The dreary days at the beginning of Daytona Bike Week 2012 have been replaced by a run of bountiful sunshine. And that’s a good thing since it was parade time as 107 V8-powered trikes and bikes filled the parking lot of Custom Cycle Works for the 8th annual V8 Motorcycle Run. Monster machines with dazzling paint and burly pipes, from Boss Hosses to Vanquish V8’s to V8 Choppers gathered for an afternoon of camaraderie before setting out on a 28-mile run down Main Street, over The Loop and out to The Rat’s Hole Bar at Harley Crossing.
It was an experience to remember as the entourage fired up their thundering small and big block V8 motorcycles and trikes, bringing people out of nearby shops as the sound reverberated off surrounding buildings. This year’s V8 Motorcycle Run helped raise funds for the Shriner’s Hospital for Children. The event came together via the hard work of organizations like the Boss Hoss V8 Association and people like Ted and Pam Smith of the Rat’s Hole, who received a big “Thank You” for once again making it happen. Representatives from Sturgis’ Glencoe Campground were also on hand witnessing the spectacle as they are contemplating holding a comparable event at their venue this summer.
With the after effects of the auditory assault of over 100 V8’s firing up at the same time still fresh in our heads, we shot over to the annual Harley-Davidson Ride-In Custom Bike Show as this year’s gathering invaded Beach Street. Literally.
After some serious negotiations with the powers that be in Daytona Beach, Harley was able to persuade the city to allow them to cordon off a couple of blocks in order to hold its annual bike show on Beach Street itself for the first time ever. It was good move as it made the show more intimate and interactive as all the motorcycles in the show could be displayed in one area instead of being strewn about in various areas of Riverfront Park.
Competition was stiff as the quality of the motorcycles in this year’s show was impressive to say the least. Approximately 125 custom Harleys competed for prizes and prestige in 11 classes, from Pre-1948 Antiques to Full Dressers to Pro Customs. There were also a handful of “Special Awards,” including the American Iron “Editor’s Picks” with Buzz Kanter selecting the winner among the classics, Chris Maida picking one from the customs while Dain Gingerelli chose a winner amongst the baggers. With 22 issues to fill up this year, the trio also tagged other motorcycles which they intend to feature in future issues of AIM and American Bagger. Winners of the individual classes received trophies made from Harley-Davidson Derby Covers and a $200 cash prize while runners-up received a similar Timer Cover trophy.
Before the award winners were announced, the amazing performance artist/painter called Perego became a human paint brush and dazzled the crowd by splashing and dashing paint into a fantastic mural of the venerable Willie G. The reigning patriarch of the Davidson family is a talented artist in his own right and Willie G. added his own touch to the work by painting a skull in the left hand corner along with his name. Afterwards, the incredible artwork was
The Nam Knights MC out of New Jersey were the highest bidders for the painting of Willie G. and said they would be putting up the masterpiece in their clubhouse.
Jake and Elwood live! The Official Blues Brothers Revue entertained the crowd at Harley’s party on Beach Street Wednesday night.
auctioned off on the spot, with the parent chapter of the Nam Knights MC out of Carlstadt, New Jersey putting up the winning bid. The group was proud to be the new owners of the fantastic painting and said they intended to display it in their clubhouse. They even convinced Willie G. to come up on stage to pose with the group for photo.
We’ll update readers with the names of winners as soon as our friends at Harley-Davidson shoot the list over to us. Until then, a few exceptional motorcycles which caught our attention included a red Harley-Davidson café racer with its inverted Harley Single. The 1966 H-D Sprint CRTT H-D is owned by Liam Hamilton. A slammed 2007 Custom Bagger with wide beach cruiser bars, louvered pipe tips, gold leaf paint and incredible engraving on anything that shined is a strong contender for best of show. Gotta give Rich Bazzanella credit for some incredible work on this one. You couldn’t look directly at the custom 2002 V-Rod owned by Dan Bell without being blinded by the sun reflecting off its abundance of chromed parts, which pretty much included everything on the bike. The stunning V-Rod included a host of one-off bits as well. A crowd favorite was what we proudly dubbed the “Constitution Bike” as the 2001 Road King Bagger owned by Philip Scott had the Bill of Rights painted on it, the Second Amendment scrolled proudly on its tank.
After the motorcycles moved out, the street party started as the annual H.O.G. Daytona Beach celebration commenced. Harley showed its love for owners of its motorcycles by treating them to food, drinks and a concert by The Official Blues Brothers Revue. The spirit of Jake and Elwood Blues lives on as the troupe has the moves and mannerisms of Dan Akroyd and Jim Belushi down to a tee. There was dancing in the streets as the band played into the night, a fitting end to another action packed day at Bike Week 2012.
And if you haven’t heard by now, we’re throwing a party tomorrow night along with the good people at the Rat’s Hole, so come check us out at the Harley Crossing between 7 and 10 p.m. It’s free, and it’s gonna be fun. Hope to see you there.