November 23, 2011
Keep looking in those barns, basements and on-line. There are old motorcycles and parts still out there to be found.
Don’t you just love when cool old motorcycle parts show up well packed in strong wooden boxes?
A lot of people think there are not more barn find classic motorcycles to be found. And that’s fine for them but I continue to More on Motorcycle Barn Find – Complete Classic Harley 1915 Engine
I just got off the phone with Motorcycle Cannonball promoter Lonnie Isam, Jr and confirmed that I will retain Rider Number 15 that I had in the first Motorcycle Cannonball in 2010. I picked that number because I was riding Selma, my 1915 Harley on that cross-country ride, which was open to 1915 and older motorcycles.
Selma treated me better than I treated her and she carried me safe and sound most of the way across the United States with a perfect score. Most of the way from North Carolina into and through Texas before having to deal with mechanical issues. There we tore down and rebuild the top end and we replaced a few magnetos along the way.
After a good rest we (Dale and Matt Walksler, Jim Sims and I) rebuilt Selma (again) and she is back on the road running even stronger than before.
Lonnie announced the second Motorcycle Cannonball recently and I have signed up for it. This one will run from Newburgh, NY to San Francisco, CA and it open to 1929 and newer motorcycles. I signed up and am pleased to get my Rider Number 15 again.
This time I will be riding a 1926 Harley J motorcycle for Team American Iron, which I plan on rebuilding over the winter. I will follow my progress on line and in print in American Iron Magazine as I did last year. My goal is to have at least a thousand miles on the rebuilt old Harley long before we gather in Newburgh for the next ride of a lifetime. So I know I am going to be busy with this classic Harley over the winter. The good news is it already has a front brakes (Harley didn’t offer front brakes until 1928) and newer style wheel rims for modern tires. Wish me luck!
I spent an amazing amount of time and money in the last couple of years preparing for the first running of the Motorcycle Cannonball last year. Looking back I wonder how I managed to buy and build a 1915 Harley for this crazy cross country ride on pre-1916 motorcycles. I documented this in the pages of American Iron Magazine.
I had to find and buy the basic bike (actually it was two 1915ish Harley), all the needed parts and spares, and then organize myself enough to spend about two weeks on the road riding from Kitty Hawk, NC to Santa Monica, CA without being run over, exploding or getting seriously lost.
I am so thankful to have friends with more mechanical skills than I ever will have – guys like Dave Fusiak, Fred Lange and Dale Walksler. Fred designed the basic engine layout, Dave did a lot more work on my 1915 Harley than I did prior to and on the actual cross country ride, and Dale helped in countless ways, including basically rebuilding the entire top end of Selma, my 1915 Harley somewhere in More on Motorcycle Cannonball 2012 – Another Vintage Motorcycle Adventure Of A Lifetime?