UPDATE: 2016 Cannonball Run Starts Tomorrow; Now 120 Confirmed Entries

Erwin George "Cannonball" Baker, at the end of one of his famous cross-country rides.
Erwin George “Cannonball” Baker, at the end of one of his famous cross-country rides.

A reported 120 riders are in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in preparation for tomorrow’s start of the 2016 Cannonball Run. This historic endurance ride for pre-1916 antique motorcycles will include riders from across the globe, and will be watched by the world as vintage motorcycles of all marques tackle an arduous coast-to-coast route across America. The entire route will include less than 100 miles of interstate highway–a good thing, as these machines were never designed for extended stretches of high speeds. Top speeds average 60 mph, and breakdowns will occur.

A week into the event, riders will have a day of rest, repairs and festivities, in the well-known Wild West-era cattle town of Dodge City, Kansas, on September 18. After a total of some 3,304 miles, the ride is slated to conclude on Sunday, September 25, in Carlsbad, California.

Read our coverage of the Sisters’ Centennial Ride commemorating the 1916 coast-to-coast ride of sisters Augusta and Adeline Van Buren.


During the MCR event, participants will ride vintage pre-1916 motorcycles such as Henderson, Indian, Triumph, Harley-Davidson, JAP, Excelsior, BSA, Thor and others. According to ride founder Lonnie Isam, Jr., the event is a timed test of both the rider’s endurance and the roadworthiness of their respective machines as they navigate America’s back roads through some of the most scenic areas of the country.

“This route is going to be a challenge, and the bikes from this generation really don’t get ridden that much so there will still be some rebuilding going on along the run,” Isam shared. “We’ll cover some of the best riding areas in the country. It’s going to be a difficult trip. We’ll have long days and tough terrain. I suspect that even the most seasoned rider will find this run challenging.”


Steve Rinker, one of the 2016 Cannonball Run participants, and his 1916 Indian Power Plus.
Steve Rinker, one of the 2016 Cannonball Run participants, and his 1916 Indian Power Plus.

While organizers and MCR Course Master John Classen are still working out the final details, it’s clear that the second week of the event will be grueling as riders make their way across the western states to Carlsbad. Throughout the run, according to Classen, the spectacular scenery will awe participants as they pilot their machines along several picturesque national parks, monuments, memorials and museums.

The 2016 Motorcycle Cannonball Run’s roster includes past winner Hans Cortese from South Africa and world-traveling rider personality Doug Wothke. Both will be joining the Cannonball again, as will bike builder Shinya Kimura, Bill Rodencal, Victor Boocock and several others. Each has their own amazing story to tell and is anxious to tackle this year’s route through 15 states to arrive at the Grand Finish in Carlsbad.

Complete information about the Motorcycle Cannonball Run, including route details and some rider profiles, is available at www.motorcyclecannonball.com.


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