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Vanishing Breed of gear-heads

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Service with a Smile

In a few years if a collector wants to keep the old stuff running he may have problems
Photos and text by Bill May

The cars and motorcycles of today run awesome and last a long time, but they do nothing for me.

People who can work on those old engines are few and far between. We are a vanishing breed.

In a few years if a collector wants to keep the old stuff running, he will have to get out the old manuals and train some young guy with an aptitude for it.

Me, I’m just going to keep flying down the road on my old bikes and my ‘34 Ford.

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Indian Motorcycle introduces 2022 Lineup

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  • Indian Motorcycle introduces 2022 Lineup featuring Updated Technology.
  • New Ride Command Update, Adaptive Headlight for Scout.
  • All-New Accessories for Cruiser, Bagger & Touring.
  • Prices, Paint and Specs announced.

“Rider feedback continues to be at the forefront of what drives refinements and enhancements for our model year offerings, and that is once again the case for 2022. With the help of customer feedback, we aim to consistently enhance and improve the lineup with new technology and wider-ranging accessory options like these for 2022.” – Mike Dougherty, President for Indian Motorcycle

CLICK HERE To See the Full 2022 Indian Motorcycle Lineup Info and Photos.

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Riveters Chapter of AMCA and Chix on 66 Ride

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Riveter Chapter of the AMCA Presents Chix on 66

Newest AMCA Chapter Announces First Event

September 30, 2021—Today, the Riveter Chapter became the first woman-focused, nationwide chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America.

The purpose of this chapter is to bring female AMCA members together in a single chapter to concentrate their talents, give women motorcyclists an increased awareness of their own history, and raise visibility of women in the sport. By doing so, we will increase women’s awareness of each other, and improve connections between women in the sport through visibility and networking. A chapter containing powerful, talented, dynamic women will give all women riders inspiring role models.

The Riveter Chapter’s first AMCA-sponsored event will be the “Chix on 66” ride scheduled to take place June 11-June 26, 2022. Up to 40 women motorcyclists will meet in Chicago, Illinois, to ride Route 66, the “Mother Road,” to Santa Monica, California. This is the classic American journey on classic machines, with some women riding vintage motorcycles, and others making the trip on modern mounts.

Each day the group will begin and end together, but each woman will make the journey what she wants it to be. Instead of riding in a single pack, a turn-by-turn app will allow each rider to follow the route at her own pace. There will be a list of suggested hotel accommodations for each stop. If some opt for a camping experience, they can arrange that for themselves.

This ride will span the entirety of Route 66, covering anywhere from 100 to 300 miles per day. Most days will be around 200 miles, allowing for an easy pace, and ample time to stop for photos and exploration of the iconic points of interest along the Mother Road.

Anyone who is interested in participating in the ride can email chix@chixon66.com. You can also find information at www.chixon66.com, and on facebook.com/chixon66 or Instagram @chixon66.

We are also still accepting charter members of the Riveter Chapter through December 31, 2021. While this chapter is women-focused, meaning our activities, events and newsletters will feature and promote women riders, both contemporary and historic, we welcome anyone with an AMCA membership who would like to become a member. If you would like to join, please send your name, AMCA member number and email address to joann@riveterchapter.com.

If you are not an AMCA member, it’s easy to join online at www.antiquemotorcycle.org. You do not have to own an antique motorcycle to join the AMCA, or the Riveter Chapter. For more information, go to www.riveterchapter.com or Instagram @riveterchapteramca.

Sons of Speed 2021 Event Report with Photos

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Billy Lane at Finish Line – Chris Callen Flagman

Sons of Speed – Biketoberfest 2021 by Dmac

Billy Lane Rocks the Vintage Banked Motorcycle Racing World Once More

2021 has turned out to be the year of the “Covid Hangover!”

Many lives have been permanently changed, but Sons of Speed has not skipped a beat and has returned to the New Smyrna Speedway breathing life into the asphalt, 23 degree banked, ½ mile track.

Originally started in 2017 by Billy Lane of Choppers, inc., the race has been held at both New Smyrna Speedway and at the Pappy Hoel Campground Racetrack, in Sturgis, South Dakota.

