What has blossomed into one of the mothers of all motorcycle rallies is rooted in racing. These roots run deep, hailing back to January 24, 1937, date of the first Daytona 200. Picture watching Harley Flatheads and Knuckles dicing it out with Indian Fours and who knows, maybe a Crocker or two. Imagine the sound the big bikes made at full tilt barreling down the beach for a mile-and-a-half before sliding around the quarter-mile long sandy bank that served as the first turn. Then it was on to the highway for the run south before hitting another big banked turn that spit racers back onto the sand for another run up the beach. When the roar of rumbling V-Twins finally faded, it was Ed Kretz on an Indian who etched his name in the record books as the first winner of the Daytona 200 and one of the world's most prestigious motorcycle races was born.
With the 73rd annual Daytona Beach Bike Week only a couple of weeks away, we’ve compiled a schedule of events to help you plot your visit to this year’s rally. This is intended to be a general guide and is in no means all-inclusive. We’re always looking for fun new events to cover, so if by chance we omitted your function, feel free to tell everybody about it, including when and where, in the “Comment” section at the bottom of the page. Hope to see you there having fun in the sun.
Bike Week 2014 Racing Schedule –
Racing is still at the heart of Daytona Beach Bike Week. In addition to the grueling Daytona 200, Daytona serves as a springboard for the rest of the AMA Pro Racing paddock, from Superbike to SuperSport. The best off-road riders in the land kick off their season during Bike Week, too, as the first race of the Grand National Cross Country Championships takes place in Florida. So does the AMA Pro Flat Track season as top-tier steel shoe riders take to the limestone quarter-mile for the start of the season. Then there’s the ever-popular AMA Supercross series on a track traditionally designed by the GOAT himself, Ricky Carmichael. 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 –
Daytona Beach Bike Week has evolved into much more than motorcycle races. The spectacle that has spawned around the races has a life of its own. No trip to Bike Week is complete without making a trip or two down Main Street. Yep, it’s going to be loud, elbow-to-elbow, gritty and even a little seedy, but damn there’s fun to be had. Whatever your vibe is, you can find it on Main Street, be it dancing at Froggy’s or catching some blues at the Boot Hill Saloon. You never know who you’re going to bump into there but inevitably you always run into someone you haven’t seen in a long time. Just posting up to people watch and check out all the cool motorcycles rolling by is a popular pastime. When it’s time to get your party on, Main Street Daytona Beach is the place to be.
Broken Spoke Saloon – 1151 N. US Highway 1 Ormond Beach
From the Spanish moss covered oaks that cover the property to the choppers that hang like Christmas ornaments from the trees, the Broken Spoke offers a biker-friendly party atmosphere. Tattoo and loud pipes contests are held daily, live music and killer tribute bands play every night, and there are always special events happening like the Baker Smoke-Down Showdown. The Broken Spoke Saloon is just down the road from Destination Daytona.
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.
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’ll want to get out to Daytona International Speedway, too, even if you’re not going to the races. The place oozes history. Just about every motorcycle manufacturer sets up shop outside the gates of the stadium, bringing along the latest motorcycles on the market for people to see, sit-on, and in most cases, demo ride. You get to do this with the ambience of superbikes screaming from the infield of the Speedway as they conduct practice and qualifying runs throughout the week. In addition to the manufacturers’ presence, Thunder Alley and the Midway have rows and rows of vendors, food booths, and fun 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 shotss that will be available for purchase after the ride. The Spring Dash takes place Saturday, March 15.
Destination Daytona –
We highly recommend setting a day aside to visit Destination Daytona as well. And we do mean a full day, as there’s so much going at Bruce Rossmeyer’s Harley-Davidson empire that you’ll need a day to take it all in. Big name vendors surround the premise, the smell of meats grillin’ fills the air, and a continuous stream of shows provides non-stop entertainment. Destination Daytona has its own on-premise hotel, Saints & Sinners Pub, and tattoo parlor. J&P Cycles has a Destination Daytona Superstore there as well, and it’s worth a trip inside just to check out all the cool collectible motorcycles decorating the store. Not to mention you can buy a new part for your bike inside and have it installed almost immediately by one of the techs they have at the ready outside. It’s a mini-rally within the rally, so be sure to set aside some time to visit Destination Daytona during your trip.
Destination Daytona will be hosting one of the biggest free concerts of Bike Week at the end of the rally. See Great White w/ special guest Vixen –Saturday, March 15; 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 over 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.
Bike Shows –
Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show – Saturday, March 15 – Daytona Lagoon 601 Earl Street
The Rat’s Hole is one of the most prestigious shows around. Founded by Karl Smith (AKA Big Daddy Rat) over 40 years ago, the Rat’s Hole started out as a t-shirt shop but has grown into one of the most acclaimed gatherings for custom bike builders 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.
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