The big rallies.

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The big rallies.

Postby Ron_Ces » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:24 pm

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Re: The big rallies.

Postby zoomtoob » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:32 pm

You forgot BYOB.

Dates and location TBD...

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Re: The big rallies.

Postby mogu83 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:00 pm

We (I) often make fun of the Big Rallys referring to them as 'Disneyland for Bikers' to ' Gay Pirate conventions' but they are a major part of the Motorcycling scene in the United States and motorcyclists from around the world visit to experience them.
The big three, Daytona, Laconia and Sturgis have been the big events for decades, all the rest are local stuff or wannabes. Although all three started as motorcycle racing events and a stop on the AMA Gypsy Tour they soon morphed into parties and lately I'm not sure what they have become. Daytona and Laconia were major AMA road racing events and Sturgis was a major half mile dirt race.
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All three events have their own allure, similar but uniquely different.
Sturges: I've only been a few times and that was on my way to or from something else, usually a BMW National. It's a big event, and motel reservations have to be made a years in advance. I usually stay at a BMW rally a few miles West in Spearfish. The usual downtown biker stuff, roads jammed with slow moving very loud bikes, restaurants with looong waiting lines, and bars full of amature drunks (the most dangerous kind). It's usually very hot and all the tourist stuff for miles around are overloaded with bikers. Of the three events I'd rate this number three, and the fact that it's so far away has nothing to do with that.
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Laconia: I've been to this a lot of times, spanning from the days of camping on Rt106 outside the track to a few years ago. Always Father's Day weekend it revolved around Bryar Motorsports ( now New Hampshire Motor Speedway) which was wild west central. The AMA road race always attracted the best riders America had to offer. The new track wasn't motorcycle friendly and the riders didn't like it, it soon disappeared from the AMA schedule. The main activity was/is centered on Weirs Beach, a half mile strip with the Lake on one side and tourist traps on the other. Because of an incident in the mid 60's there was always a heavy police presence on the strip, think 100 Cops in a half mile.
After they stopped letting people camp alongside the road I started going to the BMW rally, now hosted by the Yankee Beemers it is usually far enough out of town that you only hear the roar of America's favorite bike occasionally. The AMA races are gone, replaced by Vintage races that are sparsely attended. The event has grown to a week long, likely in an effort by the local merchants to capitalize on the motorcycle craze. The crowd is much older and well behaved, no more public drinking or shouts of 'show me your titties' and you can't find a Cop on Weirs. IMHO the big attraction for Laconia is the motorcycle roads, you can find a great route up there (after you exit The Garden State) and home. Great riding in the area, Mt Washington and the Kancamagus highway are must do's for anyone that calls him/her self a motorcyclist..
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Daytona : I've been more than a few times, longest run was twenty five years straight. Stopped riding down in the mid 80's when I got caught in a snowstorm and had to get home, like right now. I usually stayed at the BMW rally in Bulow or the Guzzi rally at Lake Monroe and the last decade in a condo in New Smyrna. Same as Laconia it started as a MC race and grew, the race (Saturday or Sunday) was the first on the yearly schedule and always a great show. The Vintage races on Monday and Tuesday always drew great old bikes and riders. The party was mostly on Main Street on the island with interesting bars on both sides of the road. The party spread to the mainland along Beach street, and in later years further inland. The motorcycle auction in Deland was always on the Thursday schedule. Dirt track and vintage track showcased in a few events and even motorcycle drag racing was to be found. The VENDORS were everywhere, tattoos, choppers for sale, race bike parts, helmets (real and make believe) everything that had to do with two wheels. Not just the standard 'Biker" stuff but real motorcycle parts from the major manufactures.
Well - The Daytona 200 is now a club race, killed by AMAs mismanagement of American Road racing, the vintage races are gone and the auction in Deland is gone. The party has become a show but an interesting show. The real motorcycle parts vendors have kind of disappeared especially at the track which used to be huge (and free). The motorcycle roads in the area are non-existing and the ride/drive down is 13/15 hours on Rt 95.
Bottom line is; it's not what it used to be (but what is) but it is definitely worth checking out, because it's still one heck of a show but mostly because it's warmer than New Jersey in early March.
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Re: The big rallies.

