2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering Winners, Photos & Review

Chris Carter 2nd Place American Class 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

Chris Carter took second place in the American Class for his 1914 Jefferson Board Track Racer.

There was the historic, like Chris Carter’s immaculate 1914 Jefferson Board Track Racer and Gary Landeen’s 1942 Indian Pre-War Big Base Scout. There was the exotic, Virgil Elings’ pristine, unraced 1995 Britten V1000 coming to mind, the superb superbike No. 10 of 10. There was next-gen goodness in the form of John Bennet’s wicked Motus Streetfighter built by Bryan Fuller and the Fuller Moto crew, the custom Motus delivering a thunderous note you could feel in your bones.

Quail Lodge host of the 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

The Quail Lodge hosted its 9th annual motorcycle concourse on its grounds with over 3,000 estimated attendees. 

For the 9th annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering over 350 motorcycles sprawled about the verdant lawns of the Quail Lodge & Golf Club. A grey, overcast sky and cool temperatures couldn’t deter over 3,000 people from milling around the grounds to witness the moto-spectacle, a celebration of all things two-wheeled. American racing royalty Kenny Roberts, Wayne Rainey and Mert Lawwill added to the pomp and circumstance by regaling the crowd with tales from their storied careers. John Goldman, winner of 2015 “Best of Show” laurels, added another notch on his victory belt with his 1957 Mondial 250 Grand Prix Racer with Dual Overhead Cams and a race fairing that’s almost impossible to find.

1995 Britten V1000 #10 Significance in Racing Award 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

Jeff Elings sits on the 1995 Britten V1000 #10, winner of the “Significance in Racing Award” at the 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering. The rare Britten superbike is extra special because it’s never been raced.

In the American Class, Kalle Hoffman captured top honors with his art deco 1937 Indian Chief.

“I’ve had the bike for about eight years. I bought it as a project and restored it. It took me about three years to get the bike on the road. I got the bike on the road for the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge,” said Hoffman. His compelling back story provided further motivation to complete the restoration.

“The first civilian bike to cross the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937 was a 1937 Indian Chief and that bike was ridden by a club member. I’m in the San Francisco Motorcycle Club and club member Hap Jones so it’s very close and dear to our group as far as that our group carries on this tradition. This year is the 80th anniversary of that bike and the Golden Gate Bridge so I decided to complete the bike this year to commemorate it.

Kalle Hoffman's 1937 Indian Chief American Class winner 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

Kalle Hoffman won the American Class with his beautifully restored 1937 Indian Chief.

“I got it out of Alabama from a fellow Indian enthusiast. It was in bad condition. He had been working towards a custom bobber with everything wrong. When I bought it I wanted to restore a ’37 Indian. That bike is as close to original as I can get it.

“Getting it reliable riding on the road was the most challenging part of it. After you put a bike together and get all the parts there, that doesn’t mean it’s a bike you can get on and ride. So working through the nuances and subtleties of the magneto, working through a failed bolt in the transmission, and revisiting issues I thought I’d already solved, that was the most challenging thing for me. Assembling the bike, getting the bike rebuilt, getting the motor worked on, paint, that’s easy. Getting the bike as a reliable bike you can ride, that was the most challenging. I have to admit assembling a beautifully painted bike was a bit of a nail-biter. Lots of blue tape and not my favorite task,” he added.

Wayne Rainey 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

Three time World Champion Wayne Rainey has long been a big supporter of the Quail Motorcycle Gathering.

They say a picture’s worth 1000 words, so we’ll let our photo gallery tell the rest of the story that was the 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering.


The Quail Motorcycle Gathering 2017 Award Winners

Best of Show

1957 Mondial 250 Grand Prix Double Overhead Cam, John Goldman – California

Spirit of The Quail Award

1948 Triumph T100 Tiger, Jonnie Green – California

50th Anniversary of the Norton Commando

1968 Norton Fastback, Jeff McCoy – California

Industry Award

2015 Prototype Fuller Moto Motus Naked, John Bennet – California

Innovation Award

1991 BMW Alpha, Mark Atkinson – Utah

Design and Style Award

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T, Untitled Motorcycles – California

