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Motorcycle Cannonball 05/14/2012 06:04 PM

    To:  Cannonball Riders
    Subject:  Recommended Equipment for the Cannonball
    Hello Cannonballers,

 The official start of the 2012 Cannonball Endurance Run is less than four months away. We know you are all working hard to get yourselves and your motorcycles prepared for the great adventure. There is much to do in order to be ready for this epic ride. As you may remember from the Official Event Regulations, your motorcycle will be required to have certain equipment that will not only make it eligible for the event but also legal to operate on U.S. roads. The required equipment is as follows:
  1. All motorcycles must have the required equipment for lawful operation on public roads and highways in their State/Province/Country of registration.
  2. An electrical head lamp, legally acceptable for riding at night
  3. One working tail light, one working stop (brake) light, and one red reflector on the rear of the motorcycle
  4. Two rear-view mirrors, one on each side
  Also remember that the motorcycle must be registered and licensed, and the rider must have liability insurance on the motorcycle. A helmet is also required. We recommend that you bring riding attire for all types of weather.

 There are several other items that we recommend you add to your motorcycle for safety reasons. Although most riders have decided to change over to drop center rims so they can run modern type tires, some riders are still running the standard clincher type rims and tires. Clincher tires are held on primarily with high tire pressure, but actually 100 years ago the clincher tire inner tubes were designed with a bead lock which not only locked the tire to the rim ,but also secured the valve stem. Unfortunately today's inner tubes don't have this feature. If you are running clincher tires we highly recommend that you install bead locks. This will not only keep your tires from moving on the rims, but also hold the tire to the rim should you get a flat. As you know the most dangerous part of getting a flat with clincher rims is when the tire comes off the rim and gets wound up in the wheel. Bead locks are widely available and cheap, but will require that you drill a hole in your rim. Standard bead locks may need modification to work on clinchers. We recommend at least two bead locks per rim. Check with your local motocross dealer or Ebay for a wide selection of sizes.

 Another inexpensive safety measure that we recommend is a set of deer whistles. We will be traveling through quite a few National Parks and Forests, and deer populations are on the rise. These whistles let out high-pitch tone which can't be heard by humans, but can be heard by deer and other animals who venture too close to the road. These small, simple devices are easy to install and don't require a power source. They are widely available at motorcycle dealers and on Ebay.

 As of May 3 John Classen has finished his first course run. Running the entire route from Newburgh to San Francisco he has plotted the exact route we will take. With the exception of Cleveland we are traveling mostly on non-interstate roads through rural America. This route will be extremely scenic, and in some places, remote. We have tried to locate and mark gas stops, keeping them within 50 to 75 miles apart. However in the west there are a few days that will have longer stretches where no gas is available. We recommend that you have a gas container that you will be able to carry on your motorcycle. You will not need to carry this container every day, but just on the days when gas is a problem. We also recommend you carry a small disposable fire extinguisher on your motorcycle with you.

 When Cannonball Baker rode across the continent a century ago news of his progress was sent by telegraph to people all over the country. Baker's ride was big news, and our ride will be too. Riders from all over the world will be watching our website as we journey west. For all of our fans we must document as much of our run as we can. This is why we are recommending that every rider and crew member have a video camera on board. Even though we are riding antique motorcycles we are living in a modern technological age, and have the capabilities of transmitting news  as it happens. There is a wide variety of different types of digital video cameras available now. Whether it be helmet cams or handheld devices, there are many to choose from in all price ranges. The GoPro seems to be a popular option for on-the-go filming and many of our riders will be using them. The Looxcie is also a great unit that works in conjunction with most smart phones. The camera you decide on should be small and compact, and able to download to a PC. We have found that the best place to find inexpensive video cameras, and helmet cams, is on Ebay.

  The Cannonball Staff is now looking for any riders or crew members that have a laptop and would be willing to edit and download video during the run. This is a time consuming effort that will require several people working for several hours a day to post video from multiple sources. Please contact me at if you would be interested in helping.

 As stated in the Official Event Regulations, support crews will not be allowed on the route with the competing motorcycles. Therefore we recommend that you carry a small tool kit with you on your motorcycle for minor roadside repairs. A small first aid kit is also recommended. On stage 3 we will be crossing Lake Michigan on the Lake Express Ferry. Although the ferry supplies tie-down straps for each motorcycle, we recommend that on that day you bring at least two tie-down straps of your own, and soft straps if you prefer.

 We know that with so many details to contend with in the last year, you may already be exhausted, but being prepared for such an event is the key to success. Once you have finished with your preparation and are in New York, that's when the fun begins. We have an amazing adventure in store. One you will never forget.

 Lonnie Isam Jr.
 Motorcycle Cannonball Promoter

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