Motorcycle Cannonball had a two-hour stop on Sept. 15 at Cox’s Double Eagle Harley-Davidson in Pinehurst before leaving for Myrtle Beach. The endurance tour began with 88 participants and was at 83 in Pinehurst.
According to director Jason Sims, the day began with 70, and some probably straggled in later. Some were waiting on mail-ordered parts, and some were working on repairs.
The theme for 2021 is “Border to Border,” with the route starting on the U.S. side of the Canadian border in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and proceeding 3,715 miles south, ending at South Padre Island, Texas, just north of the Mexican border. This 15-day endeavor is extremely challenging as riders endure fatigue, mental exhaustion, cold, heat, elevations, and all the ferocious elements of Mother Nature, not to mention the demands of keeping their ancient machines in running order.
A lone rider drives up for gas as part of Motorcycle Cannonball’s stop at Cox’s Double Eagle Harley-Davidson in Pinehurst on Sept. 15.
Riders navigate the course of the Cannonball with the assistance of paper maps (no GPS routing allowed), and they meet up with support crews only when they reach each day’s final destination.
To be a participant, the rider’s bike must be earlier than 1930, according to Kanjana Kankhuntod, 40, who prefers her nickname, AA. She has a 1928 Indian 101 Scout she purchased five years ago.
“My boss nominated me,” AA said about being chosen to ride. “I had the motor rebuilt after I learned I was chosen to ride.”
AA works in marketing at Indian Motorcycle in Springfield, Massachusetts.
“The challenge is keeping the engine running steady. You are tired after race-late night, early morning. You pick up route and force yourself to do it every day,” AA said.
Jared Rinker was among the participants. In the below video, Rinker explains the Motorcycle Cannonball tour.
Rinker has a 1928 Indian with mostly original parts.
“Built out of pieces, mostly from swap meets,” Rinker said.
It took him two years to gather the parts and has had it running for two years.
Maryland resident, Panhead Pat, was excited to ride this year. In the below video, Panhead Pat talks shop with enthusiast Ricky Johnson, of Sanford.
Panhead Pat is considered the lead mechanic by other participants. He owns and operates Cycle Works in Maryland.
“Panhead Pat has been my name for forty-five years,” Pat said.
In the video, he talks about the average speed on the endurance trail at 40 to 50 mph. Pat said the fastest he has been on a Harley is 163 mph and that set a record.
“It was an eighty cubic inch Evolution,” Pat said.
The 80 cubic inch Harley Davidson engine was made from 1985 to 1999.
Pat said his biggest challenge on the endurance tour was being ready mechanically, logistics, and basically, the entire race. There is a trailer with parts and supplies supporting the tour.
Tim Burns is a retired heating and air contractor from Oregon. He has a private museum with 42 antique motorcycles. His oldest is 1910, and the newest is 1960.
Tim Burns talks antique motorcycles on Sept. 15 at Cox’s Double Eagle Harley-Davidson in Pinehurst.
Burns said most drivers are mechanics, and one is both a dentist and mayor in his hometown.
A local Whispering Pines enthusiast drove his 1958 Triumph Tiger Cub for Motorcycle Cannonball participants to enjoy.
Gerald Pacholke, of Whispering Pines, poses with his 1958 Triumph Tiger Cub Sept. 15 at Cox’s Double Eagle Harley-Davidson in Pinehurst.
“I am not a participant,” Gerald Pacholke, also known as JD, said. “I rode in the1959 sixty-five-hundred mile Jack Pine Enduro in Michigan and took fourth place.”
Pacholke painted the aftermarket windshield when he was 16.
“The Motorcycle Cannonball is the most difficult antique endurance run in the world,” according to the club’s website.
Feature photo: Kanjana Kankhuntod talks about the tour on Sept. 15 at Cox’s Double-Eagle Harley Davidson in Pinehurst.
~Article, photos, and videos by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Stephanie M. Sellers. Contact her at [email protected].