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Daytona Bike Week 2017 kicks off the motorcycle riding season

Added March 3, 2017
orange motorcycle on bridge by water

Winter might still have motorcycle riders in its frozen grip for another month or more for a good chunk of the country, but rest assured the start of the 2017 motorcycle riding season will arrive soon. The official kick-off party for the new riding season is Spring Daytona Bike Week 2017, which runs from March 10–19. This year marks the 76th anniversary for this spectacular celebration of all things motorcycle.

An international affair

Riders from all around the world will roar into Daytona Beach, Fla., for what is probably the greatest motorcycle show anywhere. As the season opener, Daytona Bike Week is the place where the motorcycle industry gathers to both celebrate and promote the new motorcycle models and gear. And it’s not just the industry that puts on a show—hundreds of thousands of riders show off what’s happening in today’s motorcycle scene.

Motorcycle races

Spring Bike Week owes its existence to motorcycle racing, starting with the Daytona 200 in 1937. The inaugural race was run along the beach and Highway A1A in Daytona Beach. In 1961, the race moved to the Daytona International Speedway, where you can find a full week of races, along with many factory demo fleets offering test rides. Here is a list of racing events scheduled to be held during Daytona Bike Week:

  • Mar. 11: Daytona Supercross by Honda 
  • Mar. 12–13: Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross
  • Mar. 14: FLY Racing ATV Supercross 
  • Mar. 16: Daytona TT (Tourist Trophy)
  • Mar. 18: Daytona 200

Main Street and so much more

Main Street in Daytona Beach is one of the must-see places during any visit to Daytona Bike Week. Motorcycles are parked handlebar to handlebar from North Atlantic Avenue (A1A) on the ocean side to South Peninsula Drive on the Haifax River side. Finding a place to park your motorcycle on Main Street is always a challenge. You need some good luck. The sidewalks are packed boot toe to boot heel with riders, plus countless tourists. Whether you park on Main Street or a few blocks away, it’s worth taking in the Main Street scene.

Spring Daytona Bike Week is more than doing the Main Street shuffle, however. There are hundreds of events to enjoy, spread across Volusia County and the surrounding area. Here’s a short list of things to do and see: 
  • Motorcycle shows
  • Burn-out contests
  • Cole slaw wrestling
  • Bikini contests
  • Bike blessings
  • Music venues 
  • Swap meets 

Riding opportunities

Bike Week is all about motorcycle riders, and there are some nice riding opportunities to escape the crowds and enjoy some time actually riding your motorcycle. The Florida Scenic Highways Program produced the 2016 Central Florida Scenic Byway Brochure. Riding a scenic byway or just cruising around the rally, remember to always ride straight and stay alert to traffic. Even in a sea of motorcycles, not every driver will see you.

Motorcycle events calendar

Daytona Bike Week is just one of many events geared toward motorcycle enthusiasts happening across the country throughout the year. Here are more dates and places to keep in mind this spring:

Arizona Bike Week
April 5–9
Westworld of Scottsdale
Scottsdale, Ariz.
www.azbikeweek.com

 

Angel City Motorcycle Rally
April 19-20
Unadilla, Ga.
http://angelcitymotorcyclerally.com/

 

15th Annual Outer Banks Bike Week
April 22-30
Harbinger, N.C.
www.outerbankshd.com/know-one-of-the-best-spring-riding-rallies-on-east-coast--bike-week

 

Laughlin River Run
April 26-29
Laughlin, Nev.
www.laughlinriverrun.com

 

21st Annual Leesburg Bikefest
April 28–29
Leesburg, Fla.
www.leesburgbikefest.com

 

Check out our complete list of motorcycle events, and remember to celebrate National Motorcycle Day on July 14! 

Till next time, ride safe!