via : www.motorcycle-usa.com
Maybe you didn’t grow up watching Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise in the Cannonball Run, but most everybody knows the premise. A Cannonball Run is a no-holds barred, cross-country race where winner takes all. Technicalities like speed limits are often overlooked as riders push it to the limit for a chance to win big money. But somehow I don’t think too many speeding tickets will be issued for this latest rendition I came across called MotorcycleCannonball.com, which will make the coast-to-coast run on Pre-1916 Motorcycles.
Think you’re an iron butt? Then try riding across the country on a motorcycle with a thin seat pan, no suspension, and a top speed of maybe 35 mph tops. This is going to be a true test of mental and physical endurance. Most of the old bikes haven’t seen this type of action, either, so keeping the motorcycles in running order will be the other major challenge. We’re talking almost 100-year-old motorcycles, here, back when companies like Sears, Flying Merkel, Excelsior, and Henderson competed against infant Harley-Davidson, Indian, and Triumph companies.
The classic Cannonball Run will take place from Sept. 10-26, 2010. It will start in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and will end 3300 miles later in Santa Monica, California. It is scheduled to take place over 16 total days, 15 of them being on the road with one rest day in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in between. The route will avoid busy interstates, instead sticking to rural country roads as much as possible. Most days the ride will be 250 miles or shorter and are scheduled to run predominantly during daylight hours.
No machine built after 1915 can compete in the run. The motorcycles must be powered by an original engine and will be divided into three categories. Class 1 is for Single Cylinder, Single Speed motorcycles, Class 2 is for Twin Cylinder, Single Speed bikes, and Class 3 is Multi Cylinder, Multi Speed motorcycles with two- and three-speed transmissions.
Just think about it. What a nostalgic ride, doing it the way Erwin ‘Cannonball’ Baker did it back in the day. Baker set his first record on an Indian motorcycle back in 1914 when he traveled coast-to-coast in 11 days. He would go on to set 143 driving records from 1910 through the ‘30s.
I’m nominating Motorcycle USA’s Bart Madson to compete on our behalf. Bart-man took part in the Grave Robbers Ride during the summer which pitted motorcycles that cost less than $1000 and had been ‘resurrected from the grave’ on a run through the wilds of Idaho. Bart fudged the rules slightly by riding a couple of modern classics so this time I think he should have to play by the rules and do the Cannonball on a Pre-1916 motorcycle. Bad part is, Motorcycle USA doesn’t have any Pre-1916 bikes in our garage to fit the bill. Is there anybody out there with an old Henderson or Flying Merkel sitting in their garage that would like to help out the cause? Maybe we could get Monkey Butt to sponsor him, too!