In the spirit of famed motorcycle daredevils and cross-country endurance riders of the previous century like the Motorcycle Cannonball’s namesake, Erwin “Cannonball” Baker, organizers are gathering momentum to hit the back roads with a pack of 100-adventurous souls on vintage motorcycles for another historic ride across America in September 2014.
Lonnie Isam, Jr., promoter and owner of Jurassic Racing in Sturgis, South Dakota, has taken on the challenge of the road once again and the Motorcycle Cannonball Run of 2014 is taking shape. For the run’s third iteration, the run’s route master, John Classen has laid out a Southeast-to-Northwest course to be made in 17-days beginning September 5, 2014. The event requires that participants ride antique pre-1937 motorcycles.
The estimated 4,100-mile transcontinental ride is currently scheduled to start on the East Coast at the world-famous Daytona Beach in Florida. To the greatest extent possible, the ride will utilize non-Interstate roadways and will conclude on the West Coast 2 1/2 weeks later in Tacoma, Washington after taking in some of America’s most scenic areas. Entrants will appreciate one day of rest to be spent in Junction City, Kansas. The adventurous riders will face the most difficult ride of all the Motorcycle Cannonball runs.
“We expect this to be the most challenging of our routes to date. We will be going coast-to-coast again, but it’s going to be a lot tougher this time,” said Isam, “and it’s likely that some may not complete the ride. We’ll see more BMWs this time, and more of the big 4-cylinders, the Hendersons
and Indians. The JDs will be back and it will be interesting to see how the VLs compete with them so the Harleys will be fun to watch as will the Class I bikes (with engines smaller that 700 cc), which will have a very tough time completing the ride. We also have 3 bikes that will be over 100- years old, which will tackle the same course the bikes from the 1930s will be tackling so it’s going to be really hard on those bikes going over the mountains. This is a true endurance run, and it won’t be easy. There should be plenty of drama along the way.”
Motorcycle Cannonball Course Master John Classen reports that a meticulously mapped out route was
chosen in order to avoid having the riders enter the interstates whenever possible.
“We’re counting on 12-hours of daylight,” Classen said, “with an average of 300-miles a day. Every rider will check in at the ending point one hour before sunset each evening to avoid wildlife and other after-dark safety issues. There are extreme mountain passes to contend with through some incredible scenery, but this will not be a simple course. I expect the riders will find this run inspiring.”
To date, the 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball Run has drawn riders from around the world. Entrants thus far come from Spain, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, South Africa, Poland, Ireland, Italy, Australia, Canada and the United States. Several riders from the prior two Cannonball runs will be returning to compete alongside the first-time entrants.
Complete information about the Motorcycle Cannonball Run, including sponsors and entry requirements, is available at www.motorcyclecannonball.com.