Where else but Bike Week will you find a moto-gator? Take a ride in any direction and you’ll find out the scaly reptiles are crawling all over the place.
The ticker on the Broken Spoke Saloon’s web page is down to two days and counting, which can only mean one thing – take those bikes off the trickle charger, get those old fluids flushed out, and polish up the chrome because it’s time once again for Daytona Beach Bike Week. The annual event heads into its 69th year as an estimated half-million people will converge on this stretch of the Atlantic for a week-long bash as Daytona Beach becomes the epicenter of all things motorcycle. From custom bike shows at the Rat’s Hole to the Baker Burnout Pits at the Broken Spoke, Bike Week has something for everyone, no matter what type of motorcycle riding you’re into. Did I mention there might be a race or two going on as well?
Daytona’s come a long ways since those early days of racing bikes on the beach, but it continues to be the star attraction of Bike Week. Who could have known that a handful of racers competing on a combination 3.2-mile road and beach course back on January 24, 1937, would be the forefathers of one of the biggest rallies around and that motorcycle racing would be at the heart of it? Just check out this year’s lineup.
It starts with the XDL Sportbike Freestyle Championship on Feb. 26-28 and continues with the first round of GNCC racing on March 2, which is the same day old school racers will be taking the track for AHRMA Vintage Motorcycle
The heart of Daytona Beach Bike Week beats because of motorcycle racing. Daytona International Speedway will be the host of the Daytona 200, which kicks off the 2010 AMA Pro Racing season.
Racing. This is followed by some AMA Pro Racing Flat Track action on March 3-4, an event that should be extra exciting this year because they’ve built a new quarter-mile dirt track outside of Turns 1 and 2 at Daytona International Speedway. According to the Speedway, the new Daytona Flat Track “will have more than 5,000 temporary seats and lighting from Musco Lighting, and will showcase Flat Track stars such as Henry Wiles, Kenny Coolbeth, Chris Carr, Jake Johnson and Joe Kopp.” At the end of the week, the Daytona 200 kicks off the AMA Pro Racing Season under the lights as the race will be run at night for only the second time in its 69-year history. And if that’s not enough, the Supercross guys will take the stage for the ninth round of the AMA/FIM Supercross Series.
Speaking of Supercross. Some guy called the G.O.A.T. is going to be holding his first-ever Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross Championship on Sunday, March 7. Better yet, on Monday, March 8, the former Supercross star will be hosting Ricky Carmichael University, the first public riding school ever conducted by the 15-time AMA National Champion. We’re sending our stalwart contributor Justin Dawes to check things out, so look for a full report in the weeks after all the craziness finally comes to a close.
If you’re at the Speedway, be sure to check take a walk around the Midway. There won’t be a better opportunity to see all the 2010 models in one place and most manufacturers are offering demo rides. The heavy hitters scheduled to be at Daytona International Speedway include Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Harley-Davidson, Victory, Triumph and Boss Hoss.
And if you don’t see it there, boogie on over to the Ocean Center for the final round of the Cycle World IMS Show. Besides showcasing all the latest-and-greatest the industry has to offer, you can stop by and visit Motorcycle USA at Booth 615 and enter to win a $500 shopping spree from the Motorcycle Superstore while you’re there. Our smokin’ hot spokesmodel Megan Hartsell will be on hand signing
There’s always plenty of friendly competition between beer girls on Main St. Daisies are winners in my book!
posters as well as competing in the finals of the 2Wheel Tuner Cover Girl Search. Megan has already proven herself as a crowd favorite in Seattle and Chicago and looks to bring home the title at Daytona. We’ll also be giving away free mouse pads, stickers and free copies of the latest issue of MotoUSA, so stop on by and say ‘Hi.’
On the cruiser front, there’s more custom bike shows than we can cover, but we’ll give it our best shot. We’ll definitely be hitting up one of our favorite contests, the Rat’s Hole Bike Show, which annually features some of the most creative custom bikes from around the globe. Competitors come from as far away as Japan and Europe to compete in the prestigious event started over 30 years ago by Big Daddy Rat. This year the Rat’s Hole Gang has teamed up with the Bruce Rossmeyer family and will be holding all of its gigs at Destination Daytona. Ted Smith has more fun planned than ever before, five events in all, including a Ride-In V8 Show and an Old School Rat Rod Car Display to go along with the granddaddy of them all, the annual World Famous Show.
