Motorcycle Cannonball Update Day 1

The first day started pretty slowly with all the bikes (about 98) all lined up on the sand of Daytona Beach for a fabled “yardlong” photo by Michael Lichter. We arrived at 8 am an were barely finished by 9:30 a half hour before the first riders leave.

Photo and start of the Motorcycle Cannonball 2014

We had reports of Ormond Beach motorcycle police pulling over Cannonballers and ticketing them. Really? And it was true. We saw 2 Ormond Beach bike cops pull over our riders. I left with my 3 Adventure Power’s Team American Iron  partners (Paul Ousey, Cris Sommer Simmons and Pat Simmons, and our mutual pal Jim Petty. We rode 4 Harleys and one Indian (Petty).

It is the shortest ride of the event at about 140 miles. I guess much of that has to do with the send off and photos. I did not see it but hear reports of several bikes with serious technical issues (one was reported to have caught on fire) before or shortly after the start of the event. Within 50 miles we passed a few bikes on the roadside with issues. Then at lunch we caught up with many of the riders.  Shortly after lunch Cris was sidelined when she blew another head gasket on her Harley flathead. The four of us left her for the sweep truck and kept going. Hard thing to do to leave your friend and team mate, but it was the right thing to do. An hour later  the skies opened up and poured heavy rain on use. So heavy, sometimes we could not see more than 20 or 30 feet in front of us and I worried about hydroplaning on the road.

We did make it in to the end stag with less than 15 minutes to spare so Paul, Pat and I got full miles for the day and Cris fell short. As I am typing this in my hotel room we have a team of mechanics working on Cris’ bike to get her back up and running in the morning.

As for the other riders, we have heard 2 bikes caught on fire and as many as a dozen broke down badly enough that they needed to be trailed in. That is a lot, even with the record number of riders, from all over the world, this year.  Tomorrow is another day, and a much longer one. I will try to report if I can. – Buzz Kanter

For more info on the Motorcycle Cannonball please visit

Motorcycle Radio – Talking Motorcycles With Pat Simmons & Buzz Kanter

Our own Buzz Kanter was recently interviewed by Barry Boone on his radio show Talking Motorcycles at the start of the Motorcycle Cannonball in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Also interviewed in that show is Pat Simmons, lead singer of the Doobie Brothers, rider on the 4 person Team American Iron, and husband to Cris Sommer Simmons who writes a column in American Iron Magazine. Also interviewed was Norm Nelson, BMW rider on the Motorcycle Cannonball.

To hear the entire radio show please click on

Harley Magazine News: What Would You Want To Read More in 2015?

We at TAM Communications had a full schedule this year publishing 13 issues of American Iron Magazine, 2 issues of the all-tech American Iron Garage, 9 issues of American Iron Motorcycle Bagger and 6 issues of our Motorcycle magazine. Wow!

All issues of these magazines are sold in stores. through print subscriptions and through digital delivery (single copies and subscriptions).

We are now starting to plan for 2015 and are, thanks to your support, are excited about our sales growth in the last year and going forward.

With that in mind we are asking you, our readers, what more would you like us to publish in 2015?

Are there topics we do not cover enough that you want more of? How about topics for additional special issues newsstand only magazines?

Please reply to this post with your comments, suggestions and concerns. After all, we are publishing these magazines for you.

Thanks for your support and please let us know what we can do to improve.

– Buzz Kanter, publisher

Happy Birthday America – From American Iron Magazine

As summer gets in to full swing, Americans will be observing Independence Day tomorrow on July 4th.  It is a great opportunity to connect with our families and friends in backyards, around pools and at the beach, to watch fireworks and enjoy BBQs.

This day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence which set the stage for the founding of our nation on the principles of freedom, liberty, and government power derived from the consent of the people.

It is important on this day to remember that the freedom we enjoy can  be easy to take for granted.

One need only take a look at a single day’s worth of newscasts to realize that our liberty is unique, and is dependent on the persevering democratic character of our nation and the great people who continue to fight to preserve it here and abroad.

All of us here at American Iron Magazine, Motorcycle Bagger and Motorcycle magazine want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a great Independence Day.

Thanks for your on-going support of our magazines.