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Turning a Cuddly Honda Super Cub into a Beast

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Cuddly Honda Super Cub Turns Into Beast, Looks Meaner Than Some Harley-Davidsons

Like it or not, even the many fans of the Honda Super Cub have to admit this particular two-wheeler is not exactly custom material. The underbone machine is a huge customer favorite, but most of the time we don’t get to see the results of investments made in customization processes.

The Super Cub is one of the longest-running nameplates in the Japanese bike maker’s portfolio. It was introduced all the way back in the late 1950s, and since that time, it sold over 100 million units, becoming in effect the world’s most-produced motor vehicle (and that includes cars).

Given the huge number of them on the market, it was only natural for some owners to customize their rides even if, as said, we don’t get to see such projects all that often. Yet this week, thanks to a garage called K-Speed, we’re treated to exactly that, a too-good of a Super Cub not to discuss.

The Japanese say this is their first custom Super Cub C125, but even so, they seem to have nailed a look that might even put some Harleys to shame. The conversion rides closer to the ground than its stock siblings, the front end has been completely restyled, and much larger wheels than we’re used to were fitted front and back.

The rear end has been chopped as well, making the motorcycle look more like a vintage bike than an overgrown scooter. The black paint spread head to toe enhances that impression even more.

Click Here to See Details of this custom Honda Super Cub by K-Speed.

K-Speed says no changes were made to the thing’s engine and brakes, but even so, the price is about three times higher than that of a stock machine. Whereas, for instance, you could buy the 2021 Super Cub C125 for just under $4,000, this one has a retail price of over $13,000.

Visit K-Speed Website at: https://k-speed.com/

Launch of Honda CB750 & Dick Mann at AMA Daytona 200-Mile Race

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by Todd Halterman from https://www.autoevolution.com

On Twitter by Honda Powersports: Monday’s passing of Dick “Bugsy” Mann, American Honda sends its heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans. Mann’s 1970 Daytona 200 win aboard the CR750 (the racing version of the CB750 four-cylinder) was momentous in Honda’s history Thank you, Dick, and godspeed.

The Honda CB750 Changed the Way Motorcycles Were Made, Raced and Sold

Though now highly prized for their potential as re-imagined cafe racer machines, the venerable Honda CB750 was – back in its infancy – the bike that changed the game.

So how did it happen that the Japanese took over the worldwide motorcycle manufacturing industry? To a large extent, it came down to the creation of a single model.

With five consecutive championship titles under their belts, Honda decided to withdraw from the World GP circuit in 1967 with a plan to develop high-performance consumer motorcycles at the forefront of their vision.

While Honda exported more than half of their output back in the mid-’60s, they didn’t make a large-displacement sport bike model which would appeal to the hardcore rider in the U.S.

And it’s not like the honchos at Honda failed to notice that glaring deficiency. Sales of Honda motorcycles in America were flagging in 1966, and the company knew a brand-new worldview was in order. While the company had created the Dream CB450 in 1965, they were still being outgunned by big bikes from other makers. The CB450 sold well, but for the vast majority of American riders, it just didn’t have the requisite zing and bottom-end torque they craved.

What really drove Yoshiro Harada, the head of Honda product development at the time, was hearing the news that Britain’s Triumph was deep in the development process of a high-performance, 3-cylinder 750 cc engine. With the ante thus upped, Honda laid out plans to compete by creating their own 750 cc engine, which would lay down 67 horsepower to overtake the juice you could get from the 66-horsepower Harley-Davidson’s 1300 and the proposed Triumph Triple.

Though Honda was already the industry’s leading maker of motorcycles (due in no small part to the success of the most popular motorcycle in history, the Super Cub), the introduction of the CB750 sought to become the world’s top manufacturer of quality motorcycles as well. They were up against some formidable competition as comparable models from Triumph, BMW, and Harley were already on the road.

So what were the targets? Honda wanted to make a long-range, high-speed touring machine, so they turned to science for answers in the form of a newly-minted paradigm dubbed “ergonomics.”

Those targets included: Stability at highway cruising speeds, a reliable and cooled braking system that would handle frequent rapid decelerations from high speed, minimal vibration, and noise to fight rider fatigue on long hauls with a rider position which complimented the smoother power plant, lights and instruments which were large, gauges which were easy to read, easy maintenance and servicing for all the various modules of the bike and the use of top-quality materials and production techniques.