HVA Preservation Award

1942 Indian Pre-War Big Base Scout, Gary Landeen – South Dakota

The Cycle World Tour Award

1980 Suzuki GS1000S, Trevor Franklin – British Columbia

Significance in Racing Award

1995 Britten V1000 #10, Virgil Elings – California

Why We Ride Award

1978 Yamaha XS750, Fernando Cruz – California

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Heritage Award

1983 Honda Factory RS 750 Flat Tracker, Anthony Giammanco – California

Extraordinary Bicycles/Scooter Class Award

1971 NYPD Lambretta LI150 Special, Siobhan Ellis – California

Antique 1st Place

1918 BSA Model H, Bud Schwab – California

American 1st Place

1937 Indian Chief, Kalle Hoffman – California

American 2nd Place

1914 Jefferson Board Track Racer, Chris Carter – California

British 1st Place

1939 Brough Superior SS100, William E. “Chip” Connor – Hong Kong

British 2nd Place

1936 Vincent HRD Comet, Mitch Talcove – California

Italian 1st Place

1959 Moto Parilla 99 Olimpia, Vincent Schardt – California

Italian 2nd Place

1967 Benelli Custom, Carmen & David Hearn – California

Japanese 1st Place

1976 Yamaha XT500C, Owen Bishop – California

Japanese 2nd Place

1969 Honda CB750 Factory Police Special, Peter Rose – California

Other European 1st Place

1976 Hercules W2000 Wankel, Stephan Haddad – California

Other European 2nd Place

1969 BMW R60/2, Kenneth Morris – California

Competition Off Road 1st Place

1975 Husqvarna 360 Flat Tracker, Clyde Williams – California

Competition On Road 1st Place

1957 Mondial 250 Grand Prix Double Overhead Cam, John Goldman – California

Custom/Modified 1st Place

1958 Triumph Tiger, Bryan Thompson – California

Custom/Modified 2nd Place

1968 BSA Thunderbolt, Richard Mitchell – California

2017 Daytona Bike Week Video

From bike shows to vintage boardtrack and flat track races to burnout contests, it was a wild, fun-filled week in Daytona Beach. We finally got a chance to cobble together some of the highlights from the 2017 Bike Week rally for you to enjoy.

1st Ever Boogie East Chopper Show a Big Hit at Bike Week 2017

Boogie East Chopper Show Bike Week 2017

The Boogie East Chopper Show had a solid turnout for a first year show.

Annie Oakley's Saloon Bike Week 2017

Annie Oakley’s Saloon hosted the first-ever Boogie East Chopper Show during Bike Week 2017.

Chemical Candy Customs’ Scott Hoepker credits Pete LaBarbera for his appreciation of old iron.

“Pete had a couple of old Shovelheads and Panheads back then and he would always throw some wild ass parties for his biker buds,” explains Hoepker.

When Hoepker was a teenager, he worked for LaBarbera’s masonry company bricking houses. One year on a trip to Bike Week, Pete ended up in a sleepy little biker bar called Annie Oakley’s Saloon. A conversation began between LaBarbera and the bar’s owner and before the night’s over a deal was struck. The next day, LaBarbera announced he was getting out of the masonry business and moving from Texas to Florida to run the biker bar he’d just bought, Annie Oakley’s.

Hoepker always wanted to make it back to Florida and hang out at his old friend’s bar but sometimes life gets in the way of good intentions. Before he got that chance, he received a call from Tani, Pete’s son, saying his father had passed away from cancer.

“I was pretty bummed that I hadn’t had a chance to visit until a year later to check out the bar and do the Bike Week thing. Memories all came back when Rob, an old friend of ours from east Texas, and I walked into the bar and noticed a few photos of Pete on the wall. We sat down and had some laughs with Tani about the good old days and the crazy shit his old man use to get in to,” wrote Hoepker.

Boogie East Chopper Show 2017

We could see this one rippin’ down the beach in the Race of Gentlemen!

“When Rob and I went back to Texas that’s when the wheels started turning so to speak. Rob had always said ‘Their bar is the perfect spot to throw a good chopper event/party but they just never got around to it.’ We talked it over with Tani and have been working on this ever since. This party has a special place in our hearts so I hope to see it grow into something as incredible as the life of Pete LaBarbera,” concluded Hoepker.

And thus with the help of Gasshole Garage and VNM Horsebites, the Boogie East Chopper Show was born. Motorcycles packed the parking lot in front of Annie Oakley’s Saloon then spilled into the adjacent field. Out back, an array of customs by the invited builders filled the grassy knoll while others in the ride-in bike show crammed in beneath the trees. Cool schwag from a long list of sponsors was raffled off over the course of the day until the Left Lane Cruiser Band upped the energy levels. Between its wooden back deck, outdoor bar, and shaded grounds, the back area of Annie Oakley’s was a perfect place for a good old-fashioned chopper show of 1984 and earlier motorcycles.

