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#38 Paul d’Orleans

San Fancisco. CA

1926 Brough Superior

This is my fourth Cannonball, and my second time riding a Brough Superior. In 2014 I rode a 1933 11.50 model with Susan on the back, and this year our machine is a true masterpiece, the 1926 SS100 model, the apex vintage motorcycle and one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever built.

I founded in October 2006, and its popularity allowed me to abandon a 25-year career as a decorative painter by 2009, in favor of writing, photography, and film about motorcycles. Besides my website, I’m the Custom&Style editor at Cycle World, write for dozens of magazines, judge events like the Concorso di Villa d’Este, and have written 4 books about motorcycles, and co-written many more. I host shows like the Quail Motorcycle Gathering, and comment on the big Las Vegas auctions for NBCSN-TV.

I’m also co-founder of the Motorcycle Arts Foundation (MAF), which is dedicated to producing exceptional moto-culture events and content, like the Custom Revolution exhibit currently at the Petersen Museum. There are big things coming with the MAF, and I’m super excited about it.

In the past 3 Cannonballs (2012, ’14, and ’16), my partner Susan McLaughlin and I have taken tintype portraits of the riders and landscapes across the USA. These can be seen at we’re working on a book of these photos of the remarkable people and machines braving the longest and toughest vintage motorcycle rally in the world.

I have a book coming on the last day of the Cannonball (Sep 23) called ‘The Current: New Wheels for the Post Petrol Age’ (Gestalten 2018). It’s the first book about electric motorcycles: dig the irony of my Cannonball run on an oil-dripping, gas-swilling beast! I’ve also written ‘Custom Revolution’ (Petersen 2018), ‘Cafe Racers: Speed, Style, and Ton-Up Culture’ (MBI 2014), and ‘The Chopper; the Real Story’ (Gestalten 2014).

Beside the Petersen Museum show Custom Revolution, I’ve co-curated two exhibits at Sturgis with Cannonball photographer Michael Lichter, and exhibited my photos and films online and at exhibits around the world.

I’m honored to ride a 1926 Brough Superior SS100 this year. Many thanks to Sinless Cycles / Bryan Bossier for providing the bike, and Revival Cycles for partnering with me for the second time: check out their 1925 SS80!