Perhaps the most significant innovation for Honda’s showpiece bike? The adoption of disc brakes. While that design decision proved costly and time-consuming, it was also a stroke of brilliance and one which made the CB750 a favorite of the serious riding set.

Released to the U.S. public in January 1969, the announcement of the new bike’s retail price, $1,495, was met with stunned silence at a dealer meeting in Nevada. The other shoe had officially dropped. Large-displacement bikes were selling at that time for between $2,800 and $4,000, and the 2,000 dealers on hand for the announcement exploded into applause when they recovered their wits.

And they had good cause for their optimism. The CB750 immediately commanded a premium sales price in dealer showrooms of between $1,800 and $2,000 to get one out the door.

Featuring an integrated crankshaft and metal bearing to replace the split-type, press-fit crankshaft with a needle bearing used in previous Honda motors, the CB750 was a great leap forward in design as well as price.

As great as this new machine was, the company initially had a serious problem. They could only manage to make something like five bikes a day, and that was clearly not enough to meet the demand for what had become a major hit with the market. Production was pushed to 25 units per day and then to 100 units, but that still left an enormous pile of backorders building up under and an entirely expected sales landslide.

It became clear that the production of the original sand-molded crankcases would never meet the rate requirements of mass production, so the factory switched over to producing crankcases of a metal, die-cast construction. The bikes were such a hit with the riding public that the production of engines and chassis was moved to a Suzuki factory in mid-1971. The “sandcast” CB750 models are now fetching enormous prices from collectors of up to ten and fifteen times higher than their new-off-the-line premium price back in the day.

But what really made the bikes a smash hit with the public?

Performance. Pure and dependable performance.

The factory racing team at Honda R&D took the new machines to compete at a 10-Hour Endurance Race in August 1969 to coincide with the commercial launch of the big bike, and Honda dominated, notching one-two finishes with the teams of Morio Sumiya and Tetsuya Hishiki taking first place and Yoichi Oguma and Minoru Sato pulling in a close second.

The deal was done when rider Dick Mann blew away the field on his CR750 during the AMA Daytona 200-Mile Race run during March 1970. The field was now wide open for large-displacement Japanese bikes, and in 1972, Kawasaki launched the 900cc ZI to compete on the big-bike stage…and the rest is, as they say, history.

Bonhams announces its first motorcycle auction in Italy

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Bonhams Motorcycles Says Buongiorno Italia with Debut Sale at Moto Dei Miti

FIRST MOTORCYCLE SALE IN ITALY 1-3 APRIL 2022 AT WORLD-RENOWNED MUSEUM OF GENESIO BEVILACQUA

2011 ALTHEA WORLD SUPERBIKE AND SUPERSTOCK CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING MOTORCYCLES ARE EARLY HIGHLIGHTS

Bonhams is proud to announce its first motorcycle sale in Italy – in the world-renowned Moto dei Miti museum, created by paddock great Genesio Bevilacqua, founder of the Althea Racing team, which will be staged on 1-3 April 2022.

The weekend sale is the result of a new partnership with Genesio, which will see his museum, located in Civita Castellana (on the outskirts of Rome) provide a fitting venue for the 100-plus collectors’ motorcycles to be offered.

Telling the story of the evolution of motorcycle racing over the past 50 years, the museum represents Genesio’s own racing experience – as amateur rider and professional team manager – and his passion for two-wheeled sport and culture, featuring some of the most important sports and competition motorcycles of the modern era.

Genesio became General Manager in 2007 of the start-up Althea Racing Team, which picked up trophies in the World Superbike and Supersport series, winning both world championship titles in 2011, with Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano respectively riding to victory. In 2016, with BMW as partner, Althea again won the World Superstock Championship, with Raffaele Da Rosa in the saddle.

The ex-Carlos Checa, 2011 World Superbike Championship-winning Ducati 1198 F11 estimate for sale is €110,000 – 130,000

Genesio will offer 27 machines from his collection for sale in the debut auction, including the two 2011 World Champion motorcycles: Carlos Checa’s Ducati 1198 RS and Davide Giugliano’s Ducati 1198 F12 and one of Raffaele De Rosa’s victorious BMW S 1000 RRs from 2016.

All motorcycles in the collection are ‘on the button’ and ready to race, having been maintained in the museum’s dedicated workshop, by technicians with years of experience in the paddock, and have recently ridden by Genesio and other riders.

