2010 Daytona Bike Week. First Impressions.

Difficult to forecast what will be the attendance during the next 10 days. Economy is not the only factor. Weather too. Not only in Daytona, but also up-north where a brutal winter may incite many to flee for some sun and fun. Historically very snowy winters are good for Daytona Bike Week. But in this economy context and with the US northeast completely paralyzed, will it be true again? Here the forecast in Daytona is quite chilly for the season with temperatures ranging from 38 F to 62 F but mostly sunny skies (except possibility of rain tomorrow Saturday).

Anyway, like during the last 4 years, hotel vacancy signs can be seen everywhere, from Ormond Beach to Smyrna Beach and from Daytona to Orlando. Evidently, not because of lack of interest for all things motorcycle. So many during the last weeks told me about their frustration of not being able to make it… Do you remember the time when we had to reserve our rooms 1 year in advance?

Driving up and down A1A you can’t avoid to notice the number of merchants and hotels closed down and boarded due to foreclosures. Quite depressing. A couple of friends from Europe tell me that they are shocked by this observation and that it looks worse that what they imagined from their local countries. So, what’s new this year? A resurgence of Daytona Beach Street and of its Riverfront Park. In big part you can thank Harley-Davidson Motor Company for giving back some “motorcycle life” to a place called “Custom Lane” until 2004 and turned into “Tee-shirts & Sunglasses Alley” during the last 5 years. Harley-Davidson doesn’t show anymore its new models and parts at the Ocean Center (replaced by the Cycle World International World Motorcycle Show), and moved its semi trucks downtown to the Riverfront Park. Indian Motorcycle is not too far away, their show truck and new models sitting front of their new Daytona dealership.

Consequent to Harley-Davidson move, the official Harley Ride-In Show to benefit MDA on Wednesday March 3rd will happen for the 1st time on Beach Street (registration from 9am to noon, 14 judging categories, awards at 4pm handed out by Willie G.). To visit vendors and custom builders, the 3 other poles of attractions are the International Speedway, the Limpnickie Lot in Daytona South on Ridgewood Avenue and of course Rossmeyer’s Harley-Davidson in Ormond Beach getting extra animation thanks to a Rat’s Hole multi-event at the Coca Cola Pavilion. Destination Daytona remains the magnet that seems to attract each biker in town for at least one visit during each rally. And for those loving racing, the 69th Daytona 200, the prestigious season-opening event to the AMA Pro Racing season will be held at night on Friday night, March 5th. The Daytona Supercross, will be held on Saturday night, March 6th.

Some vendors and most media representatives I know, and I know them all, are on a budget and will arrive in Daytona only on Monday or  Tuesday… So, Bike Week seems to return to a 1 week long event. Because of the economic times we are living, it may be better this way, making the event less costly and more profitable for all those who participate as professionals. More to come after most vendors are set up at their displays, hopefully this evening.

17 Responses to “2010 Daytona Bike Week. First Impressions.”

  1. 1 OutThereSomewhere Feb 26th, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Strangly enough just like last fall when Indian was reported to be the “Only American Manufacturer” set up at the speedway Big Dog has been skipped again (and they were at the speedway long before Indian). I may be getting old and my glasses are 20 years out of date so my eyesight isn’t the greatest but I am 99% positive that I seen Big Dog’s semi also parked on Beach Street right across from their Daytona dealership as well.

  2. 2 kody Feb 26th, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I can tell you one thing, it’s pretty busy at Destination Daytona for this time of the rally. I’m at J&P Cycles and the parking lots are pretty full.

  3. 3 Rat Feb 26th, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    I hope that the economy does not affect this year’s attendance. Daytona is one of my favorite rallys and a classic.

  4. 4 Bobby Feb 26th, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    11.30 pm. Chilly in Daytona this Friday evening. 40F. Everybody watching the Olympics? Already in bed?

  5. 5 Bob S Feb 27th, 2010 at 12:06 am

    I wish I were there. I love bike week and what it represents. Each time I leave tx to go there I come back to spring. Have fun everyone and ride safe.

  6. 6 Steve Kelly Feb 27th, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Arrived early, been in Daytona a week already. Have stayed in cheap fleapit motel up until this morning, the $30 a night charge being about right. Well, it is going up ten fold for the rally, so I’m out of here. It’s too damn cold to camp, (for me at least), so what to do? Use Craig’s list. I scored a room a few miles from Main Street for $300 for the whole ten days, and I have to say, it feels good to give my money to a cash strapped local. I got a deluge of offers to my ‘Room Wanted’ advert, so there are no shortage of locals who are happy to make room for visiting bikers. Hope this info helps someone.

