Motorcycle Cannonball Run Readies for Its Third U.S. Coast-to-Coast Endurance Ride

Riding a pre-1916 motorcycle in the 2010 Motorcycle Cannonball.
Riding a pre-1916 motorcycle in the 2010 Motorcycle Cannonball.

Organizers of the Motorcycle Cannonball Run are gathering momentum to hit the back roads with a pack of 100 adventurous souls on vintage motorcycles for a ride across America in September 2014.

For the run’s third iteration, the run’s route master, John Classen, has laid out a Southeast-to-Northwest course to be made in 17-days beginning September 5, 2014. The event requires that participants ride antique pre-1937 motorcycles.

The estimated 4,100-mile transcontinental ride is currently scheduled to start at Daytona Beach in Florida. The ride will utilize non-Interstate roadways as much as possible, and will conclude on the West Coast 2 1/2 weeks later in Tacoma, Washington, after taking in some of America’s most scenic areas. Entrants will appreciate one day of rest to be spent in Junction City, Kansas.

“We expect this to be the most challenging of our routes to date. We will be going coast-to-coast again, but it’s going to be a lot tougher this time,” said Lonnie Isam, Jr., promoter and owner of Jurassic Racing in Sturgis, South Dakota, “and it’s likely that some may not complete the ride. We’ll see more BMWs this time, and more of the big 4-cylinders, the Hendersons and Indians. The JDs will be back and it will be interesting to see how the VLs compete with them, so the Harleys will be fun to watch as will the Class I bikes (with engines smaller that 700 cc), which will have a very tough time completing the ride. We also have three bikes that will be over 100-years old, which will tackle the same course the bikes from the 1930s will be tackling, so it’s going to be really hard on those bikes going over the mountains. There should be plenty of drama along the way.”

Classen reports that a meticulously mapped-out route was chosen in order to avoid having the riders enter the interstates whenever possible.

“We’re counting on 12-hours of daylight,” Classen said, “with an average of 300-miles a day. Every rider will check in at the ending point one hour before sunset each evening to avoid wildlife and other after-dark safety issues. There are extreme mountain passes to contend with through some incredible scenery, but this will not be a simple course. I expect the riders will find this run inspiring.”

To date, the 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball Run has drawn riders from around the world. Entrants thus far come from Spain, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, South Africa, Poland, Ireland, Italy, Australia, Canada and the United States. Several riders from the prior two Cannonball runs will be returning to compete alongside the first-time entrants.

Complete information about the Motorcycle Cannonball Run is available at


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