Billy Lane Pulled It Off

Shifting Gears with Buzz Kanter


SHIFTING GEARS, by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

In spite of long odds Las Vegas bookies would never take, in spite of the worst Mother Nature could throw at him, in spite of countless people saying it can’t be done, in spite of struggling to get century-old racing motorcycles to even run, Billy Lane pulled it off. The first-ever Sons of Speed races in March gave a full grandstand and tens of thousands of online followers a view of motorcycle history in the making. Photos, videos, and messages from the usually low-tech New Smyrna Speedway blew up the Internet and most platforms of social media.

To everyone’s surprise and delight, Sons of Speed was a handful of guys (and a couple of very fast gals) pushing spindly old race bikes harder than they have been ridden in almost a hundred years. As one of the racers, I can tell you firsthand, it was so much more than that. If all you want to know is the winners: young Brittney Olsen captured a hard-fought first, Matt Harris a close second, Shelly Rossmeyer-Pepe third, and I managed to hold on to fourth place in the final race. If you are curious about what the event was like from a racer’s perspective, read part one of Sons of Speed starting on page 66.

We at American Iron Magazine feel fortunate to have been a small part of the inaugural Sons of Speed, an amazing event that is sure to rapidly grow in size and popularity. If you missed the first Sons of Speed races, you have two more opportunities to check out the action this year. We will be racing these old motorcycles at the Full Throttle property during the Sturgis Rally in August, and then it’s back to New Smyrna Speedway for Biketoberfest.

I know it is still a long way away, but you might want to make a note. In October, we are adding a show to the Sons of Speed parking lot for handcrafted custom and competition bikes, as well as a few select hot rods, called the Old Speed Show. More details to follow here in AIM and at

Great Events Coming Soon
I can’t be the only one looking for interesting, motorcycle-friendly events and destinations to ride to. While there is no way I could share (or even know) about them all, here are a few in the next month or so:

Rolling Thunder in Washington, DC Sunday, May 28. Held every Memorial Day, this is a great event to honor our brave men and women in uniform. We cover this event every year in the magazine.

Greenwich Concours in Greenwich, Connecticut, June 3-4. This is a high-quality two-day show for exceptional classic and antique cars and motor-cycles. American Iron Magazine is a sponsor this year, so I will be there, and we expect some great old American street and race motorcycles on display.

Race of Gentlemen in Wildwood, New Jersey, June 9-11. This is a flashback event for classic two- and four-wheeled beach drag racers—lots of old-time fun and some great vintage race bikes and racers on the sand and in the parking lots.
Laconia Rally in and around Laconia, New Hampshire, June 10-18. One of the Big Three motorcycle rallies, Laconia is must-attend for all serious motorcycle enthusiasts.

USCRA FIM Vintage Motorcycle Road Race, New Hampshire Speedway, June 10-11. If you love classic motorcycle road racing, you need to check out this USCRA event tied in with the Laconia rally. If my schedule allows, I plan to race my 1937 Indian Sport Scout in the tank shifter class.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.


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