My 1911 Single Cylinder, Single Speed, Belt Drive Reading Standard (RS) is my Cannonball Motorcycle for 2016. My team is Team RS and my Cannonball number is 58, in honor of my '58 Sportster and my AHRMA racing number 58. Jack Wells, Ed Miller, and Jack Wright are my Team Members. My RS engine was designed by Charles Gustaffson in 1906 and is the first side valve motorcycle engineered and manufactured in America. Charles Gustaffson was born in Sweden and so was my Father, Frederick Nels Nelson. My Reading Standard is 105 years old this year and my Dad passed away two years ago at the age of 105. He loved to play golf and his friends called him "Steady Freddie" because though his drives weren't powerful, his game was steady and he always scored well. In his honor, I'm calling my RS "Steady Freddie". My Reading Standard has never been restored and it will not be, as long as I own it. The wheels and gas/oil tank will be put aside and replacement hubs, spokes, rims and gas tank are being made. They will be safe but will look old. I am using clincher rims with Coker Non Skid tires. My Buddy, Beni Rodi of Team Salvage, donated a small front drum brake for the RS and the rear brake is a stock drum brake which uses the inside of the rear belt drive pulley for the brake shoe to act on.
Glenn Stasky, of Clearwater Lights, made an LED headlight and tail light/brake light assembly for the RS. They are powered by small on board modern batteries which will be charged each night. My engine has been upgraded with refurbished carb, new piston/rings, rod bushings, crank pin, rod pin, valves, drive pulley and magneto. Steve Pennington and Joe Gimpel have been invaluable and have done the lion's share of work on the RS.
I rode a 1929 BMW R-11 in the 2012 Cannonball and finished Third and I rode a 1928 BMW R-52 in the 2014 Cannonball and finished Second. My Reading Standard is a single cylinder, single speed, belt drive motorcycle and it will be a supreme challenge to finish the 2016 Cannonball Run with a perfect score on it. I love the Reading and am looking forward to running it in the 2016 Cannonball Run!! LET'S RIDE!!
I am honored and excited to be one of the riders in the 2016 Cannonball. This will be my first year riding in the Cannonball however motorcycle riding and motorcycles have been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. As a child my father would take my sisters and I motorcycle riding in the desert which later developed into riding motorcycles across the U.S. with my wife and friends. I enjoy hitting the road with no specific agenda and seeing where it takes me. About ten years ago I started building and restoring my own motorcycles and developed a love for older bikes and naturally gravitated towards the Cannonball. I will be riding a 1913 Harley Davidson 9B single cylinder, single speed. I am currently building the bike and intend to have it done well before the race to allow time to test ride it and modify it as needed. Luckily for me south Texas affords year round riding.
I have already started making friends within the Cannonball community and as in most circles of motorcycle riders have met some of the nicest people who are always willing to lend a helping hand or pass on advice. I have come to learn over the years that the best part of building and riding motorcycles are the friends and relationships that get built along the way. See you there. Vic
New Zealand Classic Motorcycles, Nelson, New Zealand is sponsoring a 1916 3.5 h.p., 3 speed, all enclosed chain drive Sunbeam in the 2016 Cannonball.
It will be ridden by Tom Sturgess, also of Nelson, a 65 year old classic bike enthusiast and sheep farmer.
The bike is currently being switched from beaded edge (clincher) tyres to modern bias ply tyres, having its petrol/oil tank evaluated for replacement, and being prepared for accumulating a targeted 1000 mile commissioning regime.
Participant in the previous three Lonnie Isam Jr. Cannonball endurance rides. I’ve been involved with motorcycles most of my life and got seriously involved in antique motorcycles around 2005. I now collect, restore and sell classic and antique motorcycles of various brands with a focus on Indian and Triumph. I plan to ride my 1915 Indian in the 2016 Cannonball.
Frank Rick, Elkhart Lake WI, my faithful friend and mechanic is scheduled to support me once again. I’ve had support from many friends and family on the past three rides such as my good friend Mark Moses of Victory /Indian of Charlotte. His support included providing me “Indian brand” clothing that keeps me looking fairly good and protecting me from the wide range of weather encountered. Individual supporters have been too many to list here, but a few faithful supporters are well knowns in the motorcycle and collector world like: Pete and Jackie Hill, Louie Hale, Lonnie Campbell, Eddie Garrett and Steve Philbeck. Of course my brother Steve Petty is my favorite fan – he also designed the rear brake system on my ’15 Indian, which has saved me several times.
My video submission is a compilation of a sample of some of my favorite photos from the three rides – many of them taken by the gentleman artist and photographer Michael Lichter. I included photos of many of my fellow riders I spent a good bit of my time riding with. Wish I could have captured everyone.
The Cannonball is such a valuable learning experience, a test of your determination and a rollercoaster of emotions – elated days of trouble-free riding to disappointing setbacks and late night recoveries. You’re happy for your fellow riders when they have a good day and you feel their pain when you see them struggle. The end - as they say - is bitter sweet. You're happy to have made it, but realize it’s the end of the ride.
This is my video that's a requirement for entry in the 2016 coast to coast ride on motorcycles 100 years old and older that is scheduled for Sept. The video is suppose to be about yourself and your entry bike for 2016. I think my 3 previous completed cannonball rides capture it and show just a portion of my friends that I had the pleasure to ride with. Most photos are the property of Michael Lichter unless purchased from Mr. Lichter. Photos by Jim Dhoms as well. It's much better to the Kid Rock song - Born Free... but that's not allowed for use .
In 2010, a good friend of mine, Cris Sommer-Simmons was doing a vintage motorcycle race across the country on a 1915 Harley. I didn’t know much about it then, but thought it sounded like an incredible adventure. In 2012, my husband, Scott Jacobs decided to do the race himself, and I figured I would ride along on my new Harley. Not only had I never ridden a foot clutch or tank shift bike before, I had never ridden any bike 4000 miles at one time. When I saw and felt the bond between the riders, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it next time. We started looking for bikes that met the criteria for 2014, and found not one, but two 1936 HD VLH bikes. I chose the 3 speed instead of the 4 speed, and after having it completely restored, I learned how to ride it. That was the easy part.
Day 1 - Seized my pistons! Day 2 - Replaced the pistons with over 70’s in an 80 bore, and managed to finish that day! Day 3 - Seized my pistons!!! Yes, really. Thankfully, because we had the other ’36, we stripped the top end, and overnighted it to the hotel. My mechanics changed everything out within 3 hours. Unfortunately, I had lost two full days because we had to wait until Monday to ship, so although I was out of contention, I wanted to finish what I started. I crossed the finish line after 17 days, (the last 12 days with a perfect score) and not only was it a physical accomplishment, but also an emotional and personal victory! When Lonnie announced the 2016 Century Race, I started looking for the next machine to conquer this feat. Watch me in 2016 where I’ll be riding a 1915 Harley-Davidson F11 with my wonderful and supportive Cannonball Family. Can’t wait!!!