Last Saturday (2005-03-12), Mrs. Slaq and I went down to Daytona to witness the sheer insanity that is Bike Week.
Bike Week started much like the Daytona 500 did: a race on the beach. It's certainly evolved to much more, however. History can be found here.
We got to Daytona proper around 1400 after having a lazy morning and me debating on weather we actually wanted to spend the cash on fuel and such. I gotta say, I have never seen more 2 wheeled and 3 wheeled contraptions in my *life*. Motorcycles of almost every configuration and style were putting around, since the sheer amount of traffic had brought most of the main streets cruising speeds to roughly "crawl". Lots of idiots too, but that's just my opinion on anyone who rides without a helmet.
We went into the stands at the raceway there. Neither of us had seen the speedway before, so it was pretty interesting. HUGE. The backstretch opposite of where we came into the track wasn't visible (we came in at the start of the tri-oval, near the start/finish line) unless we went up into the stands. The infield on the tri-oval was big enough to put the dirt tracks that the off-road guys raced on in. Both of us were impressed by the sheer size of the place. No, it's not as big as DFW, but it's a sight.
We went around to some of the manufacturers tents outside the track after that. Many had, unfortunately, already packed up for the weekend to get ready to roll to the next location. We did however get to see all 4 Japanese manufacturers (Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, and Kawasaki) and their respective stable of motorcycles. Mrs. Slaq fell in love with the Kawasaki ZX-12. Only $11500 and 150hp. Both numbers make me cringe.
Honda appears to be trying to introduce a police issue version of their ST1300. I'm skeptical, but BMW has a very similar bike (meaning "a sport tourer") that they successfully market. From what I've heard and read, it's a great police bike as well, so Honda may be onto something using their big sport tourer.
Ducati had already packed up their public stable, but they did have a series of custom bikes that had unknown designers, but all based off of their "Monster" series motorcycles.
Orange County Choppers had a tent set up. They were packing up by the time we got there, but the area was still packed with people. I did get to see some of the bikes that they've built for the show, including the Spider man Bike, The Jet bike, and the Lance Armstrong dedication bike. Always interesting to see something like that.
Stan (the local Guzzi dealer to us, and sponser of 2 racers in the AHMRA Vintage series) had already left by the time we got there. I was bummed, but also expected it.
I'll post some of the photos I took when I get around to it. Watch this space for linkage.