Groovy trike at the Boogie East Show Annie Oakley's Bike Week 2017

JP Rodman’s groovy trike was just one of the cool builds at the Boogie East Show.

With a front end stretched far enough to make Sugar Bear proud and a cab so cool it channeled the spirit of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, it was impossible to miss JP Rodman’s 1960’s style trike. Sporting a blown Knucklehead, ram’s horn bars, and dual M&H Racemaster drag tires on the back, Rodman’s three-wheeler had all the charm of an old fashioned shaggin’ wagon.

Next to it sat Steve “TheHeadChoppa” Bates latest build, a 1945 Knucklehead in a ’38 Knucklehead frame with a solid aluminum rear wheel engraved by New Line Engraving. Bates’ bike is full of fine details, from the handmade shift knob carved from an elk horn to its hand forged sissy bar to its trick horseshoe kicker pedal. “TheHeadChoppa” also brought his ultra-clean 1956 Panhead chopper to the show, a bike we featured online after seeing it at last year’s Handbuilt Motorcycle Show.

HeadChoppa's Behemoth Boogie East Show Bike Week 2017

“TheHeadChoppa” debuted his latest work called “Behemoth” at the Boogie East Show.

We chatted with Jason Ochoa about his clean 1955 rigid Panhead, his build featuring a 1957 straight-leg frame and a 1947 Knucklehead transmission. Bathed in varying shades of purple flake, Ochoa’s Pan included a picture of Jimi Hendrix on the oil tank and the words “Excuse Me While I Kiss the Sky” engraved on the air cleaner cover. Ochoa remembers his dad playing Hendrix regularly at home on an old reel-to-reel and said the theme was in honor of his father, a Vietnam vet who loved listening to Jimi.

Jason Ochoa's '55 Pan Boogie East Chopper Show 2017

Jason Ochoa’s 1955 Panhead has a ’57 straight-leg frame and a ’47 Knuckle tranny.

With a laid back vibe and a bounty of beautiful bikes, the first annual Boogie East Chopper Show at Bike Week was by all measures a big success. Organizers are already discussing doing it again next year. We believe Pete LaBarbera would be proud of the biker bash that took place in his honor at his old haunting grounds.

(Boogie East back story courtesy of Chemical Candy Customs)


The Week That Was – Daytona Beach Bike Week 2017 Photo Review

Cruising Main Street Daytona Beach Bike Week 2017

Cruising down Main Street Daytona Beach – Bike Week 2017. 

It came in like a lamb and went out like a lion. While Daytona Beach Bike Week 2017 started off a little slow thanks to a couple rainy days followed by a few abnormally cold days, it finished with a flurry by the final weekend. Did you catch the Sons of Speed races? Billy Lane put on a fantastic event. Our very own Buzz Kanter won the first-ever race with a last lap pass of Lane, Brittney Olsen blistered the track on her way to the overall victory, and the event blew up social media.

The crowd was on their feet as Buzz Kanter captured the first-ever checkered flag at the Sons of Speed races.

The crowd was on their feet as American Iron’s Buzz Kanter captured the first-ever checkered flag at the Sons of Speed races.

We interviewed Indian Wrecking Crew rider Jared Mees early in the week, then Mees went out and won the inaugural Daytona TT, giving Indian Motorcycle Racing a victory in its first outing in 63 years. And custom bike shows…there were more than we could cover. We still were able to hit the Perewitz Paint Show, Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Chopper Show, the Harley Ride-In Bike Show and a new shin-dig called Boogie East out at Annie Oakley’s Saloon.

Lead Sled Perewitz Paint Show 2017

That’s one fine Lead Sled!

Ride bikes? Did that. American Iron Editor spent time in the saddle of both the 2017 Harley Road King Special and the 2017 Harley Street Rod. Keep an eye out for the first ride reviews in upcoming issues of American Iron Magazine. I spent the week on the 2017 Indian Roadmaster Classic, the perfect workhorse for a motojournalist making the rounds. Its big topcase became my best friend as it made grabbing my camera bag out a snap at all the events I covered. Lots of positive feedback from rally-goers on the Willow Green over Ivory Cream colorway, too. Got to experience Daytona Beach in a new way as well when I took out the Polaris Slingshot SLR out for a day. Testing out its traction control a little bit in the back parking lot of Destination Daytona was a hoot. Cruising up and down the A1A during Bike Week is exactly what this vehicle is made for.

