We finished up Gareth 38 El a week or two ago. This bike came to us as a red ulh it has been quite a journey to transform it into a black knucklehead. It was worth the effort. I am very happy with this one
Here's a shot of my friemd paul riding his 37ulh. We got that bike runming the dame day as the el. It's pretty fast and tracks perfectly straight I'll do a post on Paul's bike in a day or two
Our team crossed the finish line in Tacoma Washington on sunday. I am very happy with how the bikes performed across the country. My dad missed 50 miles and Scott missed 120 on my bike. There were 32 bikes with perfect scores, which is amazing. This was the first cannonball that I did support in. My son, wife and I followed everyone across the country and did mechanical work. It was a blast. Britney wants to ride in the next one in 2016. I am not sure if I'll rode or do support. Either way it will be a lot of fun to participate in the best antique motorcycling event in the world
The Seattle cossacks performed at the Lemay car museum which was the official end to the 2014 cannonball. The cossacks are a motorcycle stunt team who have have been together for 75 years. They all ride hand shift Harleys
Man I man. I can't believe that we are already on stage 14. Our bikes have covered a lot of miles and have not had any real problems or issues. We had to tighten up the neck bearings on my dad's 36 and I rotated the tires on my 36. The rear tire had 7 thousand miles on it and was getting a little thin. It still has some meat left to it . I will put a new one on before I ride the bike back to south Dakota. This is the first big trip that we have used all state tires. They are really nice and wear well. I got stuck in the rain on them one day and they did great when compared to other vintage tires . We got Jasons vl rebuilt and running again. He is out of the game in points and decided to continue riding our spare bike and having fun rather than beat his head against the wall with his old flathead. Over 30 percent of the entrants have broken down, given up or fallen out of the range of points needed to finish. This cannonball has been the most brutal one yet. Lonnie is going to do a 16 and earlier run in 2016 which is awesome. The days will be shorter and there will be fewer entrants.
Anyways here are some photos from the last few days.
We stopped by a nice little town called junction city and had a rest day. I took my dad's hubs apart and inspected them. They were pretty good. Check out the period correct bike lift
We hung out with the owner of the local dealership and talked old bikes with him. He has been a dealer for 50 years. It was pretty cool to talk about how motorcycling had changed over the last five decades.
Thanks to all of our sponsors that chipped in to help.us out on the cannonball. The run has been a blast and we have met so many cool.people.across the country
Jasons family came to hang.out amd.cheer him.on.
Lock is still working on finding the right tool.to. make his teeth come in.
We stopped In Colorado at David uhls studio. He threw a great dinner for everyone brittney signed a couple prints of Davids Sturgis painting that has brit and I on it.
The fifth and sixth day of the cannonball.have been packed full.of action. The riders made it nearly 600 miles and crossed into Missouri from Tennessee. Here is a photo Scott sent me of a typical cannonball gas stop. I love how the gas station is jam packed with vintage bikes. I wonder what the locals think when a swarm of leaky old smokey bikes invade their town and leave as quickly as they came.
My bike made all of the miles on the fifth day but unfortunately it shit the bed on the sixth day. The clutch was out of adjustment it ate a couple condensers and basically fell.out of adjustment. My dad traded bikes with Scott and tried to fix it on the road. It started raining and he threw in the towel and had it loaded on the sweep truck. My bike missed out on 125 miles and lost its perfect score up until this point. This news bummed me out. Britney, lock and I are driving the support truck all good with our friend Paul from chicago. We stopped at a half dozen auto parts stores and bought all of the condensers and points that we could find and headed to the next town in missouri.
We got.to work on the bike as soon as the truck dropped it off. I changed the points, condenser and spark plugs and fired the el up. It still ran eratically. I shut it off and checked the pushrods and discovered that the rear exhaust pushrod was a little snug. I loosened it up and it fired right up and ran great. Scott is back on it today and he shouldn't have any problems making the distance
Here is a picture if my dad with his bike. It has done really well except for missing 45 miles because of a flat tire. I changed the oil a few days ago and will do it again when the bike gets 2000 miles on it
This is Thomas from Germany. He is a Harley dealer in Germany and shipped his 1916 Harley over for the cannonball run. He has been doing really well and been tearing up the roads on his nice bike
Unfortunately our friend Kelly from Kansas had a minor crash on his Henderson deluxe he bent the rim and broke his kickstand. He thinks he may have cracked a rib. He took a half hour break and rode the bike the other 150 miles to the finish. Kelly is a super guy and has one of the best attitudes out of anyone on the run.
