Indian Motorcycle & Classic American Iron Black Hills Rally @ Sturgis

Are you going to Sturgis this year to celebrate the 75th Black Hills Rally?

Are you and your friends looking for a fun and free event for all Indian motorcycles and/or classic American motorcycles?

Check out the 2015 Indian Motorcycle & Classic American Iron Black Hills Rally from American Iron Magazine.

sturgis rally

Many years ago we at American Iron Magazine put on events in Sturgis and Daytona for classic American iron riders. They were a lot of fun and very popular. After too many years of not holding these events we are resurrecting them for the 75th running of the Sturgis Black Hills Rally this year.

This year’s Indian Motorcycle & Classic American Iron Black Hills Rally will be held at the Buffalo Chip on the outskirts of Sturgis, SD on Tuesday, August 4, 2015.

This free event is open to all riders of Indian motorcycles (old or new) and all pre-1984 American motorcycles. It includes a bike show and fun field events like the slow race, kickstart contest, plank ride and more.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Indian Motorcycle, American Iron Magazine, Motorcycle Rides & Cluture magazine, Dennis KirkJerry Greers Engineering, Heather’s Leathers, Kiwi Indian, National Cycle, and Sturgis Vintage Cycles, this event is free to all to participate or just to watch the fun and see some great old motorcycles.

The gates open for the 2015 Indian Motorcycle & Classic American Iron Black Hills Rally at 9 am for free registration. The free field events start around noon, and trophies will be awarded at 4 pm. Rain or shine!

The free bike show, which is open to all years of Indian motorcycles as well as all pre-1984 American motorcycles, is sponsored by American Iron Magazine and Dennis Kirk. Some of the bikes will be photographed and featured in the pages of American Iron Magazine.

Please help share the information on this event with your friends who might enjoy it. Thanks and we look forward to another wonderful classic bike event.

Please consider subscribing to American Iron Magazine (for less than $2 per issue vs $7 on the newsstand) to get a great read and support events like this: IN PRINT or IN DIGITAL

Harley News & Bargains! Cheap Deal On Harley Magazines & More

If you love Harleys you know what a great read American Iron Magazine is. Adding to your reference library can be slow and expensive. And single copies of American Iron Magazine can cost up to $10 each on ebay or on-line.

Amazing deal on American Iron Magazine back issues - #1 Harley magazine in the world on sale.

Amazing deal on American Iron Magazine back issues – #1 Harley magazine in the world on sale.

Published since 1989, the team at American Iron Magazine are offering a great deal. 20 assorted back issues for only $19.95 PLUS a free copy of American Glory – 100 Years of Harley-Davidson and a couple fo free stickers – a $130 value for only $19.95 plus actual shipping.

For more information or to order yours, please clip on American Iron Magazine Bargain Bag is also offering special deals on back issues of Motorcycle Bagger, mixed Harley-oriented magazines (including Hot XL, Thunder Alley and Hottest Custom Harleys) and more.

These offers can expire any time without notice when supplies sell out.

NEW STURGIS EVENT Indian & Classic American Iron Black Hills Rally 2015

Are you going to Sturgis this year?

Do you own or love classic motorcycles?

Be at the legendary Buffalo Chip on August 4th. 

Here is a “Save The Date” notification for an event you won’t want to miss.

We at American Iron Magazine are pleased to announce our new event at this year’s Sturgis Rally to celebrate the 75th Black Hills motorcycle gathering. The event started out as a gathering of Indian motorcycle riders and racers when Pappy Hoel, the local Indian dealer in Sturgis, invited his customers and friends to a race and tour of the stunning Black Hills in 1938.

The Sturgis rally has grown quite a bit since then. So we thought it would be appropriate to have an Indian and classic motorcycle rally in Sturgis this year to celebrate the amazing history of this great event.

Produced by American Iron Magazine and Motorcycle Rides & Culture magazine, we invite you to join us at the first Indian & Classic American Iron Black Hills Rally on Tuesday, August 4, 2015 at the Buffalo Chip on the edge of Sturgis, SD.