Blind Bob the Alligator Broken Spoke 2017

Blind Bob the Alligator wins the Broken Spoke crowd over on his way to victory in the burnout contest.

I also found a new hero – Blind Bob the Alligator. Blind Bob came out in an alligator suit, worked the crowd like a champ, then hand-shifted through five gears lickety-split until he had the back tire of his buddy’s motorcycle roasting. Roasted it until it blew! Before it was over, Blind Bob had the crowd cheering his name as he was crowned king of the Broken Spoke burnout contest.

Snake charmer. Main Street Bike Week 2017

First alligators, now snakes. What do you expect, it’s Florida!

While we thought it’d be an off year, American Iron was busier than ever at Bike Week. Be on the lookout for the full event review in a future issue of American Iron Magazine. Until then, here’s plenty of pictures to enjoy from the week that was Daytona Beach Bike Week 2017.

Moonshiner Josh Owens makes friends just about everywhere he goes

Moonshiner Josh Owens makes friends just about everywhere he goes.

Harley-Davidson took over the Full Moon Saloon for Bike Week 2017.

Harley-Davidson took over the Full Moon Saloon for Bike Week 2017.

It's a mad dash out of the starting gate at the 2017 Daytona TT.

It’s a mad dash out of the starting gate at the 2017 Daytona TT.

Packed house at Willie's Tropical Tattoo Chopper Show 2017

They pack ’em in as tight as they can get ’em at Willie’s Tropical Tattoo at the annual chopper show.

Inked! Main Street Daytona Beach Bike Week 2017

Inked on Main Street.

Ghosts and Dopplegangers at Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Chopper Show 2017

Willie's Tropical Tattoo Chopper Show is a Bike Week institution.

Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Chopper Show is a Bike Week institution.

“Damn, dude, I thought I saw a doppleganger.”

The randomness of this comment directed at me fit the randomness of Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Chopper Show. Because there’s no rhyme or reason, no sense of order or conformity at Willie’s, it’s just a good old fashioned bro-fest. Come chill out, wedge your bike in the parking lot, and spend the afternoon bumping into everybody and their mother as you make slow circles around the building. Eat some Q, drink some beer, share a story or two. Willie’s is an institution, a Bike Week tradition, it’s the one show in Daytona that nobody wants to miss.

Parting the sea at Willie's Tropical Tattoo Show.

Parting the sea at Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Show.

“I remind you of somebody?” I asked in return.

“Yeah, for a second there, I swore I saw my buddy. He died a few months back when he got hit on his bike down in Costa Rica.”

“Wow. Sorry to hear about your bro. Maybe this is his way of letting you know he’s here.”

“Oh yeah, I have no doubt he’s here today. No doubt.”

See, just about everybody was at Willie’s. Even ghosts and dopplegangers.

Moonshiner Josh Owens makes friends just about everywhere he goes

Moonshiner Josh Owens makes friends just about everywhere he goes.

Perewitz Paint Show Daytona 2017

Though the Perewitz Paint Shows are relatively new on the scene, it’s taking little time for Dave and Jody’s gathering to gain steam. This year’s Daytona Bike Week show filled the perimeter of the vast Russ Brown Pavilion at Destination Daytona, Jody P. stating there were officially 55 bikes entered in the show, though many more streamed in over the course of the afternoon. Entries in the show were a cross-section of current crazes, a bonanza of big wheeled baggers with big dollar paint mixed with a sprinkle of T-barred club-style FXRs, garage builds and choppers mixed in between. Jody and Dave collaborated to paint the “Best of Show” trophy, while Bones and others dabbled and daubed on the other sweet trophies. Not surprisingly, the Hamsters were well represented, and even the first family of custom bike building – Arlen, Cory and Ness stopped by to check things out.

Turbo bagger Perewitz Paint Show 2017

Turbo baggers are a common site at bike shows these days.

Sweet spokes Lead Sled Perewitz Paint Show 2017

Sweet spokes!

Orange Flake chopper at the Perewitz Paint Show 2017

Flaked and chopped!

The Nesses and Dave Perewitz Daytona Beach 2017

The Ness family shares a laugh with old friend Dave Perewitz.

Perewitz Paint Show Trophies Daytona Beach

The Perewitz Paint Show has some of the coolest trophies!

Skulls Perewitz Paint Show 2017

Wouldn’t be a proper paint show without a skull or two.

Lead Sled Perewitz Paint Show 2017

That’s one fine Lead Sled!

