#101 Terry Richardson
1928 Harley-Davidson JDS
My name is Terry Richardson, I live in Pratt, Kansas. I work for my wife, I do this by staying out of her way. I am also held hostage by three extremely capable tool pushers and one grouchy shop manager in our oilfield and equipment fabrication side, and I am blessed to have a millennial and a very good friend that helps him tirelessly to keep up the motorcycle side of my operation.
I, like most of us, started with a bicycle. My first came by way of saving dimes and quarters and purchasing a used balloon tired bicycle and immediately after getting it home I set about trying to “improve” it. I continued that pattern on up to my early teens , then me and a buddy bought an old Cushman. I HATED that thing, it was so hard to start but when we could get it going we rode it up and down an old shale road in the country till it ran out of gas or tossed us off. From then until I was in my late teens , like most, it was dirt bikes, and the likes. I bought a 350 Honda on payments and rode it. It vibrated so bad it mede my legs numb in 20 miles but I was riding and I was hot shit!!! In the mid 70’s my brother bought a sportster, I thought that thing was the fastest machine I had ever ridden. Again, when we could get it started!! We rode it all over. That ordeal ended in tragedy and bikes kinda went away for a while.
Enter drag racing and cars. I and a buddy built and drove Pontiacs and raced them for ten years or so till we lost interest. In the late 80’s I saw an old super glide sitting in a Harley shop, it had been for sale for quite a while. Me and the owner made a deal and stupidity ensued. By 1991 the demand was so high for Harleys I mede it a business. I traveled the midwest buying and selling bikes. Eventually I opened an independent shop and ran that until 96 and got back into the oil business. I still bought and sold a few bikes but as time went on I dedicated more time to the oilfield.
I started my current business in 2000, in a shed by a carwash in a one horse town on the Ks. Ok. state line. I got some financial help from a couple of friends and a banker Id known believed in me, and with their help I succeeded in building a good business.
In 2012 one of my friends entered the Cannonball and I met up with him in Anamosa Iowa, I followed along for a few days and was hooked. The riders, the crews, the bikes…..WOW I had to be a part of it. I was lucky enough to make it in 2014 CB as an alternate when someone dropped out. I didn’t have much time so I went to work on a ride.
I chose a 1928 BMW and started to work. It didn’t take long to figure out I couldn’t ride that bike, much less keep it running. (Shout out to Daryl, and Norm, and Joe) Those guys can do it……me? No way….
I stumbled onto my 1932 VL that was restored by Historic HD in Topeka. The guy recently moved to Florida, but the bike was in Topeka. I drove up and test rode it. I talked with the guy that did the work on it. He assured me it was good to go so a deal was made and I brought it home. I rode it the entire way to a perfect score in the 2014 CB. It was pure luck, If something broke it was easily remedied or it failed right when I pulled into the trailer at the end of the day.
Then came the huge failure that was 2016 CB for me. I bought a 1916 F model and had three engines readied. EVERYTHING that could go wrong, DID……after the 2014 cakewalk I had, I was simply Ill prepared to ride the 2016. I’d expired all parts, patience and purpose by the Colo./ Ks state line and we threw in the towel. Coming home with my head held low.
In 2018 we readied the 1916 for a second try and had a better plan with help from several others that successfully campaigned the old F/J machines. We had over 2000 break in miles on it and it ran flawlessly. We arrived in Portland Maine ready, confident, and willing. The day of the practice run, while inspecting the bike and readying it for the race we discovered a cracked cylinder. Franticly we made a decision to take our backup bike a 1928 JD I’d purchased a few years back from the family of the original owner. It wasn’t ready for the chore but did quite well. I didn’t get a perfect score, but I finished thanks to help from many individuals, with most of the miles. On the return trip home I called the guy Id purchased it from to share the story with him. Sadly he had passed earlier in the month. He would have been delighted his old JD, that his family had owned since new, got the call, and had a good showing. RIP Thor.
I should get to work, I have my permission slip from my bosses, I think Im paid up, so I should start coming up with excuses just in case this deal doesn’t turn out like I want it to. TR #101