2016 Daytona Beach Bike Week Review

Daytona International Speedway Bike Week 2016

Renovation of Daytona International Speedway is now complete. For 2016, vendors were moved centrally and set up in between manufacturers’ tents.

Bikers at Bike Week 2016

It was a steady stream of motorcyclists on International Speedway during Bike Week 2016.

Motorcycle Rally Review: 

It blew into town like a Category 5 storm, a whirlwind of bikers a half-million strong, the 75th anniversary of Daytona Beach Bike Week attracting “bigger crowds than they’ve had in years” according to merchants and local officials in a Daytona Beach News-Journal report. American Iron (AIM) editors rolled into town before the big show even started to hitch a leg on the 2016 Indian Springfield and the highly anticipated 2017 Victory Octane, then hit the ground running to cover the scene from Destination Daytona to Main Street. While first ride reviews on the motorcycles are forthcoming in American Iron Magazine, Editor-in-Chief Buzz Kanter provided a little insight about the new liquid-cooled Victory.

“I love it and consider it one of the best American muscle bikes on the market. Fast, agile and fun.”

American Iron also got to see “The Official 75th Daytona Beach Bike Week Motorcycle” it helped build find a new home at the rally. John Buchanan of Independent, Missouri, is a happy man about now after winning the Daytona Chamber of Commerce’s “Daytona Springer” raffle bike. The customized 2008 Harley Softail Springer is the current cover bike of American Iron Magazine, with good reason. The fine folks at Woodstock Harley-Davidson of Kingston, NY, did a bang-up job of helping turn the stock Softail into a true collectible. According to AIM’s Associate Editor Tyler Greenblatt, the stock Springer fork has teardrop rocker and end covers added to its axle and articulating bracketry. The front end has been dressed with a Hollywood-style handlebar from Biker’s Choice and classed up with white Harley Vintage grips and braided brake and throttle lines from Magnum Shielding. The stylish Springer sports Ride Wright Omega 40-spoke wheels front and back. While the H-D Twin Cam 96 is primarily stock, it barks a little louder thanks to Vance & Hines dual exhausts. John Dills of Dills Paintworks from Cullowhee, North Carolina, gave it a touch of class with its black and white paint scheme while Mark Peters of Peters Auto Art handpainted the American Iron logo on the oil tank and the 75th Daytona Bike Week logo on the gas tank. We hope to see Buchanan in Bike Week next year riding around the rally on the new customized Softail Springer he won.

Bike Week 2016 Hypersona at the Full Moon Saloon

Hypersona’s lead vocalist channels his best Dave Draiman at Bike Week 2016.

In between bike launches, press conferences, and industry parties, American Iron’s new editor Steve Lita was a busy man. Somehow he still found time to make it over to Harley-Davidson’s Editor’s Choice Bike Show at the Broken Spoke Saloon last Wednesday. The Editor’s Choice Bike Show is attended by just about every major publication, with respective editors each selecting a winner. While singling out one bike in a sea of worthy AIM-334-coverbuilds is a daunting task, Lita awarded Michael Lewis’ custom 1941 Flathead 80 bobber AIM’s Editor’s Choice. Keep your eyes out for a full color feature on Lewis’ Flathead in an upcoming issue of American Iron Magazine.

As one of the newest members of the American Iron team, it was a pleasure to be one of the panel members of Allstate’s Bike Week Moto Masters Roundtable. The Roundtable consisted of a diverse cross-section of industry personalities. With almost ten years’ experience riding and reviewing motorcycles and covering the rally scene, I represented the media side. The custom scene had two well-known representatives, third-generation builder Zach Ness of Arlen Ness Enterprises and one of the hardest working, most colorful customizers in the business, Rick Fairless of Strokers Dallas. Joining us on the panel were the always energetic MotoLady herself, Alicia Elfving, and bright and bubbly vintage motorcycle racer Brittney Olsen of 20th Century Racing fame. Allstate Insurance sought to bring a taste of Bike Week to people who couldn’t attend the rally through its live-streaming event as we talked about a range of subjects, from current trends in the industry to safety tips to our favorite routes to ride. Allstate continues to be an active supporter of the motorcycling community through avenues like its “Once is Never Enough” program and by installing “Watch for Motorcycles” warning signs at dangerous intersections across the U.S.

Brittney Olsen Bike Week 2016

Brittney Olsen, a vintage motorcycle racer and co-owner of 20th Century Racing, loves to show off her old-time garb.

