Cannonball Sam's picture


Let me first introduce myself. I am Samantha Lucas and have known Darryl since 1997. I am an avid motorcyclist and have ridden all over the world, America, Europe, and India. Unfortunately I don't own a vintage bike so I am blessed to live vicariously through Darryl, his vintage exploits and Team #52. I plan to follow the team in spirit this year as I couldn't go along physically, so I will help to update and maintain this blog for Darryl and the team. I will do my best to keep everyone up to date on what developments are happening as each leg is completed.

Here we go...

Welcome to the Motorcycle Cannonball 2014, Team boxer Rebellion returns! It has been a long and full 2 years preparing for this year's Cannonball. We within Team Boxer Rebellion are extremely excited to be participating again in this amazing event. We start the race in Datona Beach, FL this coming Friday, September 5th. Whew! It has been a whirlwind. We are now all in Daytona completing the final preparations for the race. The race ends in Tacoma, Washington on September 21st. A whopping 3928 miles across our great USA.

The race this year has 107 participants and 7 BMW's. here is the list of BMW bikes participating;

#8 ......Joe Gimpel from Daytona Beach riding a 1928 BMW R52 again this
#20 ....Denis Sharon on a 1936 R12.
#23 ...Team HMS (Historic Motorcycle Society) based in Jax, FL, again ridden
by Norm Nelson. Bike owned by collector Jack Wells.
#52 ...Darryl Richman from Santa Cruz returns on his 1928 R52.
#53 ...John Landstrom from Atlanta and owner of Blue Moon BMW will be riding
a 1928 R62 .
#62 ...Scott Blaylock will be riding another 1928 R62.
#63 ...Alabama's Eric Bahl will be riding a 1929 R63.
Exciting that the field has more then doubled for BMW's from 2012.

After healing up after the last race Darryl set to healing the 1928 BMW R52. It was completely apart, in pieces, on the garage floor a few short months ago. After a few trips to Germany over the last 2 years in search of parts and getting some of the damaged parts repaired, rebuilt or replaced Darryl has reassembled the whole bike with only a month to spare for the necessary break in rides. Whew, again! Task master Darryl is at work again for this year's race.

The team: Darryl Richman from Santa Cruz, CA, our fearless leader. Steve Woodward from Oregon returns for his 2nd Cannonball as crew for Team Boxer Rebellion. So does Don Cameron from New Mexico who serves as a much valued crew member. We also welcome our new team member Brent Hanson to the team this year who will travel and consult as the head mechanic.

Darryl and Brent set out from Santa Cruz last week with the bike, headed to New Mexico where they picked up Don and the trailer that Don has outfitted so nicely for the race. See some of the photos below. They then drove the on together to Daytona, FL for the last few days of prep and the start of the race on Friday. Steve arrives today in Florida to get to work.


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA stops spam by preventing automated "bots" from accessing this site.
Enter the code without spaces and pay attention to upper/lower case.
Darryl.Richman's picture

Riding the R52

As I mentioned in the comments in my previous post, I love to get people interested in what it's like to ride the R52. Most are quite intimidated, because the controls are so foreign to what a modern rider is used to. Even the clutch and front brake levers, which are in their normal places, pivot the wrong way.

Here's a picture of the most important rider controls:

As mentioned, you have the clutch and front brake in the usual places, but the levers pivot from the outside. This means you have to get used to reaching for them with your index fingers, and I do mean reach.

There are three thumblevers on the handlebars: the spark timing on the left and the choke and throttle ganged together on the right. There's no twist grip, and I find that I must ride with the palms of my hands against the grips so I can manipulate these levers with my thumbs.

This is a hand shift bike with a three speed transmission, and the shift lever is on the right; the same side as the throttle lever. This can complicate downshifting somewhat.

Finally, we have the rear brake, which must be modulated with your right heel. Just to use it, you have to learn to lift your foot and put it down in the right spot to hit the lever with your heel.

Besides these, there's the swing-out kickstarter on the left side, the engine kill button on the left handlebar by the spark lever, and the combination horn button and mechanical high/low beam lever on the right handlebar. There is no key of any sort, the bike is always ready to ride. The headlight and taillight are operated by a big knob on the back of the headlight shell.

