Cannonball! Coast to Coast on a '28 Indian

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by rtwdoug, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. LeDakaR!

    LeDakaR! Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    445
    Location:
    route66moto.com San Francisco CA/ Austin, Texas
    :deal and :freaky
    you remind me of a good friend/mechanic/teacher advrider just lost
  2. Patrick46

    Patrick46 visionary

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,855
    Location:
    Oregon Coastline
    who would that be?? ^^^



    seems I'm outta the loop again
  3. DanEngels

    DanEngels Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    The Netherlands (Holland)
  4. miepiechief

    miepiechief Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Holland
  5. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,760
    Location:
    Alabamski Oblast, Redneckistan
    for all of y'all that sent me a msg wanting a cannonball shirt, they have been ordered, & I'll get them next week. Soon as I do, I'll send out PM's

    Thanks, Doug
  6. rgiroux

    rgiroux Invisible Man

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,431
    Location:
    Socal near the great 33
  7. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,760
    Location:
    Alabamski Oblast, Redneckistan
    ok...ok... jeez



    :lol3


    so I got to Newburgh, NY finally, & spent a couple days messin with the bike, helpin others with theirs, and just gettin to know everyone.
    Most of the guys were cool, some not so much (but later, even the uppity ones calmed down after a few days of riding)

    So we gathered at the Motorcyclepedia museum for the grand takeoff.
    This is an awesome place, its owned by the guy that has v-twin cycle, a harley aftermarket distributor, or 'taiwan ted' as he is also known.
    I felt like I helped to buy at least one of the bikes in here, as much $ as I have spent with v-twin over the years.
    Their wonderful parts have broken & left me stranded in russia, germany, armenia, iraq, turkey, bulgaria, russia again, etc.

    Great Stuff!

    anyhow, they gave us breakfast, then we all ran the gauntlet of wellwishers & hit the road

    today we go from newburgh ny to wellsboro, pa. 209 miles. short day to get the feel of how things are going. I knew how my bike rode, but I was the only one that rode to the start. Some guys trailered 100 miles from their house to get here :lol3
    and there were several fresh builds, with few if any break in miles. What a better way to break in a bike, right!

    alot of people showed up!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I got out of the melee, & out of town, the countryside was nice. I didnt stop much & take pics, rolling farmland is ok, but not really worth stopping for.
    I did pass Yasgur's farm, the sight of the great hippie uprising in '69.
    There was still an awful stench in the air....

    My friend Brian from Phoenix had one of the first breakdowns, so of course I stopped. He had burned a fuel line, was too close to the exhaust. no biggie, as I had a spare one & got him back on the road.

    [​IMG]

    I met up with jeff, who is an awesome artist. we ended up riding together the rest of the day.

    I took alot of pics at gas stops, as you will see. We always left them with oil puddles everywhere :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is Josh, from VA. He had emailed me about a month ago and said he wanted to do the c-ball, but didnt have a bike. But this 29 Indian was on craigslist. He wanted my advice if he should do it or not.
    I said that was the dumbest idea I had ever heard of, and its EXACTLY what I would do.
    So he did it.
    That'll teach him to ask MY advice!

    [​IMG]

    made it to Wellsboro in plenty of time.
    They have a start time, depending on the class you are in.
    and a finish time. They allow 4 15 minute gas stops, and an hour for lunch. I think the whole trip, I only sat down for lunch maybe twice.
    At the end of the day, theres an end time. if you are 45 minutes late, you start losing points.

    there were alot of people there to see us come in
    [​IMG]
  8. Beamer Bum

    Beamer Bum Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    357
    Location:
    Between Rides
    I know that a lot of inmates updated this thread while it happened, but I've been waiting for your report.:freaky
    Welcome back and keep it coming.:ear
  9. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,760
    Location:
    Alabamski Oblast, Redneckistan
    Day 2, from wellsboro pa, to sandusky, oh, 320 miles

    it was cloudy this morning, and the weather radar showed a big wall of storms heading our way. Looks like we were gonna get wet, and my magneto hates water.

