Ball of Death - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 3 Old Aug 22nd, 2013, 9:15 am Thread Starter
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Ball of Death

Back in the 1960's I went to the State Fair in Albuquerque and witnessed the incredible motorcycle 'Ball of Death'. I must have been 15 at the time, and it has remained in my memory all this time. Two women on big Harleys, rough, crude, stripped down versions (the women, not the bikes) rolled into the ball at the base and the ramp was raised up and locked in place, enclosing them inside. It must have been about 12 feet in diameter, maybe a bit less. They would start circleing around the base of the ball, gradually climbing up to the side so tht they were actually horizontal, racing around behind each other. It was loud! On some prearranged signal they would start riding up and over the top, then down, then up, constantly changing the route in this tiny space, roaring along at an incredible speed (or as it seemed to my young eyes). We stood on a catwalk that was a foot or so away (although my memory is faulty on that point) and jumped back whenever the bikes would pass right in front of our faces.
Wow... was that a different time! Anybody ever see it, or something similar?

1970 BSA 441
1979 Yamaha 350 Exciter
1952 Ariel 350 Red Hunter
1946 Ariel 500 Red Hunter
1949 Velocette 350
1950 AJS 500
2001 Harley Softtail
2004 BMW R1150rt
2006 883 Sportster
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another 2004 RT
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post #2 of 3 Old Aug 22nd, 2013, 9:36 am
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Re: Ball of Death

The International Motorcycle Shows (annual, all over the country, to show off the next year's models for every brand) has a group that does it, they put FOUR people in the ball with an announcer in the middle.

Here's SEVEN in the ball at Ringling Brothers

youtube video of ball of death

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post #3 of 3 Old Aug 22nd, 2013, 10:41 am
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Re: Ball of Death

Caught a similar act in NYC in the 50s. It was with the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus as I recall. Amazing to see.

Take care,
Chris

"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God" Kurt Vonnegut

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