Daytona Bike Week has a split personality. There’s the loud one most people know about: non-stop noise, lots of traffic, chopper shows and an endless sea of beer. And then there’s the other bike week; a nine-day classic motorcycle show featuring vintage motorcycles, historic motorcycles and racing motorcycles.
It is quality time spent in quaint little downtowns and at great garage parties filled with gear heads and guys who dream of owning a motorcycle museum (or maybe do own one). At this bike week, the food is better, there’s a lot less noise, a lot more sleep if you want it and an awful lot of people come home with more bikes than they came down with. To find it you need to start early, and a little bit west, at the AMCA motocross meet in Eustis, Fla. It’s three days of swap meets, bike shows and cook outs. The next stop is Deland for AHRMA registration, and then a couple of days of AHRMA vintage racing at the Daytona Speedway. There’s also a new flat track on the speedway grounds and it’s a bull ring, short and fast, perfect for “anything can happen” racing. Then there’s the Deland Bator Auction. This one is on everybody’s schedule. Bikes and vendors start loading in on Thursday and the sale ends on Saturday. If you do decide to venture east to Daytona, the technology gets decidedly more cutting edge. There is AMA Superbike racing at the speedway, the Euro bike shop downtown to check out the new models and the vintage bike collection on display, even a Ducati beach party to watch the Daytona 200 and catch a glimpse of VIPs like Nicky Hayden.
If you do the week right, you’ll never sit in traffic once, and you’ll never ask yourself, “Why do Harleys have to be so LOUD?” You’ll go to some great parties, meet some new friends and it’s likely your biggest problem will be counting the great conversations you had during the week, or maybe figuring out how to get the treasures you bought home. MC