2016 American Iron Kickstart Classic

CLICK HERE to register for the event.

This 3 day event is on public roads and is open to riders of all makes and years of motorcycles. We have some beautiful roads planned staying off the interstate highways. This year’s event offers several excellent organized rides near Maggie Valley, NC. on Friday and going to Chesnee, SC. Saturday.

• $100 pre-registration (each rider and each passenger). After June 28th, registration increases to $150 per person.

• All registered riders and passengers receive passes to the Wheels Through Time museum, the free welcome dinner
Thursday at Wheels Through Time, one event T-shirt as well as parking and sponsored dinner in Chesnee, SC.

Thursday July 28. 5 PM
Free welcome dinner to all registered riders at Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley, NC

Friday July 29
Group photo at 9am. All day and half day organized rides from Maggie Valley, NC. ending back in Wheels Through Time.

Saturday July 30 9 am
Group ride to Chesnee, SC (back roads) to join up with the AMCA Legends Chapter “Antique Bikes On Main.” bike show, swapmeet, and hosted free dinner that night. Also Wall of Death, stunt riders, fireworks and more. Riders can stay overnight in Chesnee or ride back to Maggie Valley (3 hours on backroads, less than 2 1/2 hours by highway) Saturday afternoon.

Sunday July 31 (optional)
Various motorcycle events in Chesnee, SC

Old Harleys & Even Older Harleys

A lot of my riding time these days is focused on prepping and getting real-world shakedown miles on my rebuilt 1929 Harley-Davidson JDH before the 3,800-mile coast-to-coast Motorcycle Cannonball in September. But I keep reminding myself what Dale Walksler of Wheels Through Time advised me, “Get the bike running right and then leave it alone. The more miles you put on it before the Motorcycle Cannonball, the sooner you will wear out stuff on the ride.”

I’m occasionally on the various new bikes we have at the office for review, but most of my riding time is on my older bikes. One of my favorites is the blue and white 1936 Harley EL. I have always had a soft spot for Knuckleheads, which is one of the best-looking American motorcycles ever produced. I rode my ’36, which is a first year Knuck that runs as good as it looks, on the first Motorcycle Kickstart Classic last year.

I agreed to show my ’36 at a local high-profile car event and wanted it in the best possible condition — mechanically and cosmetically. The first thing I did was make sure the bike would start and run well as I was planning on riding to the event (we don’t need no stinkin’ trailers!). As expected, it fired right off on the first kick (gotta love that!) and I rode it a few miles to get everything up to operating temperature. Then I rode over to a gas station to top off the gas tanks.

I find many people are attracted to classic motorcycles and like to ask questions about them. And most owners are happy to answer questions about their pride and joy. This was the case at the gas station where a number of people walked over to admire the bike. Two of them asked if they could take photos with their cellphone cameras. One of them, I didn’t catch his name, was obviously fascinated by the bike and admitted he rode a Harley, too. We chatted for a few minutes, and I asked him if he read American Iron Magazine. He said he did, and I told him I’m the editor-in-chief. He stared at me and finally said, “Wait, you’re Buzz?” He told me he thought my bike looked familiar, and said he had just read about the first Motorcycle Kickstart Classic and thought the bike looked great in the photos.

He told me he was a truck driver here in Connecticut and that his subscription to American Iron Magazine had just expired. Meeting me and seeing the Knuck motivated him to resubscribe. I thanked him for his support. His buddy, also a Harley rider, asked me if I was also involved in Motorcycle Bagger, which he subscribed to. I told him we publish three motorcycle magazines — American Iron Magazine, Motorcycle Bagger, and RoadBike — right here in Connecticut.

After a nice visit with these two, I headed back to my house, where I spent the next couple of hours cleaning and prepping the bike for the show. I lubed the chain, checked the tire pressure, adjusted the foot clutch rod, and conditioned the leather bags and saddle, and then I washed and waxed the motor­cycle, top to bottom, front to back. When I was done, the old Knucklehead looked great. I wonder if that is why it rained all that night and into the next morning when I rode it to the show?