Buzz Kanter, Publisher

Display Your Classic Indian Motorcycle at Vintage Motorcycle Days

On July 11-13 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Pickerington, Ohio, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days will celebrate the history and modern resurgence of the Indian marque. In addition to grand marshals Bill Tuman and Bobby Hill, representing the Indian Wrecking Crew, as well as new Indian Motorcycles, plenty of classic bikes from the past will be on hand.

Be sure not to miss the racing Indian Sport Scout motorcycles on the track leading the tankshift class. This event is all about you, the enthusiast, and we want to give you the opportunity to show off your vintage bikes.

In addition to bike shows for all brands and the Lap for History, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame is inviting all owners of classic vintage Indian Motorcycles to show off their bikes in the Hall of Fame tent as part of the official Indian Motorcycle display.

If you have a bike that you would like to display in this high-profile, secure area, please contact Katy Wood at or by calling (614) 856-2222, ext. 1244. (Space is limited!)

American Iron Magazine Guarantee of Excellence For #1 Harley Magazine

URGENT: We have gotten a few calls regarding the new issue of American Iron Magazine. It seems our printer messed up a few of the copies missing some pages and binding in duplicates of others.

If you have a copy of American Iron Magazine that is not printed, bound and finished properly please send it back to our offices at 1010 Summer St., Stamford, CT 06905. We will replace the bad copy with a good one AND give you a FREE one year subscription as our way of apology.

TAM Communications stands behind our product and offer this Guarantee of Excellence on all our magazines – American Iron Magazine, Motorcycle Bagger and RoadBike.

Click here to subscribe in print or digital delivery

Team American Iron Motorcycle Cannonball & 1936 Harley VLH

It seems Buzz Kanter’s lot in life is to ride the newest possible model and year of Harley in each Motorcycle Cannonball event. At least he is three for three on that count.

The first one was in 2010 and the Editor-in-Chief of American Iron Magazine rode a 1915 Harley with a cut-off year of 1915. In the second Motorcycle Cannonball he rode a 1929 Harley JDH with a cut-off of 1929. and in 2014 he plans to ride a 1936 Harley VLH flathead with a 1936 year cut off.

Buzz Kanter, of American Iron Magazine, and his 1936 VLH classic Harley flathead motorcycle that he plans to ride cross country on the 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball.

Buzz 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 his 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.

This is a one-year only 1935 Harley VLH during the process of getting the paint “just right.” We added a bit more pin striping at Wheels Through Time shortly after this photo was taken.

Now the real work comes. We will follow along as Buzz and the Wheels Through Time crew tears it totally down and rebuilds it to factory specs or better to carry Buzz across the US on the Motorcycle Cannonball. But, he does 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, brakes, chassis, engine, clutch and electrics, Buzz plans to add saddlebags and perhaps a different seat too. We will follow the progress in the pages of American Iron Magazine.

Wish Buzz and the crew luck. We suspect there will be an amazing amount of work ahead of us all on this one.

Buzz is planning on partnering up again with Paul Ousey and Dale Walksler of Wheels Through Time for this cross country ride. Details to follow as they are made.

Lucky Harley Rider & We Respond To Harley Magazine Readers

Summer 2012 was looking to be one of my  favorites ever. I felt like the luckiest guy I knew as everything motorcycle related in my life was going from good to better for me.

Early in the year, my friend Al offered me a great deal on a rare and wonderful 1929 JDH two-cam Harley. It’s a motorcycle I’ve always admired. Then, I was able to spend quality time with my pals Dale Walksler and his son Matt at Wheels Through Time rebuilding and prepping my 1929 Harley for the upcoming Motorcycle Cannonball.

The next wonderful surprise was when the committee from Riding Into History invited Dale and me to be the co-grand marshals for 2013. This is a world-class motorcycle event benefiting worthy charities. Dale and I hope you can join us in St. Augustine, Florida, in May.

A couple of months later, I got another unexpected call, this time from the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame. I was told I had been voted in, would I join them during the Black Hills Rally in August to be inducted? What an honor for me and our entire team here at American Iron Magazine!

