CANNONBALL RUN 1919 — A Transcontinental Motorcycle Journey

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A Transcontinental Motorcycle Journey

Softcover Book


by Vahan M. Dinihanian, Jr.
 Published November 2018

The only known written report of a six-month, pre-road system, Cannonball Baker inspired, Motorcycle round trip from Portland, Oregon to New York City. Transcribed from the original diary of one of the riders.

The year was 1919. There was no paved road system across the United States. Gasoline stations were scarce. Cars were few. Horse and wagons were the main modes of transportation. Inspired by the reports of the adventures of Cannonball Baker, two adventurous young men undertook a transcontinental motorcycle journey.

The original diary of Erling J. Hangerud illustrates their ride from Portland, Oregon, to New York City via the Yellowstone Trail on a 1918 Indian Powerplus and a 1918 Harley-Davidson. Their mishaps and successes take us back to that era, along with vignettes describing significant historical details relevant to their journey.

Join Erling Hangerud and Fred (Fritz) Kunkel on their ride across the continental United States, and then ponder that in 2018 more than 130 million motorcycles were manufactured and sold worldwide. Motor¬cycles provide economic transportation and efficient fuel savings to millions of people all over the world. They also provide jobs. A percentage of the sale of this book will be used to fund a scholarship program for young people who aspire to make a career out of supporting the motorcycle industry.

Review by Tim Graber – Classic Motorcycle Consignments

I am an avid motorcycle rider on early vintage motorcycles. Cannonball Run 1919 caught my eye because of the name, which is synonymous with adventure! 

This book is a great read! It is a re-write from a diary kept by one of two adventurous motorcycle riders that rode from Portland OR to New York in 1919. They made the trip because Cannonball Baker did it and they thought it would be a fun adventure! One rode a 1919 Indian Motorcycle and the other rode a ‘new’, 1919 Harley Davidson.

The author of this book purchased the 1919 Indian from the estate and was given the diary. He’s done a great job of making the diary legible and adding in historical information to assist with the understanding of the ride and the information in the diary.

The tone of the writer and the usage of language is a great review of early American life. I highly recommend this easy and enjoyable read!

About the Author

Motorcycle enthusiast and author Vahan Dinihanian purchased Erling Hangerud’s 1918 Indian Powerplus from Hangerud’s family over twenty years ago. Since then, Dinihanian became interested in rebuilding vintage Indian engines, transmissions, and clutches. He rebuilt the engine and power train on the 1918 Indian Powerplus and rides the bike yearly, sometimes over two hundred miles per day. Dinihanian Mfg. Inc. is a highly-accredited Indian motorcycle repair and parts supplier.


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