Ben Walker, Global Head of Bonhams Motorcycles, said: “We are really excited to be hosting our debut sale in Italy – arguably THE land of motorcycles – and to have the ‘man who defeated giants’ as our new partner.

“”Genesio’s spectacular private museum will provide a stunning backdrop for the sale, and we are delighted that it will be open to the public for the preview and the auction itself.”

Genesio Bevilacqua, General Manager Althea Racing Team, said: “I am happy and proud to partner with Bonhams to bring to Italy their first auction dedicated to motorcycles and to the history of motorcycles, in which Italy has always played a vital role.

“Moto dei Miti is, without a doubt, the best location to hold this great event. Bonhams’ heritage and professionalism will attract the attention of international collectors and will play an important part in growing the collectors’ market for the motorcycles of the last 50 years”.

Further important collectors’ motorcycles and collections are currently being invited for consignment to this new sale.

Contact: ukmotorcycles@bonhams.com for further details.

Film Critic and Essayist Hans Schifferle Put Together a Tasteful Rare Motorcycle Stable

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by Todd Halterman from https://www.autoevolution.com

Hans Schifferle, the film critic and essayist, died at the age of 63 in April of this year, and during the 1980’s he cut an imposing figure. Schifferle walked the streets clad in leather and often arrived on one of his motorcycles.

Hans Schifferle moved through the world in an unpretentious way and loved films and actors like Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Schifferle spent his days writing, talking smack in the foyer of the Munich Film Museum, or tipping a drink on the stairs of the workshop cinema.

Schifferle, born in 1957 in Munich, spent a good stretch of his career writing the Süddeutsche Zeitung and for fan and trade magazines like Steadycam. He also penned innumerable articles for books and catalogs and, like so many cinéphiles of his generation, he found inspiration from the writings of Frieda Grafe.

As a ticket-taker at the Munich Film Museum, Schifferle tore off the stubs before he attended screenings himself. And if you had the pleasure of drinking a dark beer with him and listening as he raved about films, you began to understand cinema as a school of life.

He was a child of privilege and lived in an apartment which also served as a salon of sorts. His means also allowed him to collect some of the most interesting and fantastic motorcycles in history. And his obsession with motorcycles allowed him to put together a superb collection.

One of those bikes was a Ducati 750SS, a version of the bike Paul Smart rode to his famous victory at Imola in 1972. That machine put the esthetically beautiful and speedy Ducati v-twin on the map. During that race, Smart defeated a long list of the hottest machines of the day, from the Triumph Tridents to the works 750 MV Agusta of Giacomo Agostini.

The 750SS received near universal praise from the motorcycling press. Cycle magazine said the “bike that stands at the farthest reaches of the sporting world – the definitive factory-built café racer.” Today, the 750SS is regarded as a true landmark model and is one of the most sought-after of all Ducatis.

Hans Schifferle bought this Ducati 750SS in June 2002 from the Turin-based collector, Genni Carelli. It is believed that Mario Sassi had restored the machine.

His collection also included a 1941 Indian 1,279cc Four though it’s said Schifferle never had the chance to ride it.

His MV Agusta 750 GT, yet another ultra-rare machine, was distinguished by its white and bronze color scheme and, just 50 were sold as a result of an astronomically high initial price tag. Schifferle’s bike of one of the most sought-after MV roadsters, and his original example remains one of the very few which remain unmodified.

The critic also owned an Egli-Vincent was distinguished by Egli’s trademark large tube spine type frame.

His 1955 Vincent 998CC Black Knight is a matching-numbers exemple, and is one of 200 enclosed series-D twin models built by Vincent. Schifferle’s model is thought to be one of the earliest Egli frames manufactured for the Slater Brothers. His friend and mechanic Helmut Lichtenberg completely rebuilt it, and it features a ‘fishtail’ silencer, a Campagnolo front disc brake; alloy wheels; and a Smiths 150mph speedometer.

And Schifferle owned yet another American classic, a 1956 Harley Davidson KH, which represents Harley Davidson’s last ‘flat-head model. The 55ci KH featured an upgraded engine and modified frame (for better handling) compared with the model K roadster on which it was based.

