Our friend Rob Watt from Trailmaster Adventures is riding his Touratech equipped BMW R1200GS on the Cannon Ball Project, a cross-country adventure commemorating Erwin George Baker’s record-setting ride across the United States on a 1914 Indian Motorcycle. Rob's GS is outfitted with a number of Touratech accessories, including Zega Pro panniers, Engine Crash Bars, Expedition Skid Plate and an Expandable Tank Bag.
About Erwin Baker:
On May 3, 1914, Erwin Baker, a motorcycle racer and enthusiast from Indianapolis, Indiana, left downtown San Diego, California on a twin-cylinder, 7 horsepower Indian motorcycle en route to New York City. Baker's goal was to break the existing cross-country record of 20 days that was held at the time. The plan was to beat the record by three days. Amazingly, not only did Baker break the record, but he did it in even less time that he had envisioned. He arrived in New York City just 11 1/2 days later on May 14th!
About the Cannon Ball Project:
A New York journalist obviously impressed by his adventure tagged Baker with a nickname of "Cannon Ball," which stuck with him the rest of his life. The Cannon Ball Project will retrace the route taken by Baker in 1914. Working from Baker's actual written accounts, our plan is to retell his story of his ride and to research what roads and routes existed at the time and match them to what exists currently.
About the Bike:
Naturally, there needs to be an Indian on this modern 11-day event. And we’re happy to report there is: Elnora, which is named in honor of Baker’s wife. Elnora began life as an engineering development mule, an Indian Chief Vintage that, by law, cannot be sold and must eventually be crushed. But Robert Pandya, PR maven for Indian, saw an opportunity and pounced, leading a very quick build on the bike that he will ride on the Cannon Ball Project, which features some dirt and sandy sections before concluding at New York City’s Battery Park on May 14.
Pandya turned to his friend Jeb Scolman (the man who built “The Spirit of Munro” streamliner) of Jeb’s Metal and Speed in Long Beach, California, to handle most of the modifications. The most obvious changes are a specially fabbed high exhaust, which offers better clearance, plus a special bash plate that protects the low-slung and massive Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin engine.
Touratech-USA is a proud sponsor of this year's Cannon Ball Project, providing participants with Roadbook Holders which they'll use to navigate Erwin's original route across the country!
Click HERE to learn more about the 2014 Cannon Ball Project.