While the focus will be on Indian motorcycles (old and new), we also welcome all other pre-1984 classic American motorcycles to this free rally. In addition to the bike show, sponsored by Dennis Kirk, there will be a number of free and fun field events including the slow race, plank ride, and balloon toss.

The free Indian & Classic American Iron Black Hills Rally opens at 9 am and field events begin around noon. Trophies will be awarded at 4 pm at the Buffao Chip.

There will be members of the press covering the event and looking for motocycles to photograph and feature in print and on-line. So note the date in your calendar so you won’t miss motorcycle history in the making.

AI Garage 1930s Harley VL and Sidecar Sneak peak (Video)

AI-Garage logo 1The crew at American Iron Magazine recently rescued this 1930s Harley VL and sidecar, which had been sitting in a basement for 10 years, and brought it over to Retrocycle to get her all back up to snuff for a story in a future issue of American Iron Garage, the all-tech, all-DIY Harley magazine special.

“It’s over painted, over chromed, and has wrong year parts,” says American Iron Magazine/Motorcycle Editor-in-Chief Buzz Kanter about the VL. “It hasn’t been started in years. We do know the motor is a 1930, but there are questions about what the other parts are.”

The bike will be featured in the Summer issue of Garage. The article will show readers how to get an old bike back on the road by noting what the crew at Retrocycle do to make this classic motorcycle ridable again. The Summer issue, the second of three Garage installments for 2015, hits newsstands 6/15.

The Spring issue is currently on newsstands and is also available via digital delivery on

Watch the video below as Buzz shows us the current state of the bike.

Retrocycle is located at 1 Mars Ct. Unit 3, Boonton, NJ 07005.

Daytona Bike Week Antique Motorcycle Show & Swap Meet in Eustis, FL

DESTINATION EUSTIS;   The VMA has previously publicized the 4th Annual “International Vintage Motorcycle Swap Meet and Show” with the VJMC.

We now proudly announce book signings by renowned author BRUCE PALMER with his second edition of “How to Restore Your Harley Davidson” and CHRIS PRICE with his compilation “Georgia Motorcycle History, the First 60 Years” from noon until 5 pm Friday and Saturday. Kudos and accolades to these writers for joining us in picturesque Eustis Florida at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Convention Center on March 6, 7 and 8,  2015.

“Vintage Motorcycle Show” and the VMA will remain open Sunday to continue forging “Destination Eustis” into an annual family extravaganza.

Pre-registration of vintage motorcycles assures a considerably larger assembly of wonderful machines in the main exposition building in 2015.  Awards are presented to owners after a tally of “Peoples’ Choice” ballots. Meanwhile the VMA will continue to offer vendors the chance to enhance sales by staying Sunday without additional charge adding to the comraderie and “excitement of “Destination Eustis.”  We expect great diversity with factory original paint bikes, vintage restorations, antique racing and touring machines, classic bobbers and choppers, military vehicles and daily riders from around the planet.  All are finely engineered examples of design from Japan, Italy, Germany, England, Sweden, the United States and other locations and ALL in excess of twenty years old.

We anticipate winning bikes from National “Board Track” racing, AMA sanctioned race events and machines that competed in the “2014 Cannonball” endurance challenge to be on hand for your viewing pleasure.

This is the 20th year an antique motorcycle swap meet has been presented at the Lake County Fairgrounds.  Enthusiastically, the Vintage Motorcycle Alliance has joined forces with town officials and local businesses to promote “Destination Eustis”.

– Friday afternoon and evening Eustis City has arranged for a public block party atmosphere with live music entertainment, designated motorcycle parking, biker friendly restaurants / bars and street entertainment for all.

– Saturday more street entertainment, designated motorcycle parking and the “Oyster Troff” offers the longest oyster bar and “Live Music.” Mark us on your calendar now, don’t miss “Destination Eustis”.  Come see what we have planned and what will simply just happen!

For more pertinent details and an interactive site map with vendor signup page please visit; WWW.VINTAGEMOTORCYCLEALLIANCE.COM

Motorcycle Cannonball 2014, Part I – Preview


From l., Buzz Kanter, Cris Sommer Simmons, Pat Simmons, and Paul Ousey, ready to ride!