Schifferle and his wife, Gudrun, traveled extensively around Europe in search of components to restore and maintain his stable of machines. Along with his friend and former Grand Prix racer Lichtenberg, Schifferle enjoyed visiting the leading auto events at Imola, Mannheim, Stuttgart, Nuremberg, and various other events to locate rare parts for his restorations.

Rare Suzuki at Bonhams Auction to fetch £35,000

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by Rob Hull from https://www.dailymail.co.uk

A 34-year-old motorcycle with just TWO ‘Push Miles’ on the clock: Rare Suzuki road bike that’s never been ridden is tipped to sell for £35,000

  • The Suzuki RG500 Gamma is an ultra-rare two-stroke road bike from the 1980s
  • It’s based on the factory 500cc Grand Prix racers of the era that won two titles
  • This example has never been ridden with its two recorded miles accrued while being manoeuvred during storage
  • Bonhams will sell it at auction this weekend with an estimate of £30k to £35k

A late eighties Suzuki RG500 motorcycle is set to go under the hammer this weekend with an astonishingly low number of miles clocked in its 34 years – and none of them came from it being driven.

The two-stroke road-going replica of the factory Grand Prix race machines of the era is already a hugely collectible motorbike today – but this particular example stands out for having just two miles on the clock.

Bonhams, which is offering the bike at its 9 October sale at the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show in Stafford, says these are ‘push miles’ only, accrued by owners moving the bike around by hand – meaning it’s never actually been ridden.

The auction house has estimated that the motorcycle could sell for between £30,000 and £35,000 – though its like-new condition and lack of use could see it easily eclipse that valuation when bidding commences on Saturday.

Bonhams says it represents ‘a possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire an unused and unregistered example of this iconic Suzuki model’.

The RG500 ‘Gamma’ was only produced by the Japanese motorcycle brand for two years between 1985 and 1987 and was heavily based on the racing machine used by its factory team.

And it was a title-winning package, with Italians Marco Lucchinelli and Franco Uncini taking the riders’ world championship in back-to-back years in 1981 and 1982.

Suzuki’s advertisement for the motorcycle at launch said: ‘No one has ever built a road machine so close in technical basis to a current GP winner. Quite frankly we do not expect that any one else ever will.’

This example was first delivered to GS Motorcycles on 7 February 1989, which is confirmed by documents that are sold with the machine – as well as copies of the owner registration card, warranty card, dealer record, and new vehicle licence application.

However, it was never actually registered, with the bike instead being retained in storage and never ridden on the road.

That means the liquid-cooled, four-cylinder, two-stroke 498cc engine has never had its full 95bhp of power exploited at 9,500rpm.

The engine used the same square-four engine layout, geared-together crankshafts, and disc-valve induction, as the racer, while the aluminum frame, rear suspension and triple disc brakes were also taken from the GP machines.

Performance was mighty for the era, with a 130mph-plus top speed, 11.5-second quarter-mile time and incredibly agile handling and brakes.

But the peaky two-stroke engine could easily punish riders who were unable to exploit the narrow power band it provided, with surges of acceleration being developed when the revs peaked.

Suzuki RG500 Gamma specs

Production: 1985-1987
Engine: 498cc, liquid cooled, square-four cylinder, two-stroke
Gearbox: 6-speed
Power: 95bhp @9500rpm
Torque: 52.6 ft-lb @9000rpm
Suspension: Front: 38mm telescopic forks, Rear: full floater rear
Brakes: Front: 260mm discs 4-piston calipers, Rear: 210mm disc 2-piston caliper
Weight: 154kgs
Top speed: 133 mph
Fuel tank capacity: 22 litres

‘Today this legendary model is highly sought after by collectors of modern Japanese classics,’ says Bonhams.

And it won’t be the first time this specific model goes to the block, with it last changing hands at the same Stafford Sale held in October 2017, where it sold for £31,050.

‘The machine has not been used/run since acquisition and has been kept dry stored in the garage,’ the lot description explains.

‘Accordingly, it will need to be fully re-commissioned to a greater or lesser extent before use,’ it adds.

Other collectible two-wheelers up for grabs this month

Ex-Barry Sheene 1979 Dunstall Suzuki GS1000 F1 race bike
Auction: Bonhams’ The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show, Stafford – 9 October
Estimate: £30,000-£35,000

The late Barry Sheene is the last Briton to win a premier class motorcycle Grand Prix riders’ championship, having taken the title in 1976 and ’77.

