2011 Daytona Bike Week Atmosphere (Part 1)

Let’s begin by the first question you all ask. What is the attendance of this 70th edition versus last year and other years? After covering all the territory from Smyrna Beach to Ormond Beach to talk to many friends and vendors, big and small, the consensus seems to be for an overall slightly lower attendance. Yes, Main Street and Beach Street are still packed, the exhibit of builders at the Limpnickie Lot and Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Show are both busy, but surprise when I arrived at 3 pm at Rossmeyer’s Haley-Davidson in Ormond Beach and saw an unusual number of vacant spaces in the parking lot…It would not matter much if all Daytona visitors would spend more than in the recent years. Some vendors are doing very well, some poorly, and I have no idea about what it implies in terms of benefit, if any, for the overall motorcycle industry.

Just a few flash news. I learned from Cris Sommer-Simmons that there will be a 2012 edition of the Cannonball with participating bikes up to year 1926. Strangely in these economic times, the number of bike shows has increased. Nobody can “touch” the big bike shows int terms of competitors and spectators. So I wonder why some continue to repeat bike shows with less than 12 competitors.  Puzzled, I am. Willie at Tropical Tattoo has never been so relaxed because The Horse Backstreet Choppers Magazine is helping with the event organization. So, like all of us, he enjoys his own show for the 1st time and it’s again a success. Custom bikes in the streets and in shows didn’t evolve much in terms of styling, but as expected between the 2 poles “Old Skool Type Bobber” and “High Tech Bagger” more Cafe Racers can be seen, both restored originals or new created ones with the flair of the past.

At the Progressive IMS Bike show at the Ocean Center and after 3 years of research and development,, Motus unveiled its all American made MST prototype equipped with the world’s first direct injected 4 stroke KMV4 engine fitted in a treillis frame. Sounds very sweet. Congrats to the team behind this project (Lee Conn and Brian Case) that I will feature in a next post. Love to put a face on my readers’ names. One of them, Scott Hall from Georgia got me surprised when he parked his custom trike next to me to introduce himself and his faithful biker companion, dog Dixie. Scott & Dixie are probably the favorite of photographers this week in Daytona. Met infamous Nicky Bootz (ex right and left  hand of Billy Lane) who fabricated Willie’s Show trophy and told me that he was finishing a nice project that he will give to my readers in exclusivity. To make you be patient, he gives you one of his best grimaces. I missed the Victory High Ball test ride because of stormy weather and pouring rain this Thursday morning. But weather forecast is for a sunny day tomorrow Friday…

8 Responses to “2011 Daytona Bike Week Atmosphere (Part 1)”

  1. 1 badams Mar 10th, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Interesting details on Daytona. Up until 2000(when I moved from Miami to LA) we would ride to and from with chase vans and camp. Rats Hole was the only custom show, helmets were the law, Pub 44 was a shed, White Eagle was the late night spot ,West Coast Choppers was just coming on the scene and the Outlaws M/C were the representing 1% club. It was a good time.

    Last couple years I read about/heard from people who have attended that while vendors and the event organization has improved, Daytona has become a police state and price gouging is rampant. To be expected I guess, which is why I am not surprised that outlying areas are gaining event popularity. Willie’s, etc seem like a great time.

    Could this be trend or do you foresee Main Street becoming secondary to Bike Week?

  2. 2 colemanfu Mar 11th, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Even though Destination was not packed I bet OBPD still found a way to mess up traffic.??? Come on guys – don’t over think it.

  3. 3 Fab Kevin Mar 11th, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Cyril – it is The Horse Backstreet Choppers Magazine that teamed up with Willie, not Iron Horse.

    Thanks for all of the Daytona coverage.

  4. 4 WILLIE@TROPICALTATTOO Mar 11th, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Make sure ever one goes down and makes a visit to the limpnicki show today it will also be way cool or a great show,and these are a great bunch of guys. ALSO CYRIL The HORSE BACK STREET CHOPPERS are one of our sponsors and THE SHOW IS still run by me AND friends and WORLD FAMOUS ROADSIDE MARTY. THANKS TO ALL WHO CAME OUT IN THE RAIN IN THE EARLY MORNING. TURN OUT WAS GREAT.

  5. 5 Bud Mar 11th, 2011 at 1:47 pm
  6. 6 badams Mar 11th, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    @ Bud

    Local government doesn’t get it.

    I’m a civilian however think its a shame to profile the Outlaws. In the years I attended 1% clubs conducted themselves like 1% clubs, keeping to themselves, having fun. Ironically it was the pseudo tough guys/ hip gangster wannabes that stirred up trouble. Their histrionics and shitty motorcycles seemed to put a good time on edge and increase the risk on the roads at night.

    Probably one of the reasons I went cold on the event……….

  7. 7 Tom aka THUG CUSTOM CYCLES Mar 14th, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I see THUG bikes!!! Great show good people!! Real riders… See you next year..

  8. 8 Lite Cycle Mar 16th, 2011 at 11:22 am

    We are the #1 and hardest active touring L.E.D vender in the country doing over 30 shows a year and Daytona was off a bunch on attendance. People still spending their hard earned dollars but the economic crunch is being felt. Daytona has had such bad weather the previous years that I know this played heavily on peoples minds about going there. Moving dates into March was awesome, the blue skies and 70 degree weather was just incredible for all the riders and should make for a resurgence for the grand daddy of all bike weeks.

    Had plenty of 1% in town, Outlaws, Pagans, Mongols, S of S, Pistons ect, all of which from what I saw were in great spirits enjoying the camadre of scooter trash from all over the country.

    The silent majority in this great country RULES and they ride Harleys!!!!

    History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak, timid or socialist democrats!
    Dwight D.Eisenhower

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Cyril Huze