The Motorcycle Cannonball

By Dick Shappy

Go to www.motorcyclecannonball.com

It had been a dream of Lonnie Isam Jr's for years to assemble a group of pre-1916 motorcycle owners, collectors and enthusiasts and convince them to take their early vintage machines out of "display only" status and put them on the road for a grueling coast to coast test of man and machine.

It wasn't until early September 2009 when Lonnie realized that this trip could become a reality as he was encouraged by the overwhelming support that he was receiving from so many people in the vintage motorcycle community. Well. here we are January 2010 and interest has snowballed and grows daily.

Lonnie has teamed up with John Classen who has over twenty years experience with this type of competition and has participated in The Great Race for many years and won the title of Champion Navigator in 1984. John will make two pre run trips and personally drive the course in order to give good advice and instructions to the entrants. The proposed course will take sixty five riders and their early motorcycles 3320 miles on the back roads from Kitty Hawk North Carolina to Santa Monica Ca. with a starting date of September 10th.

You can follow our progress as we will be periodically updating the stages of restoration that will bring us to Kitty Hawk and then on to the winners circle in Santa Monica.


A photo of the original 1910 Maldwyn Jones Merkel is projected on the wall. We used an original set of front forks to determine the size of the frame and gas tank.

click here to see more photos