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#7 Steven Rinker

What is the Motorcycle Cannonball to me? It’s a challenge like no other! When my dad and I first started restoring/rebuilding Indian motorcycles, we would look at a pile of parts or an old bike and wonder what the Indian would look like when we brought her back to life. We would ask ourselves, do we build the old girls to ride or do we just put her together? Our answer was always… To Ride! However, during the restoration process and looking for the parts to make her go again, we would always find another project with our names on it. So, it seems like we always have one or two old girls waiting to be restored, that when we do complete a bike, we just test ride it and then put her up in the building and move on to the next project. The building has since become a nice little museum of Indian motorcycles and anything Indian motorcycle related! When the first Cannonball was announced for 2010, and was for pre-16 bikes, we weren’t too into it as we had nothing that early and really never gave it much thought.

However, upon the return of the riders from that Cannonball and the stories they told, we became a little more interested and when tales spread at the swap meets abount Lonnie possibly doing a 2012 Cannonball run, we sat up and listened. When the announcement was made that pre-30 bikes were in, we said we had to do it. The Indian 101 would be the bike for us to ride. We love them and with the 10 that we had at thetime, we just knew that the race would be a piece of cake! We brought Ginger, my 1929 101, to the starting line in Newburg, NY and couldn’t wait for the adventure to begin. I was ready, Ginger was more than ready and actually, I was quite cocky about things. I met up with fellow 101 riders and other Cannonballer’s, but paired up with an awesome guy, Josh Wilson, for the ride. At the end of Day 2, after head gasket problems and a large slice of humble pie, I knew that the ride would be more of a challenge than an adventure. My pit crew consisted of my dad, Buck, and family friend, Dick Jones and there were there every late night that I worked on my bike and Josh Wilson’s bike just to make them run the next day. I didn’t even ride the last day, as I didn’t want to tear Ginger completely up inside, so the ride home in the Excursion, was a quiet one for all of us.

Then, the 2014 Cannonball was announced and pre-37’s were in! Whoa -- that meant a Chief -- I had a 1936 Chief in a pile that I had been collecting parts on for over 8 years already. The challenge begin, I had to do it and I HAD to build her to make EVERY MILE! Rose came to life and I BUILT a motor this time, not just assemble a motor. I learned that lesson in the last Cannonball! When we started on Daytona Beach, Rose was more than ready and so was I, this time. My pit crew returned and they were ready too! Rose ran EVERY MILE flawlessy and I got to finally have an adventure across the country. The thrill of the challenges every day were awesome, from the roads, to the terrains, to the riders, to the places we stayed in the people we met, made memories that make the Cannonball Endurance Run what it is.

While assembling Rose for the 2014 Cannonball, Dad & I came across a 1916 Indian Power Plus, an older restoration, but all there. We bought it and put it in the museum for a later date. But……on the ride home from the 2014 Cannonball, we were excited about our run and already thinking about the 2016 Cannonball already. What if….2016 became a Century Ride, a pre-16 bike eligible only ride….we could do it with the bike we had bought in April. Ideas and excitement swirled all the way home. The pit crew and I were energized! Then an even greater idea occurred to me, what if we found a second bike and I could get my twin sons, Justin and Jared, to be able to accumulate that much vacation time between now and then to come along. A THREE generation Cannonball! WOW! The ultimate adventure of a lifetime! And so it begins...

West Virginia
1916 Indian Power Plus
Located in: Rider Profiles
 

 

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