With the Iron Butt Rally just wrapped up, the next great American cross-continental moto adventure begins. The Scooter Cannonball is about to set out across the US, from east to west, after COVID-19 forced participants to take a year off.
What’s the Scooter Cannonball?
Just like the name implies, this is a cannonball-style run across the US, aimed at scooters instead of sports cars or fast motorcycles. It isn’t a speed challenge, per se. The website says “The Scooter Cannonball is a time, distance, regularity rally where points are awarded based on miles completed and the ability to maintain the standard pace.” It’s sort of like bracket racing, stretched over a continent instead of a drag strip.
In previous years, the Scooter Cannonball has criss-crossed the US in every direction, even venturing into Canada at one point. That’s not possible this year, because of coronavirus pandemic restrictions. The 2021 rally will start in Bar Harbour, Maine, and end in Eureka, California. This year’s Cannonball will cover almost 4,500 miles over 10 days, which means long days in the saddle for the scooter-riding participants. You aren’t pulling off sport-touring speeds on a small-cc Vespa.
Points are accumulated through reaching checkpoints, using photos and/or GPS data to verify. Rally organizers also have an app to help riders keep their score. There’s a strict set of rules that regulates what scooters can actually participate. Broadly speaking, it’s scooters under 280 cc, with other guidelines (see complete rules and entry list here).
The Scooter Cannonball started in 2004, and has run every two years since, on even-numbered years … except in 2020, because of COVID-19. Instead of just waiting for 2022, the rally’s organizers instead went ahead and scheduled the event for 2021.
From the official entry list, it seems 183 riders have signed up for this year’s Scooter Cannonball, riding Vespas, Hondas, Aprilias, Yamahas, and scooters from many other manufacturers, even Chinese.