Motorcycle Cannonball Stage 11 Team American Iron Successes & Problems
Stage 11 was wonderful and not. The night before team rider Paul Ousey and wrenches Steve Coe and Wheeze spent mopst of the night swapping engines in Paul’s 1925 Harley after he trashed the skirt of the front cylinder piston. At best they got 2 hours of sleep before Paul had to fire up and hit the trail with me (Buzz), Cris and Pat for a long ride of nearly 300 miles from Golden, CO to Springville UT.
We left in cool crisp mountain air with all four bikes running well. The morning ride was beautiful on fun roads and great scenery.
Rode through the Red Rock section of Utah with all 4 Team American Iron riders and Scott and Sharon Jacobs. We stopped for some photos and were later pulled over by the police so a fake train (on a truck) could drive by while making a Hollywood movie.
Later Paul and I pulled a head and rode by ourselves for a while to help break in Paul’s new engine. At one point, about 100 miles into the ride my engine lost power and started banging loudly. I pushed in the foot clutch, pumped 4 ounces of oil into the bottom end and coasted down hill for a hundred yards. Then I down shifted to 2nd, eased off the clutch and spin the engine over. Once it caught I let it run slowly to get the oils moving around hoping I had not done any serious damage. The knocking slowed down and was less loud. I rode it carefully for the next 20 miles until we got to lunch. I was worried I had done serious damage. At lunch I pulled the sparkplugs and discovered the front one had burned white, and the rear one was normal. In looking the bike over I discovered the primer cup on the front cylinder had come loose and created an air leak. Lucky I had not destroyed the engine.
I was able to ride the ike the rest of the 150+ miles to the end of the day to the amazing Legends Motorcycle Museum in Springville, UT with full miles and points.
After a long and often VERY hot day all four Team American Iron riders came in with full points. After Stage 11 the info is: 101 bikes registered and 2,714 miles covered. 32 bikes still running with full points. Buzz ranked #36 (with 22 deducytion points for arriving late one day), Paul ranked #55 (also with 22 points deducted), Cris ranked #68 and Pat ranked #74. Tomorrow is another long hot day on Motorcycle Cannonball.