She won’t be alone. By next week, thousands of motorcyclists will be joining her on the roads of America, eager to help celebrate the 73rd annual Daytona Beach Bike Week. Manufacturers and vendors will be loading up their rigs and traveling displays ready to jump start the spending season for the industry. Beer trucks will be busy stocking up bars on Main Street, the Broken Spoke, and the Iron Horse Saloons. And just about every person who races a motorcycle, be it on the street or in the dirt, will be heading to Florida to kick start the 2014 pro racing season.
With 10 days of fun and festivities to get into, we’ve been pouring over schedules and drawing upon past experiences to bring you this helpful little guide to Bike Week 2014. It is by no means all-inclusive, and we apologize to anybody whose event we overlooked. We invite you to share your function with everybody in the comments section below. But this will help out those who might be headed to Daytona Beach for the first time, or give dates and times for must-see events for others. For those of you who can’t make it, check out our site for posts and pictures from the event, along with a video or two as we’ll be live on the scene covering as many events as possible. We’ll also be bringing you all the racing reports, so find out who the winner of the 2014 Daytona 200 is here first. And on that note, we present you this handy little 2014 Daytona Beach Bike Week Schedule.
Bike Week 2014 Racing Schedule
There would be no Bike Week without motorcycle racing. It started on the beach, as Ed “Iron Man” Kretz pioneered his Indian Sport Scout faster than anybody else around the 3.2-mile course on his way to winning the first Daytona 200 in 1937. Since then Daytona has hosted some of the most talented motorcycle racers around, from Scott Russell to Miguel Duhamel, Wayne Rainey to Kevin Schwantz. The Daytona 200, with its pit stops and tire changes, is still the pinnacle of American motorcycle road racing, and this year will be no different.
But there’s more. So much more. The GNCC, pro flat track, and AMA Pro Road Racing series all kick off their seasons during Bike Week. Supercross makes a swing by the beach. The GOAT, Ricky Carmichael, hosts his Amateur Supercross Championship in Daytona Beach, too. Catching at least one race should be on every Bike Week visitor’s itinerary
GNCC – Moose Racing Mud Mucker GNCC – Bunnell, FL. Saturday – Sunday, March 8 – 9
Daytona Supercross – Daytona International Speedway – Saturday, March 8
Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross Championship – Sunday – Monday, March 9 -10
AMA Pro Road Racing –
AMA Pro Flat Track – Thursday – Friday, March 13 -14
Daytona 200 – Saturday, March 15, Daytona International Speedway
AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series – Friday – March 14
AMA Pro SuperSport – Friday-Saturday, March 14 – 15
AMA Pro SuperBike – Friday-Saturday, March 14 – 15
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona Sportbike – Saturday, March 15
Bike Week 2014 Events – Places to go, Things to do
Main Street Mayhem
Main Street Daytona Beach is the epicenter of the Bike Week party. It is the place to see and be seen. Motorcycles will pack every inch of parking space while a constant procession will be parading down the street. Vendors of every ilk will be busy hawking their wares, music will be spilling out of every venue, and pastie-wearing beer girls will be vying for big tips. Whatever type of party scene you like, you’ll find it in the heart of Daytona Beach. Venues like Main Street Station are hosting killer shows daily. We highly recommend catching the Living Deads during one of their daily sets if you love stand-up bass and upbeat psychobilly. Saliva will light up the Main Street Station stage Saturday night, March 8, which promises to be one of the best shows of the week. A trip to the Boot Hill Saloon is must. Not every bar has its own namesake cemetery right across the street. Dirty Harry’s will be living up to its name with shows by the Flaunt Girls and wet t-shirt contests daily. The Full Moon Saloon always has good jam bands like Hypersona playing, while Froggy’s Saloon is a fun place to get your boogie on. It’s going to be loud, it’s going to be rowdy, but it’s going to be the place to be for ten days straight.
Broken Spoke Saloon – 1151 N. US Highway 1 Ormond Beach
There’s nothing like the ambience of the Broken Spoke. Choppers dangle from the trees, a trapeze bar swings above the bar, bartenders breathe fire and plywood is spread in front of the stage ready for impromptu burnout contests. Custom builders like Chop Docs Choppers and FNA Custom Cycles will be showcasing their work there. Top-shelf tribute bands rock the house nightly. This year the Spoke will be hosting the First Annual Daytona Bike Week Twisted Tea Editor’s Choice Bike Show – Tuesday, March 12. Get your custom motorcycle on the pages of one of your favorite magazines as editors from just about every print mag will be there hunting for new talent to feature. There’s always a good time to be had at the Spoke’s Daytona location.
