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Motorcycle Chase 2021 report

Participating Rider brings us news from the race

by Steve Klein

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The Motorcycle Cannonball is held every two years as a Coast to Coast Motorcycle Endurance Race. It was initially started by Lonnie Isam Jr., (deceased) from Sturgis SD to commemorate Erwin “Cannonball“ Bakers Cross Country Record Setting Rides in the early 20th Century. Baker completed 142 coast to coast record setting rides for a total of over 550,000 miles starting with his first ride in 1908 on an Indian.
1953 original paint Panhead
1953 original paint Panhead

To be able to offer another venue to enthusiasts in the alternate year, The Cross Country Chase was started. The difference between the two events is The Cannonball allows riders to have a support team / trailer with spare parts, tools  and shop equipment to follow the rider Coast to Coast. This allows early machines to be repaired and often rebuilt at night before the next days race. In the Cross Country Chase, the Rider has no support and must carry all spare parts, tools and gear on his own bike and make his own roadside repairs as did riders throughout most of history.

Due to challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic it is still difficult in some states to facilitate food, rooms and other needs for 100 riders each night. So the 2021  Chase was modified to begin and end in Cape Girardeau Missouri.
Indian 4
Indian 4

The ride starts July 5-10th, 2021 and will only cover 1,350 miles total on a secret route that is announced each day 30 minutes before departure.
Kleins 46 Knuck with another Texas 47 Knuck
Kleins 46 Knuck with another Texas 47 Knuck

There are over 80 riders from all across America on 1930-1960 vintage motorcycles. Most are Harley Davidsons, a smaller percentage of Indians with a sprinkling of BMWs, Velocettes and even two Zundaps. website shows all the competing riders, their biographies and some photos of their motorcycles.
About the Author:
Steve Klein, 62, is semi-retired and after a lifetime of running his companies and raising a family he entered this years Chase to start enjoying himself more. Klein is riding his 1946 Harley Davidson FL 74 c.i. Knucklehead. He has owned the machine over 25 years.
He recently restored it after wearing it out. The Knuck is perfectly balanced, ported, polished, runs a Kevlar belt primary to reduce vibration and was upgraded to more dependable 12V electrics. The rest of the machine is completely stock down to the correct parkerizing and cadmium plating of all parts.
Route Roll Chart.
Route Roll Chart.

Klein is carrying a standard tool roll, spare points condenser, spare coil, spark plugs, a spare battery, a spare tire tube,  small can of chain lube, a rain suit, extra pair of blue jeans, a couple pair of socks and shirts, a roll of duct tape, & chapstick .
He says, “My machines are in top running condition, but all too often someone’s battery or coil quits on these rides and riders help other riders. Yesterday in the hotel parking lot I already put a new coil, condenser and new plug wires on a fellow riders 47 Knuck so he could make the starting line."
Klein had been riding for over 50 years.
Visit the offficial website of The Cross Country Chase at

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Reader Comments

Congratulations to Steve Klein for his successful completion of the Chase. Thanks for the fine article.

Monday, July 12, 2021

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