Here's a demonstration of how to start the bike:

Actually, that misses a couple things right at the start. First, the petcock must be opened, then the tickler on the carb must be held down until some gas overflows; this is usually about a 15 count. The spark must be fully retarded, the choke opened about 1/3 and the gas opened about 1/2. When the engine fires, the spark needs to be advanced some, the choke opened fully and the gas closed to the stop for idling. Of course, this only applies when the engine is cold.

To first get going, you have to pull the clutch lever and pull the shift lever up into first; if it won't go in, the bike needs to be rolled forward or backward slightly until it does go in. Then some gas is given with the throttle lever and the spark is advanced gradually as the clutch is released and the engine speeds up.

When it's time to shift into 2nd, it really gets busy. You have to understand that, while 1st and 3rd gears on the transmission output shaft are, like any modern motorcycle, always in mesh with their counterparts, the two gears that mesh for 2nd gear are not. This leaves the rider in the position of trying to get them spinning at the same speed so they won't grind badly when they are meshed. The gear on the output shaftwill be turning at a speed relative to the rear wheel, but its counterpart will be spinning at the engine speed, or not at all if the clutch is pulled. This is where double clutching comes in.

First, the clutch has to be pulled and the transmission shifted into neutral, and the throttle lever pushed closed to let the engine begin to fall to idle. At this moment, there are three independent moving parts that need to be synchronized: the engine and clutch, the input shaft, and the output shaft, final drive and rear tire. The way to do that is to let the clutch out, which connects the first two items together to match their speed and then finish the shift by clutching and shifting up (pushing down on the shift lever) into second. Now it is time to open the throttle a bit while releasing the clutch lever.

The upshift into 3rd isn't as bad, because 3rd (and 1st) are always in mesh. So clutch, close the throttle, push the shift lever all the way down, give it some gas and release the clutch.

Downshifting to 2nd is the most work. There's a false neutral position on the shift lever between 2nd and 3rd that needs to be found (no detent for it that you can feel). Once shifted into this neutral and releasing the clutch, the rider must move his right hand from the shifter up to the throttle, "blip" the throttle to bring up the engine and input shaft speed, before returning to the shifter, declutching and making the shift into 2nd. Watch as I do it here:


Complicated Controls

Jim Hansen's picture

Sheesh...I'll never complain about the confusing turn signal switches on my '78 R100RS again.

Well, that's a point where

Darryl.Richman's picture

Well, that's a point where the R52 is right up to date! It has automatic turn signal cancelation. I mean, you can't keep your left hand out there all day, you'll need it to clutch after you turn...

--Darryl Richman
"Bling is not made in Germany" --OTL, 12/05

Alternative Shift Technique

Drew Grant's picture

Another way to change down is to make use of the kill button.

Start with the gas set a little high, now hit the kill button, declutch and go into the false neutral.

Now release clutch and kill button, let your revs rise, declutch again and shift to second.

Doing it this way means you do not need to take your hand away from the shift lever, it is a little quicker and saves you from the grab for the throttle lever and back to the shift.

Takes a bit of practice and you can also use it to change up by not releasing the kill button till you have shifted into the higher gear.

I use this on my '29 Triumoh which has a similar crash second gear transmission and lever throttle set up, it's also useful on the R12 and sidecar (it's better than reaching across the tank and changing clutchless on the kill button which was the old hand-shift racing technique).


Interesting ideas, Drew! The

Darryl.Richman's picture

Interesting ideas, Drew! The engine fires again when the kill button is released because the heavy flywheel is still spinning the motor, I presume?

The downshift into 2nd is a very busy time. I should have included the maneuver at real time to show that in the little video.

The kill button can be used to slow before and during a turn instead of the long process of downshifting, when it is appropriate. You can scare following riders with the backfire when you release the kill button, too. Smile

--Darryl Richman
"Bling is not made in Germany" --OTL, 12/05

Whew! Not for me, I am afraid!

jeff dean's picture

I enjoyed reading about how you operate and ride an R52, but I could not grasp it all.

I am too old to learn all that.

