testicles!
Speedway racing first started in Australia in the 1920s, at Maitland near Newcastle, in NSW. Australian champion Lionel van Pragg won the first ever World Solo Title at Wembley Stadium in 1936, becoming the world's first motorsport champion. Most of our good guys then went to England every year to race in the local Speedway League.
And this is how they ride them. Elbow to elbow into the turns, fully sideways at over 100 kph. If someone fell in front the only way to stop was to pull your bike down as well and hopefully skid to a stop without hitting anything or anyone.
One of the most successful riders ever was New Zealander Ivan Mauger. He won 15 World Speedway and Long Track titles and was presented with a gold-plated bike at the end of his career.