Big Daddy Rat and the Rat’s Hole clan is bringing it bigger and better this year. They’ve got five shows slated over the course of the week and have a new home at Bruce Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona.
We’ll also definitely be hitting up Willie’s Old School Tropical Tattoo Bike Show on Thursday, March 4. Roadside Marty is once again slated to be emcee and judge, and Sucker Punch Sally’s is giving away a full roller to the ‘Best of Show’ winner, so a large, rowdy crowd is sure to show up. Willie’s Old School Show gives garage mechanics and small shops an outlet to showcase their creativity and motorcycle building skills. Willie’s been slinging ink since the beginning of time, so there’s no shortage of tattooed friends who make the trip to Daytona just for this show. A pin-up contest and plenty of beer bars will fuel the fun.
The Harley-Davidson Ride-In Show is also one of our favorites. It’s amazing what diversity is displayed using a base Harley-Davidson motorcycle as a palette for customization. Of course, no other manufacturer comes close to the aftermarket parts and accessories line that The Motor Company offers, which is evident at the show. Willie G. and his son Bill Davidson usually host the event and help judge the contest which consistently draws a huge turnout.
Besides H-D’s Ride-In Custom Bike Show, Harley-Davidson will have a two-pronged attack at Daytona, opting to set up at Riverfront Park on
Willie G. and Bill
Beach St. and at the Speedway instead of its old home at the Ocean Center. On Tuesday, March 2, Harley is sponsoring its Third Annual Women’s Ride. They’re also doing a bike build for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and will raffle the bike off with proceeds going to the MDA. Attendees can also drag race their friends at the V-Rod Race Experience and then can go check out all the latest 2010 Harley-Davidson Motorcycles or even take a demo ride if they so choose.
Word is, there might be a party or two going on at Bike Week as well. On Thursday night we’ll be at the Dog House on Main St. for the annual Biker Fusion event. The yearly shin-dig thrown by Ken Conte of Rise Above Consulting always attracts a slew of big-name custom bike builders and the bikini contest consistently has the hottest chicks in town. The party also raises money to support our men and women who dutifully serve our country in the Armed Forces. Last year t
The girls in the bikini contest at the Biker Fusion party are always unbelievably hot. Last year the event raised over $20,000 for Soldier’s Angels in honor of the men and women who serve our country in the Armed Forces.
he event raised over $20,000 for Soldiers’ Angels. Specifically, it went into making great backpacks filled with amenities like blankets, sweat pants, toiletries and phone cards for wounded soldiers being pulled from combat zones by Black Hawk Medevacs. It’s a killer party, but it also supports a great cause.
Friday night we’re headed to another big industry party at the Blue Grotto that Motorcycle USA is sponsoring in conjunction with Bikerpics.org. From what I understand, the Dan Lawson Band (they lay down some serious Stevie Ray Vaughn licks) will be providing the entertainment, there will be plenty of beer and grub, and Vinnie and Cody of V-Force Customs (formerly members of the OCC crew) are scheduled to attend. TRUE TV and a film crew from the Discovery Channel are both scheduled to be shooting footage as well. Motorcycle USA will have two beautiful girls on hand taking photographs with fans and we’ll be handing out free copies of our latest MotoUSA magazine and can koozies.
Sound good enough to make you want to get your butt down to Daytona? If that’s not enough, maybe a concert by Zack Wylde’s Black Label Society at the Broken Spoke Saloon Thursday night is just the incentive you need. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Limpnickie Lot’s head-to-head burnout competition. I foresee the smell of spent rubber and the sound of a back wheel popping on the near horizon. It’s all good, dumb fun, and I can’t wait.
If you can’t make it this year, fret not. Tune in to Motorcycle USA all next week as we bring you daily reports and videos from the scene. It’s Bike Week time, baby. Where’s my sunscreen?