CLASSIC AMERICAN IRON NEWS! 2016 Motorcycle Cannonball off to Difficult Start

The 2016 Motorcycle Cannonball, a coast to coast endurance ride for motorcycles at least 100 years or older, started with real issues. I have ridden in all three prior Cannonballs and opted out of this one. However I did ride down to the start of this year’s event with my Cannonball partner Paul Ousey. We were surprised at some of what we saw.

On day one, the Cannonballers had to ride four or five miles from the host hotel to the boardwalk for the official start of the event. I saw four Cannonball bikes on the side of the road with mechanical issues and the event had not really even started yet!

Some of the bikes at the start of the 2016 Motorcycle Cannonball

Some of the bikes at the start of the 2016 Motorcycle Cannonball

At least two of the bikes at the start did not even cross the starting line on the first day. Mechanical issues seemed to plague the machines and they had thousands of miles in front of them.

I have heard reports of multiple break downs and other mechanical problems on the first day, including one racer’s bikes (a 1916 Harley Twin) catching fire.

1914 Harley Twin on fire day one of the 2016 Motorcycle Cannonball

John Pfeifer’s 1916 Harley Twin burst into flame after  a rocker arm reportedly broke and the pushrod punctured the gas tank on Day One of the 2016 Motorcycle Cannonball.

Nearly a third of the all motorcycles that started the Motorcycle Cannonball on Day One ended up in trucks or trailers – including seasoned Cannonball riders. Not a good way to start the competition.

If anyone thinks a ride like the Motorcycle Cannonball is easy, you are badly mistaken. This is tough on the rider and the machine. We at American Iron Magazine salute our riders and wish you luck in this tough event. More details and results to follow as we get them. – Buzz Kanter, 3-time Motorcycle Cannonball rider