Who is Johnnie?
The racer is Ray Weishaar, a member of the factory racing team since 1914. The animal is Johnnie Duroc Weishaar, a six-week-old piglet, adopted from a local farmer, who became the race-winner’s mascot—complete with a festive white and green H-D pennant tucked into his harness—for the 100-mile road race held at Marion, Indiana, on Sept. 6, 1920.
For big events like the Marion “Cornfield Classic” race, racing teams would arrive days in advance in order to practice, tweak their machines, and stay abreast of the weather and track conditions. Press, too, arrived early and wrote about the activity as part of the comprehensive race coverage in their trade magazines.
It seems Ray and Johnnie drew attention early on, earning numerous mentions in reports of the famed Marion race both before and after Ray’s big win. Excerpts from Motorcycling and Bicycling and Motorcycle & Bicycle Illustrated share the behind-the-photo story of the now-iconic duo.