1915 harley

January 22, 2011

Classic Motorcycle Project Motivation

Last year I was so gung ho to buy, build and ride my 1915 Harley-Davidson across the US on the Motorcycle Cannonball. I knew it would literally be the ride of a lifetime. And what a great time I had doing it.

Most Harley magazine editors can only hope to be able to cover an event like that. I was the only Harley magazine editor to actually live and ride it, and on my own motorcycle that I had help build.

Along the way I had more fun, adventure and challenges than anyone could ask for in a decade of riding. If you did not get enough detail here on this site then I suggest you might consider buying some old copies of American Iron Magazine, where I documented the buy, build and ride over six or seven consecutive issues.

After many “technical difficulties” along the 2400 miles that I rode Selma, I finally pulled out 3 days shy of the end with no ignition when my last spare magneto crapped out somewhere in New Mexico. I had already seized the motor once and nearly blown it up and rebuilt another time but with no magneto I was out.

Selma and I were truely exhausted. I said good bye to all my new and old friends on the ride and flew home the next day. Selma made her way back in a truck a week or so later. Since then she has sat quietly in the corner of my garage waiting her turn on the lift.

That was in September, 2010. It is now the middle of January 2011 and I am only now starting to get inspired to rebuilding Selma and getting her back into roadworthy condition. Yesterday I called Competition Distributing, with the first of several parts orders, including a few parts that were worn out, and a rod to the compression release that broke. When they arrive in a few days I might finally be in the spirit of bringing Selma back to where she belongs.

Still burned out from the trip and surrounded with a couple of feet of snow on the ground, I am in no hurry, but I feel I do need to start one of these days soon.

Selma is registered and insured so I might as well get her back up and running and surprise a few more people seeing some yuppie looking Harley magazine editor ride by on a bike older that they have ever seen.

You can discuss your take on this here in the comments section or on the American Iron Magazine forum or Classic American Iron forum.

Filed under Buzz Kanter Classic Motorcycle Blog, Cannonball Motorcycle Diaries, Classic Harley History, Classic Motorcycle Maintenance, Restoration by Buzz Kanter

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October 4, 2010

Motorcycle Cannonball – Classic Motorcycle Adventure. What’s Next?

I knew the Motorcycle Cannonball was going to be something amazing when my pal Dale Walksler of Wheels Through Time first told me about it just about a year ago. He explained it was going to be a cross country ride for classic pre 1916 motorcycles.  What he didn’t tell me was how much fun it would be and how terribly difficult it would be on machine and rider. Nothing like this has ever been done before with classic motorcycles, where a 50 mile ride is often considered quite daring.

Dave Fusiak, Buzz Kanter and Fred Lange with Fred's 1915 Harley

Now that this event is over (the first, but possibly not the last) many of the riders – myself included – feel odd in that we no longer have to search for spare parts, finish building and testing the bikes and all the other details we have so immersed ourselves in for the last year. The end of the ride – while an amazing accomplishment – was anti-climactic.

Motorcycle Cannonball Riders In Kitty Hawk

So now we are wondering what’s next? Rumors are flying about another version of it in 2011 – possibly for classic motorcycles as new as 1929 in the mix. We are waiting to hear more and will share with you when we get official word.

Filed under Cannonball Motorcycle Diaries by Buzz Kanter

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September 10, 2010

First Day of Motorcycle Cannonball

OK, we have the first day of the Mottorcycle Cannonball under our betls and what a day it was. We Started out at 8 am lining up at the hotel to ride 7 miles to the Wright Brothers Memorial where all 44 of us and our pre 1916 motorcycles lined up for a series of photos by Mike Lichter.

Then we headed out for the first stage (day) of a 16 stage event riding from North Carolina to California. I believe about 40 Motorcycle Cannonball bikes actually left the memorial. A few others ended up in trucks and trailers.

Beautiful day with sunshine a cool breezes most of the day. We rode about 150 miles on this short first day. Selma, my 1915 Harley, ran well but still giving me some starting issues. Rode the first half of the day with Dave Fusiak and the second half with Cris Sommer-Simmons. Great day but can’t post any photos as I left my camera locked up in our trailer.

Filed under Buzz Kanter Classic Motorcycle Blog, Cannonball Motorcycle Diaries by Buzz_Kanter

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