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#64 Steve Butts

Lino Lakes, MN

1948 Harley-Davidson FL

I have been around motorcycles all my life. My dad had a 1949 Panhead and would give my siblings and I rides. The younger kids would usually sit in front of him and the older kids would sit behind him on the buddy seat (or luggage rack or front fender for more fun). This is where it all started.

My riding career started with weekend day rides to observe timed hill-climbs and motocross competitions. Eventually the day rides became weekend rides and camping over several days.  This eventually led to longer road-trips to numerous US and Canadian destinations. Most often these excursions included many fellow riders, family and friends that I had gotten to know over the years.

I have had many bikes over the years from a mini-bike with a 3-1/2 horsepower motor and centrifical clutch, small 125cc street-bike and eventually to larger Harleys; a Sportster, Superglide, Tourglide and other HD full-dressers.

The bike I would ride in the 2019 Cross Country Chase is a 1948 Harley FL Panhead that I acquired as a ‘garage find’ in an estate sale back in the late 80’s. A coworker knew I was into motorcycles and told me about it. I successfully bid for it and with the help from several friends was able to eventually get it running and restore it. However, the bike was ignored in the garage for many years due to other priorities. The Chase seems an appropriate opportunity to get the bike operating once again.

My brother told me about the Motorcycle Cannonball competition about a year or so ago and my wife Mary and I followed on the 2018 competition as additional support crew members. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and camaraderie and hope to participate again in 2020.

Participating in the Chase in 2019 would bring me back to my earlier ‘road-trippin’ days and is a good reason to blow the dust off the old ‘48.