The Motorcycle Cannonball II

Round Two of the Ultimate Antique Bike Endurance Event

By Michael Lichter, Photography by Michael Lichter

Which reminds us, fun and games aside, the Motorcycle Cannonball is still a competitive event. Brad Wilmarth ran the #1 plate earned by winning the 2010 Motorcycle Cannonball on the very same 1913 single-speed Excelsior he was riding this year. Like his bike, Wilmarth's approach to the Cannonball was simpler than most. His support team consisted of just his nephew Ted in a small pickup truck. At the end of each day's ride, they would go through the bike in the hotel parking lot doing regular maintenance and making any repairs that needed to be done. There never seemed to be any rush, just the same cool manner with which Wilmarth rode. This seemingly uncompetitive person once again stayed on-target and took the overall win of the Motorcycle Cannonball II. Accolades go to him for winning the Cannonball twice, both times riding the oldest bike in this run, logging more than 7000 miles in total on this 1913 machine.

Of the near 70 bikes that started, 19 covered every single bumpy mile. Two more were shy by just 6 miles, and a total of 41 bikes ran more than 3000 miles. These are impressive numbers for antique bikes that most collectors would only take off their pedestals for the occasional parade.

I'm still exhausted from the long hours and day after day of hardly sleeping. But if the phone rings, I'll be there for Cannonball III. And I'll do everything within my power to encourage younger people to participate and keep this dream alive. There is nothing more immediate and gratifying than seeing these old machines running across the country. Will the Motorcycle Cannonball continue for a third running? That's up to Lonnie Isam, Jr., the man who first dreamed the dream that became the Motorcycle Cannonball. This much I know-if the event returns in 2014, I will be there. Maybe you will be, too?

By Michael Lichter
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