I woke up this morning and checked the motorcycle cannonball Facebook page and saw this sad image of the first bike to ever burn.to.the ground on the cannonball runs. The bike is a 28 jd and unfortunately very damaged. The good.news is that the rider is safe and sound
Scott has been doing a good job of sending me photos and updates while riding my bike across America. Yesterday's ride went from Chattanooga Tennessee to Clarksville Tennessee five of the seven 36 els rode together and got all the miles of the day.
Here is a picture of my friend Victor. He is the oldest rider on the cannonball and is also on the oldest bike which is a 1914 Harley twin. He rode on the 2012 cannonball on the same bike until he had a clincher tire blow out and get wrapped around his frame. He broke his shoulder and flew home. He decided to run drop center rims on his bike this year.
This 1916 Harley is participating in the run. The owner and rider is named Thomas and he is from germany. He is super enthusiastic and doing really well with the run. His bike has the original clincher rims and pretty much everything else
This 36 rl is being piloted by buck from texas. It's a nice complete bike that was restored in the 70s. Buck went through it to prep it for the run and has been tweaking and adjusting it to make it better on the road. He is a determined guy and a lot of fun to be around
The third day of the cannonball run.went from Columbus Georgia to Chattanooga Tennessee. it was 240 miles and our bikes did great. Scott and my dad got every mile and my bike still has a perfect score. Scotts place on the score sheet is 29 which is pretty cool . here is a photo of my dad at the start of the race with little lock
Scott took some photos of the ride and sent them to my phone. Here is a pic of Ken McManus. He is riding a 36 El on the run. It is 10 or 20 numbers earlier than mine. It is a really nice bike that his son Matt built. Matt McManus is on the run too
My dad's 36 is jamming out and running perfectly. Unfortunately he is 40 points from a perfect score because of the flat tire that he got on the first day.
Jason is riding our 39 El since his vl is broke down he is not eligible for points while riding a different bike but at least he gets to enjoy the route. And scenery
When we arrived at Chattanooga we used the time we had available to tear into Jasons vl and do an assessment on the damage caused by under oiling. We got the front piston unstuck and we were surprised to discover that the bottom end and rods were OK. We overnight shipped some new pistons valves and gaskets to our next stop and will hopefully have the vld on the road this week.
The first day ofthe cannonball is always a challenge. Lots of people from all over the world work for two years to get their bikes done and sorted put as best as they can in order to prepare from going from the Atlantic to the pacific. My dad's bike hit a pot hole a 100 miles into the run and popped the tube. Luckily he had it hauled to the hosted dinner at interstate cycles in lake city Florida and we were able to switch the tube out in good time.
Our team mate Jason had a catastrophic melt down with his 34 vl. It was under oiling and got jot and stuck the front piston. I have never seen a piston get this hot. Luckily we brought a spare 39 knucklehead for him to ride while we wait for parts and rebuild his bike in the parking lots in the next few stops.
Lake city Florida was a real treat. It pretty much rained the whole time that we were there. It rained so much that there were flash flood warnings the following morning. The route organizers told the riders to haul their bikes to the lunch stop and start from that point. We didn't have room in our rig for 4 bikes and all of our luggage so Scott and I rode the 36 els to the lunch stop. The rain cleared up in 30 miles and it was a lot of fun the rest of the day. My dad rode the red and black bike the rest of the day While Scott got got another perfect score.
We ran into hamster Randy at our first gas stop. He rode the same orange jd on the last run. He is a great guy.
Today is the first day of the 2014 cannonball run. This year's event is open to bikes made in 1936 and earlier. My dad is riding his 36 El and the winner of the cannonball golden ticket is riding my 36 el. We also have a friend from rapid city on our team who is riding a 1934 vl. I'll be doing updates on the site and trying to chronicle the trials and tribulations of our team while we make our way to Washington. Britney lock and I are driving the support vehicle and doing mechanical support.. it was a ton of work to get this far and we are only at the starting line.
Here is a picture of my bike crossing the start line. Scott is is an ex marine and super disciplined. I think that he is going to do really well on the run and make a lot of miles.
Here is my dad doing what he does best-- smiling and riding motorcycle
This is the only photo that I got.of.jasons bike. He had some mechanical problems and got.loaded up on the trailer. I'll get to work on this bike all night and try to sort it out. Wish us luck and come visit along the way if the cannonball run goes to a state near you
The main reason that brittney, lock and I went to Sturgis was so that brittney could race her 1923 Harley at the first annual Pappy Hole classic race. The promoter invites Jim and brittney to put on an exhibition race for the Harley versus a Indian race brittney and Jim were flying on Tuesday. Unfortunately the track was heavily rained on that night and the board track bikes were not able to.run at safe speeds on Wednesday.