With approximately $400 million worth of renovations recently being completed, Daytona International Speedway (DIS) looks spectacular. Besides its more modern façade, the venue now houses 101,500 seats and is much more fan-friendly thanks to five expanded and redesigned entrances, or “injectors,” that lead to a series of escalators and elevators. These transport people to three different concourse levels, each level featuring large social areas, or ‘neighborhoods,’ along the nearly mile-long frontstretch. Bike Week 2016 at DIS featured a new wrinkle as vendors were moved from the old location in the parking lot outside the Turn 4 tunnel to where the manufacturers set up at the Center Gate. Intermingling the two seemed to bump up foot traffic for everybody. Indian and Harley stoked the flames of a century-old rivalry as both manufacturers had huge displays. The new arrangement seemed to boost the amount of people taking demo rides. Victory’s Octane was a particularly hot commodity as just about every time the Victory demo fleet set out all of the Octane’s seats were filled. And while the new layout benefited most, Yamaha’s tent was located on the east end of the Speedway, along with Kawasaki and Suzuki, and it seemed like less people filtered out to the manufacturers located furthest from the epicenter.

On display in front of Indian Motorcycles’ set-up at the Speedway were the top three custom Scouts in Indian’s Project Scout competition. Indian challenged 36 of its dealers to customize a Scout or Scout Sixty with “no restrictions on the bike’s theme, cost or build style, the only rules being the dealers had to use a minimum of three authentic Indian Scout accessories from the current catalog.” The top three finalists were “Fusion” by Indian Motorcycle Charlotte, “The Rebel” by Indian Motorcycle Winnipeg and “Boardtracker” by Motos Illimitees from Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada. Fans voted for their favorite at a kiosk in front of the display, and when the ballots were tallied, Moto Illimitees’ “Boardtracker” was crowned the Project Scout winner. With downturned boardtracker bars, a barebones back end, and wooden accents, it’s easy to see why it was a fan favorite. Moto Illimitees description of its winner states:

“This bike is a tribute to the legendary Scout who used to race on board tracks. White tires mounted on 26 -inch wheels gives an antique look to this historic motorcycle. Cope pipes and a wood-imitation seat recall the 1920 – 1927 models. We have included many names of Jack Daniel’s because we wanted (to) commemorate their 150th anniversary and 115th anniversary of Indian Motorcycle. The footrest, number plate and handle are worked in high quality white oak.”

Project Scout winner Daytona Beach Bike Week 2016

Moto Illimitees “Boardtracker” was crowned Indian’s Project Scout winner at Bike Week 2016.

And while there was no board track races going on at Bike Week, there was no shortage of other motorcycle racing disciplines at Daytona Beach. Eli Tomac got the party started when he won the Monster Energy Supercross 450 class the opening Saturday night, and Michael Barnes closed the show when he became the oldest winner of the Daytona 200 the final Saturday. Granted, with no full factory support and no affiliation with America’s current road racing regime, MotoAmerica, the Daytona 200 doesn’t have the same luster it once did. But that doesn’t diminish the fact that the 47-year-old Barnes came out of retirement and spanked a bunch of racers half his age. Bike Week also saw the first races of the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track season on Daytona’s limestone quarter-mile. It was an emotional weekend for Round One winner Sammy Halbert, who rode with #69 on his race plate in honor of his brother Jethro, a fellow flat tracker who passed away last year from injuries sustained in a race at Calistoga. Not only was it Slammin’ Sammy’s first GNC1 victory since the Stockton Half-Mile in 2013, but a memorial service was held Wednesday for his brother Jethro at the racer’s pavilion on the beach outside of the Daytona Hilton. In Round Two, Jake Johnson won his first race since his 2011 Grand National Championship season.

Batman Bike Bike Week 2016

I am … Batman!

If Daytona Beach Bike Week is any indicator, it should be an eventful year for the American motorcycle rally scene. Ride along with American Iron online as we make the rounds and bring you reports from events across the country in 2016.

Blacked-out Victory Hammer S

Blacked-out Victory Hammer S

American Iron gunslingers Terry “The Titan” O’Brien and “Quick Draw” Ken McCurdy landed in Daytona Beach with deals to seal and hands to shake. With a half-million bikers in town for the 75th anniversary celebration, the best way to get around is on two-wheels.

Luckily, Victory Motorcycles came through like champs. O’Brien, American Iron’s Chief Operating Officer, is a big man who needed a big bike. The Victory Magnum was the perfect choice. Its open rider’s triangle allowed O’Brien to stretch out comfortably, and when it came time for a little fun, the Magnum’s Freedom 106 delivered. A 100-watt, six speaker audio system came in handy when traffic bottled up.

