Yesterday was a challenge on the Motorcycle Cannonball. I rode my 1929 Harley JDH 299 miles from Jackson, WY to Mountain Home, ID. The morning started out quite cold – in the mid 30s as we rode up and over the Teton Mountains.
I was riding with Jim Petty on a 1927 Indian Chief and Paul Ousey on a 1925 Harley JE. It was the first mountain I had to down shift to second gear a few times. but my Two Cam Harley had plenty of power to get up and over.
My Harley ran great most of the morning then started to pop and run poorly, as I pulled into a gas station it died. We checked and it had no spark at the plugs or points. We wired a spare battery to test and it fired right up. We assumed it was a dead battery, so as we pulled off the old one we found the ground wire had melted and there was no ground. We made a makeshift ground wire and I was back on the road.
Later I had carb issues, but was able to make it the full 299 miles for the day and we still came in ahead of schedule (thanks to my riding faster than usual on the Motorcycle Cannonball – at speeds over 70 mph).
On to Oregon today. I expect out battery issues are solved and I am looking forward to the last few days of this historic ride.