Iron Horse Saloon – 1068 N. US Highway 1 Ormond Beach
Another Daytona Beach Bike Week institution that you’ve got to visit is the Iron Horse Saloon. Located on North US Hwy 1 just down from The Spoke, the Iron Horse Saloon is really stepping it up this year as far as musical entertainment is concerned. Vocalist Brian Howe of Bad Company fame is playing both Saturday and Sunday nights (March 8-9), Fran Cosmo of Boston will rock the Iron Horse on Thursday and Friday (March 13 -14), and the Jake & Elwood Blues Revue is putting on shows Sunday, 3/9 and Saturday, 3/15. Rally favorites David Allan Coe, Jasmine Cain, and Big Engine will also be performing throughout the week. The Iron Horse Saloon has a series of cool wooden walkways spread about the property so there’s plenty of great vantage points for shows. Annually acts like the Wall of Death and burnout contests provide a carnival-like atmosphere at all hours of the day.
Sopotnick’s Cabbage Patch Bar – 549 County Road 415 Samsula, Florida
There’s guaranteed shenanigans going on out at Sopotnick’s Cabbage Patch. The Cabbage Patch adheres to that old time biker credence of just about anything goes. It’s a great place to go for some good ol’ fashioned biker fun. If you’ve never seen coleslaw wrestling before, you’ve got to check it out. The Cabbage Patch spreads out blue plastic sheets over a giant earthen mound, oils up a couple thousand pounds of green slaw, and puts up a $500 cash prize to the winner. While the silly contest is worthy of a Jeff Foxworthy punchline, it has grown into a Bike Week staple. But don’t tell the ladies wrestling for the cash prize it’s a silly competition. When it’s time to throw down, the girls are all business in the ring. Usually they hold two contests, one on Wednesday during the middle of the rally and the other on the last Saturday. We advise you to get there early, though, because traffic will back up for miles the days it holds wrestling matches. There’s always plenty to see and do at Sopotnick’s. The venue doubles as a popular campground, too.
Visit the Speedway
You can’t come to Bike Week without visiting Daytona International Speedway. Its fabled banks have been home to so much racing history. Entering the infield through the Turn 4 tunnel still gives me goose bumps. But you don’t have to go there just for the racing.
Every year, just about every manufacturer sets up shop at the Speedway. There’s no better way to check out just about every new motorcycle on the market up close and personal. Most of the manufacturers offer demo rides, giving enthusiasts a chance to ride before they buy. The Speedway annually hosts plenty of smaller specialty shops too, from V8-powered motorcycles to trikes. Thunder Alley and the Midway have rows upon rows of vendors, food booths, and host events like the annual bikini contest (Saturday, March 15, in K&G Cycles’ Thunder Alley). There’s also a chance to ride your bike on the fabled banks of Daytona in the Spring Dash. For $30, you get to take a couple of parade laps around the Speedway while professional photographers snap shots that will be available for purchase after the ride. The Spring Dash takes place Saturday, March 15.
Bruce Rossmeyer built an empire. He did this by making Destination Daytona one of the premier Harley-Davidson dealerships. But it goes beyond that. He made it a true one-stop destination, adding restaurants, bars, a hotel and tattoo parlors all on-premise. It even has its own museum. Aftermarket giant J&P Cycles has a permanent superstore there, which is a sight to see in its own right. Not to mention you can catch a great deal inside the store, then walk out the front door and have it installed on your motorcycle.
And it doesn’t stop there. The place will be surrounded by plenty of top-notch vendors, companies like Klock Werks and S&S Cycle. Destination Daytona becomes a rally within the rally, with so much going on you might want to set a full day aside just to take in everything it offers. Destination Daytona will be hosting one of the biggest free concerts of Bike Week at the end of the rally when Great White and special guest Vixen take the stage at the Coca-Cola Pavilion Saturday night, March 15 at 7 p.m.
Visit Riverfront Park on Beach Street
OK, big names like Harley-Davidson and Indian won’t be setting up shop at Riverfront Park this year. That doesn’t mean it’s still not a fun destination to visit. The park is set on the scenic shores of the Halifax River so it’s a great place to just stroll around. It’s home to the Official Daytona Bike Week Welcome Center and Bike Week Pin Stop, so far more than 40 vendors will set up shop there, and the park will host a builders row with shops like Azzkikr, Misfit Industries and others. Live music will be playing daily while a tiki bar will be providing frosty beverages. A couple of bike shows are also scheduled to take place on Beach Street.