While his 500cc career continued until 1984 (his last win coming in 1981), in 1979 Suzuki GB requested for Sheene to guest ride this GS1000S at a domestic August Bank Holiday meeting at Oulton Park in 1979.

That’s despite the Briton – who made his career racing two-stroke machines – making his dislike for four-stroke racing bikes well known. He previously referred to them as ‘muck-spreaders’.

This Dunstall Suzuki is believed to be the only Japanese four-stroke he ever raced.

Despite this, Sheene finishing second in the event, narrowly beaten by fellow GP rider Ron Haslam.

Sheene, who died in March 2003 after suffering from cancer, is still today considered on of the country’s greatest motorcycle racers – hence the expectation for this rare model to achieve a high sale price this weekend.

Barn-find 1964 Lambretta GT200 scooter
Auction: H&H Classics National Motorcycle Museum Sale, Birmingham – 27 October
Estimate: £3,000-£4,000

This ‘extremely rare’ 1964 Lambretta GT 200 Italian has been sitting in a makeshift lean-to shed since 1976 and was uncovered in July before being brought to auction later this month.

While it needs plenty of restoration, Mike Davis of H&H, said: ‘There has been lots of commission bids already after it appeared on our website for the coming sale. I will not be surprised if it far exceeds its estimate. It is a fantastic opportunity to restore and ride.’

The scooter is mostly complete with original tinware and it has been confirmed as a correct numbers machine.

The engine turns over with compression. It comes with an old RF60 continuation logbook, but the V5c will have to be applied for. Once restored by its new owner, it would easily become a collector’s item.

Dave Currier, aged 68, on Winning Cannonball riding his 1911 Harley-Davidson

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by Kevin Wallevand from https://www.inforum.com

Fargo man wins Motorcycle Cannonball with 1911 Harley Davidson

  • Dave Currier turned 68 years of age on the road while racing in the Motorcycle Cannonball
  • Earlier, Dave Currier had been a runner-up in 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball riding a 1915 Harley-Davidson
  • His father sold Indian and Harley motorcycles in the 1940s and 50s in Fargo and also raced them
  • Dave Currier credits John Rouland of Northern Crankshaft in Thief River Falls for doing a lot of the technical and engine work on his 1911 H-D

“To start it, you have to pedal to start it, it is a belt drive. To move it forward, you have a lever which tensions the belt and the bike moves forward.” – Dave Currier

Fargo man wins Motorcycle Cannonball with 1911 Harley Davidson

A Fargo man has just won a cross country motorcycle run called The Motorcycle Cannonball.

Dave Currier is finally getting some feeling back in his rear-end. He is back in Fargo after competing in the most difficult, antique endurance race in the world: The Motorcycle Cannonball.

“I think this has been the toughest ride of my life,” Currier said. “It is a real grind, I had about eight hours in the saddle every day.”

Riding his 1911 belt-driven Harley Davidson, Currier and 88 competitors crossed 11 states over 16-days straight. From Michigan to South Padre Island, Texas, they racked up just over 3,700 miles.

“The bike is tall. I have short legs, so my feet don’t touch the ground,” Currier said. “To start it, you have to pedal to start it, it is a belt drive. To move it forward, you have a lever which tensions the belt and the bike moves forward.”

But Currier, who had a team planning and tweaking this bike, not only competed; he won.

“I had a police escort, it was an absolute incredible deal,” Currier said. “They closed the roads off.”

He crossed the finish line with this checkered flag, bringing home the trophy.

“Before the finish, they handed me the checkered flag, and I rode in with the checkered flag,” Currier said. “It was incredible. (It’s) still hard to talk about it.”

Currier credits John Rouland of Northern Crankshaft in Thief River Falls for doing a lot of the technical and engine work on the 1911 Harley.

He said his local sponsors; Milwaukee Tool, Acme Tools, Dakota Fence, and TechLine Coatings all played a role in the win.

Currier, who turned 68 during the race, thinks he had a little help from angels above. His dad, Dick Currier, sold Indian and Harley motorcycles in the 1940s and 50s in Fargo. He raced them as well, and Currier believes his dad would be pretty proud.

“He was a big part of my life,” Currier said. “That’s why I called it, ‘The Last Ride.'”