Tickling the carbs and kicking my R60/2s, R69S, R51/3, R68, and R25/3 are enough for me, thank you Smile

I had a prewar bike once. That was enough. The BMWs from the 1950s and 1960s I ride almost daily are wonderful to ride and I can actually operate their controls!


miller6997's picture

When I was in college I had a job driving a manure truck for a gigantic chicken ranch. The truck was a mid-fifties cab-over GMC with a four-speed main transmission, a three-speed "Brownie" auxiliary gearbox, and a two-speed rear axle--twenty-four combinations. I thought that was complicated but your routine makes it look simple.

'67 R69S
'05 R1200RT

I did 2600 miles of it across

Darryl.Richman's picture

I did 2600 miles of it across most of the US. It's work in traffic, that's for sure, because you must anticipate what everyone around you is doing and take preventative actions as well as just driving the bike. And there are speeds the bike likes and those it can't do, based on where the torque is in each gear. You sometimes have to direct traffic to get people to stop following you and pass where it's safe, or just pull off the road to get the idea across.

--Darryl Richman
"Bling is not made in Germany" --OTL, 12/05

A cast back to a better time in motoring

Liam Borand's picture

Am I the only person who thinks that driving these days is just too easy?! All this new technology and new advances in automotive design and performance are just taking away the fun and enjoyment that driving is all about. To me, bikes like this represent a lost era in driving. They are a cast back to a better time, when driving took skill and knowledge. These days, virtually anyone can jump in a car or on a bike and they're away. They are even working on self drive cars for god sake! Come on guys, this just isn't what driving is about! Motoring is fun and should always remain fun! No one really wants to be driven about all over the they?!

Controls - thanks

Al Kuenn's picture

Darryl, that is a great article and I am really enjoying the whole series. I forgot how involved the whole process is with these old bikes. Its easy to take for granted how much is 'done for us' on our newer bikes. Thanks again for all these articles.

Very Cool!

spo123's picture

Thanks for the instruction....Well "spoken"......COMPLICATED!
Heal up and get WELL!

Best wishes always,

Sneaking onto your list to say "Hello"

Jeff Alperin's picture

So -- hello. And, Happy New Year. How's your leg? Can you please give us the full description of how you clutch it?

Hi Jeff! Hope things are

Darryl.Richman's picture

Hi Jeff! Hope things are going well for you and "The Beast"! I have an appointment this morning with my orthopedist and I hope that this is the last one! I'm getting around fine, and although I'm not at 100% yet, I can see it from here.

--Darryl Richman
"Bling is not made in Germany" --OTL, 12/05

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA stops spam by preventing automated "bots" from accessing this site.
Enter the code without spaces and pay attention to upper/lower case.
Darryl.Richman's picture

"Hopalong" Back Home

Sorry about the long delay in posting. I find it difficult to touch type from a reclining position, which has really been the only comfortable one I can stay in for a reasonable length of time right now. Getting around on crutches is difficult, especially as my house's bedroom and kitchen are on the second floor.

As to my foot, things are good and getting better. I scrunched the #2, 3 and 4 metatarsals, the bones behind the actual toe bones in the front of the foot. I pushed them over against #5, the pinkie. The emergency room doctor in Ukiah said I had to have emergency surgery, and he put them back in place and held them there with two temporary pins. (Temporary is about 4 weeks, but from here that seems like forever.)

On Thursday I went to a local orthopedist, and he agreed that the procedure was exactly the right thing I needed, and the job was well done. Underneath the cast there are about five stitches and two little pinholes, where the pins don't quite stick out anymore. I got a new cast and a return date in three weeks. The pins are slightly problematic; because they are under the skin, they could create an infection source, so I'm also on antibiotics for the next two weeks.

So long as I don't put weight on the foot or twist it, and I let the blood pressure gradually build up before I rise, my foot has no pain. Other than taking a couple Advil at the accident scene, I haven't needed any pain killers for it.

Because my garage is a bit of a hike, I haven't actually seen the bike yet. Everyone tells me that it's in better shape than could be expected, but I know that this can mean very little. The frame or forks could be significantly bent and it wouldn't be obvious from a casual glance, for example.

