Daytona Black Bike Week Is Booming

Daytona Black Bike Week is getting bigger and bigger. Maybe you didn’t notice because the event is centered on Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard. But Harley-Davidson did. For the first time, the company had parked at proximity one of its big-rig trailers. The black biker scene has been congregating in Daytona since the 1970s, According to a recent survey, 7.9 percent of those who buy new Harleys are minorities and that percentage has been inching up slowly during the past several years. A recent convert to motorcycles, hip-hop artist DMC aka Darryl McDaniels, just learned how to ride last year. He is now the owner of a Fat Boy, loves the motorcycle scene and participated for the 1st time to Daytona Black Bike Week. The scene looks much like Bike Week on Main Street, with rows of Harleys, Gold Wings and Ninjas. The standard code is the same: bandannas, leather vests, and denim jeans. Black biker rallies such as California’s West Coast Roundup or the Myrtle Beach Black Bike Week in South Carolina have been booming too. Black bikers are spending a lot of money on their bikes and all motorcycle and part manufacturers are paying attention. 

27 Responses to “Daytona Black Bike Week Is Booming”

  1. 1 Alex Wallace Mar 11th, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    I didn’t know it existed during Daytona bike week.

  2. 2 madpuppy Mar 12th, 2008 at 9:12 am

    I don`t mean to be offensive to Anyone! But I am getting tired of this racist B.S.! First the United Negro Collage Fund, Black entertainment Television and cant for get Miss Black America or the Black Music Awards ! It seams to me, they have been included in the Miss America Pageant, all fazes of T.V. and Movies ! Lets not forget Scholar ships to all Universities and the Music Awards shows!. If a White Only Program existed we would be Labeled first by Who ? the NAACP for being Racist ! But its OK for them?

  3. 3 Rodent Mar 12th, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Madpuppy is right on…Whites have rights also

  4. 4 Moose Mar 13th, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    I get lots of magazines and you would think black people do not have bikes. So we get a one that show us riding your ass is mad. Yes we have black this and that becuse the rest is all yours.
    Black person get’s a small support role in a movie and we should be over joy with small stuff.
    That idea is a crazy as you. I would LOVE to see white people show support for there race buy the only pride people you have is KKK. Can you ever show pride with out taking others down try that.
    Try giving black kids with high grades next to your kids the same money for school and we would not need other just for us. I got my 3 Harleys, 2 homes and my 2 year old son schooll almost paid but not becuse of a hand out for you or you dad but my own boots straps as you all like to say. And i konw LOT”S of other like me that’s pisssed when you all get mad that we have something that your people push us out of.

    But think if we did not have HATE as people like you it would not push me to make like I do.
    I cannot see this darn PC wiith out my eye glasses so I hope it came out ok if not I am sure your hate ass will let me know and not address the topic.

    Moose on the loose!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. 5 burnout Mar 13th, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    as a businessman my enemies are those who do not pay or a supplier who fails to supply what they promise………as a rider my enemy is whatever hazard can hurt me. I treasure all my customers even the Canadians, eh!, (joking , of course) regardless of race or nationality. I am a “white” native american and I say “FREEDOM FOR US ALL” The places I am most mistreated are banks and insurance companies! Let’s all RIDE ON! peace …………… Does anyone else hit a lot of birds when riding? may be just me..

  6. 6 Nicker Mar 14th, 2008 at 2:52 am

    Listen Moose,

    “…get lots of magazines and you would think black people do not have bikes…”

    I only get one mag by subscription (Cycle world). Until you brought it up, the issue of how many minorities do or don’t show up in it never even occurred to me.

    The only other Motorcycle publication i get involved in regularly is Cyril’s blog (regularly enough that some of the folks here are probably tired of reading some of my rants).

    I don’t know much about how Cycle World decides what they cover, but if ya stick around Cyril’s blog it’s easy to figure out what gets covered here. Most of the stuff that shows up here is about Product, Trends, or People.

    And damn near all of the subjects that Cyril brings up are selected on the basis of product merit or industry notoriety. The rest of us get to add out two-bits, as you have, “without prejudice” (a legal term).