    I had put up my tent behind the motel everyone was staying at. One good thing about motels, they usually keep the grass nice. I'm sure they would not approve of me camping on the lawn, but I was behind a big trailer, so they didnt see me.

    we all gathered in front of the hotel, & the groups headed out in 15 minute intervals.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    no GPS's are allowed, but they wouldnt help much anyhow. They gave us route sheets the night before, which could be taped together & put in a roll chart. I was too cheap to buy a touratech roll chart box, it was over 200 bucks, so I cut my sheets in receding lengths, and stuck em in the map pocket of my tankbag, with the longer ones on top. when I got to the end of that sheet, I pulled it out. Worked fine, and saved me some $.
    You do need a good speedometer tho, as the roll charts tell you how far it is between turns. I had installed a trail tech speedo which worked good, but then I saw a couple guys that had GPS speedos by Pyle. Its only a speedo, no mapping, but they were awesome. No wires, just needs a clear shot at the sky. I'm gonna get me one of those, as they can swap from bike to bike in seconds.
    This guy had built a roll chart out of an old etch a sketch. friggin brilliant!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    about an hour out, it started raining like a cow pissin on a flat rock.
    a mile later, the bike died like I turned it off.
    shit.
    this has always been the one bad thing of this bike, the magneto hates rain. I pulled the cap & tried to try it out. in the rain. its like herding cats, basically futile.
    Joe stopped to help, he is a volunteer, & rides along helping people when possible, or to do whatever needs done. great guy, we had become friends last year on the IMS tour, he works for J&P cycles.
    He had some grease, so I tried to seal it with that, & wrap a plastic bag over it to keep the water out.
    After about 300 kicks, I got it going again, & the rain wasnt so bad now. Rode about an hour to a town, & stopped for gas.
    It wouldnt restart.
    I dicked with it for an hour, drying & kicking, and it finally started.

    [​IMG]

    My idea after that was that if I dont turn it off, I dont have to start it. So I kept it running. gassed it up while running, ran into the woods to pee while running, etc. It kept chuggin along. finally the sun came out, I was glad to be past the rain. About 30 miles from cleveland, I ran into Paul, stopped along the road. His harley had quit, so I helped him with it for about an hour, but finally realized something in the timing had slipped, & we couldnt fix it with the tools we had. The chase trailer had shown up, so we loaded him up, and I tried to head out. damn bike wouldnt start. finally, after 30 minutes of kicking & wiping the water out of the mag, I got it to start.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Some genius had decided the best way to take old motorcycles to Sandusky was thru cleveland. on the interstate. with 10 miles of construction zone.

    it was fuckin scary!
    I'm doing 45-50, cars are doin 70+
    then when I get close to town, the traffic stopped. Wasnt moving. (turns out some chick had gone the wrong way on it, hit a couple cars head on, died, & the road was shut down)
    so I cant turn the bike off.
    and its getting way hot sitting.
    if I was anywhere else, I woulda split lanes. But I dont like ohio cops, & wasnt gonna risk it. I made it a couple miles in an hour. the bike is not happy.
    I realized that I wasnt gonna make the end checkpoint in time, and I didnt want to kill the bike. Plus, one of the chase trucks was next to me, so I said screw it, and put the bike in the truck.
    (later I found out that the check in time limit had been eliminated, due to the weather & traffic, but no one bothered to tell me this!)

    so the truck had 3 broken indians in it. Marcin from Poland had an oil problem the 1st day & seized a piston. Ian from England had a problem also, but I forget what happened.

    [​IMG]

    This guy from ADV tracked me down with my spot tracker. (sorry dude, I forget your name!) and helped us get the truck outta the traffic thru some back streets. *edit* I was just informed that his name is Chip. Thats what happens when I wait 3 months to do a damn ride report. Sorry!