The van, which had yet more problems in the last couple days of the Cannonball, is at the local shop. They tell me that the Sprinter, which popped its "turbo resonator" (a plastic muffler on the turbo intake) on the way to NY, now has actually openned up the turbo itself. This got oil both into the exhaust header, coating the oxygen sensor, and into the intake tract, covering the temperature sensor. A replacement turbo will take several days to source, and in that time the shop will try to see if these sensors can be saved. I'm looking at about two grand in repairs...

I'm contemplating where to go with the cylinders and pistons on the R52. If you've managed to read through the blog, you might recall that I started with a second set of cylinders/pistons/rings/valves. I didn't realize that the valves in this second cylinder had a different stem diameter and valve keeper configuration than the cylinders I was running at the start.

When I broke the right piston, I wanted to just swap cylinder sets; that had been my plan all along. But I had expected to be able to move the valve spring seats, springs, keepers and collets over from one set to the other. When we discovered the difference with the valve stems, we spent a couple days during the Cannonball trying to figure out what change to make. We thought that a machine shop would be able to change the ends of the valves or the collets to adapt them to each other, but we couldn't find one that would do that. In the end, the original cylinders were bored to match the pistons from the new set, which had a larger diameter than the originals (which were themselves a 3rd overbore).

The new pistons turned out to be poorly made and are not a long term option. I will probably have 2 sets of pistons made for the cylinders at their current diameter. I will also be looking for the seats, springs, keeepers and collets to make the second set of cylinders useful on their own.

I also suspect that the continuing head gasket problems we had probably led to the one piston breaking. It was probably thermally shocked on more than one occasion, and this probably led to its demise. We believe that the head gasket problem itself may have been a result of not torquing down the head nuts several times, each after a thermal cycle. At least, that approach seemed to prevent a gasket failure for the last 2+ days of the Cannonball. As we had failures both with the heads I had on the bike and with the heads that Vech so very kindly overnighted to us from his own R52, I cannot attribute the problem to the heads being warped.

Speaking of Vech, I cannot overemphasize the help and encouragement that I received, and that Team Boxer Rebellion received. Vech was a standout among many people who made the whole thing possible. My teammates, Jeff Wu and Samantha Lucas, who did photography and videoing, were great. I absolutely couldn't have done this without the help of Steve Woodward and Don Cameron, who both spent long hours working on the bike, sourcing parts, fixing the van and dealing with the hotels along the way. They were probably more tired than I was at the end of each night.

I want to again thank my sponsors, who either through parts or cash, helped to defray some of the cost of this adventure.

I also want to heartily thank all of the supporters who bought Team Boxer Rebellion stuff from my website. (You can still buy stuff, btw, if you want to.) Because of a glitch in the webserver, Steve wasn't able to send out any orders after about Sturgis, and now that that is fixed, I find it difficult to put together the mailer boxes. Regardless, those who have orders pending, I will send them out somehow this week. Your generosity is wonderful, and you are all a part of Team Boxer Rebellion.

Last, but certainly not least, I must thank all of you who followed along here, at the Motorcycle Cannonball site, on Facebook, at the Antique Motorcycle Club site or, especially, were able to come out and cheer us on along the route. Believe me, it was great, and I hope we never seemed too busy to chat.



Bruce Williams's picture

When I restored my R-17, after trying several manufacturers, I was able to get pistons from Aries, they matched the gram weight, pin diameter, and valve clearance cutaways. You will have to find a source that has a blank to fit your requirements. For valve guides, I sourced a bar of Meenanite ( a type of self lubricating cast iron) suitable for our motors. Made the valves from SS truck valves and shortened them, cut keeper grooves and flame hardened the stem ends. I was able to use chevy springs and keepers. Sorry to hear of the broken foot, I talked with Jack Wells almost every day and tracked the progress, what a fine adventure to have.

Take care, Bruce

Daryl, Sorry to hear of your

Jay Whyte's picture

Sorry to hear of your mishap. You are a lucky man. Get well soon.
Regards, Jay Whyte
Santa Cruz


Peter Schildhause's picture

Offer a free ride on the back for everyone who donates $200 for the repair. Or perhaps for $500 one could be pilot in command for a 5 mile stretch of quiet road.

