Motorcycle Cannonball Day 3 Team American Iron
Started out warm and dry. Paul (1925 Harley JE), Buzz (1936 Harley VLH), Pat (1929 Harley JD) and Jim Petty (1927 Indian Chief) rolled out together heading for almost 250 planned miles to Chattanooga, TN. Bright sun, mild breeze and great roads. But not all day.
Lots of issues with getting Pat’s bike to start, and once it did we didn’t want to let it stall or turn off. Before the first stop (free ice cream at a local Dairy Queen along the way) Jim Petty dropped off with a broken rear brake stay on his Chief (which does not have front brakes). Then Pat’s bike gave more issues, which we diagnosed as a bad coil. Fortunately Jon Neuman (Numo) had one and gave it to Pat. We spent better than an hour installing the coil and dialing it in.
We (Pat, Paul and Buzz) left DQ and it the road. At about the 55 mile mark Buzz’s battery died. Paul insisted Pat continue with our new friend and American Iron Magazine reader Greg Allen when Paul and Buzz swap out to a fresh battery. Battery swapped in about 10 minutes and we were back on the road but already almost an hour behind schedule. So we skipped lunch and rode hard to try and make up for the lost time. Shortly after catching most of the other Motorcycle Cannonball riders (who had eaten lunch) my second battery died as we coasted into a gas station. Make a long story short, Paul rode away to find a battery for me and came back with a huge lawn mower battery and some wire. We installed it in my saddlebag and hard wired it to my ignition. This took well over an hour getting us very late.
Then, in our excitement we turned right instead of left and rode more than 20 miles off coarse before realizing what we had done, Then 20 miles back and we were REALLY late. Paul and I rode well over our usual speeds. A half hour later we find Pat on the side of the road. His oil drain plug had fallen out of the Harley and we was whittling down a stick to wedge in and keep the oil in his engine. We approved and took off to let him finish his woodworking.
We got to an hour out of Chattanooga when it started to rain. Paul and I got on our rain gear and hot it hard. By the time we got to Chattanooga the rain had stopped and we saw another Cannonballer on the side of the road. We stopped to see if we could be of help but we did not have what he needed. By the time we rolled into the end of the day Paul and I were at least a half hour late and we were told we would be penalized even though we rode the entire distance (and then some). An hour or more later the chase truck pulled in quite full, including our pal Jim Petty’s beautiful Indian Chief.
Once at Coker Tires, we diagnosed my problem as a blown regulator. We checked on the generator is fine and the batteries should be too.
Cannonballer Doug Feinsod’s mechanic Perry Ruiter was able to figure it all out and swap out the damaged regulator for a fresh one. Thanks Perry and thanks Doug for letting him help us out. In the meantime Cris got her 1930s VL rebuilt with parts from pal Dale Walksler and back on the road for tomorrow.
End of Day 3 results. 101 bikes registered. Paul , Buzz and Pat all made the full miles but were docked for coming in late. Latest ranks are: Paul #64, Buzz #65, Pat #75 and Cris #94.