Years ago two men, named Harris and Strong, took Ray aside and presented him with their idea of a stock looking Harley, with a large rear tire in the mold of a "Funny Car" that would run nitro. Earlier Ray had begun running discarded road race slicks, using tire technology to make his small Sportster a street modified Champion. The slick made it necessary for Ray to use a wheelie bar, as the increased traction lifted his bike off the line. The rigid wheelie bar led the way for Ray to use larger and larger rear tires. The large rear tire coupled with the stock bike was the key to the style of the first exhibition bike, THE FUNNY BIKE. The Ray Price machine began the Pro Fuel class and competed in Super Eliminator. The bike featured fuel injection and 2-speed automatic transmission in a 64 inch wheel base frame. With the help of John Gregory, Ray developed his own 2-speed automatic transmission. It was lightweight and easily hidden in the stock Sportster cases. This transmission became the standard for the motorcycle drag racing industry. The first bike to run over 200 MPH in a quarter mile used a Ray Price 2-speed transmission. The bike was a short wheel-based 64" Sportster with an extra large rear tire and fake shocks. Wally Parks, president of the NHRA, asked Ray for his input when determining which motorcycle classes should be invited to take part in selected NHRA National events. Parks accepted Ray's suggestion that the "Funny Bike" class be included and compete under that name. Price's accomplishments had caught the attention of Dick O'Brien, head of the racing department at Harley-Davidson. Ray became the first drag racer to be sponsored by the factory. The extraordinary amount of power his machine generated led Ray to develop several types of bottom ends that would handle the output. Harley’s EVO engines still use his technology today. The Funny Bike class that he invented evolved into the premiere class in the IDBA. The machines are among the quickest and fastest motorcycles in the world with ET's in the 6:80's and speeds over 210 MPH.
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Sturgis Museum and Hall of Fame - Sturgis, South Dakota