Boomers Versus Generation Y. More than ever, Generation Y, those bikers and builders born in the 1980’s, brings a new face to Daytona Bike Week. Baby-boomers still largely dominate the scene, but Generation Y raw bikes built out of necessity to ride from”recycled parts” are everywhere to be seen, from the Limpnickie Lot to Willie’s to the Broken Spoke Saloon. For the 1st time, they even found their way to the Classic Rat’s Hole Bike Show where the new generation of builders seems to find excitement in challenging high end rollers with their blue collar attitude bikes .
– Harley-Davidson H-D1 Custom Bike Showcase. I understand that the new comprehensive personal customization process offered by Harley-Davidson when you buy a new model needs to be promoted. This year, harley-Davidson canceled its traditional Official Bike Show competition, usually held behind the Ocean Center, and replaced it by an invitation to enter custom bikes in the all-new H-D1 Custom Bike Showcase at the Harley display at Riverfront Park on Beach Street. Bring your custom Harley, have it photographed, and winners are selected daily by a random drawing for a total of eight winners, who each receive two nights lodging at a Best Western Hotel and a $200 H-D gift card. Nice, but I met several frustrated owners of customized Harleys who want to compete in a judged Official Harley Bike Show where they can check others bikes and have a full day of camaraderie under the sun until Willie G. Davidson hands out trophies.
– Daytona Police Task Force. It seems that they were extremely efficient during this 70th edition. Instead of more than 200 stolen motorcycles during former years, the final number went down to about a dozen. Police patrols hit the streets of big gatherings, deploying bait motorcycles, hunting stolen bikes, tracking suspicious people fiddling with keys and wiring, stopping vans to check their content, etc. Back to the motto “To Protect And Serve”
– Biker Fusion Party. The main professional charity event of Bike Week was held again on Thursday night at the Dog House on Daytona Beach Main Street. All custom builders, industry and opinion leaders present in Daytona gathered to participate to what is mainly a charity event organized by Carrie Repp to benefit Soldier’s Angels, a volunteer-led nonprofit organization with hundreds of thousands of volunteers providing aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, veterans and their families. Through an auction, the industry demonstrated once again the strong and emotional relation it has with the military and its veterans by raising what may be a record amount of donations (amount to be confirmed)
– Harley Women MDA’s Ride. It’s also an important charity event, this one to benefit MDA, but from my point of view the story is also the large number of women who participated and the type of Harley models they solo rode (from Sportsters to Baggers) demonstrating again that women represent the leading emerging market of the motorcycle industry. Karen Davidson and Cris Sommer-Simmons led the ride like they lead by example the overall movement of women taking to the streets on their own motorcycles (women now represent 14% of new Harley sales)
– Rossmeyer’s Big White Chapel. Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona may be soon enter its name in the Guinness World Records Book, not for being the largest official Harley-Davidson dealer in terms of square footage or sales, but for a record- breaking achievement: the largest number of biker weddings in one day. Last Friday, after paying a fee of $50 and producing a valid marriage license, many couples got married among a sea of Harleys. Maybe a world record, but who is keeping track of weddings performed in other rallies like Sturgis? I wonder.