Petersen’s Packs House for Harley versus Indian Exhibit Debut

It’s perfect timing for the unveiling of the new Harley versus Indian exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum. In two weeks, the two storied marques will be squaring off once again at the Daytona TT, resurrecting an over 100-year-old rivalry. Petersen’s provides an intimate look at that rivalry with its pairings of period pieces, from the board tracks to hill climbs, Harley punch met by Indian counterpunch. Checking out the 1912 Indian board tracker on display pitched at an angle as if it was once again raging around the high banked wooden planks , the Indian taking the low line under a 1920 Harley board tracker, you can almost hear the roar of the crowd. A few steps over and you’re in front of a 1925 Indian Altoona squared off against a 1930 Harley Peashooter, the hill climbers chained up and ready to rip as the history lesson continues.

Harley vs Indian Petersen's Automotive Museum

A sneak peek at the new Harley versus Indian exhibit at Petersen’s Automotive Museum.

It was a full house for the reception party for Petersen’s Harley versus Indian exhibit Thursday night, a blend of industry heavyweights in the antique motorcycle world rubbing elbows with the new guard of industry influencers. Cycle World Editor Mark Hoyer led a discussion panel with guests Don Emde, MotoAmerica CFO Richard Varner and Deus Ex Machina’s Creative Director Nevin Pontius on topics ranging from who fielded the first Wrecking Crew to the symbiotic relationship between the two companies, from the sales floor to the flat track.

Harley versus Indian board trackers Petersen's Automotive Museum

It’s Indian versus Harley as a 1912 Indian board tracker dives under a 1920 Harley tracker.

“All of us at the museum share a great passion for motorcycles,” said Terry Karges, Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Museum in the official press release. “It’s our great pleasure to be able to showcase the history of these two incredible American manufacturers and to educate the public on their contributions to American culture throughout the last century.”

2014 RSD Custom Indian Chieftain and Super Hooligan Scout 60

RSD shows off its design chops with its 2017 Custom Indian Chieftain and an Indian Scout Sixty Super Hooligan racer.

In addition to the Harley versus Indian displays is a special room dedicated to the accomplishments of Dan Gurney. Titled “The Eagles Have Landed: Dan Gurney’s All American Racers,” beauties like his 1993 Eagle MK III GTP #99  and 1971 AAR Indy Olsonite Eagle #2 form a semi-circle around the room, while one of Gurney’s Alligator bikes sits center stage.

Petersen’s new Harley versus Indian exhibit in the Richard Varner Family Gallery opens to the public Saturday, March 4, 2017 and will run through early February 2018. The museum is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Peterson’s Automotive Museum)

2017 Daytona Beach Bike Week Preview

Bikers at Bike Week

Bikers by the thousands will soon be rolling into Daytona Beach for Bike Week.

Ahh, Daytona Beach Bike Week. The annual motorcycle rally is a spring time rite of passage, a reason to remove the trickle charger, gas up the tank, put air in the tires and heed the call of the white sandy beaches of Daytona Beach. By the time Bike Week rolls around each March, most American riders have had their fill of frost and cold and are eager to fire their bikes up once again. Yearly the rally attracts almost a half million motorcyclists eager to get make the exodus to Bike Week with the prospect of sunny days and a chance to feel warmth on their skin again foremost on their minds. Bikers are ready to swarm the bars of Main Street, to take up their favorite position in front of the Boot Hill or Full Moon Saloons to people watch while others are ready to return to the Iron Horse for some unabashed biker revelry. Seeing how the rally celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2016, this might be the perfect year to check it out because years that follow a big anniversary tend to be less crowded and more easy going.

If you haven’t heard, American Iron had the honor of putting together the Official Motorcycle of Bike Week 2017. We’ve been chronicling the customization process of a 2010 Harley Ultra by the team at Street Stuff Cycles in a series of articles both in print and online. We can’t wait to see this beauty given away March 18 at Riverfront Park in Daytona Beach. Good thing is, you can still get in on the action as tickets for the raffle are still available. As of 2/26, only 2,228 tickets have been sold, so odds are pretty damn good. Sure, tickets are $50, but you can’t buy a fully customized Harley tourer for that price, and if you buy two tickets they’ll throw in an extra entry for free. Top to bottom, this thing is a real runner, primed to log long miles in style and comfort, so what are you waiting for? Go to OfficialBikeWeek.com and get your tickets!