A ride on the back would be

Darryl.Richman's picture

A ride on the back would be very uncomfortable. The parcel rack is quite unforgiving and lacks ... support ... in ... important places.

Actually, I'm quite enthusiastic about getting people interested in these very old bikes. But the controls are quite intimidating; little other than the clutch and front brake levers -- which even then pivot from the outside -- are what we modern riders are used to. And now that Peter Nettesheim has taught me how to double clutch and preserve my 2nd gear, it's even more work to ride one of these beasts.

--Darryl Richman
"Bling is not made in Germany" --OTL, 12/05

Hope you and the R52 are both

mookie58's picture

Hope you and the R52 are both better quickly and back on the road soon.

Curious About Repairs

Jim Hansen's picture


Please keep us informed about the repairs. I'm especially curious about any repairs/mods re. the blown headgaskets and piston seizures, and maybe also about those crazy, solid, non-pivoting, too-low, death-trap floorboards.


P.S. I'll take a short ride on the back on that parcel rack if you pay me $200.

R 17's and riding on luggage racks

R66RODENT's picture

I had an R17 which I bought for $300 in 1966. The kid who sold it to me thought it was very advanced for 1936, because it had a "rigid frame, just like a flat-track racer".We used to ride it around Cambridge with my wife sitting on a sofa pillow on the rack. One afternoon we hit a particularly nasty pot-hole on Mass. Ave, and the second thing that came down after she returned to her perch on the rack, was her fist on the back of my helmet. "Sell this fucking pig", she yelled. Which I did several weeks later, encouraged somewhat by the recent demise of the crankpin. I sold it to Amol Precision for what I had in it. The bike was very original-at least to my untutored eyes. I had no idea when I bought it, that BMW only made 400 R17's. Anyway Darryl, whatever you decide to do about putative passengers on your luggage rack, I hope you heal up fast and well, and that you get the R52 sorted out soon.

So sorry to hear about the

macfly's picture

So sorry to hear about the mishap, I'd been away from the site for a while, and just came back to discover this. Hope that the healing is going well, and you'll be back in the saddle in no time.

All the best, Andrew


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA stops spam by preventing automated "bots" from accessing this site.
Enter the code without spaces and pay attention to upper/lower case.
Darryl.Richman's picture

Disappointment and an Apology

As I write this, I am lying comfortably in my hospital bed at Ukiah Valley Medical Center. I haven't yet seen the doctor this morning, but I assume that the surgery on my foot to insert a couple pins to stabilize the number 2, 3 and 4 metatarsals yesterday evening went well. I have not seen, but am told, that the R52 is in surprisingly good shape.

I am disappointed, not so much for myself, but for my teammates and everyone who has supported Team Boxer Rebellion and has been following our trials and tribulations. After finally working through a number of problems and getting help from other teams and even wonderful help from Brent Lamb (Lamb Cylinder) and Fred Wiley at Big Twin BMW in Boise, and from Vech (Bench Mark Works) and Brent (Brent's Motor Works), things were looking up.

I want to apologize deeply for letting everyone down. Steve and Don put in countless tireless hours and were helpful at every point. So to have ended our run by having an accident is a bitter pill for me. I am extremely sorry.

There's not much to relate: we were back in California and the route was going down CA-1 from Leggett to Westport, which I wrote about previously. This is a favorite road of mine. The bike was running well and, about 10 miles down, I was having a great time. But I went through a corner and tried to lean the bike beyond its cornering clearance, which is limited by the floorboards. I scraped the bottom of the left floorboard and levered the rear tire free, then the bike and I, probably travelling about 25mph, took a tangent out of the curve and over the edge. This area is very steep with loose dirt and lots of trees. I was extremely lucky that the bike was hooked by a young tree, which hung onto both the bike and me.

I managed to climb back up to the road. I could feel that my left foot was sore, and I got my boots off, with Jeff Wu's help. The top of my foot was swollen, but so long as I didn't try to put weight on the foot, not painful. Jeff had some Advil and I kept the foot elevated by lying on the ground and propping my left leg on Jeff's bike's footpegs. Lonny Isam, the organizer, was among the first people to come by, and he was very helpful. Eventually a tow truck arrived, and with the help of a number of riders, they retrieved the bike. Jeff had called Steve, who returned from Willits with our support van, and the bike was loaded into it.

