#65 Mike Butts
Saint Michael, MN
1920 Harley-Davidson J
My name is Mike Butts and I am very excited to be participating in my second Motorcycle
Cannonball event. I’m not sure which bike I’ll be riding the year…that’s still for the Cannonball
Gods to decide.
I’ve been a motorcycle enthusiast since I was very young. Coming from a family of eleven, it
was not unusual for me and three other siblings to be piled onto my dads 1949 Harley for
frequent rides around the neighborhood and to the store.
I started out riding on minibikes at age 8, then moved up to a Yamaha 125 which I bought with
my older brother. When I was 14 I bought an old Bultaco 250 Matador and started riding in the
dirt and anywhere I could get to, by trail or railroad tracks. When I was 15 I moved up to a
Yamaha DT2mx and started racing motocross. For the next several years I lived for racing. I
usually raced motocross but also competed in flat track, Enduros, Hare Scrambles, Ice racing,
Snow Cross and Indoor Flat Track on the concrete floor at the Minneapolis armory.
I have continued to love the bikes of the 60’s and 70’s which were popular when I first started
riding but only more recently have become very interested in the bikes of the teens and
twenties. I now have accumulated a small collection of about 50 motorcycles from 1920 to 2017,
including a wide variety of makes and sizes. I enjoy riding them but also working on them and
pondering the history of how the mechanics and technology have evolved.
Motorcycling has truly been our favorite family sport over the years. My wife Linda and I along
with our 5 adult children have enjoyed our off road trips to northern Minnesota, the Colorado
and Utah mountains, as well as many local and long distance road rides.
I was blown away by the experience of my first Cannonball in 2018. I loved the scenery, the thrill
of the ride, visiting the dealerships and museums, but mostly enjoyed the phenomenal people
and friendships that were made along the way. Although I began the 2018 Cannonball with less
than 15 miles on my restored ’27 JD, it performed surprisingly well and made 100% of the
miles. The only mechanical issues encountered were a flat tire one day and a valve job on our
day off in Sturgis. What an amazing event…thanks to the hard work and dedication of Jason
and LeeAnn Sims and the vision of Lonnie Isam Jr.!
I am very excited for the 2020 Cannonball as my brother Larry will also be participating as a
rider. This is truly a family affair, with my brother Steve and his wife Mary, step-daughter
Brianna, and wife Linda, all returning as support crew as we once again ride as “Team Butts”.