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Cannonball Characters

The now-famous coast-to-coast Motorcycle Cannonball Run, held every other year, was a century race during 2016 as riders set off on 100-plus-year-old motorcycles to endure the weather’s wrath and wild times of over 3,300 miles along the back roads of America. Thunder Press is delighted to introduce some of the colorful characters that made that extraordinary ride

Cannonball Characters: #102 Ciro Nisi

Cannonball Characters: #102 Ciro Nisi

Ciro Nisi #102 1912 Indian Single The Cannonball has hosted a variety of antique motorcycling buffs from all around the world, including several riders from Europe. Ciro Nisi, an avid rider from Northern Italy, initially found out about the Motorcycle Cannonball through meetings with other local motorcycling friends. He became fascinated with the thought of tackling the exhilarating adventure and searched ...

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Cannonball Characters: #22 Jeff Lauritsen

Jeff Lauritsen #22 1916 Excelsior Cannonballer #22 is a two-time rider who is signed up to make it a triad for 2018. The 66-year-old Lauritsen chuckles when asked where he’s from. He announces that he’s a South Dakota resident who lives in Nebraska, an arrangement made for business purposes. For 45 years Jeff transported bees across the country, primarily between ...

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Cannonball Characters: #25 Scott Byrd

#25 Scott Byrd 1916 Harley-Davidson The Race of the Century’s rider #25, Scott Byrd, is everyone’s favorite jokester. As a cigar-smoking, tobacco-chewing dentist from Arkansas, this guy had made quite a reputation for himself well before his first Cannonball back in 2014 when riders made their run from Florida to Washington. With his tongue-in-cheek, smartass posts on the Motorcycle Cannonball social ...

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Cannonball Characters: Jason Sims

Carrying the torch Since the first Motorcycle Cannonball run in 2010, antique motorcycle riders from around the world have anxiously signed up to follow Lonnie Isam Jr. across the United States on a unique journey that many have described as “life changing.” Before his passing in August of 2017, Lonnie had already passed the Cannonball torch to Jason Sims and ...

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Cannonball Characters: #41 Mike Bell

Mike Bell

#41 Mike Bell 1916 Harley-Davidson Texas native Mike Bell has been up on two wheels for 66 years, bought his first Harley in 1957 and has owned his 1957 Panhead for 50 years. His Cannonball bike, Alice, came into Mike’s life back in the 1980s and he got her running in the early ’90s even though he didn’t really ride ...

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Cannonball Characters: #24 Kelly Modlin

Kelly Modlin

#24 Kelly Modlin 1914 Excelsior Kelly first joined the ever-growing Cannonball family of riders back in 2012. He rode with a sidecar attached to his Harley that year and a mannequin dressed up as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, in honor of his home state of Kansas, was his traveling companion. For 2014, he and his 1927 Henderson Deluxe ...

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Cannonball Characters: #18 Doug Feinsod

#18 Doug Feinsod

#18 Doug Feinsod 1913 Thor Located somewhere deep in the Pacific Coast Range of Northern California, rider number 18 is the owner of Santa Cruz Vintage Cycles and he keeps himself quite busy with the business of buying, selling and swapping old motorcycles. Doug is one of only two riders who have managed to experience the transcontinental adventures of each ...

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Cannonball Characters: #67 Bill Rodencal

#67 Bill Rodencal 1915 Harley-Davidson The Motorcycle Cannonball is well known as a family of sorts as riders form bonds while struggling their way across the country on their ancient machines. For Bill Rodencal, a two-time Cannonball rider, he’s taken the word “family” much more literally. His homeschooled daughters, Cassidy and Willa, along with his wife Diane, accompanied Bill on ...

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Cannonball Characters: Lonnie Isam Jr.

Lonnie Isam Jr. 1916 Harley-Davidson In order to truly understand the spirit of the Motorcycle Cannonball, you have to first know the man who initially struck the spark of interest in the antique motorcycle wildfire that has burned its way around the world. When Lonnie sent out calls to antique riding friends to join him for a run to traverse ...

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Cannonball Characters: #17 Rick Salisbury

#17 Rick Salisbury 1916 Excelsior Rick has ridden in three of the four Motorcycle Cannonball Runs and is signed up to tackle it again in 2018. As owner of a motorcycle emporium that carries vintage motorcycles, he has his choice of machines to get him across the country and Rick’s proven his respect for all marques by arriving at the ...

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