Photo by, I believe, Somer Hooker, used without permission

Because I could move my toes and ankle, and had no pain other than when I tried to put weight on my foot, I elected to have Steve drive me to an urgent care facility. This was probably not the wisest course of action, but I think it turned out ok anyway. It happened that the nearest one was in a hospital facility in Ukiah. As soon as the nurse practitioner had a look at the swelling on my foot, she told me I had to go to the emergency room. A series of X-rays showed broken bones and an unstable injury, and I was scheduled for surgery to pin them. I slept well overnight, but don't know exactly what my prognosis is at this point.

I do know that I won't be riding to the finish today, but I do wish the best for the other riders. The event has had a lot of ups and downs, and I hope that there are no further downs for any of the other riders.



JD Whitaker's picture

Hi Darryl,

Keep a weighted perspective. How many miles did you ride? How many left to go? Do the math - you deserve more credit than penalty.


Recover and see you

Lennart Jansson's picture

Bad luck but it could have been worse.
We have seen your great fighting spirit and focus on the competition. Your story entertains a lot and will live for long - wish you a speedy recovery. Lennart & Elisabeth

Well Darryl, you gave it your

guest's picture

Well Darryl, you gave it your best shot, and you overcame an awful of difficulties on the way across, and you don't owe anyone any apologies. Sounds like the old girl smelled home, and you both got a little carried away. So heal up quick! I hope to see you on the road soon. And thanks for making the extra effort to tell us exactly what happened.

Sorry to hear this, glad you're ok

Ian Schmeisser's picture

Darryl - so sorry this happened, but I am very glad you're not hurt worse. I know this is hard on you, but you made it and have a lot to be proud of.

Your friend,


Speedy recovery

Peter Nettesheim's picture

Thinking about your trip over the last two weeks all I could think about was the "what ifs" you might run into with keeping the bike running, never thinking that anything other than a mechanical problem might stop your success.

Heal fast (I cant help you much there) but let me know if there is anything I might be able to do to get the bike running again.

Warm Regards,
Peter Nettesheim

The Great Adventure comes to an end

Bob Straubinger's picture

I've been down that road several times and you are lucky you didn't get killed, big drop offs along there.
You and the team did an amazing job. One small slip up doesn't take away from the team's great effort. And there is always next year.
Rest up and heal. Wish we could get together at the Deming BBQ this year but that's not to be.
Be well and get back on the horse as soon as you can.


guest's picture

Darryl, never, every are any apologies necessary. Many of us often say, it is not the destination, but the journey. Yes, the final destination certainly holds some relative value, but you have done what few have-to genuinely participate in the Cannonball. We've all lived through you.
You will heal. Fix the bike. Ride on.
Shawn M.

Who Do You Mean?

Pat Tobin's picture

Darryl, give us some names.

Who among the many who helped you so far said that they would do it IF you could promise a win, or at least a high-placed finish?

Come on - give us names.

Darryl, we all know the answer - not one soul feels disappointed, except for your injury and elimination from completing the race.

People of high character attract the same, and your travails thus far prove that rule.

So please don't beat yourself up. That's not what your many friends and helpers want you to do. There is SO MUCH to admire in how you beat back adversity, often beyond all reasonable odds.

I feel safe in saying that to make it as far as you did, despite overwhelming obstacles, makes you a champ in our eyes.


This won't be funny now, but read it later. It is Tobin's first law of motorcycling safety:

Always STOP before GETTING OFF.

Just another of your fans with unlimited admiration,

Pat Tobin

heal soon ....

guest's picture

Hey Darryl - sorry to hear about it, get better, heal soon.

Great Ride

guest Raj C's picture


A little out of context, but suits your adventure rather well.

