It’s great to be down here in Daytona Beach, Florida. The weather is phenomenal and I know that most of the country is still under winter weather conditions. You can of course hear over my shoulder some of the motorcycles firing up, but I’m here at the 82nd Annual Daytona Bike Week and this is where they have one of the largest rallies in the country with enthusiasts traveling all over the U.S. to check out what’s happening in the motorcycle community. Now, I’m here at the end field of the American Flat Track racing series where they will race later this week, and this is actually one of the motorcycles that they’ll be racing with right here. This is from Indian, but there are a variety of different manufacturers out here with their bikes. What’s great about this series guys is that they are racing on dirt. Let’s take a closer look at what makes these motorcycles so different than motorcycles you ride on the street.
Flat-track racing started in 1954 and it’s now called the American Flat Track racing series where they will race in more than 18 different races across the country. What makes this sport so unique and different is that it’s incredibly affordable to get into. So, if you’re looking to start racing motorcycles for the first time, American Flat Track might be a great way to do that. The bikes are so different yet so unique, and in many ways built for racing, but a lot of that technology comes from the street.
And to get a better idea of what flat-track racing means to the motorsports community, I spoke with Brian Smith who is the series director for American Flat Track. “Affordability is probably about as entry level as you can get to go racing, especially on a pro level,” shared Smith. “You can take a stock motocross bike, lower it down, put wheels on it and go racing.”
And outside of the racing down here in Daytona, you’re going to see all kinds of different motorcycles. Now, Harley-Davidson, known for their big street bikes, well, they introduced the Pan America years ago. This is an adventure dual-sport-riding motorcycle. Now you’re not only seeing guys riding motorcycles on the street, but you’re also seeing them take adventure bikes like this Harley-Davidson Pan America, off road.
And of course, you can’t talk about motorcycling without talking about motorcycle safety, and if you want to talk about innovation, this is actually a piece of it right here. This is actually made by a company called Alpinestar and it’s called the TechAir. If you think about airbags that would normally deploy in your vehicle, well guess what? You now have airbag vests that motorcyclists can wear. And I always like to remind those that throw their leg over a motorcycle, always gear up. Wear a DOT-approved helmet, get yourself a great jacket that fits you well and is meant for motorcycle riding. Wear your gloves and protective boots that keep your ankles and feet protected while you’re out there on your bike.
And to close it out guys, I’ll give you one simple parting piece of information. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, I wear their hat because I believe in motorcycle safety. Whether you’re throwing your leg over a race bike for the first time or a street bike, make sure you check out where your closest Motorcycle Safety Foundation location is. They teach you how to learn motorcycles from the very beginning to even advanced courses.
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