    Motorcycling is primarily an industry and functions, by and large on a market basis.
    Thinking back, about the only negro owned scooter shop i can recall in the east SF Bay area was Donald DeVeres’. And if i’m not mistaken, he also ran a motorcycle club in the area. There must have been some, but none i can recall in more-n 40 years of looking for bikes and parts.

    The point is, the scooter industry will respond to a market. No market, no response, it’s that simple. So is it possible that, up till now there just hasn’t been much minority participation in motorcycling…?

    Or are you saying that a business (bike shops or magazines) can ignore minorities because they don’t need their patronage?

    If you’ve read the articles in this blog, you’d know that times are tough out there. No business is going to turn a sale down (magazine or a bike).

    Regarding the comments that sound racist.
    “…I would LOVE to see white people show support for there race buy the only pride people you have is KKK…”

    Le-me simply say this; As an average older American white guy i’m getting real tired of being blamed for every bad thing that happened happened in this world. The way the media tells it we’re responsible for the war in Iraq, pollution, discrimination against women, spotted owls, red legged frogs and tiger salamanders (oh ya, and Global Warming).

    I can’t help being white any more than you can help being block/colored/negro…whatever. I felt guilty for being white all through the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. I supported the 1964 civil rights act. I went to Vietnam twice. I didn’t get drafted, i volunteered.

    I think what your hearing on this blog is not racism, what your hearing is white guys who are tired of the crap. Contrary to popular opinion, they were sent off to Vietnam in grater numbers than any minority. There is nothing they can do to make you feel better about yourself or be more proud of who you are.

    If you want more “recognition” in the motorcycle community, i don’t know what to tell-ya. Try staring a bike business, a club, a magazine….. whatever. But i do know this, if we as a society keep focusing on whatever “[minority] Week” you’re not gonna like the kinda-a recognition you’ll get.

    As Eldridge Cleaver said on Mike Savage’s radio show, “…after having lived all over the world during my self imposed exile, I ‘ve come to realize that America is the best place in the world to live…”

    I’m a “legal” immigrant. Take it form me, it certainly is the best place to be any kind-a Biker.


  7. 7 Sugar Bear Mar 14th, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Interesting comments!

    I would suggest that Mudpuppy and Rodent get a copy of the “History of the Chopper” aired on the Discovery Channel by Jesse James. Maybe then they would understand that events like this one came about because Blacks weren’t welcome in the past at major events.

    They would also learn that I was not in motorcycle magazines for “25” years because I am black. I was told by the magazine staffs that the readership was too racist for them to include me in their publications. Also,no one was willing to publicize the fact that the Easy Rider” movie bikes were built in Watts.

    The United Negro College Fund and the other institutions mentioned came about for the same reasons. Most of the black colleges are in the South. Need I say more?

    When you have been excluded, and you ride, you start your own events. More and more riders are finding out about Black Bike Week and other events and are integrating the events and having a great deal of fun. There has never been any exclusion at these events. I would suggest that they stop by and see what is going on.

    As riders become more aware of their history and interact with each other, these events will meld into one. BTW … Jesse likes Black Bike Week … he says it’s the most fun he has at Daytona. Remember, we’re all bikers.

  8. 8 Fast140 Mar 14th, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    I agree 100% with Sugar Bear. Rodent & Madpuppy made prejudiced comments. Who built the chopper in the Easy Rider movie? Do you know? A black motorcycle builder.

  9. 9 Cyril Mar 14th, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    For information, Brother Ben Hardy is an unknown name to most biker fans. He is the Black person who, from his motorcycle workshop in the Florence area of Los Angeles, supplied the parts used to build the bikes ridden by Fonda & Hopper in the film Easy Rider. I also recommend that you visit Black Bike Week when you are in Daytona next year. Cool bikes and a lot of fun.

  10. 10 Sugar Bear Mar 14th, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Only one small correction, Cyril. Ben not only supplied the parts, he also did all of the assembly and acquisition of the bikes; in other words, he alone built the bikes in his shop, regardless of others claims. Thanks for letting people know there’s a lot of fun to be had at Black Bike Week.