By Buzz Kanter, photos by Michael Lichter, Jim Dohms, and Buzz Kanter

Part I: 3,938 Miles of Blood, Sweat & Gears

The ride is almost 4,000 miles from Daytona Beach, Florida, to Tacoma, Washington. If the bikes — all 1936 and older machines —have mechanical issues, other riders could help without losing points, but team mechanics can’t help as they follow a different route from point to point. If you think this is fun, you’re right. If you think it’s easy, think again.

CANNONBALL 14This was the third running of the Motorcycle Cannonball, a timed endurance event for antique motorcycles that will push even the most experienced rider to his physical and mechanical limits. Some 101 motorcycles were officially recognized as starting the event in Daytona Beach. Seventeen days and 3,938 miles later, 72 of us were considered finishers in Tacoma. Along the way, we encountered some of the most stunning and mind-numbing experiences a motorcyclist is ever likely to encounter. While most of the riders, including me, were focused on getting our antique motorcycles and ourselves across the country with minimal drama, some were focused on winning this event.

Yes, this was a competition with a complete set of rules and scoring procedures. In terms of scoring, you earn a point for every mile ridden provided you make it to the start and finish lines at the scheduled times. If you get lost, run out of gas, or break down, you can do what you need to make it up as long as no one from your support team helps you. If you switch riders, you lose points. If you swap engines, you lose points. If you leave a hosted event early, you lose points. 7 Burning HarleyIn addition, if you DNF (do not finish) more than seven days, or the last day, you were disqualified and listed as DNF for the entire event. In the event of a tie (and there were many), Class I motorcycles (700cc or smaller engine displacement) beat Class II (701cc to 1000cc), which, in turn, beat Class III (1001cc or larger displacement). After that, the next tiebreaker was the age of the motorcycle: the older one beats the newer one. In case of a tie where the bikes are in the same class and the same age, the tiebreaker is the age of the rider, with the older rider beating the younger one. Got it?

After covering the planned 3,938 miles, an impressive 32 riders covered them all on course, but, due to scoring issues, only 24 were considered as perfect scores. The others were penalized points for various reasons. This year’s overall winner was …



Riveted yet? The full version of this story appears in Issue #318 of American Iron Magazine, on sale 12/9/14!

Subscribe to the print magazine today or get your digital subscription for mobile devices via Zinio!

Classic 1945 Harley-Davidson 45″ Flathead

45 flat profile1

1945 Harley-Davidson 45″ Flathead

By Jim Babchak, photos by Don Kates


Harley-Davidson’s 45″ flatheads are one of the great mainstays of any antique motorcycle gathering, on any given weekend, in any part of our great country. That’s because these indestructible, rugged, and reliable motorcycles were made in great numbers, were easy to maintain, ran well even in the worst of tune, and represented a fun and inexpensive way to get into motorcycling. They are as revered today as they were 82 years ago when they joined the 1929 lineup in the form of the RL.

45 Flatheads run the gamut from stripped-down bobbers to fully restored hardtail springers, with Class C racers, and ham-and-eggs bikes thrown in as well. I particularly love the ham-and-eggs bikes, those great old machines that are built from parts that often carry a Servicar G model engine and reverse transmission slung into a two-wheeler frame. 45 consoleWhenever I see a 45″ machine, I smile, and because of the surplus parts made for the WWII effort (original spares are still available, and reproduction parts as well), these wonderful old machines will continue to run well into the next millennium and beyond!

Even with the large number of surviving 45s out there, seeing one restored to the level Dwight Weisz’s featured American Iron Classic is rare indeed. In fact, when I was forwarded the studio images of this pristine 1945 Harley, I was blown away by its level of detail and overall perfection. Dwight is the fourth owner of this machine and can trace its ownership all the way back to the original owner who purchased and rode it around the Wilton, North Dakota, area back in the 1940s and ’50s. A friend of Dwight’s named Gary Bosch was the second owner, and during his tenure, the bike sat in a bike shop and was scavenged for parts. Circumstances forced him to sell it, and George Kulish was to become its third owner. Again, the bike languished with no movement toward its redemption. Now, apart and contained in four large cardboard boxes, it was again sold in 1990. Here, the story takes a great turn for the better, although not right away.