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

From Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem In Memoriam:27, 1850:

Darryl, I have been following your ride diligently since the Cannonball Run commenced. All of us non participants admire your spirit for participating against considerable odds. Despite modern conveniences, riding a machine manufactured in the 1920s is like going back 80 odd years and taking part in a long distance race, without the benefit of A) a new machine (your BMW is 87 years old), Cool without readily available new replacement parts, 3) without fuel and oil made for a 1925 motorcycle.

Please do not apologize, you have done very well, and if it was not for this mishap, you would definitely have completed the Run. We are happy that both you and the bike have not been grievously hurt. Wishing both of you a speedy recovery.

God Bless,
From beautiful and exotic India

Get well soon!

Florian Oberst's picture

Hey Darryl!

I just read about your accident, i was a quite shocked first. Looks like a hard and wide fall, but god bless your not to bad injured.
I understand your disappointment not finishing this great trip after all this trouble with your bike, but now you should get back on your feet, and then on your seat.=)
I wish you a fast and painless recovery, hope you get well soon.

Also good wishes from my family!
Greetings, Florian


Pat Tobin's picture


Gosh Darn, Guy, you are a winner! I don't know of any of us who would have, could have persevered through the darndest set of obstacles and come within a hair's breadth of success!

I admire your performance greatly, and I'm one of a crowd with that wish.

May I add my best wishes for a speedy and comfortable recovery.

Pat Tobin

Heal fast

mookie58's picture

Sorry to hear of your misfortune. Hope you and the bike are both back on the road soon. Get well soon!

Well well!

rosenstein6900's picture

Darryl, so, so sorry to have just read about your accident. Get well quickly and simply consider this a warm-up for the next Cannonball, hopefully without incidents.

best regards

1967 R69S

Biffing On The Cannonball

Jim Brown's picture


No need to apologize. Nobody sets out to deliberatly have an accident (except Evel Kneivel, perhaps). And hindsight is always 20/20. Playing "what if" -- If I'd only taken that curve a little slower and not leaned as much... won't change the past, or the present. And I'm sure you'll have a heightened awareness of what you did poorly and will correct it in the future.

When I had my Valentine's Day accident in 1988 and wound up with a metallic left ankle, I replayed what I did wrong over and over. Yes, I've learned from that. And there have been times I've wondered if that accident has actually saved my life because I'm now a much more cautious rider who contantly does "forward thinking/riding what-ifs" and evaluating the ride ahead of me, envisioning possible scenarios and taking steps to ensure they don't happen.

Very glad to hear you're OK and the bike is fixable. You didn't do bad, you did good because you're here to talk about it and continue riding. Both of us, and the rest of the Listers, know riders who didn't make it.


Jim Brown

All the best

Fred Jakobs's picture

Hi Darryl,

I hope the surgery has been successful and you are doing well. I know you have been well prepared for that trip and now you have a reason to try it again on the next Canonball Wink I wish you all the best from Munich/Germany. Fred

Darryl's Cannonball

John A.Pace's picture

Get well soon and God Bless.You are a winner!!!

Get Well Soon

David Haley's picture

Hi Darryl,
I have three screws and a pin in my left ankle. Doing what the doctors tell you will be the quickest way to get back in the saddle. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. Get well soon.
David H.
San Jose
'78 R100RS Motorsport

Thanks for your competitive effort

Dave Reina's picture

Hi Darryl,

I have been living vicariously through your blog. What a great effort and thankfully not too serious an accident. My sympathies went out to you every time I read about the blown head gaskets and the efforts that went into forging on. Best wishes for speedy healing.


Speedy recovery!

Peter Keller's picture

Hello Darryl.

Sascha just told me about your accident. And I could read all about it in your blog. Seems you had a lot of luck and a helpful guardian angel.
Wishing you all the best for a speedy recovery and I hope to see you soon at our Café again.
All the best

Well Done, I Say!!

Ron Aikins's picture


The magnificent news is that your injuries are minor (always comparing with the worst that could have happened). I know it must have been terribly disappointing to come so close to completion, but that takes nothing away from the determination and persistence you displayed.

To you and your whole team -- WELL DONE!

Part of the bigger universe

Wynand's picture


As a friend told me once, "its all part of the bigger universe - so relax". Wish you a speedy recovary.