  11. 11 Doc Robinson Mar 14th, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Right on Sugar Bear, your contribution to custom bikes is both huge and legendary. I guess that wet-behind-the-ears riders may not know of you, but bikers who’ve been around certainly do. We both admire and respect you and your talents. ‘Ride Forever’ as Bandit would say …

  12. 12 Nicker Mar 15th, 2008 at 12:28 am

    Sugar Bear,

    “…Blacks weren’t welcome in the past at major events…”

    That’s absolutly true and it’s just one of the reasons to not get too nostalgic.
    There’s way too much said about “the day” by those who weren’t there.
    So, i’ll continue to call them the “bad old days and i hope we never see them again.

    But at this juncture, i’d rather look forward instead of backwards.


  13. 13 Patof Mar 15th, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Can’t we all just get along….!

    This year was the 1st time I ever attended Bike Week (although I’ve read and folowed it from a distance for quite some time) and I was totally amazed at the shear size of the overall event. I saw people from all shapes, sizes, nationalities & skin color. The one universal thing was obviously the rider’s aspect of the event & the respect everyone seemed to have for each other. As a shop/builder, we showed bikes at different events and no one cared about one’s origins: it’s all about the bikes and the ride. We are one: Bikers. Heck, I didn’t even mind some of the Jap bikes too!

    Black Bike Week: I’m all for special events, as long as it’s done in a fashion to highlight something (be it Black riders, Red only gas tanks, etc…) and that it does not exclude anyone. Yes, I am white, but to quote Nikcer: I can’t help being white….!

    I’ve seen things done to bikes that inspired me and I don’t care who does it. The Bike Week event should be viewed as one Big Ass party where we also get to share ideas and our passion for the bikes we build, own, ride & admire as well as al the stories that go along with them.

    I’ll be there next year and now that I know of Black Bike Week, I’ll make sure to attend and have a beer (or 2) while I’m admiring the rides.

    Cheers from The Great White North, Eh!

  14. 14 Sugar Bear Mar 15th, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Nicker …. Patof

    I understand how you feel and I feel the same way, that’s why I said these events will meld into one eventually as people come together and interact. I was explaining why “Black Bike week” came into being. For those who take offense to these events, I doubt that they really understand or understood why this happened. Remember, it’s only been since the mid 90’s that I was accepted into biker mags even though I was there before many of the noted people in this industry ( some of them weren’t old enough to play with “GI Joe’s” when I was building chops—smile).

    Patof — you’ll have a great time next year when you go.

  15. 15 Nicker Mar 15th, 2008 at 9:20 pm


    I hear ya,
    “…Remember, it’s only been since the mid 90’s that I was accepted into biker mags…”

    I had no idea.
    And the mags wonder why their going out-a business….?

    Thanks for the perspective.


  16. 16 starmoonwolf Jul 6th, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    I agree that this is 2008 and is the time for people to come together as a whole with mutual interest I lived in daytona for a short time while attending AMI and I was the only black student in my class which was ind of hard at first being so militant but after getting to know some of the guys they were alright I even kicked with a 1% mc who were members of the confederation. until living in daytona I never knew black bike week existed.

  17. 17 BIG MONEY ROB Sep 8th, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    There are a lot of stuff that our people are in to on this Harley Davidson Stuff did ya know that
    Both the Captain America bike and the Billy Bike were designed and built by an African American bike builder named Ben Hardy. Fonda met Hardy when Hardy built the bike he rode in The Wild Angels (1966). Dennis Hopper is interviewed in the documentary “History of the Chopper” and confirms that it was Hardy who built the bikes.
    In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #84 Greatest Movie of All Time.
    Did any body see American Thunder Segment about the Rare Breed MC from LA
    look at this link to see more
    You see we have been here all along just out of site of the camera.