As the man who heads up American Iron’s advertising sales, “Quick Draw” McCurdy mobbed around town on a blacked-out Victory Hammer S. You’ve got to carry yourself with a little swagger when you’re in sales, and the Hammer S has plenty of that. From the 250mm wide chunk of Dunlop rubber it runs on the rear to its inverted fork and dual discs up front, the Hammer S is modern American muscle. McCurdy had fun flexing a little Hammer S muscle on the streets of Daytona Beach.

Thanks for the hook-up Victory! Was a blast rumbling around the 75th on modern American iron.


2016 Victory Magnum

74th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Preview

2014-Sturgis-previewEVENT by Dain Gingerelli

To borrow from the late Rodney Dangerfield’s comedy shtick: I tell you, I went to the Buffalo Chip to watch a rock concert and a bike rally broke out.

Of course, I exaggerate, but as one of the most famous motorcycle rallies in America approaches its 75th anniversary next year, music has become an integral part of the week-long Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that’s headquartered in South Dakota’s Black Hills. You want to watch a top-rate rock concert? Then check in at the Buffalo Chip any night during rally week, or visit one of the other major watering holes near or in Sturgis and you’ll be treated to equally top-rate live music from a number of top regional or national rock-and-roll and blues bands.

But while rockin’ sounds fill the air throughout the week, the real draw for this rally continues to be the bikes and the people who ride them.

For full event coverage and photos pick up American Iron Magazine‘s
November issue #316.

The PRINT EDITION hits newsstands October 14.
Subscribe and receive the next issue weeks before it goes on-sale.

The DIGITAL EDITION is available for instant download today.


MOTORCYCLE NEWS: Motorcycle Kickstart Classic Spring 2012 Announced

Motorcycle Kickstart Classic 2011 at Wheels Through Time

The first Motorcycle Kickstart Classic in 2011 was a huge success. So much so that, in response to the strong demand, we are announcing the next Motorcycle Kickstart Classic in May 2012. Organized by American Iron Magazine, RoadBike magazine and Wheels Through Time, it is a 2-day ride through some of the most stunning roads and mountains in North Carolina.

While the Motorcycle Kickstart Classic celebrates vintage motorcycles, it is open to all makes, models and years of motorcycles. Electric start bikes must ride at the back of the group (to catch and pick up any parts that fell off the older bikes)

The event officially starts with a Welcome Dinner for all registered riders and passengers May 16 at Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley, NC. The next morning we roll out of the museum and ride about 200 miles to finish the first day at Crossroads Harley-Davidson in Wilkesboro, NC for a welcome party and bike show. The registered riders and passengers are invited to a special dinner and discounted hotel rooms near the dealership.

Classic motorcycle heaven? No just the Motorcycle Kickstart Classic crew having fun.

Next morning (May 18) we leave from Crossroads Harley at 9 AM and ride about 85 miles to the AMCA Southern National Rally in Denton, NC for a world class antique swapmeet, bike show and more. The registered Motorcycle Kickstart Classic riders and passengers will have special dedicated parking and are invited to participate in the antique motorcycle parade on Saturday May 19.

This event is limited to the first 100 motorcycles and riders to register.

Registration costs $100 per person (rider or passenger) which includes dinner Wednesday and Thursday nights, an event T-shirt, event stickers, and on the road support vehicles. The Motorcycle Kickstart Classic is a rain or shine event!

The registration form will be available shortly. But if you can’t wait, please send your name, address, email, shirt size and $100 check (to TAM Communications) to American Iron Magazine, ATTN Kickstart Classic, 1010 Summer St., Stamford, CT 06905.

This event is sponsored by Wrench, Ride, Repeat tm, American Iron Magazine, RoadBike and Wheels Through Time.

The Killington Classic New England’s PREMIERE Fall Rally

Announcing New England’s PREMIERE fall rally, the Killington Classic! Presented for the first time ever by AMERICADE, RoadBike, American Iron Magazine and Motorcycle Bagger!

Vermont’s Green Mountains are already renowned for their smooth roads, jaw-dropping vistas, and hospitable accommodations. Now, they’re home to a world-class motorcycle rally — the KILLINGTON CLASSIC! an all-brands touring and cruising rally centered at the legendary ski resort.

The Killington Classic is now brought to you by Americade, the folks behind the World’s Largest Touring Rally in Lake George, New York. And RoadBike, AIM and Motorcycle Bagger are proud to be on board as a participating sponsor.

All the fun you’ve come to expect at Americade — contests, live entertainment, demo rides, and guided/unguided tours — will be only part of the fun at the Classic. Word on the street is that Killington is not quite as family-focused as Lake George — so you can look forward to wilder parties, cooler rides, and hotter nights than you ever experienced at Americade!

Join us at the Killington Snowshed Lodge on Thursday, September 8 at 6 pm for the Killington Kick Start! Featuring dinner, drinks, door prizes, and live entertainment.