Motorcycle Cannonball 2012 & Team American Iron T-Shirt
the first motorcycle cannonball endurance ride was in 2010. Many of our readers told me they wished they could have seen some of the action and ridden along with us. Well, you have another chance in September. We will be riding pre-1930 motorcycles 3,800 miles from New York to San Francisco. See page 122 for the route and dates, or go to

I’d like to invite you to be an honorary member of the Team American Iron Support Staff. For $20, you can buy our official T-shirt featuring my 1929 Harley on the front and #15, my competitor’s number, on the back. Please visit GreaseRag.com or call Rosemary at 203/425-8777 x114.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.

Buzz Kanter

New Year With Lots of Motorcycle Events

We are proud to be presenting the all-new Ultimate Dealer Bike Show at the American V-Twin Dealer Show.

Every February, motorcycle dealers, parts manufacturers, and distributors take a few days off work to meet in the heartland of America. We brave the winter cold and snow to gather at Advanstar’s annual Dealer Expo in downtown Indianapolis. This is where many of the newest products and services are revealed to the industry and the motorcycle press. And 2012 should have even greater significance to our readers as Advanstar is launching the American V-Twin Dealer Show inside its long-running powersports event.

The bad news is that, unless you work in the powersports industry, you can’t get into the show, which is closed to the general public. The good news is that our team will be there, covering the event and showcasing the most exciting news and products in print, on our Facebook page, and on www.AIMag.com.

We are proud to be presenting the all new Ultimate Dealer Bike Show at the American V-Twin Dealer Show. In addition to sharing many of the best new products, we will photograph and feature some of the more interesting motorcycles. The bikes in this show are dealer-built customs from around the world, so we are curious to see what cool rides will show up.

If you are a motorcycle dealer or work for one — franchise or independent — this custom bike show is a great chance to showcase your work. Call my pal Bob Kay at 919/886-5075 for more details or to enter. And, remember that our editors will be picking several bikes from this dealer-only show to feature in this magazine.

Motorcycle Events for 2012
While the new year is just that, a new year, we are already making plans for the 2012 motorcycle events we will be attending. We can’t attend all the events we’d like to, or we’d never be able to produce American Iron Magazine every month or to increase our Motorcycle Bagger from six to nine issues in 2012. Here’s a brief list of some of the events we’ll be part of:

American V-Twin Dealer Show: The motorcycle trade show in Indianapolis in February.

Daytona Beach Bike Week: A must-attend event for us every year. It marks the start of another year for riding. Plus, we are usually suffering from cabin fever and need to leave the snow of New England for some sunshine.

Motorcycle Kickstart Classic: Our first one in October was so popular that we’re going to do it again and perhaps add a second ride in another part of the country so others can join us on this two-day ride for vintage motor­cycles.

Sturgis Bike Rally: Another must-attend deal for our crew. We love the craziness in Sturgis and riding the amazing Black Hills.

Motorcycle Cannonball: After the first one, I figured I was done with cross-country rides on antique motorcycles. But I’ve signed up again, this time for pre-1930 motorcycles. The two-week ride from Newburgh, New York to San Francisco starts Friday, September 7. Info at www.MotorcycleCannonball.com.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.

Buzz Kanter  
American Iron Magazine

MOTORCYCLE NEWS: Motorcycle Kickstart Classic Spring 2012 Announced

Motorcycle Kickstart Classic 2011 at Wheels Through Time

The first Motorcycle Kickstart Classic in 2011 was a huge success. So much so that, in response to the strong demand, we are announcing the next Motorcycle Kickstart Classic in May 2012. Organized by American Iron Magazine, RoadBike magazine and Wheels Through Time, it is a 2-day ride through some of the most stunning roads and mountains in North Carolina.