My good fortune came to a screeching halt a few weeks before I was scheduled to ride to Sturgis on a new Indian motorcycle. I partially tore the Achilles tendon in my left leg. No motorcycle riding for me for at least six weeks as I had to wear a cast on my ankle and leg 24 hours a day while it heals. I felt terrible calling the Sturgis Hall of Fame director to tell her I could not attend the ceremony. Nor could I participate in Harley-Davidson’s Sturgis Ride-In Show we presented with Harley and American Iron Motorcycle Bagger.

By the time you read this, I will have healed and ridden my 1929 Harley across the US on the Motorcycle Cannonball … or not. Unless my surgeon absolutely forbids it, I plan on competing in this 3,800-plus mile ride seven weeks after tearing my Achilles. Having missed all the fun at Sturgis this year, I sure hope I can make it through this year’s Cannonball. Wish me luck.

Reader Response  ( Click Here for the 2012 AIM Readers Survey )
we do a lot of listening to our readers and care about what you tell us. The most common questions and requests we get are:

1. How can I get my bike in your magazine?

2. More tech and DIY articles!

3. More of everything!

4. Digital, please. ( Click Here )

We have good news on all points. Please send us good digital photos of you and your bike to so that we can publish them as a feature, Reader’s Ride, My Sweet Hog, Memory, or Letter.

Want more tech? Pick up our new issue of American Iron Garage, our all-tech, newsstand-only issue that went on sale a few weeks ago. Can’t find a copy? Try

Want more of everything we do in these pages? In 2013, we are increasing the frequency of American Iron Magazine from 12 regular issues this year to 13 — on the newsstand and by subscription. That means we will publish a new issue every four weeks. On top of it all, we have been offering the magazine in digital format for a few months now — sign up for it at for delivery anywhere in the world.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.

Buzz Kanter

Win This 1932 Harley Hot Rod Bobber ACT NOW!

Less than two weeks left to win this very cool 1932 Harley flathead hot rod bobber from Wheels Through Time museum. 

Win This 1932 Harley Flathead Motorcycle

The drawing is November 10, 2012

A Tale Of Two Bikers

As a guy who usually sees the glass (gas tank?) half full, I had an experience recently that showed me two sides. I was at an antique motorcycle show and swap meet with my 1929 Harley JDH. A week earlier, I had upgraded the original and leaky gas petcocks with new-style ones and a modern flexible fuel line with an original Y metal pipe. It worked fine, and the new petcocks and fuel line solved the constant gas drip problem.

I rode the Harley all around the swap meet, stopping to check out interesting bikes, look for needed parts, and visit with friends. The next day, someone pointed out that raw gas was flowing out of the fuel line and onto the generator. Sure enough, it turned out that the original Y metal part had cracked and was leaking raw gas. I needed to replace it before I could safely ride it again.

Walking around the grounds, I asked vendors and friends, but no one had what I needed. Then I saw a beat-up but usable T fitting from a small Japanese dirt bike on the ground in front of a vendor. It was smaller than what I needed but would do in a pinch. It would sell new for $3. I told the vendor what I needed and why. Then I pointed to the item and asked “How much?” I thought he might just give it to me. When he replied $20 I laughed, thinking it was a joke. “No,” he said. “You told me you need it. So $20 and it’s yours.” I declined, and walked away muttering something about so much for brotherhood among bikers.

When I got back to my bike I was blown away when I found an original fuel line for a 1920s Harley sitting on my saddlebag with a note from someone I barely know. He had heard what I was looking for and bought it. He left his name and cellphone number and even offered tools to install this $100-or-more gift if I needed help.

What a contrast in experiences. One guy wanted to take advantage of my misfortune, and the other rider couldn’t do enough to help me. It sure put things in perspective for me. Know what I mean? And, by the way, I picked up a couple of spare fuel line T-fittings for $4 each at a Home Depot on the drive home.

Motorcycle Cannonball 2012 & Team American Iron T-Shirts
I always enjoy meeting our readers and sharing great stories. Our Cannonball route and updates can be found at, and I plan on posting regular videos online (search “Cannonball” and “Buzz Kanter” on YouTube) and at

Want to be an honorary member of the Team American Iron support staff? For $20 you can buy our Motorcycle Cannonball 2012 T-shirt featuring a great design with my 1929 Harley on the front and #15, my competitor’s number, on the back. Please visit or call Rosemary in the office at 203/425-8777 x114.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.

Buzz Kanter