Make your plans TODAY to join us at the 2011 Killington Classic!

PARLEY IN THE HILLS, Motorcycle Rally

We created this annual motorcycle event ( party!) to bring the wind to the Northwest Hills of CT & raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, to which we will donate a  portion of our net proceeds. Every day is packed with live entertainment (including  Rodeo Games; 2 Beer Gardens, live music all weekend, Shovelhead Fri & Sat night; a Battle of the Bands on Sunday!!), Bike Show with trophies, 2 man team Bike Service  contest with a $200 cash prize! Queen of the Hills; Mini Bike Racing, great food, vendors and more… We look forward to seeing you there!!

For more information about this event visit: http://parleyinthehills.webs.com/

Thurs. 07/14/11 Gates open at 5pm / live bands and a sneak preview of the Parley.
$10 admission/Thurs. Only

Don’t forget that Friday is Miliatry Day – Military should bring their ID’s for FREE ADMISSION!

FREE VENDOR SPACE FOR ALL CT BIKE BUILDERS! Contact; dd.bn@hotmail.com / 860-482-8654

Be An American Iron Magazine Honorary Contributor

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to cover an event for a major motorcycle magazine? Well, here’s your chance. American Iron Magazine is teaming up with Victory Motorcycle Company and Las Vegas BikeFest to give one of our lucky readers the opportunity to be an honorary contributor covering our ride to the event as well as the Las Vegas BikeFest itself.

The chosen one will join us in Ontario, California, on Wednesday, September 28, when he will be loaned a Victory Motorcycle to use for the event as we saddle up and head to Buffalo Bill’s Resort & Casino in Primm Valley, Nevada, for a kick-off party and a night filled with entertainment, food, and drinks. On Thursday, our group will ride to the Valley of Fire before heading to downtown Las Vegas to attend the 11th annual Las Vegas BikeFest scheduled to take place September 29 to October 2.

The lucky reader will be treated just as if he was an AIM staff member, which means he will be given the use of a Victory Cross Country or Vision (reader’s choice) motorcycle for the duration of the assignment and will be set up with complimentary accommodations at Buffalo Bill’s Resort & Casino and at an official Las Vegas BikeFest hotel on Fremont Street. In addition, he will receive a complimentary Las Vegas BikeFest Ultimate pass registration for one, VIP parking, and participation in an Artistry In Iron celebrity builder meet and greet at the Cashman Center.

In return for this VIP status, the honorary contributor will be asked to live up to his title by writing us a short story of his experience of the ride and event. The end result will be will be published in the pages of American Iron Magazine as our annual Las Vegas BikeFest event coverage.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to cover this event for us, you need to submit a short essay (200 words) telling us why. All submissions need to be e-mailed to HonoraryContributor@AmericanIronMag.com no later than June 27. Be sure to include your contact info because the person we choose will be contacted directly before he is announced in the October 2011 issue of AIM. Please note that sufficient riding experience and a valid motorcycle license is required. Ready for some disclaimer stuff? American Iron Magazine and other sponsors are not responsible for misdirected entries. Odds of being selected are dependent upon the number of entries. American Iron Magazine is solely responsible for selecting the honorary contributor and all decisions are final. For more information on the parties involved, visit, www.AIMag.com, www.VictoryMotorcycles.com, or www.LasVegasBikeFest.com.

2010 Indian Motorcycle Rally

The 2010 Indian Motorcycle Rally takes place July 17, 2010 10 AM – 4 PM at Hilltop Farm, 1608 Mapleton Ave., Rte 159, Suffield CT (1/2 mile south of MA line and Six Flags New England.)

See dozens of vintage Indians, plus the NEW Indians from Kings Mountain, NC, along with lots of food, vendors and entertainment.

Event Donation: Bikes $20 and Cars $25.

Hilltop Farm was built by George Hendee, co-creator of the Indian motorcycle and founder of Hendee Manufacturing Co., later renamed Indian Motorcycle Co., in nearby Springfield, Mass.

Between 1913 and 1925, George bought up 500 acres of farmland in Suffield, Conn., where he established a gentleman’s country estate including a 20,000 sq. ft. Colonial Revival dairy barn. In 1915, George retired to the farm and raised white leghorn chickens and prize-winning Guernsey cows.

A volunteer nonprofit organization formed in 2002, that is dedicated to preserving the barn, rehabilitating the property and creating a learning center where people can reconnect to the land.

The Indian Motorcycle Rally is one of the fundraisers held each year to raise money for this effort.

For more information about The 2010 Indian Motorcycle Rally Click Here.

To learn more about Hilltop Farm and George Hendee Click Here.

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