Sons of Speed Warren Lane (Photo courtesy of Rise Above Consulting)

The Sons of Speed races will soon be resurrecting the racing spirit that founded Daytona Beach Bike Week. (Photo courtesy of Rise Above Consulting)

We’re also super excited about participating in Billy Lane’s Sons of Speed motorcycle boardtrack races. After all, the history of Daytona Beach Bike Week is rooted in racing, the first Daytona 200 being held on the beach on January 24, 1937. The Sons of Speed races will rekindle the passion of those early races as 20 brave riders battle on Pre-1925 boardtrack-style motorcycles at New Smyrna Speedway March 18, American Iron’s fearless leader Buzz Kanter among them. Buzz will be competing on a 1915 Harley boardtracker against a talented field of riders that includes Lane, Rick Petko, Brittney Olsen, Paul Cox, Matt Walksler and others. Be sure to check out American Iron’s Facebook page for some live streams from the race as well as posts on our Instagram and Twitter accounts.

While Buzz might not be bombing down the beach, the original Daytona motorcycle racers did. Imagine the sound of big bikes 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 rumbling finally faded back in January 24, 1937, 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.

Hypersona at the Full Moon Saloon Bike Week 2016

Hypersona rocks the Full Moon Saloon!

And racing still provides the pulse of Daytona Beach Bike Week. Granted, the Daytona 200 doesn’t quite have the same luster as before, but don’t tell that to the riders who will be putting it all on the line March 18th in the 76th annual race. The greatest show on two wheels, AMA Supercross, kicks off the week of motorcycle racing action March 11 as riders compete on a course designed by the man known as the GOAT, Ricky Carmichael. In nearby Palatka, Florida, the second round of the Grand National Cross Country season will take place as some of the best off-road riders in the country tackle the demanding Florida terrain in the Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC March 11-12. Daytona also kicks off the 2017 American Flat Track season. It’s an exciting year for flat track as Indian Motorcycle Racing returns to the dirt to rekindle its rivalry with Harley-Davidson. The Daytona race also sees a new wrinkle as it will be a TT race and the track has been moved to the infield of the Speedway instead of the former quarter-mile limestone oval just outside the stadium. American Iron will be on-hand covering the races so be sure to check out our social channels for coverage of the Daytona TT March 16.

Steeped in racing history, Daytona has evolved into a spectacle with an identity of its own. No trip to Bike Week is complete without making a trip or two down Main Street. It’s going to be loud, the crowd elbow-to-elbow, and at times it’s going to be seedy, but damn there’s fun to be had. Be it boogieing at Froggy’s or listening to the blues at Boot Hill, there’s something for everybody on Main Street. Inevitably you run into someone you haven’t seen forever or even spot a celebrity or two wandering the streets. Just picking a spot to post up, people watch and scope out the bikes cruising by is a popular pastime. When it’s time to get your party on, head on out to Main Street Daytona Beach.

American Picker Mike Wolfe in Daytona Beach

Who knows, you might even run into an American Picker on Main Street Daytona Beach. 

We suggest setting a day aside to check out the happenings at the Speedway, too, even if you’re not going to the races. Just about every manufacturer sets up shop just outside the gates, most offering demo rides, so there’s no better place to inspect all the latest motorcycles in one place. You can also hit up row upon row of vendors on the Midway where you’ll find the latest parts, accessories and apparel. At Harley-Davidson’s Thunder Alley you can catch some live music, enjoy drink specials, and get your grub on at one of the numerous food vendors.

Mark one day on your calendar 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. There’s bike shows planned just about every day of the week, including the Perewitz Paint Bike Show Wednesday, March 15, the Official Harley-Davidson Ride In Bike Show Thursday, March 16, and the Baddest Bagger Daytona competition Friday, March 17. The Russ Brown Pavilion at Destination Daytona will be hosting bands all week long, the “Southern Revival Concert Series” featuring a full slate of southern rock and country concerts. Destination Daytona has its own hotel, the Saints & Sinners Pub, a tattoo parlor, and is surrounded by big name vendors. J&P Cycles has a superstore there as well, and it’s worth a trip inside just to check out all the cool collectible motorcycles.

Iron Horse Saloon Daytona Beach Bike Week

The Iron Horse Saloon is a Daytona Beach Bike Week institution. 