    [​IMG]

    I was really unhappy with the routing on the highway, and was pretty vocal about it. I understand that the whole reason for sandusky, then north tomorrow was to go to the HD factory in Milwaukee for PR & butt kissing.
    They tried to say thats the only route. I called bullshit, pulled out a map, & pointed out several routes to the south that would have been much better.
    The guy that planned the whole route did a wonderful job, except for this. I cant imagine what it took to plan a 4k mile trip, turn by turn.
    Anyhow, this was pretty much my only complaint for the whole route
  10. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,760
    Location:
    Alabamski Oblast, Redneckistan
    day 3, Sandusky, OH to Milwaukee, WI, 300 miles

    I had pulled the mag cap off last night, hoping it would dry out during the night. I was up at dawn working on it, everything seems fine, & looked dry.
    Today was gonna suck, as we have to take a ferry boat across lake michigan, and HAVE to be there by 3:30, no exceptions.
    If you are lagging behind, you have to get in the trailer. If you miss the ferry, you are screwed.
    I dunno why they wouldnt let us leave early this morning, but I was hoping for the best.

    [​IMG]

    About 20 miles down the road, the bike started running on one cylinder.
    I pulled over, a plug wire had come loose, no biggie. I fixed it, bike wouldnt start.
    yep, still water in the mag. There was water sitting inside at the bottom, and the heat from the motor musta been turning it into steam, which rises, gets onto the rotor button, & makes it hard to start.

    ok, another day of not shutting the bike off I guess....

    I got a ways down the road, gassed up & kept going. it started running bad again, so I stopped to wipe out the mag.
    Got it started, another 20 miles, same deal.
    shit!
    the sweep trucks are right behind me. they say I wont make it to the ferry if I have to keep doing this.
    I hate it, but they are right. So, again, I load it into a truck. At least I will make the ferry!

    Joe was working on his BMW, its such a cool bike. one of the valve tappets broke, but he was able to get it going again. I really thought the BMW's would do the trip without any problems. those old ones are great bikes, smooth & pretty fast. Another BMW kept blowing head gaskets, finally they put 2 gaskets on, & the problem stopped.
    While we were here, another ADV guy found me from my spot tracker.
    that thing is dangerous! :lol3

    [​IMG]

    We came up on a wreck, Bill, on a Harley JD had a small suv turn in front of him, & he hit the side. He was a bit bruised up, but seemed ok, but went to the hospital to make sure. I took pics of the bike, but I cant find them....
    the front end was like a pretzel, fender mangled, hole punched in the tank.

    Bill met us in Milwaukee, stayed up all nite, borrowed a front end, JB welded the hole in the tank, & back on the road the next morning. He had to have other people start his bike for a couple days, as his whole thigh was a big bruise.
    I have alot of respect for him.

    We also stopped for another guy along the road, hid chain broke, and his master link was in his chase truck (chase trucks are not allowed to stop and help during the day, and are sent on a different route than the bikes)
    Anyone else can help, another rider, a passerby, or anyone but your crew.
    Well, I had a link, & Jim, who I was riding with had a link. But neither would fit his chain. But, with a file, and parts from the 2 links, I modified enough parts to get him back on the road. Of course a hammer was needed also....
    We followed him to the ferry, to make sure he made it ok.

    This is Buck, on a 20's BSA, as you see, they had us routed on yet ANOTHER interstate today. This one wasnt as bad, but still, the people were driving too fast, and we saw Buck almost get run over, so we got behind him.

    [​IMG]

    we got to the boat in time, it was a 4 hour ride across the lake.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    several of the Indian riders, Jeff, Josh, Steve & Marcin
    [​IMG]

    Mr Helpful, Joe Sparrow

    [​IMG]

    We got to the other side, and Jim's 25 Indian had broken something in the throttle, so we unloaded my bike, & loaded his. I'd left the mag cap off all day, & it fired right up. I missed the police escorted parade to the harley factory, so I asked a guy how to get there, he said 'follow me' & we took off.

