The 2023 Motorcycle Cannonball
The 2023 Motorcycle Cannonball is currently taking place from September 7 to September 24, 2023. Participants are traveling 3,800 miles from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Oceanside, California.
The Motorcycle Cannonball is a challenging endurance event where riders and their antique motorcycles navigate a predetermined route across the US. It is held every two years, but due to the pandemic, it was rescheduled to odd-numbered years.
Dale's Wheels Through Time Museum has been involved since the first Cannonball in 2010. Matt Walksler shares his father's experience of participating in the inaugural event on a 1915 Harley in a video.
Although WTT is not officially participating in the 2023 Cannonball, Matt's friend Gary is riding a 1928 Harley-Davidson JD that Matt sold him in 2022 specifically for this competition.
In the video, viewers get a glimpse of the event's history, the challenges faced by riders, and the anticipation surrounding Gary's whereabouts. The mechanical strain of riding 300 to 400 miles a day on backroad courses designed by the organizers is evident, especially on these antique motorcycles.
Despite the excitement, concentration, and occasional worry, riders experience as they complete each leg of the journey, these vintage machines come with their own set of problems. Gary, for instance, had issues with his clutch throughout the Cannonball.
After many other riders had already arrived at the Wheels Through Time stop, Gary finally made it to the Museum. It was discovered that the clutch's single nut was missing, rendering the bike unable to continue. Matt promptly fixed the issue by installing a new nut and tightening it properly. He even rode a 1915 Harley to accompany Gary on the next leg of the Cannonball.
For daily updates on the 2023 Motorcycle Cannonball, the organizers are posting videos, photos, and written posts on the official event Facebook page. The Sources section will include a link to the page for the latest updates.
They are also sharing each day's scores as PDF files, allowing fans to track their favorite riders and motorcycles. As of Stage Nine, Gary Brace on his 1928 Harley-Davidson JD from WTT is currently in 25th place.
The majority of participants are riding antique Harley-Davidson and Indian motorcycles. In the top 25 rankings for Stage Nine, only four bikes are not Harleys or Indians.
For those curious, the exceptions are a 1917 Henderson G in third place, a 1926 Rudge Special Four-Four in tenth place, a 1929 Scott Flying Squirrel in eleventh place, and a 1924 Henderson Deluxe in twentieth place.
The current top two bikes are a 1909 Indian Single, the oldest bike in the competition, in first place, and a 1911 Harley-Davidson Single in second place, ridden by Todd Cameron and Dave Currier, respectively.
With seven stages remaining, it is still uncertain what will happen when these bikes reach the finish line in Oceanside, California on September 24, 2023. Stay tuned for updates.