While you’re in the Ormond Beach area, hop on US 1 – South because the Broken Spoke Saloon is just down the road. The one and only Jay Allen is back as the master of ceremonies this year, and Jay always knows how to get the crowd going. Friday night, March 17, the Broken Spoke will light it up with a “Burnout Contest,” the winner receiving a Grand Champion trophy and a fresh set of Metzeler Tires (because they’re undoubtedly going to need them). If you’ve never visited the Spoke, you need to. It provides unique biker ambience, from Spanish moss covered oaks spread about the property to choppers hanging from the trees. While you’re in that neck of the woods, be sure to stop by the Iron Horse Saloon, too, as the Horse is another Bike Week institution with a long and storied history. The Iron Horse will be rockin’ nightly, highlighted by performances by David Allan Coe and The Kentucky Headhunters during the week topped off by former Bad Co. front man Brian Howe Saturday, March 18. On Monday, March 13, it hosts the 3rd annual Antique Bike Show with trophies for “Oldest Bike,” Longest Ride In” and “Best of Show.” The Wall of Death team will also be doing shows daily, rounding out an action-packed lineup of biker fun at the Iron Horse Saloon.

Another legendary Daytona Beach Bike Week institution is Sopotnick’s Cabbage Patch. If you’ve never seen coleslaw wrestling before, check it out. The Cabbage Patch spreads out blue plastic sheets over a giant earthen mound, oils up a couple thousand pounds of shredded green slaw, and puts up a healthy cash prize to the winner. While the silly contest is worthy of a Larry the Cable Guy punchline, it has grown into a Bike Week staple. But don’t tell the ladies wrestling for the cash prize it’s just a silly sideshow. The girls are all business when it comes time to wrestle. This will be the first Bike Week without longtime owner Ronnie Luznar around as Luznar died in an auto accident back in October. We sympathize with all parties involved and reason Sopotnick’s could use a show of support from the biker community about now.

Willie's Tropical Tattoo Old School Chopper Time Show Bike Week

Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Old School Chopper Time Show is always a party!

Rat's Hole Custom Bike Show Daytona Beach

The Rat’s Hole will be holding its 45th annual Custom Bike Show this year in Daytona Beach.

Another big attraction at Bike Week are the bike shows. Many builders use the rally as a platform to unveil their latest projects. We’ve already mentioned the Harley-Davidson and Perewitz Paint Shows at Destination Daytona. Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Old School Chopper Time Show is always one of our favorites. It’s a true roll-back-the-clock affair, from the garage builds entered in the show to the bawdy behavior encouraged by emcee Roadside Marty. Then there’s the granddaddy of all Bike Week competitions, the Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show. The 45th annual show will be held at Indian Motorcycle of Daytona Beach Saturday, March 18. It is a true family affair that was founded by Karl Smith, AKA Big Daddy Rat, and carried on by his son Ted. The Rat’s Hole started out as a Daytona t-shirt shop but has grown into one of the most prestigious custom bike shows around.

With so much to see and do, don’t forget to get some riding in while you’re there. Everyone needs to cruise down Main Street at least once in their life. They also need to take a ride on the beach itself. Pack a lunch, post up, and enjoy an afternoon catching rays and listening to the waves. A spin on “The Loop” is also a great way to escape the craziness of Main Street and get away from the traffic jam around the Speedway. Beginning on John Anderson Drive in Ormond Beach, in merely minutes you’re out of town and into the serenity of salty marshes and moss-draped trees. Be sure to stop at Highbridge Park to see if you can spot a manatee 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.

Willie G at Daytona Beach

There’s no shortage of colorful characters at Bike Week!

If you’re looking for a day trip, the Kennedy Space Center is a 70 mile ride south. Home to America’s space program, it houses wonderful exhibits, has an IMAX 3D theater, offers guided tours, and is rife with space exploration history. You can even schedule to have lunch with an astronaut. Head in the opposite direction and you can visit the oldest city in the nation, St. Augustine. It has a historic masonry fort called Castillo de San Marcos and other cool landmarks like a lighthouse and Ponce de Leon’s “Fountain of Youth.” (Be sure to check out our Top Ten Daytona Beach Bike Week Motorcycle Rides article for more tips on places to ride at the rally!)

Taking in all of these activities will make you work up a hunger so here’s a few places we like to frequent while we’re at the rally. For a unique breakfast experience be sure to check out the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill & Griddle House located inside the DeLeon Springs State Park Recreation Area. Each table has its own griddle, the staff brings out pitchers of homemade pancake batters, there’s blueberries, bananas and chocolate chips to spice your ‘cakes with, and you grill them yourself at the table. There’s plenty of sides like bacon and sausage to choose from as well. The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill is one of the hidden gems for Bike Week foodies.

