2018 Motorcycle Cannonball Details

     Ten years ago, one man set out to become the first person to take a group of like-minded antique motorcycle riders across the United States on machines that were only often seen in museums and private collections.  In 2010, Lonnie Isam Jr’s dream and bold sense of adventure took him and his friends from one ocean to the other, forever setting the standard of endurance for man and machine.  Since 2010, history has been made and continues to be made; machines are coming out of the woodwork, they are being ridden, they are being enjoyed, and they are being put to the Motorcycle Cannonball test.  

     The next adventure…the next epic journey… the next ride…will be nothing to slouch at.  The next experience will again take us from coast to coast; again it will be a true endurance.  It will pit man vs. machine on some of the best two lane, back roads that our beautiful country has to offer! 

This event will feature motorcycles built before 1929. 

     In early September 2018, one hundred or so Motorcycle Cannonball riders will start a two-week journey across the United States on motorcycles built before 1929.  The route will start on the east coast in Portland, Maine, and end on the west coast in Portland, Oregon with a rest day halfway through in Historic Sturgis, SD. 

           This northern route could certainly include all types of weather; from tropical storms and 90-degree temperatures in the East to freezing temperatures and snow in the mountains of the North.  With 12 hours of daylight, riders will average around 250 miles per day, culminating in approximately 3,750 miles.  All bikes will run the same route in an allotted time schedule.  Motorcycles will need to maintain at least 43-50 mph on straight, flat roads.  It is estimated that less than 10 miles will be run on interstate highways, and less than 1 of those miles on urban interstates. 

     The competition will involve correctly navigating the route using each day’s Course Instructions.  The winner for each class will be the motorcycle and its rider that covers the most on-route mileage over the 16-day run, within each day’s specified time schedule and in compliance with the Event Regulations.


General Inquiries Only

We are not yet accepting applications for 2020.  Please continue to watch the website and social media for announcements and application materials.


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 2018 Motorcycle Requirements

Motorcycle entries must have been manufactured in 1928 or earlier. Generally, any motorcycle manufactured in 1928 or earlier as originally manufactured and/or modified in its year of manufacture is eligible for entry.

  • Motorcycles must be and appear original in nature, period correct modifications and customizations are ok; No modern replica machines are allowed!!
  • Engine Cases must be original
  • Period correct Transmissions only: No late model 4 speed transmissions
  • Period Correct carburetors: Linkert, Schebler,etc; No late model carbs allowed (S&S, Mikuni, etc)
  • Maintian speeds of 45 mph  


  • All motorcycles must have the required equipment for lawful operation on public roads and highways in their State/Province/Country of registration. 
  • Current state or province registration and insurance
  • An electrical head lamp, legally acceptable for riding at night
  • One working tail light, one working stop (brake) light, and one red reflector on the rear of the motorcycle
  • Two rear-view mirrors, one on each side 

Recommended Equipment

  • Orange “slow vehicle” triangle on the rear of the motorcycle
  • Operational fire extinguisher, dry chemical, at least 2½ pounds A/B/C
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency flares or reflectors
  • Container of drinking water
  • Flashlight
  • Tool kit 

Authorized Modifications

  • Fuel capacity may be increased.
    • Auxiliary tank(s) may be added provided they meet Federal and State requirements, are properly vented, and do not detract from the appearance of the motorcycle.
    • All gasoline containers must meet applicable federal safety standards.
    • A FUEL RANGE OF 65 TO 100 MILES IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. We will recommend that vehicles with a range of between 65 and 90 miles carry additional fuel on certain Stages.
  • Wheels and Tires
    • Modern wheels are acceptable but must look period correct as much as possible
    • Riders may use beaded type tires instead of clincher tires
  • Electrical charging systems including generator/alternator and battery may be added.
    • Modern Magnetos are allowed
  • Brakes
    • For safety brakes systems may be upgraded.
    • Conversion from a one-wheel brake system to a two-wheel brake system is permissible.
    • Disk brakes are allowed.
  • Speedometer/Odometer: Each competing motorcycle may have one speedometer and one odometer.
    • Certain electronic devices permitted with written permission
    • Absolutely no GPS mapping units!!

© Motorcycle Cannonball 2018. All rights reserved.