For more info on the Motorcycle Cannonball visit their website by clicking here.

Earlier Dave Currier had been a runner-up in 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball riding a 1915 Harley-Davidson

From September 2018.

“I’ve already been doing a lot of thinking,” Currier said, chuckling. “I have done the twin cylinder. The next challenge for me would be to take a single cylinder and make it across the U.S. But this was a trip of a lifetime. Going over the mountain in Kalispell, Montana, that’s when I turned 65.”

‘Trip of a lifetime’: Fargo resident named runner-up in world’s hardest antique motorcycle run

Currier says his bike, a 1915 Harley-Davidson twin-cylinder boasting an 11-horsepower engine, took him two years to restore.

by Emma Vatnsdal from https://bismarcktribune.com

PORTLAND, Ore. — Enjoying a sunny 48-degree morning in The Dalles, Ore., Dave Currier and his entourage were getting ready late last week to point themselves east and head back home to Fargo.

While many go west to escape the cold of winter or spend time with family and friends, Currier had a different motivation — and to end up in Portland, he had to start in Portland, Maine.

In 2010, one man set out to become the first person to take a group of 45 like-minded antique motorcycle riders across the U.S. from Kitty Hawk, N.C., to Santa Monica, Calif. Sixteen days later, 10 of the original 45 riders rolled their roughly century-old bikes onto the Santa Monica Pier, completing the inaugural Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run.

Now in its fifth running, the 2018 installment of the run saw more than 100 people ride from Maine to Oregon, giving participants a chance to see much of the U.S. in a whole new way.

Three classes of motorcycles — single cylinder, twin cylinders with two-speed rear ends and bikes with three-speed transmissions — set out, racing to navigate the roads to each day’s checkpoint before 5 p.m. Taking only the “back roads” across the whole country, Currier and the rest of the crew averaged around six hours of riding per day beginning at 7:30 a.m.

In true-to-history fashion, modern navigation systems like a GPS device were not allowed. Instead, riders were given maps each morning 30 minutes before they set out with directions consisting instructions like “drive north 3.2 miles, turn left at the blue house and head west.”

Currier said it was a voyage to remember.

“It was incredible,” Currier said. “It was a fantastic trip kind of re-enacting what the old-time people did when they had the opportunity to go across the U.S. What was really kind of special was I had my birthday (during the trip). Going over the mountain in Kalispell, Montana, that’s when I turned 65. It was kind of a monumental trip in many ways for me.”

Lifelong passion
There are few requirements about which motorcycles qualify for this cross-country road trip, but there are standards that must be met. For the 2018 run, all motorcycles had to be manufactured in 1928 or earlier, and must still appear original in nature.

While period-correct modifications were accepted, no modern replica bikes could be entered.

Electrical charging systems, auxiliary fuel tanks and modern wheels were OK, though GPS systems were specifically banned.

Currier says his bike, a 1915 Harley-Davidson twin-cylinder boasting an 11-horsepower engine, took him two years to restore.

“I started with the basic frame and completely refurbished it from the ground up,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed the motorcycles since I was 7 years old when I first rode one. Restoring this was pretty special.”

Safety is the No. 1 concern during this race, especially because the bikes are sometimes older than riders’ grandparents. Upon arriving in Portland, Maine, riders completed a half-day of safety classes consisting of rules of the road and safety features.

Each Cannonball rider is also allowed a support team to help them along the way. Currier chose his wife, Kay, two friends from Alaska and a co-worker to assist him with any repairs after each day was done.

“When you get done with the day and you check out, you can do any service work you want on your bike,” he said. “You can change motors, you can overhaul it, whatever you can between 5 at night and 7 in the morning. The support team can’t have anything to do with you during the day.”

Even with the small issues he faced — losing bolts, tough winds and unsoldered ground wires — Currier says he wouldn’t have placed runner-up in his class without the support of his wife and family.

“They’ve always been incredibly good,” he said. “I couldn’t have done this without them.”

The Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run happens every two years, and Currier said he’s started planning for 2020.

“I’ve already been doing a lot of thinking. Six to seven hours a day, you got plenty of time to think about a lot of stuff,” Currier said, chuckling. “I have done the twin cylinder. The next challenge for me would be to take a single cylinder and make it across the U.S. But this was a trip of a lifetime.”