Every year, roughly 500,000 people come down to the 10-day Daytona Bike Week! The event features the world renowned Daytona 200 Bike Race, bike shows, Supercross racing, free music, and more!
January 24th, 1937, was the first Daytona 200 race. Back then the course was a 3.2-mile beach and pavement course. The first ever winner was Ed Kretz from California, doing an average speed of 73.34 mph on an Indian motorcycle. The race continued for years, taking a break during WW2 during the years 1942 to 1947, although there was still an unofficial event called Bike Week that still took place. When the race resumed in 1947, it was promoted by "Big Bill" France, co-founder of NASCAR. His family business, now known as International Speedway Corporation, has been promoting the Daytona 200 and all the Bike Week races ever since.
As it usually does, the Daytona Bike Week occurs during the first full week of March. That includes the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday prior to that week. This year is the 79th Daytona Bike Week!
On Florida's Atlantic Coast, you'll find Daytona Beach. The City is known for Daytona International Speedway, home of NASCAR's Daytona 500 race. In addition to hard-packed sand where driving is allowed in sectioned off areas, there's rides, arcades, a boardwalk, and a bandshell that's home to free summer concerts. Just walking distance away is Daytona Lagoon Water Park, where you'll find go-karts, laser tag, and, of course, water slides.
There is, of course, the 79th running of the Daytona 200, a 200-mile race held at the Dayton International Speedway.
Other events include Burning Bike, which sees the burning of a 75-foot wooden handmade bike covered in messages dedicated to missed loved ones. The event is a celebration of life, death, and rebirth and it features fire dancers, live music, a Miss Burning Bike Contest, and more.
You'll also bear witness to the World's Largest V8 Parade, where you'll be able to hear 100 V8s start at once. The Earth will tremble beneath your feet before the largest fleet of V8s conquers the streets of Daytona Beach!
There are multiple ticketing packages to choose from. The 10-Day Super Ticket, which runs March 8th - 17th, is $190. A 5-day ticket from March 8th- 12th or March 13th - 17th is $100.
The official Bike Week Welcome Center can be found at One Daytona One, Daytona Blvd, Daytona Beach, Florida, 32114. Their online home is found here: Official Bike Week.
Bike Week isn't advertised as a kid-friendly event. In fact, many of the attractions are more suitable for thrill seekers than casual observers. But, if you love bikes, then Bike Week is your Shangri-La. A lot of full-time riders come to Bike Week, but most attendees are actually people who ride to get away from their everyday lives. It's a way to play if just for a couple of days (or for a week!). Be sure to keep riding safety in mind, as the traffic level is higher than typical!
In Daytona, the weather's going to go from spring to summer, so wear your beach day best! Shorts, tanks, tees, sandals, and bikinis (and sunblock too so you can live to ride into your golden years!). Expect plenty of leather (and pleather for the vegan cyclists). But also expect body paint and at least a few people wearing nothing at all!
Lightweight synthetic clothing is good for a warmer ride. Make sure you know the weight limit of your bike and adjust the tire pressure and suspension. Although, if you're going to bike week you probably already knew that!
You’ll want your tickets on your phone so that you always have them on you, and you’ll want your motorcycle insurance info too! The last thing you want is not to make it to Bike Week on time or get left behind when all your new friends go out for a ride.
Expect the weather to be warm and sunny, with some extra heat to consider thanks to all the crowds!
Other than the Daytona 200 and the World's Largest V8 Parade, Bike Week will be home to several rides of note:
Daytona Beach itself has over 200 properties for you to stay at with over 12,000 rooms! That includes everything from hotels and motels to campgrounds/RV parks!
Most Bike Week activities are beachside on Main Street. There are a few parking garages in the area, but they may be packed and require a long wait given the large crowds. Ocean Walk parking garage is just two blocks from Main Street, but can you risk it?! Unfortunately, the nearby streets are likely to be permit parking only, so it'll be a hard area to navigate. Your best bet may be the Daytona International Speedway, which has tons of parking!
As you can expect, Daytona Beach has a lot of great biker bars with great food. Head on over to Trip Advisor and Yelp which are great resources to scour the area for the best spots in town. But you can also just ask the locals where they go to get some grub. It may take you off the beaten path, but at least you'll have a memorable experience!