Bikers NEED Daytona Bike Week. Especially this year after winter winds have howled for many months, we need to throw our legs over our motorcycle of choice and hit the road for the first great biker rally after winter. This March 8th through the 17th, Daytona Beach, Florida will host the 78th running of the motorcycle rally known as the Run to the Sun.
Riders from all over the world come to the massive rally, leaving winter storms in hopes of a better climate. Everyone hopes for bright blue skies and perfect riding weather in the Sunshine State. If you’re thinking of making this two-wheeled pilgrimage next month, there’s still time to make sure you have plenty of tunes for the road. Steel Horse Audio has you covered in that department. You say you’re riding your Sportster or Dyna or Softail to Daytona and you don’t have a motorcycle audio system (or the one you have sucks)? No matter what you’re riding, Steel Horse Audio has quick and easy bolt-on motorcycle speakers that will have you rockin’ down the highway in nothin’ flat.
After enjoying all those miles of riding bliss and enjoying your favorite music, what is there to do in Daytona during Bike Week? Well, here are some of our favorite places to ride to and hang out at.
We often start out at the Iron Horse Saloon to hear David Alan Coe for one of his daily free concerts. Then we’re off to Destination Daytona to watch Rhett Rotten ride the Wall of Death. This mega motorcycle mall has it all. Visit Brittney Olsen as she promotes her antique events, meet legendary lady rider Gloria Struck at a book signing of Gloria- A Lifetime Motorcyclist, and check out two-wheeled lifestyle artist David Uhl.
Naturally, no trip to Daytona is complete without riding your scooter down Main Street. Here you can walk the boardwalk to gaze out at the awesome Atlantic Ocean, take in the bike show before doing the “Daytona Shuffle” along the sidewalks of Main Street, stopping for a brew at places like Dirty Harry’s, Froggy’s and the Boot Hill Saloon. Best of all, Main Street is closed to four wheeled vehicles. Crank up the sounds on your Steel Horse Audio system and blow the locals away!
Of course, there are some out of town events that are a “must attend.” One of those is certainly Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Chopper Time Show in Ormond Beach on Thursday. Over 8,000 bikers attend this old school custom show and it is always good to see old friends and check out some good ol’, oil leakin’ scooters. Other Ormond Beach bike shows not to miss included the ride-in Cycle Source show at the Broken Spoke, as well as the Perewitz Paint Show on Beach Street on Wednesday and the Boardwalk Show at the ocean on Friday.
The list of things to see and experience is long, but we suggest a visit to the Cabbage Patch for all its coleslaw wrestling shenanigans. All through the week, we enjoy rides south of Daytona, others north through Tomoka State Park and up the coast along the beach with some cool, old bikes.
Stopping by the famous Daytona Speedway is a must in order to see Harley-Davidson’s latest wares and to take a test ride on the latest motorcycle models by Harley and Indian. Situated around the outside of the park you can find just about any and everything a biker could want to buy.
Motorcycle racing first started this bike rally 78 years ago, and racing will take the focus of this year’s run. Not the big established racing of the Daytona 200, but the racing that everyone is talking about these days: the flat track races and its derivative, Hooligan Racing. Both of which have come back to bike week and are well attended, particularly by the younger crowd.
Speaking of racing, Billy Lane’s Sons of Speed board track-style racing at New Smyrna Speedway will be back and better with over 30 racers and three classes this year on Saturday. These races will include the addition of 45 cubic inch racers, nearly 100-year-old Early 61 cubic inch flat track racers and a Hot 61 class. Sons of Speed has become THE vintage racing event of Daytona Bike Week.
Every year we try to be everywhere and see everything, and every year we find that it is an impossible task. It seemed to get harder to attend all the races, bike shows, parties, and industry doin’s as the rally reaches a fever pitch towards the last weekend and Main Street became more and more packed.
No other motorcycle rally feels like Daytona, and riding with thousands of like-minded brothers and sisters down A1A with the Atlantic Ocean in sight, is a great way to start your riding season. So crank up your Steel Horse Audio system and get ready to hit the road to adventure. Order yours today at www.steelhorseaudio.com
—Dave Nichols editor of Easyriders magazine