  18. 18 Moose Sep 11th, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Hay BIG MONEY ROB this is Moose from the onlne site I see you move around also.
    nicker 1st let me say you sould like a person I would love to set down after a ride witth and Drink a beer with and talk. I bet that after that talk with open converations we would have a grand time and walk away in understanding and have a good time. Yes this is the best place to live and I think you for your service to this Country. I am doing REAL good my house is set. I am looking to buy a moble home that can carry 2 of my bikes so I can see more of this country. So trust me when I say I am not that Mad and the US or people. That does not mean that all things just find and I alway look for way to impove things like my operations that make money. I have started things I have bike club that promotes love. Just 3 weeks ago 5 of my club members riding down the street with other 4 white bikers that we invited and we had a ball that day. I live in southern MD and the hate we got from other white bikers looking at the other bikers like to say ( why you all riding with them Black boys)
    3 lights away the same group saw other group of White bikers and even aske them were they were going at the light. I must say the more north we got bikers were nicer to this group this day. That day was good to me becuse we just rode them bikes and did not care we all had a grand time.
    I was not blaming them for the actions of the past and they did not treat me like I was the peopel they see on the news.

    Your comment about looking not looking back. Hell we do not have to look back that much. Come out of a good school and look for a job right now. Apply for loan even with a 750 score today. Get passed over at work at high producer of work today. Heck I agaree about letting go of the past we just need the today thing. But even with that we push on and make it in the US. I have 3 buddies that make over 3 mill a year and they keep me pushing on as I grow to that level.

    Your comment:
    The point is, the scooter industry will respond to a market. No market, no response, it’s that simple. So is it possible that, up till now there just hasn’t been much minority participation in motorcycling…?

    No way!! sorry I have to much motorycling histroy in my head for that one. We have been supporting Harley from the 50’s in good numbers. 2 weeks ago we had 2500 biker ride I am on a network of bikers all over the US. Blacks have been supporting Harley and other bikes for years in large numbers. In Maryland in Fort Washington 6 out of 10 bikes sold is a black biker. I have seen to manly large number of just Black Harley clubs and bikers to go for that low partcipation thing.

    This is the fix try and understand peopel out side your own world that’s for all of us! Blacks and Whites do not ride on the roads. It’s more divided than homes we live in other than mine. I say that becuse I live in a place were it’s realy 50/50 and we all love the mix.

    Just like we invited the group of white bikers to ride with us and accepted a ride in the next week from them to ride to B-More.

    That’s what we need to do not faceless Blogs were you feel free but real hooking up biker to biker one at time.

    I hope to see and ride with ya in March!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    If you see a Moose tat that’s me!!!!!!!

  19. 19 HIMALAYA Sep 22nd, 2008 at 9:08 pm


  20. 20 HIMALAYA Sep 22nd, 2008 at 9:33 pm


  21. 21 Nicker Sep 23rd, 2008 at 1:13 am


    “… set down after a ride with and Drink a beer with and talk. I bet that after that talk with open conversations we would have a grand time and walk away in understanding and have a good time….”

    No doubt.

    “…. This is the fix try and understand people out side your own world that’s for all of us! …”

    Ya, it happens one person at a time.
    A long process.
    Short-cuts don’t work.

    Thanks for “the talk” on “the blog”…………… 🙂


  22. 22 Mike Greenwald Sep 23rd, 2008 at 2:00 am
  23. 23 angelina Mar 9th, 2009 at 1:41 am

    Why can’t everyone participate in Daytona Bike week regardless of skin colour? like everyone in the same bike week, no need for separate bike weeks for separate sounds dumb to me

  24. 24 Mike Greenwald Mar 9th, 2009 at 6:56 am

    Number one the thread you are replying to is March 11th, 2008. Number Two, if you have read the article it is at the same time.

  25. 25 tennessee-jimi Sep 23rd, 2009 at 10:32 am

    I just found this blog in a google search for a black bike builder named shelly or shelley.. he supposedly only built his choppers for his black dope dealer buddies. Just what i was told don’t start hatin!.. anyway not trying to get into a race arguement just wanting to know if anyone can hep me find some info on this cool MFin trike..see link to photos.This guy was an artist!

    please reply via photobucket if possible.

  26. 26 Clarence Nov 26th, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I was just looking at the video about DMC riding a Fat Boy, HOT!!

    DMC was down at Myrtle Beach Black Bike Week also, at the Atlantic Beach BikeFest.

  27. 27 stocker Mar 2nd, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    As an old white guy and motorcycle mechanic of 30 years I have a dozen or so black customers that I am very happy to see! They are also happy to see me! They dont even get mad when I give them crap for ruining a perfectly good sports bike by lowering stretching and chroming !LOL! But I guess thats why they call me stocker!

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