  7. 7 Rogue Feb 27th, 2010 at 7:34 am

    I was at Destination Daytona on Friday having the new Thunder Max installed on my 2009 FLHTC and there seemed to be plenty of people there.
    If that is a indication of what will be happening elsewhere it is a good sign.
    OH as far as the Thunder Max goes I am really Impressed, you will have to wait for my tech articles to appear to find out all the details though.
    I am riding back to Daytona today to speak at the Bike Week Freedom Rally at 5:45 I will also be speaking Sunday at 12:45
    To those going have a safe trip.
    Note there seemed to be alot of police on the road around Destination Daytona, They did not seem to be doing much just sitting there in a group, maybe it was break time LOL

  8. 8 Rogue Feb 27th, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Hey Bob S
    I will be riding to Texas on Thirsday for the HOT Rally in Groesbeck. It is always a fun type event if you like the adult ones. It is out in the country though and reports are it is chilly.

  9. 9 Boss Hawg Feb 27th, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Steve…That’s great. We found one hell of a sweet deal alike, too. Scooped a 5-Star Condo Beach Front (well for her…like I give a rats ass cause I am not there but to rest) all inclusive for 6 nights (M-S) for $500…bada bing! Covered parking, bike wash, full sized kitchen, King bedroom, pullout sleeper sofa, fresh towels daily, etc…with all the amenities… I have been going to Bike week since ’77 an have never seen a deal like this. And it’s very very very close to Main St….wink wink

    Don’t none of ya ask, cause I ain’t a tellin and if I did I would have to shoot ya…we prepaid and have booked it with standing reservations for the next 5 years. Screw the likes of the Hiltons, Westins, and those Scum Bag East Indian run places….Find yourself a Yankee that loves ya. Now go spend some money and support our local bartenders.

    Boss Hawg

  10. 10 Boss Hawg Feb 27th, 2010 at 9:45 am


    Damn it Man…I should wind down Bike Week early and head my ass out there, too. Now I see why Jeff Nicklus likes to stay in TX…wink wink

    Boss Hawg

  11. 11 FRED JOHNSON Feb 27th, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Suck-bang-blow,forcast more suck-bang-blow; cyclespherefred.

  12. 12 Lon Nordbye Feb 27th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I have been on Beach Street most of the day today (02.27.10) and its bitterly cold and rainy. I think it was a good move by corporate HD to move from the Ocean Center and set up two factory displays, one at the Speedway and one here on Beach Street. Their Beach Street location seems to have served as a backbone for the revitalization of this commercial Destination, prior to Destination Daytona. Several manufacturers including Big Dog and Indian are down here along with Daytona HD and many vendors seems to have created enough presence for Beach Street to again be a major focal point for the event once again. Personally, I always liked the setup here and despite the rain and cold everyone seems to be in good spirits out of the gate.

  13. 13 Manhattan Choppers Feb 27th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Boot hill was pretty dead last night. Next weekend will be packed by mostly orlando area people that walk around. Big drop off from even last yr this time. CH is pretty on.

  14. 14 Manhattan Choppers Feb 27th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Razorbacks put on a great show..Bank & blues.

  15. 15 Jeff Nicklus Feb 27th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Boss, Rouge,

    Sorry guys I really am too busy to take a couple of weeks off to come to bike week, as much as I would like to! Maybe Biketoberfest????

    Have a good time without me.

    Over & Out,


  16. 16 Rogue Feb 28th, 2010 at 7:03 am

    I rode the 105 miles back to Destination Daytona in the rain on Saturday to recheck how my my Thunder Max was working. Oh it is right on the money But more on that later.
    The amount of people on the highway and at Destination Daytona was down ,the rain and could were definately a factor.
    Leaving there we took US 1 through Ormond and not many people or motorcycles.
    We stopped at the Bikers For First Amendment Rights bar on Ridgewood (US1) for a few beers and some lunch. Hey the prices do not go up during events and the food is decent as well.
    I finished the day at the Bike Week Freedom Rally that was held at the Volusia County Fairgrounds.
    The rain had stopped so I rode home. I am enjoying how my motorcycle is running so well I am looking for reasons to get out on the highway. DUH do I really need one LOL
    I will be headed back today to speak at the rally.
    Then it is in and out of Daytona, Hope those planning on attending have a safe and fun trip.

  17. 17 Rogue Feb 28th, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Boss Hawg
    And anyone else interested here is a link to the rally in Texas http://www.TheHotRally.com

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Cyril Huze