Postby Tequila Jim » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:42 am

Harry, this is a great synopsis. I have never been to Sturgis and really have no desire to go. My pirate brother goes often and loves it and now his son is going with him. I have never been to Laconia or Americade but they are bucket list items I think. Maybe Sturgis too but I doubt it. Ron and I rode to Daytona 7 years straight, even in in snow and ice and never took 95 once but even then it is not the greatest ride. It is a fun show to behold but you have to ride carefully in it. If you head to Main St. bring earplugs. We used to stay at the B3 Club camping area at the Holiday Trailer Park a few miles out of town. Not too many loud pipes or obnoxious drunks (excluding myself) and a few vendors even showed. I used to get my Triumph detailed by Marty every year for $60. That was the only wash it ever got. There was a good Mexican restuarant out front you could walk to, a store/gas station, and you could get breakfast cheap served by the old women who lived in the park. That was another good show actually. It was a fun time and the racing and vendors at the track was just icing on the cake. B3 doesn't show, the restaurant is closed, and I haven't been there since. Sorta btdt. The BMW rally world seems to be fading away slowly but as you pointed out the Harley ones are alive and well, just morphing.
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Re: The big rallies.

Postby mogu83 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:10 pm

Laconia is,for us New Jerseyans, the best deal. It's a days ride away and if you can't find a nice way to get there you need a map reading class. I never did motels but, from the bikes I've seen out front, they seem to be full all the way up to Lincoln. For me the big attraction was always the Kangamangus Highway, usually done in a 'sporting manner' early on Saturday morning. If you want to scratch 'International motorcycle traveler' off your bucket list, riding up to Canada for lunch and getting back for dinner is entirely possible (bring your passport or you won't get back in). The roads in the area are usually in good shape and the further you ride North the better the chance of seeing some of the rather large wildlife. Mt. Washington is a must do, I've been up a bunch of times usually because of a new guy in the group that wants to go. First time up for me was an impromtude motorcycle race, but that's another story.
The Pemi River Rally put on by the Yankee Beemer Club is the best camping deal, go South (25 miles) for the motorcycle traffic jams and North for the open roads. It's held the weekend before the traditional 'Laconia Weekend' but the event has stretched to a week so everything is in full swing.
Lots of cool things to see in the area and roads that cover from pretty to kill yourself on. If anyone is interested, ask and I'll give you a heads up, as I said in the previous post I've been more that once.

Mt. Washington:
Image

Weirs Beach;
Image
...nowadays I have two good wheels
And I seek refuge in aluminum and steel
It takes me out there for just a little while
And the years fall away with every mile

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Re: The big rallies.

Postby 06wrx » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:45 pm

mogu83 wrote:Image


Pirates as far as the eye can see arrrghhhh
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Re: The big rallies.

Postby Ron_Ces » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:36 pm

Tequila Jim wrote:Harry, this is a great synopsis. I have never been to Sturgis and really have no desire to go. My pirate brother goes often and loves it and now his son is going with him. I have never been to Laconia or Americade but they are bucket list items I think. Maybe Sturgis too but I doubt it. Ron and I rode to Daytona 7 years straight, even in in snow and ice and never took 95 once but even then it is not the greatest ride. It is a fun show to behold but you have to ride carefully in it. If you head to Main St. bring earplugs. We used to stay at the B3 Club camping area at the Holiday Trailer Park a few miles out of town. Not too many loud pipes or obnoxious drunks (excluding myself) and a few vendors even showed. I used to get my Triumph detailed by Marty every year for $60. That was the only wash it ever got. There was a good Mexican restuarant out front you could walk to, a store/gas station, and you could get breakfast cheap served by the old women who lived in the park. That was another good show actually. It was a fun time and the racing and vendors at the track was just icing on the cake. B3 doesn't show, the restaurant is closed, and I haven't been there since. Sorta btdt. The BMW rally world seems to be fading away slowly but as you pointed out the Harley ones are alive and well, just morphing.


I think Laconia was going on while we were at the Pemi River Rally.
Ron
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