The Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run is returning for 2014 and it will be the most challenging to date. This will be the third running of the coast-to-coast endurance ride for classic motorcycles and riders. It will start in Daytona Beach, FL on September 5 and cover nearly 4,200 miles to Tacoma, WA on September 21, 2014. The event is open to riders on 1936 or older motorcycles. The field, which allows 100 riders, is already sold out with a waiting list.
Four long time enthusiasts and good friends are joining forces to create the first ever Team American Iron specifically for the 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball ride. The team consists of four riders, two mechanics, and a support truck manager/driver. The team is as follows:
Paul Ousey. Paul, a long time collector and rider of classic motorcycles, competed in the first Motorcycle Cannonball on his 1913 single cylinder belt drive Harley. He partnered up with Buzz Kanter and Jim Petty on the second Motorcycle Cannonball in 2012 on his 1925 Harley JE. For 2014 Paul plans to compete on his 1925 Harley JE once again.
Cris Sommer Simmons>. Cris is one of the founders of Harley Women magazine, the author of several motorcycle books, including Cannonball Diary and The American Motorcycle Girls 1900-1950, and is a regular columnist in American Iron Magazine. Cris rode her 1915 Harley twin on the first Motorcycle Cannonball in 2010. She has been inducted into all three Motorcycle Halls of Fame and is married to Pat Simmons. For 2014 Cris plans to compete on her 1934 Harley VD flathead.
Pat Simmons. Pat is a long time collector, mechanic and rider of antique motorcycles. When not wrenching or riding on his classic motorcycles Pat makes a living as a musician. He is one of the lead singers, and a founding member of the Grammy Award winning Doobie Brothers. Pat acted as support staff for his wife Cris and her 1915 Harley Effie on the first Motorcycle Cannonball. For 2014 Pat plans to compete on his 1929 Harley JD.
Buzz Kanter. Buzz is the publisher of American Iron Magazine, Motorcycle Bagger, American Iron Garage and RoadBike. A long time collector and rider of antique motorcycles, Buzz rode a 1915 Harley twin in the first Motorcycle Cannonball, and his 1929 Harley JDH “Two Cam” on the second one in 2012. Buzz has been inducted into all three Motorcycle Halls of Fame. For 2014 Buzz plans to compete on his 1936 Harley VLH flathead.
OTHER TEAM MATES
Coe. Lead Mechanic.
Wheeze. Support Mechanic.
Ponytail Paul. Support truck manager/driver.
All members of Team American Iron thank Dale Walksler and the Wheels Through Time museum crew for helping prep the motorcycles for this grueling ride.
About American Iron Magazine. Celebrating its 25th year of publication in 2014, American Iron Magazine is the best selling Harley-oriented magazine in the world. For more information please visit www.aimag.com.
About Motorcycle Cannonball. Started by Lonnie Isam, Jr in 2010 as a coast-to-coast endurance ride for antique motorcycles, this will be the third and longest Motorcycle Cannonball ride to date. For more information please visit www.MotorcycleCannonball.com.
The crew from American Iron Magazine put together another free Honor Ride, sponsored by Geico Motorcycle insurance, for new and classic Harleys to Milwaukee for the 110th anniversary.
Buzz Kanter will be leading the classic group, which will follow the same East to West route as the main group but at a slightly slower pace. He is planning on riding his 1948 Harley Panhead.
Here is the route info:
We have two routes (one from east and the other from the west) that meet in the middle and ride up to Milwaukee for the party. In addition the EAST ride will be split into two groups. AIM editor Chris Maida will lead the first group of motorcycles, and Editor-in-Chief Buzz Kanter (on a 1948 Harley Panhead) will lead a slightly slower group for classic bikes and those wishing to ride a bit slower. Both will follow the same route and meet up points along the way.
Sunday, August 25
EAST Welcome Reception at A.D. Farrow Harley in Columbus, OH.
WEST Welcome reception at Blue Springs Harley in Blue Springs, MO.
Monday, August 26
EAST Depart from A.D. Farrow Harley. Lunch at Quaker Steak & Lube in Dayton, OH. Dinner & overnight at H-D of Indianapolis, IN.
WEST Depart from Blue Springs Harley. Lunch at Mid-American Harley in Columbia, MO. Dinner and overnight at Ted’s Motorcycle World in Alton, IL.
Tuesday, August 27
EAST Depart from Indianapolis, IN. Lunch at Andrae’s Harley in Urbana, IL then meet up with WEST ride at Walter’s Brothers HD in Peoria, IL
WEST Depart from Ted’s Motorcycle World in Alton, IL. Lunch in TNT Action Sports in Quincy, IL, then meet up with EAST ride at Walter’s Brothers HD in Peoria, IL
Wednesday, August 28
BOTH Depart from Walter’s Brothers HD in Peoria, IL. Lunch at Kegel Harley in Rockford, IL, and then ride to the Harley Museum in Milwaukee.
It seems my lot in life is to ride the newest possible model and year of Harley in each Motorcycle Cannonball event.
The first one was in 2010 and I rode a 1915 Harley with a cut-off year of 1915. In the second Motorcycle Cannonball I rode a 1929 Harley JDH with a cut-off of 1929. and in 2014 we have been told we can ride up to 1936, so I plan to ride my 1936 Harley VLH flathead.
I purchased this classic 80 cubic inch flathead VLH Harley less than two years ago with no plan or intention of riding it cross-country on the Motorcycle Cannonball. Since then it has been in the hands of my pals Larry Woods and Dale Walksler getting it sorted and running well and looking more correct. We followed some of this progress in the pages of American Iron Magazine earlier this year.
Now the real work comes. We need to tear it totally down and rebuild it to factory specs or better to carry me across the US on the Motorcycle Cannonball. But, I do not want to change the basic look of the bike. It will stay dirty and crusty looking, but run and perform like new.
In addition to pulling it down and rebuilding the wheels, chassis, engine, clutch and chassis, I need to add saddlebags and perhaps a different seat too. We will follow the progress in her and in the pages of American Iron Magazine.
Wish me luck. I suspect there will be an amazing amount of work ahead of me on this one.