Dwight obtained the bike and was full of energy and enthusiasm, setting the goal of restoring the bike over the next two years. But, as you know, the best-laid plans can get waylaid as life intercedes. He describes the bike as looking like “the Scarecrow from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ just after the monkeys were done with him.” In 1994, a new home purchase meant the bike had a place to rest in the basement, and Dwight spent a lot of time researching and getting to know the machine. Parts were “collected and corrected” in preparation for its restoration. Bruce Palmer’s book How to Restore Your Harley-Davidson became a guidepost and work began in earnest in the late 1990s.

45 engine1Carl’s Cycle Supply in Aberdeen, North Dakota, rebuilt the motor to factory specs. Mike Rauser of Midway Harley-Davidson rebuilt the carburetor, transmission, and wheels and was a great help with his time and advice. Jim Grenz of Tempe, Arizona, painted the sheet metal, and, oh, what a beautiful job he did; although it was not without some pain and suffering! It seems Dwight obsessed over the color for two years, to the point that everyone was tired of hearing about it, but he finally made his decision, and it was all worthwhile as this key element really defines the bike. It is a Candy Metallic Green from House of Kolor offset against Ford Sea Foam Green panels. Leery at first of the Dead Man’s Curse (which states that any bike that is green will be lost in the background, and the rider run over and killed because of said lack of visibility), all now agree it is breathtaking and spot on.

All the black you see on the machine was done at the North Dakota State Penitentiary (gotta keep the boys busy!), and the chrome is by Brown’s Plating. Once all the parts were done, everything made its way back to Dwight’s home, and he began reassembling it all. 45 fenderThis painstaking process took months, and you can imagine the level of meticulous detail and caution it took to complete this undertaking. Dwight rewired the bike with an exact replica cloth wiring loom and harness, and every nut and bolt is as original.

The results speak for themselves, and again, I have not seen this level of restoration on a 45″ machine in a long time. The endgame was never to create a show bike, but only to “get it right.” That said, Dwight was talked into showing it. At its first outing at the Freedom Riders Motorcycle Show in Bismarck, North Dakota, it took four firsts: Best In Class, Peoples’ Choice, Judges Choice, and Best Paint. Wow! That’s a lot of firsts! Word got around, and soon Dwight was invited to all the shows in the surrounding states.

The bike is ridden occasionally and runs as good as it looks, but the vision is for it to be passed down through many generations of Weiszes in the future. AIM

45 rear 3-4

This article appeared in the March 2012 issue of American Iron Magazine. To order a back issue, visit

American Iron Magazine’s Buzz Kanter On Those Diner & Motorcycle Guys Internet Radio

Buzz Kanter, Editor-In-Chief and Publisher of American Iron Magazine magazine, talks with Garrison about his involvement in the recent Motorcycle Cannonball event and riding almost 4,000 miles on pre-1937 motorcycles.

Buzz with his 1915 Harley prior to riding it across U.S. on 1st Motorcycle Cannonball in 2010

Buzz and his 1936 Harley VLH flathead at top of 12,000-ft Loveland Pass on recent Motorcycle Cannonball

Buzz was inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2011. Buzz Kanter launched Stamford, Connecticut-based TAM Communications in 1989 in a spare bedroom over his garage, publishing Old Bike Journal. Two years later he purchased the failing two-year old American Iron Magazine. He has since added other motorcycle magazines, motorcycle events and a motorcycle related mail order business. In 2008, Kanter and TAM Communications launched Classic American Iron Magazine for classic American-made motorcycle enthusiasts.
Check out Buzz’s publications:

Buzz and his 1936 Harley at the BonMotorcycle Cannonball Ride

Follow Buzz on Twitter and Facebook.

