The Motorcycle Cannonball is running again this year, but it’s headed in a different direction, literally. Instead of the usual east coast-to-west coast run, this year’s Cannonball is going north-south.

The Cannonball is one of the most interesting events on the North American moto-scene, at least if you like vintage bikes. The rules are pretty basic: You take a pre-1930 motorcycle, and run it along a set course with a few dozen other riders. You can’t modify the bike, unless it’s to improve the safety. You can add better brakes, but you’ve got to use the original engine design, and it’s got to be able to hold 45 mph.

Obviously, the Cannonball ends up being just as much a display of mechanical ingenuity as it is an endurance ride.

This year, the Cannonball runs from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, starting in Michigan at Sault Sainte Marie and running down to South Padre Island, in Texas. When all’s said and done, riders will do between 3,000 and 3,500 miles, as long as their bikes hold together. The start date is September 10, and it ends September 27.

Most of the machines listed for this year’s event are old Harley-Davidsons or Indians, but there’s a considerable number of other unique machines as well, brands like Pope, Excelsior, Henderson, Norton and others.

ADV inmate rtwdoug is back at it this year; he’s a fixture at the Cannonball, and will be riding his 1921 Harley-Davidson JD for this year’s event, if the site’s got it right.

You can find more information on this year’s Cannonball at the event’s website.

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