61 And Going Strong

Kick-Starting the Spring

Yes, as a matter of fact it was cold as the festivities commenced.

The Boardwalk Classic Bike Show has become an eagerly awaited event over the past dozen years.

Frank O'Connell, Chief Executive Officer of Indian, and Brandscomb Richmond take a moment to pose with a newly redesigned Chief. The bike is one of the first to be fit with one of the company's new proprietary motors.

Pink slips anyone?

Kendall Johnson sat atop of one of the bikes that will be displayed this year at the Camel Roadhouse. This is Johnson's first crack at a Camel bike -- from the looks of things, this probably won't be his last.

"Hopefully by the time I grow into these glasses, my hands and feet will be able to reach these controls. Then I'll be down the road, man."

Out at the Speedway, a group of riders were ready to hit the streets by taking demo rides on the stable of V-Rods that Harley-Davidson brought along for the faithful to try out.

Bob Kay of Biker's Choice and Comp Cam's Hector shared a few light-hearted moments in front of our camera.

Willie G., not one to miss a photo-op or a good laugh, posed on a Softail painted to match the #2 Miller Lite Harley-Davidson-sponsored stock car that will be driven by Rusty Wallace in three races throughout the 2002 Winston Cup series.

Between Bike Week and the Daytona 500, what else would you expect to see on a big, brown truck from Daytona but flames?

Big Daddy Rat made one last trip through the streets of Daytona in this glass-enclosed hearse, pulled by a trike.

Jesse Jurrens of Legends Air Suspension and Tom Matzko from Drag Specalities had an impromptu meeting of the minds on Beach Street.

The good folks at the America Motorcycle Institute once again offered up their Dyno for participants to find out just how much horsepower their bikes put out. The board tells the story.

Harley-Davidson filled the convention center with all that was new for 2002, along with a few other tried-and-true items. As they have done in the past, the display was opened with a reception for H.O.G. members before the public was allowed entry.

Harleys and Daytona go together like peanut butter and jelly. From that very first get-together on the beach back in 1941 to this year's event, nothing says motorcycles like Daytona Bike Week. Take hundreds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts - many from the colder regions of the country -- call them down to the warm, sunny shores of Florida to kick off the riding season, and you can't expect it to be anything but fun.

It doesn't matter what your interests are; there is so much to do at Bike Week, it seems there is never enough time to take in all the activities. Without a doubt, Main Street was the place to see or be seen. From the early morning until the late-night hours, a constant parade of motorcycles cruised up one side of Main and back down the other. As a diversion from the onslaught of bikes cruising Main, one could easily do some shopping. Whether you were in the market for the latest T-shirt creations or needed new boots or gloves, it was all there to be had.

A short trip over to Beach St. and Ridgewood Ave. (depending on the traffic) revealed vendors of all kinds. All the major parts distributors such as Custom Chrome, Drag Specialties, Biker's Choice, J&P; Cycles, and Chrome Specialties were there. Around the next corner you could find some of the top custom builders in the industry -- companies such as Arlen Ness, Jim Nasi Customs, Eddie Trotta's Thundercycle Designs, Kendall Johnson's Customs, Bourget's Bike Works, and Ron Simms. If you were looking for a complete engine, transmission, suspension, chassis, sheetmetal, or any other parts, the supply seemed endless.

As usual, the weather in Daytona was far better than the weather in many parts of the country. The fact that winter was still upon us made for interesting changes in the meteorological sense. Although the week started cold, windy, and wet, the enthusiasm was high, and no one's spirit seemed to be dampened. By the time the first weekend ended, things started to look better as a warming trend developed, making for great riding weather.

As the event progressed, it appeared that the number of people in attendance skyrocketed from the previous days. With the forecast looking great, many folks decided to jump on their scoots and join the party.

The 12th Annual Boardwalk Classic Bike Show was a great place to spend a couple of hours checking out all the killer entries competing in various categories. Speaking of bike shows, this year marked the first Rat's Hole Custom Chopper Show, held without its founder, Karl "Big Daddy Rat" Smith. Big Daddy died Monday, March 4, 2002, from a heart attack just five days before his annual chopper show.