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#97 Kevin Naser

Fort Calhoun, NE

1916 Indian Powerplus

One day in 1970, when I was an 11 year old boy at Papillion Junior High School, the teachers herded all us kids into the gymnasium for a special presentation. It turns out they’d brought in a man named Danny Liska to talk to us about his motorcycle ride from northern Alaska to the tip of South America. He had a slide show with pictures of his BMW R60/2, and he had a snake skin that unrolled almost to the full width of our stage. He told us that when he got to the edge of the jungle he stuck his arm in and the jungle was so thick that he had trouble getting it back out. I went straight home that night and told my mom that I was going to get a motorcycle. She was against it of course, but after a short time she let me get a Honda Z50A. That was it. I haven’t been without a bike since. My dad taught me how to spin wrenches and troubleshoot circuits on old Japanese dirt bikes. It’s one of the reasons that I am who I am.

 We ride for the love of the ride, and for the love of the machine. You can’t chose to stop loving it, so you think of more ways to enjoy it. In my life there have been many motorcycles and many miles. Big bikes and little bikes. Many different brands and nationalities, no favoritism. I’ve ridden track days, trips to Central America, Alaska, fly and rides to Europe, the Continental Divide, the Trans America Trail, and so on. I’ve ridden a motorcycle in all 50 states, about half of the Canadian provinces, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Germany, Switzerland, and Viet Nam.

  I read an article about the 2010 Motorcycle Cannonball some time after it was done. It spoke to me. I like old things, especially old machines. I drive a beat up old truck. Our house is full of antiques. Right now I’m sitting at an old wooden desk that was salvaged from the old Denver court house. The room I’m in is filled with old books, old guns, parts from old machines, old memorabilia. At times I have spent more than something is worth on the parts to fix it. Old things, in general, are better than new things. The Motorcycle Cannonball is just the ride for me. Not just the ride, but the build, the preparation for the ride, and the people who are dedicated to it.

 My Cannonball mount is a 1916 Indian PowerPlus. She has a 61 c.i. V-Twin engine and a three speed transmission. She has grace, beauty, elegance, and old paint. Her name is Patience, and that is what she teaches me. She doesn’t go anywhere fast, and she is high maintenance. I am not just her rider, but also her custodian, conservator, and mechanic. I look forward to taking her on our third Motorcycle Cannonball in 2020.