Chopped Baggers Bike Show Saturday, March 8. Registration 12- 2; awards 4 p.m.
Ultimate Bagger Bike Show Friday, March 14. Registration 12 -2; awards 4 p.m.
Demo Rides – Ride before you buy. If you’re thinking about buying a new motorcycle, just about every manufacturer will be set up at the Speedway with their new models ready for test rides.
Indian Motorcycle at Daytona International Speedway (enter at Gate 70); 9 – 5 daily.
Harley-Davidson at Daytona International Speedway March 8 – 15; 9 – 4 daily
Victory – At the Speedway between Gates 50 and 60.
Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda, Triumph, Can-Am all usually offer demo rides at the Speedway as well.
Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show – Saturday, March 15 – Daytona Lagoon 601 Earl Street
If you make it to only one bike show all week, make sure it’s the Rat’s Hole. For over 40 years, it has served as a showcase for some of the most creative custom motorcycles around. Just about every fad has been showcased there, from diggers and raked-out choppers back in the day to fat-backed Hayabusas and stretched and slammed super radicals that stormed the scene about 10 years ago. Rat’s Hole judges are systematic and methodical as most of them have been presiding over the show for years. Ted Smith designs the cool trophies himself, and the Rat’s Hole has established one of the most prestigious shows around.
Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Old School Chopper Show – Thursday, March 13 12 – 4 p.m. – 825 S. Yonge St., Ormond Beach
Willie’s is a true old school biker show. From rat rods to bobbers and choppers, Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Old School Chopper Show always features some of the most creative customs out there, a showcase for garage builders and full-fledged shops alike.
Harley-Davidson Ride-In Bike Show – The Wednesday, March 12 Registration 8 – 11 a.m.; trophies awarded at 3 p.m. – Daytona International Speedway
All-Indian Motorcycle Bike Show – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday, March 14; Corbin Saddles, 1433 N. Hwy 1, Ormond Beach
Fastlane’s Shovelhead Bike Show – Saturday, March 8; 3 p.m. 3150 E. New York Ave., Deland
Chop-In Block / Cycle Source Free Ride-In Bike Show – Broken Spoke Saloon – Friday, March 15 Registration 4 -6 p.m. Awards 7 p.m.
Official Bike Week Ladies Ride-In Bike Show – Destination Daytona – Thursday, March 13; Registration 10 a.m. – Noon; trophies at 3 p.m.
Other notable Bike Week 2014 Events –
8th Annual Harley-Davidson MDA Women’s Ride – Registration starts at the Speedway 7 a.m.; kickstands up at 10 a.m. for ride to Destination Daytona
Bikers on the Boulevard March 13-15 3 – 11 p.m.; Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard
Stop by to meet Mike Wolfe from the History Channel’s “American Pickers” series, who will be at the Midway signing autographs from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 8.
Find the Gunny! He’ll be hanging out on Main Street with free Victory swag. March 10, 5 – 8 p.m. R. Lee Ermey will also be taking photos and signing autographs on March 12 -13 from 11 -12 p.m. and 3-4 p.m. at Victory’s Speedway location.
Lizard Lick Towing stars autograph signing Saturday, March 15, at Freedom Cycles of Daytona, 841 Ridgewood Ave., Holly Hill
Jasmine Cain will be signing posters at the S&S trailer at Destination Daytona on Sunday, March 9 from 2-4 p.m. and Tuesday, March 11 from 2-4 p.m.
Budweiser Clydesdale Parade down Main Street Saturday, March 8; Sunday, March 9 & Saturday, March 15. 3 p.m.
Amsoil Treasure Hunt – All week long – Amsoil will be giving away 1000 Commemorative 2014 Bike Week Coins. To earn one, bikers must ride to various establishments around the rally and get their passport stamped. After they’ve got all the stamps, collect a commemorative coin at the Official Bike Week Welcome Center on Beach Street at the corner of Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd.
Saliva – Main Street Station – Saturday, March 8 10:30 p.m.