Listen to Garrison’s interview with Buzz on Those Diner and Motorcycle Guys

Retro Tech – Installing A Morris Magneto on a Shovelhead

An Easy-to-Install, Easy-to-Start, All-In-One Ignition System

By Chris MaidaRetroTech-MagnetoMention using a magneto ignition and many riders envision a hard-to-start 1960s Ironhead Sportster, the culprit behind many a bad right knee. Being a veteran of many long kickstarting sessions myself (I had a bike shop before the advent of the Evo), I know exactly what they’re thinking. The same image came to mind for me when Kip Watkins said he wanted a Morris Magneto on the boardtrack Shovel he was building for me. But the Morris magneto of the 21st century is not the same as the ones I remembered from four decades ago! These ignitions start easy!

Remember my Shovel build? We started that project a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Like many of my builds, it got sidetracked due to my travel and production schedules. Thankfully, I got the last parts to Kip a few months ago, so he was finally able to finish it. You’ll get to see the completed bike in an upcoming issue. But let’s get back to our magneto install: Morris started making magnetos back in the ’70s, after Harley stopped offering them on its bikes. I ran a Morris mag on my 1967 XLCH 80″ Ironhead stroker back in the 1970s and ’80s. Running a mag eliminates the entire ignition system and makes for a clean machine, wiring- and black box-wise, since it is a completely self-contained system. A magneto even generates its own power, so you don’t need a battery or charging system to keep the engine running.

The M5 magneto we’re going to show you how to install today has a full-field, rare-earth magnetic rotor with composite construction that’s clad in a stainless steel shell. This gives you a super-light, durable rotor to generate the power needed for a strong, hot ignition spark. The CNC-machined billet aluminum housing, which is available polished or machined, has all its corners contoured for exceptional styling. And that’s no surprise since the housing was designed by Dave Perewitz of Cycle Fabrication. The billet gearcase housing has been made to H-D Engineering Department specs, so the correct model M5 will bolt up to any H-D engine without modification. Another improvement is that there are no external coil mounting screws, so the housing is hermetically sealed against moisture. The M5 also boasts a breather system, which helps to separate air and oil, keeping the magneto’s internals clean.

As for those easy starts, modern Morris mags use Morris’ balanced impulse coupling system, which works with both kick and electric start setups on any size motor. When I used to be a piston-engine aircraft mechanic, the dual magneto ignition systems on those engines always ran impulse couplings to facilitate easy and dependable starts. When the starter, be it kicker or electric, turns the engine over, the magneto’s rotor also spins to generate the power needed to fire the spark plugs. The faster the magneto’s rotor is spun, the stronger the spark produced. However, the most critical time is just before the ignition system’s triggering device breaks the circuit, which is when the high-voltage from the ignition coil is sent to the spark plug. To increase the power of the spark, the Morris impulse coupling, which is spring loaded, winds up and then snaps forward just before this important point of the magneto’s rotation to quickly spin the magneto’s internal generator. The result is an intensely hot spark; one much more powerful than what you could get by just using your leg or even an electric starter.

The accompanying photos show Andrew Rosa of Rosa’s Cycle Shop installing a polished M5 Morris magneto onto my Shovel engine. Keep an eye out for my finished boardtracker! We hope to have it featured in the magazine very soon.

But then, you know how my projects usually go…..



Morris Magneto

103 Washington St.

Morristown, NJ 07960



Rosa’s Cycle Shop

540 New York Ave.

Huntington, NY 11743



This story originally appeared in the August 2011 issue of American Iron Magazine, and features step-by-step instructions with photos. To order a copy, visit



American Iron’s Buzz Kanter Interview Tonight on Barry Boone’s Talking Motorcycles Internet Radio

We are pleased to announce that our Buzz Kanter will be one of the guests (along with Norm Nelson) on Barry Boone’s “Talking Motorcycles” internet radio show this evening (Wednesday, Oct 1) around 8 PM EST.

They plan to discuss the recent 4,000 mile ride across the U.S. on the Motorcycle Cannonball ride. Buzz rode a 1936 Harley VLH flathead that we have been following in the pages of American Iron Magazine

Link to the show is