Their bikes were running 30 second half mile laps, the pros were running 25 second laps. All of the new bike guys were shocked at how fast the old bikes were running. Thanks to all of our sponsors, the track promoters and the people that showed up to see the races. It was a huge honor to be a part of this event and see my wife and friends race on the original track that racers ripped around on at the first Sturgis.
Brittney did an interview on south Dakota public radio and talked about racing the oldest bike in Sturgis and how much fun old motorcycles.
We got to hang out with a bunch of friends and family. We introduced lock to aunt Loretta and he got.to see my uncle Ricky again.
Britney lock and I are heading over to Sturgis for a few days to hang out with friends and do fun stuff with old motorcycles. The bike that we built for born free 6 is in Mike LICHTER'S motor cycles as art exhibit this year. It will be at the Buffalo chip all week long on display.
Here is a pic of the bike before final set up. Mike and Paul do a great job with arranging a diverse group of bikes Around a cool concept every year. Paul arranged to get barn job at the show which is my all time favorite bike. I can't wait to show it to my son.
Britney and Jim will be putting on a cool exhibition run on their board track bikes on Tuesday and Wednesday at the pappy hoel vintage classic race. Brit will be on her 23 and Jim will be racing his 28 indian. It should be a neat experience.
Here is a picture of David Uhls official Sturgis painting for this year. The bike is a 1939 knucklehead that we built for a friend six or eight years ago. My friend Joe took some pictures of me on the bike way back then. We took the pictures of Britney and my sister last summer. David pieced the images together into a really cool piece. I ordered a print and can't wait to see it in real life.
We had a great time in Wauseon. Britney raced and did really well. We bought a bunch of great parts and a bike and lock hot to meet a bunch of my friends and people I consider family. Here is the third photo in his monthly knucklehead series. He is 2 months old and sixteen pounds. He is really starting to be aware of his surroundings and smiling all the time
Brittney, lock and I headed west late last week for born free 6. Here is a picture of us with the bike I built for the show. This was the most challenging build that I have ever done. I did a lot of the work ay friends shops while Brittney and I were living in Minnesota and waiting for our son to be born. It's
Born free is the best show in the country and it brings some of the best bikes in the world into one place. Here is a pic of us with our friend sin from Japan and his bike. The bike is built around a koslow motor. Andy koslow worked at excelsior and helped develop their ohv top ends. When excelsior went out of business in 31 he went on to make his own motors And top ends.
We also drew the two winners for our cannonball golden ticket project that we have been working on. The first place prize is an all expense paid trip to go on the cannonball and ride my bike from Florida to Washington along with a 100 other old bike enthusiasts. Scott from the southern us won the first prize, and will have a great time riding an El coast to coast
The second place prize is an all expense paid trip to go to Milwaukee and visit the Harley Davidson museum and give a behind the scenes look into the archives. Kevin from Canada was drawn for that experience.
Thanks to everyone that signed up and participated. It's great to see how many people are excited about old motorcycles and riding them.
In Two weeks we will pick the winner for the cannonball golden ticket project. The cannonball golden ticket is an opportunity for someone to win an all expense paid trip to go ride my 1936 knucklehead on the 2014 cannonball. My dad will be riding his 36 el and Brittney, my son and I will be running chase truck and supporting both riders. Harley Davidson stepped up and donated a second place prize for someone from any where in the world to go and visit the Harley Museum and get a behind the scenes look at the archives.
Here is a pic of my bike from the maternity photos that I shot with Brittney a few months ago. I have owned it for over ten years and ridden it and pushed it to its limits. It is the oldest Harley Davidson to complete an Iron Butt Run, and the oldest bike to do one with a passenger. I am comfortable in saying that it is the only bike that will be running the cannonball in September that has been ridden 24 hours straight and gone 1100 miles in less that 24 hours. Even though a 36 el is over 75 years old, it performs like a new bike. and holds up really well. who ever wins the Cannonball Golden Ticket, will have 2 of the best weeks of their life.
Surprisingly, I have not had very many people sign up for the a chance to win either prize. I expected people to be doing back flips over this project, but apparently it is difficult for someone to take 3 weeks off from their job. This is a factor that I didn't consider when I came up with the project, because I wouldn't think twice about quitting a job to go ride a knucklehead from Florida to Washington state. The odds of winning are really good for the few people who have signed up, and the odds are good for anyone else that has been waiting till the last minute to sign up.
There are still 2 weeks to enter online and throught Mail, Go to www.cannonballgoldenticket.com to find out more on how you can win the trip of a life time and the ultimate old bike experience.