Brian Howe of Bad Co. – Saturday – Sunday; March 8-9, 10 p.m.; Iron Horse Saloon
Fran Cosmo of Boston – Thursday – Friday; March 13-14 10 p.m.; Iron Horse Saloon
Great White Concert – Saturday, March 15 – Destination Daytona
Top Ten Rides at Bike Week
A few years back, Victory Motorcycles published a list of rides to take while visiting Daytona Beach Bike Week. We added a couple of suggestions to make it a top ten list. (Courtesy of Victory Motorcycles)
1. Main Street and Beach Street
Main Street is where it’s at during Daytona Bike Week. It’s where people go to be seen, and you have to check it out. Cruise the street on your Victory, then park and take in the sights, day or night. It’s a guarantee that on every visit to Main Street, you’ll see something you’ve never seen before (whether you want to or not), especially at night.
2. Ride on the Beach
Where else is the beach so immense that local officials can establish two traffic lanes on the beach every day? You can ride for miles on Daytona Beach, and it’s a spectacular place to soak in some sun, sea scents and a fresh breeze. Stop and shoot some photos, then proceed south on A1A to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. It’s an extremely well-managed park and the historic lighthouse – illuminated now for 126 years – is a sight to behold. Worried that your bike got sandy and salty on the beach? There are bikini bike washes all over town.
3. St. Augustine
You want historic? Take a ride north from Daytona to the city of St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city, founded in 1565. Check out the web for info about the area, including the historic fort, the lighthouse, the beach, and the nature loop ride. It’s a great day trip during your visit to Daytona.
4. Kennedy Space Center
For a day trip south of Daytona, head to the Kennedy Space Center, long the home of America’s space program. You can take a fascinating tour and see several vehicles used for space travel as well as the immense facilities used to house and launch these beautiful birds.
5. The Ormond Scenic Loop
A spin on “The Loop” is also a great way to escape the lunacy of Main Street and get away from snarled traffic around the Speedway. Beginning on John Anderson Drive in Ormond Beach, in minutes you’re out of town and into the salty marshes and moss-draped trees that define the area. Be sure to stop at Highbridge Park to see if you can spot any manatees in the Halifax River. A great way to clear the mind, it even has a few curves in the road! Just be sure to obey the speed limits because the area is usually heavily patrolled.
6. Ride Into the Infield at the Speedway
Odds are, you won’t be racing on the track at Daytona International Speedway, but you can ride into the track’s infield. There are a couple tunnels that take you under the track and into the infield. It’s usually free, but admission is charged during some Bike Week racing. If you’ve never before seen a superspeedway like Indianapolis or Daytona, it’s worth your time. Quick track facts: Dirt was excavated from the infield to build the track banking, and the digging created Lake Lloyd. The track banking is as steep as the construction equipment could handle before it could no longer operate on the steep grade.
7. The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill & Griddle House
After we originally published our list of 10 rides for Victory riders headed to Daytona Bike Week, we heard about another great ride in the area from Victory rider Lori Dredske, who wrote to say: “Missing from your list of Daytona rides is the Old Spanish Sugar Mill located inside the DeLeon Springs State Park Recreation Area. It’s not to be missed!”
She’s right. At the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill & Griddle House, located in the state park: “Each of our tables is equipped with a griddle and we bring you pitchers of homemade pancake batters and you pour them on and flip them over right at the table.” Add your choice of blueberries, bananas, chocolate chips and more, and add sides like bacon or sausage. Consider it added to our list as a Bike Week breakfast ride. Thanks, Lori.
8. Take a Demo Ride
Just about every major manufacturer has its new line of motorcycles at the Speedway for people not only to inspect up close and personal, but most offer demo rides as well. Ride before you buy. Perform your own seat-to-seat analysis. There’s no better way to make educated decisions on your next motorcycle.
9. Sopotnick’s Cabbage Patch
Sopotnick’s is out in the country on Tomoka Farms Road in Samsula. Even if there’s isn’t coleslaw wrestling matches taking place, there’s plenty of good ol’ biker fun to be had at the Cabbage Patch. If you’re looking to explore further, head out on Pioneer Trail and it takes you on a scenic ride through the edge of Tomoka Wildlife Management Area.
10. Day trippin’ to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
A short ride out of town, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in Florida and is said to be one of the tallest masonry lighthouses in the US. It’s a 203-step climb to the top of the 175-foot-tall tower, but the views from the top can’t be beat. While you’re there, pop into one of our favorite dives, the Hidden Treasure Rum Bar & Grill located right across the street.