    I had some milwaukee beauty queen pull up next to me as we rode thru town & holler 'get out of the left lane asshole!' (we were fixin to turn left)
    so I hollered back 'Alright BITCH!'
    she was not pleased. hahaha

    The museum parking lot was packed with people. I saw several friends of mine, & met alot of people who knew who I was. This has happened at almost every stop. I always try to talk to everyone, but sometimes there is just too much going on, so if you stopped to say hi, and I was busy, I apologize.

    [​IMG]


    They had free food, so I figured anytime I can get something free outta harley, I should take advantage of it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    people worked into the night on the bikes. Mine was doing ok, so I just hoped the mag would stay dry.

    [​IMG]

    Marcin was trying to get his indian back on the road

    [​IMG]
  11. Patrick46

    Patrick46 visionary

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,855
    Location:
    Oregon Coastline
    Well ALRIGHTY DOUG!!!

    Keep it comin' Dude!!! :clap :freaky :norton
  12. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,019
    Location:
    The Bluegrass
    Keep er' coming. Can't be too much Cannonball stuf ever !

    If the Discovery Channel would drop some of their dumber shows, pick two, they could run a show about the Cannonball , prep, the people, the bikes , history and the ride. no need for fake drama , just show anything to do with old bikes being ridden.
    Oh, I guess that'll never happen.
  13. zilla

    zilla Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,635
    Location:
    People's Republic Of Illinois
    [​IMG]


    These shirts???:rofl
  14. pierce

    pierce Aven'Tourer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,119
    Location:
    S'Cruz
    nah, they'd manage to eff it up with fake bogo drama and make it awful.
  15. BC Brian

    BC Brian Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    612
    Location:
    Fort Fraser BC
    Non-Navigatable GPS speedo with custom velcro mount

    [​IMG]
  16. Doc279

    Doc279 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    Maryville, TN
    I ENJOYED the hell out of this report!!!! I will be searching for the others from Doug.

    :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap
  17. motopat

    motopat Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks for getting back to this!
  18. SlipChip

    SlipChip Adventure Commuter

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,533
    Location:
    East of CleveOh
    Yeah, that was me! :wave Hi Ya Doug! No worries about the name, I am just as bad. If we had known that they tossed out the time limit I would have led you on side roads all the way to Sandusky.
    So, after it is all done, would you do another Cannonball? Do you think the organizers will do another one?
    Oh yeah, thanks again for letting us follow along with your Spot. That and Google maps really got my imagination going while you were riding those beautiful roads out west.
  19. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,760
    Location:
    Alabamski Oblast, Redneckistan
    Well, when I had decided to this CB, I figured I'd do it once, just because it was so expensive, & I really didnt know how much I would like it.

    At the end of this one, they were already talking about doing another in '14.
    I ended up havin so much fun, I told em to put me down for the next one.

    Yeah, it was hard. You dont realize how much work it is to ride 8-10 hours a day on an old bike that you have to fiddle with, surrounded by a buncha other guys on old bikes that need fiddled with
    day after day, with no breaks. On top of that, add the 6 days I did before the start, and then riding back home.

    I had no idea what I was in for.By the 5th day I hated it. By the 15th day, I didnt want it to end.


    It made the RoB look not so bad. At least then I wasnt on a schedule. :lol3

    So yeah, I'm in for the next one. as soon as they announce the year cutoff date for '14, I'll start hunting for a bike to build.

    and to make it more fun, I'm gonna build a chopper. :huh

    Doug
  20. mark1305

    mark1305 Old Enough To Know Better

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,112
    Location:
    Merritt Island, FL
    Hey Doug, On the wet magneto problem, this is just a thought based on my experiences in another field:

    When I was running Search and Rescue boats in Miami for the Coast Guard (Gov't Yacht Club:D ) back around 80-81, we had dewatering pumps for sinking vessels that were quite prone to wet magnetos shutting them down in heavy thunderstorms with rain driven by high winds.

    A wisened (can't call him wise old) Machinery Technician that rode in my boat crew a bit would pull out a can of WD 40 and keep the mag sprayed liberally outside and under the flywheel to keep the water displaced.

    Worked on those motors - may work on an Indian mag too for future adventures.