Main St. Daytona Beach during Bike Week

Every biker should cruise down Main St. Daytona Beach at least once during their life. 

A couple other places we highly recommend include Hull’s Seafood Market/Restaurant. Another lesser known eatery, you won’t find any fresher, tastier seafood at the rally. Pulled out of the Atlantic that morning and on your plate by lunch. Honest prices and regional side dishes like greens and hush puppies seal the deal. Ker’s WingHouse Daytona Beach is a great place to meet up with friends, chow on some spicy chicken wings, and enjoy a frosty beverage. There’s plenty of BBQ joints to choose from too, but if you’re in the Main Street area, Hog Heaven Real Pit BBQ across from the Ocean Center can’t be beat for lip-smackin’ brisket and zesty sauces. If you’re looking for a great little dockside bar filled with plenty of tropical Florida feel head out to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and pop into the Hidden Treasure Rum Bar & Grill. Located right on the water, we’ve watched dolphins swimming close by while grubbing on fried gator tail and enjoying a cocktail at the Hidden Treasure. It’s another one of those places slightly off the beaten path you might not know about unless you heard about it from a friend.

With the 75th rally a distant memory, this might be the perfect time to take in the Daytona Beach Bike Week experience. Why not kick off the 2017 motorcycle rally season with a bang? But if you don’t plan on attending this year, American Iron Magazine will be there in force to bring you daily reports, photo and video streams from the heart of the action.

Top Ten Daytona Beach Bike Week Motorcycle Rides

Welcome Riders to Daytona Beach!

Welcome Riders to Daytona Beach!

Oh, yeah! Daytona Beach Bike Week is right around the corner, bringing with it the promise of sunny days as it kicks off the new riding season. With that in mind, we’ve put together a handy little Top Ten Bike Week Motorcycle Rides guide to help with your Daytona Beach schedule planning. But we can’t take full credit. A few years back, Victory Motorcycles put together a list which included several rides or day trips around Daytona Beach, but we expanded it to a Top 10 by adding a few of our personal favorites, too. Considering the current situation with Victory Motorcycles, we figured we’d honor our friends at Victory by running this list and to give readers some ideas on fun things to do at Bike Week. (Just click on the page numbers below!)

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2017 The ONE Moto Show Photo Review

The saying goes, if these walls could talk. The 100 year old foundry walls of a weathered worn factory in an industrial district of Portland would say how it came alive last weekend, the din of a 1000 conversations bouncing of its walls and its floors filled with a dizzying montage of motorcycles and memorabilia. The craftsmanship on display at this year’s ONE Show was off the charts, from the intricate throttle linkage of Christian Sosa’s Knuckle-dragger to the tail section of 40 Cal Customs “Tennessee Waltz,” whose 1923 Harley JD powered racer won top honors in the show. Every time you’d find a favorite you’d walk into the next room and discover a new one. Not knowing what you were going to see around the next corner added an extra layer to the 2017 ONE Show experience.

40calcustoms earned top honors at the 2017 One Show for their Bonneville-tested "Tennessee Waltz."

40 Cal Customs earned top honors at the 2017 One Show for their Bonneville-tested “Tennessee Waltz.”

While we’re whipping up a polished piece for an upcoming issue of American Iron Magazine, here’s a small gallery of photos from the 2017 ONE Moto Show to enjoy until then.

The 2017 ONE Moto Show breathed life into a 100 year old foundry in an industrial district in Portland.

The 2017 ONE Moto Show breathed life into a 100 year old foundry in an industrial district in Portland.

The brilliance of Christian Sosa's entry kept drawing us back like moths to flame.

The brilliance of Christian Sosa’s entry kept drawing us back like moths to flame.

Talk about personality, this '56 KHK had it and then some.

Talk about personality, this ’56 KHK had it and then some.

In the spotlight at The ONE Show.

In the spotlight at The ONE Show.

The mini-bike races at the 2017 ONE Show were a hoot!

The mini-bike races were a hoot!

Artwork like Christopher Galley's Hole Shot adds to the ONE Motorcycle Show experience.

Artwork like Christopher Galley’s Hole Shot adds to the ONE Motorcycle Show experience.

Super Hooligan stampede to Turn 1 at The 1 Pro

It was a stampede to Turn 1 during the Super Hooligan main event.

Racer Eyes at The 1 Moto 2017

Chris Wiggins puts his race face on.

Thor Drake 2017 The ONE Moto Show ringmaster

Thor Drake 2017 The ONE Moto Show ringmaster.