While the Motorcycle Kickstart Classic celebrates vintage motorcycles, it is open to all makes, models and years of motorcycles. Electric start bikes must ride at the back of the group (to catch and pick up any parts that fell off the older bikes)

The event officially starts with a Welcome Dinner for all registered riders and passengers May 16 at Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley, NC. The next morning we roll out of the museum and ride about 200 miles to finish the first day at Crossroads Harley-Davidson in Wilkesboro, NC for a welcome party and bike show. The registered riders and passengers are invited to a special dinner and discounted hotel rooms near the dealership.

Classic motorcycle heaven? No just the Motorcycle Kickstart Classic crew having fun.

Next morning (May 18) we leave from Crossroads Harley at 9 AM and ride about 85 miles to the AMCA Southern National Rally in Denton, NC for a world class antique swapmeet, bike show and more. The registered Motorcycle Kickstart Classic riders and passengers will have special dedicated parking and are invited to participate in the antique motorcycle parade on Saturday May 19.

This event is limited to the first 100 motorcycles and riders to register.

Registration costs $100 per person (rider or passenger) which includes dinner Wednesday and Thursday nights, an event T-shirt, event stickers, and on the road support vehicles. The Motorcycle Kickstart Classic is a rain or shine event!

The registration form will be available shortly. But if you can’t wait, please send your name, address, email, shirt size and $100 check (to TAM Communications) to American Iron Magazine, ATTN Kickstart Classic, 1010 Summer St., Stamford, CT 06905.

This event is sponsored by Wrench, Ride, Repeat tm, American Iron Magazine, RoadBike and Wheels Through Time.

Real World Harleys & Remembering 9/11

As motorcycle riders, we can choose to focus on our differences or our similarities. We have many choices in what we ride and how we view our riding style. Bagger, chopper, or bobber? Softail, Dyna, or Sportster? Stock or custom? Shiny and new or rusty and old?

As the editors of this magazine, every few years our team stops what we’re doing to look at what is popular with Harley riders. We are curious about what is hot, what was hot, and what might be hot in the future. Then we adjust the contents of this magazine to reflect the trends. A few years ago, the hot ticket was the long-fork, fat-rear-tire, big-buck choppers. But things have changed. And now they are seldom seen on the scene.

Traveling around the US, we are more likely to find low-cost customs, baggers, and bobbers. As you read through this issue, you might note the changes we have begun to make here: more real-world motorcycles, tech, and how-to articles. And we’d like to share more of our readers’ photos and
stories. That includes you!

September 11, 2001
There are tragic events and dates that stand out for every generation. For my parents’ generation it might have been Pearl Harbor or when JFK was shot. But for all Americans, September 11, 2001 will stand out as the date that changed everything and made it very clear that our country’s safety is not assured. It’s hard to believe that the terrorist attacks on New York, Washington, DC, and Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, were a full decade ago this month.

Each of us will remember this terrible event in our own way, and there are a number of commemorative motor­cycle rides that we encourage you to join. We have listed three of them in this issue. As the America’s 911 Foundation web site (Americas911.Ride.org) states, we need to remember “the heroes, volunteers, and victims who lost their lives on September 11, 2011, and since.” I can’t attend any of the organized rides, but this September 11, I will proudly strap an American flag to my Harley and, at 8:46 in the morning (when the first plane hit the North Tower), will join everyone here on the East Coast for a moment of reflective silence.

Motorcycle Kickstart Classic
Got a kickstart motorcycle? We are teaming up with Wheels Through Time (WheelsThroughTime.com) and Barber (BarberMotorsports.com) museums for the first Motorcycle Kickstart Classic. This two-day, 350-mile ride is open to all makes, models, and years of motor­cycles, but electric-start-only bikes have to ride in the back. We leave from Maggie Valley, North Carolina, the morning of Thursday, October 6, for Panhead City (Panhead­City.com) in Rome, Georgia, for an overnight party (there is free camping available). Friday morning, we will roll to the Barber Motorsports museum and racetrack for the Barber Motorsports Vintage Festival. Please make sure you and your motorcycle are up for a ride like this and don’t forget to bring your camera. Hope you join us.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun, Buzz Kanter.

Story as published in the October 2011 issue of American Iron Magazine.