Buzz Kanter, Motorcycle Cannonball rider number 15, is among the most enthusiastic of our riders. He is an editor and publisher, blogger, author, rider, husband, and father of identical twins. And he is a member of the AMA Hall of Fame. As busy as he is, Buzz says he’s looking forward to two weeks on the road with the other riders who have chosen to rearrange their lives for an opportunity to make this historic journey. He’ll be riding a 1915 Harley-Davidson magneto, three-speed, which is his second motorcycle purchased for this ride. His journey to this point has been chronicled in both the Community Forum section of our website, as well as on his blog site at www.caimag.com. The “buzz” on Buzz follows:
I purchased this as a complete and running original paint motorcycle specifically for this event. Prior to this, the earliest running motorcycle I ever owned was a 1924 Harley JDCA, which I still ride occasionally. I have been riding progressively older motorcycles as I discover, and fall for, their charms and appeal. My 1915 Harley is the only complete and running pre-1916 motorcycle I have ever owned. I had purchased a mix-and-match 1914/1919 Harley for this event but found it difficult to get the parts I needed to prepare it properly for a coast-to-coast ride.
Like many of the other riders, I face three major challenges:
1) Taking more than 2 weeks away from my family and work, which is a significant commitment.
2) Finding, affording and building a pre-1916 motorcycle that is sound enough to make the voyage and look right doing it.
3) Additionally, I hope my motorcycle and my body hold up well enough to get across this great country of ours with as few breakdowns (bike and me) as possible.
I know I have a lot of learning and even more work ahead of me in prepping for this amazing event. And I look forward to the experience and all the people involved as promoters, riders, supporters and more. And, if I make it all the way across on two wheels, I hope to have enough material to publish a book on the riders, machines, and stories of the event.
I rode a mini bike in high school and purchased my first motorcycle (a 1960s Honda 305 Superhawk) in college. I traded up to bigger and more powerful motorcycles over the years, and I tried some motorcycle road racing in the mid to late 1970s. When I quit racing I bought a 1938 BSA M20 motorcycle and discovered the pleasure of classic motorcycles.
My first Harleys, which I bought together in 1991, is the afore mentioned 1924 Harley JDCA and a 1929 Harley JDH, both of which I still own. I have been married for 23 years and am the proud father of identical twin daughters (my favorite air-cooled twins). I turned 55 this year, and got my motorcycle license 34 years ago. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to combine my passion with my career as a magazine publisher.
In 1989 I launched Old Bike Journal, a national classified ad magazine for old motorcycles and parts. I launched the now defunct Indian Motorcycle Illustrated a few years later. In 1993 I wrote a bestseller book called Indian Motorcycles (long out of print, but copies can be purchased on www.Greaserag.com).
My company, TAM Communications, publishes American Iron Magazine, www.aimag.com, the world’s best selling Harley magazine, and Road Bike, www.roadbikemag.com, an all-brands magazine for motorcycle cruisers and tourers. We also run a free classic motorcycle forum and website called Classic American Iron Magazine, www.caimag.com. I am the publisher and Editor-in-Chief of our publications.
I am proud to say I was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame a number of years ago, and I take every opportunity to promote motorcycles, old and new, whenever I can.
Prior to Lonnie announcing the Motorcycle Cannonball Run, I hadn't really considered owning or riding anything older than my trusty old 1924 Harley JDCA or 1931 Indian 101 Scout. Especially not for 3,000 plus miles, from coast to coast, in two and a half weeks. Thanks Lonnie, this is one for the history books!