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2018 Cannonball Announced!
Written by Jason Sims   


Ten years ago, one man set out to become the first person to take a group of like-minded antique motorcycle riders across the United States on machines that were only often seen in museums and private collections. In 2010, Lonnie Isam Jr’s dream and bold sense of adventure took him and his friends from one ocean to the other, forever setting the standard of endurance for man and machine. Since 2010, history has been made and continues to be made; machines are coming out of the woodwork, they are being ridden, they are being enjoyed, and they are being put to the Motorcycle Cannonball test.

The next adventure…the next epic journey… the next ride…will be nothing to slouch at. This is a ride that Lonnie Isam Jr and I have been discussing for quite some time even dating back a few years. This next experience will again take us from coast to coast; again it will be a true endurance. It will pit man vs. machine on some of the best two lane, back roads that our beautiful country has to offer!

We have now successfully navigated the United States 4 times, with the latest run in 2016; which was probably the most epic journey thus far. We created history that can never be repeated! We managed to take almost one hundred century old and older machines from coast to coast. Now, in September of 2018, we plan to write a whole new chapter in history with the 5th Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run. This event will feature motorcycles built before 1929. This time we ride from Portland, ME to Portland, OR!

The real challenge starts now……

If you are interested in competing in the 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball, please send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with your contact info, along with the Make, Model, and Year of the motorcycle you plan to ride. All entrants will be notified by January 15th of acceptance.

Jason M. Sims
Director of Operations
Motorcycle Cannonball Inc.
PO Box 1030
Sturgis, SD 57785
605-484-8576

 
Motorcycle Cannonball: Dinosaur Race
Written by Rebeccah Cunningham   
 
Alex Trepanier #109 First Aid on the Fly

Digging through my jacket pocket this morning I unearth a bandage, which instantly makes me smile at the memory that comes with the wadded up package. On this day, exactly one month ago, Joe Sparrow and I were riding two-up as we come up on rider #109, who was chugging along on the shoulder and seemed distracted so we idle up next to him to ask if he's ok. Over the clatter of his 1912 Indian, Alex Trepanier tells us he's fine, but asks if we have a bandage as he shows us his bleeding hand.

Joe tells him to pull over and we'll tend to him with the first aid kit that Vicki Roberts-Sanfelipo outfitted each volunteer with. In an incredulous tone, Alex declares, "No way! I just got going!" Instead, we pull close and, as both bikes continue down the road trying to stay evenly spaced, I rinse off the blood with a bottle of water as the wind blows most of it off into the sage brush. Alex thanks us as Joe hits the throttle to try to get out ahead of him. About a mile down the road we pull off to get antibiotic ointment and a bandaid ready so all he has to do is pull off for a second, but he just waves as he rides by.

Joe and I ready the materials and jump back on the bike to chase him down to try to administer first aid on the run. I carefully hand over the antibiotic smeared bandaid while fighting the wind as Joe steers us close. Alex keeps one hand on his bars while reaching over to be bandaged. All this along a Colorado highway at 38 mph.

I offered the packaged bandage as a backup, to be used later but he refused, so it went in my jacket pocket. As a first-time Cannonball rider and one of the youngest participants registered, Alex signed up to ride without back up and alone. The personable 20-something year old quickly made friends and joined forces with the Thor Losers as he showed us all what true heart and commitment looks like while struggling with the challenges of navigating a 104-year old single speed motorcycle across these great United States. Good job, Alex.

 
A Lesson in Self Respect

Fred Wacker, rider #118, was sitting on the side of the road in rural Virginia when we came upon him and his broken motorcycle. Diagnostics were done there in the dirt parking lot and it was determined that the immaculate 1913 Indian single was done for the day. There was no cell service so calling for back up wasn't an option until a resident in the tiny town offered a landline from a nearby home and the sweep truck arrived soon after.

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Lucky 13 Racing
 
Steve DeCosa

Cannonball rider #2, Steve DeCosa from New York, had a very stressful ride on the last day the Motorcycle Cannonball. It started out well enough, managing the 4,000-foot mountain pass, the dust storm, the congested traffic and the heat. Lunch at the Temecula HD was a nice break before heading to the finish line and he was in high spirits. Steve is relatively new to the antique motorcycle addiction affliction, but he's been bitten hard and, as a second round rider, he's hip deep in the world of grease, gears and backroads. His wife Joan is his pit crew and he's been all in from the start. As we made our way to Carlsbad, Joe spotted Steve on the side of the road and pulled over to see what was up.The look on his face spoke volumes before we even got off the bike. Cussing and railing at the heavens with clenched fists, the heartbreak and frustration at his failed machine was pitiful to witness as he faced defeat. Doug Wothke, #88, pulled up to see if anything could be done as it was explained that his brake stay had sheared off flush, leaving his beautiful 1915 HD Twin without stopping abilities.

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Stage 15 The Grand Finish

It's done. The most incredible event in motorcycling history has come to an end in the seaside city of Carlsbad, California. The group that set off from Atlantic City, New Jersey on Sept 10, 2016 arrived ragged and weary along the shores of the Pacific ocean, completing a glorious journey as the world cheered them along every single mile. Never before have 100 year old vehicles of any kind, let alone a gangly gaggle of motorcycles, crossed the span of our great nation under their own power so when 74 machines carried their riders to the checkered flag on Sunday afternoon, everyone knew this was the stuff of legend.

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Stage 14 Welcome to California

Photos by Bryan Snyder of Snyder Art









Thank you, Bryan, for the pictures. Click HERE to see more pictures of the finish by Bryan Snyder.

 

 
Stage 15 Results
Written by Jim Feeney   

 

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Stage 14 Welcome to California

This is it... the end is near. Today was the last full day of riding with our tribe before we roll into Carlsbad for the awards ceremony and final meal together. And then there will be no more. No more hurried breakfasts as engines sputter to life. No more green flags. No more engine rebuilds, worried brows or route sheets. No more rules, and no more tilting at windmills.

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Stage 14 Results
Written by Jim Feeney   

 

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