Hi, so glad you are okay. We

guest's picture

Hi, so glad you are okay. We came by right after and saw the bike. You were very lucky! So glad we got to see you ride that beautiful bike. You never gave up and the spirit of the Cannonball was with your team. Hope you heal fast and maybe we will see you again down the road. It was a pleasure to meet you!

Cris Sommer Simmons
2010 Cannonball #89

To ride on a Harley Davison

Robs's picture

To ride on a Harley Davison bike has been my dream and I had a chance to experience the power and comfort on it. The one that you have shared here, the 1940 BMW R12 military looks stunning and these snaps tempts me to take a ride on it too.

Darryl.Richman's picture

A good day

Today Team Boxer Rebellion was back on track. And the route, from Klamath Falls to Fortuna, made it especially sweet. We travelled through some beautiful country from Klamath Falls to Medford, zigged and zagged around I-5 and the Rogue River, and then took US-199, a particularly scenic and curvy road from Grants Pass, OR to Crescent City, CA. It travels through the Smith River wilderness and under a canopy of redwoods before breaking out to the Pacific.

The weather was cold in the morning and cool most of the day, only warming into the 70s when I got south of Crescent City. This was good for the R52's engine, which ran strong and only had a few seizure episodes, which I fortunately caught before they actually did seize. I never had to completely stop, being able to coast and downshift, and waiting as long as possible before popping the clutch to get the engine going again. The bore job now has about 500 miles on it, and it doesn't seem to use any more oil than it did beforehand. I've used up the 2 stroke oil I was putting into the tank as a top end lubricant, so tomorrow we'll see how it goes on just premium pump gas.

The bike was a real joy on the twisting roads. It tracks straight and, with its long handlebars giving a lot of leverage, is light to steer. Some of the downhill turns marked at 25 and 30 I was taking at 35 or 40, with no drama at all.

Tomorrow is an early and long day. We will leave Fortuna at 7am, ride through the Avenue of the Giants, then take Highway 1 down to the coast. This section of road, from Leggett to Westport, is IMHO far better than The Dragon, and not only because it isn't overrun with traffic. It's longer, more scenic and has more elevation changes, as well as being as curve dense as The Dragon. We will then ride the coast down past Fort Bragg and then take CA-128 across to Geyserville.


Bodes well for today and

Guy's picture

Bodes well for today and tomorrow, Darryl! The fact that your message mainly talks about the fun things (the route, bike's behaviour) says it all.
I don't know if you noticed but all 3 category I bikes are within 4 places of each other, including you. Not that it really matters. I guess the 3 of you must nevertheless be excited to have gotten this far.
Hoping the focus of the next 2 days will continue to be on the driving!


Jim Hansen's picture

An idea re. the pistons, once you're home, is to heat them up in the oven and measure them while still hot. What would the hot piston/cylinder clearance be? I wonder if some sort of modern piston could be modifed to fit, or custom pistons manufactured by an outfit like Egge Machine Co. (I rebuilt a '38 Plymouth flathead and used Egge pistons).

You're still moving forward! Things are looking up! Bravo!

Crash ?

Joel Rapose's picture

I just looked at the picture of the crashed bike....but no word of Darryl

Were here my friend, just ask and we will come to your aid, where ever what ever .... Bikes can be rebuilt that was one almost terrible accident is good...hope you are alright.

Your Friend

Joel Rapose

Get well!

rosenstein6900's picture

Darryl, so, so sorry to have just read about your misfortune. Get well soon and just consider this a practice run for the next Cannonball.


1967 R69S

Fast recovery and best regards from Portugal

Pedro Costa 's picture

Hello Darryl,

After we´ve been on the phone today i saw the pictures of the falling and you were lucky.

I had a small crash this summer too with my Indian .

Best Regards and nice recovery.

All the best


same ol-same ol

hardchew's picture

anything new or fresh on this site? Videos?-blogs? I sign in a couple of times each week and except for the forums there is "nothing new under the sun" and even the forums only have a few new comments/questions! Some of the posts are 8 years old!! Still waiting for the mag also!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA stops spam by preventing automated "bots" from accessing this site.
Enter the code without spaces and pay attention to upper/lower case.