Sons of Speed at 2018 Daytona Bike Week
The fourth running of Billy Lane’s thrilling Sons of Speed boardtrack-type motorcycle race occurred Saturday, March 24, during the 77th Anniversary of Daytona Bike Week.
For the first time, it featured three classes, thanks to the addition of a new 45-inch category. Twenty-four daredevil motorcycle racers, the most to participate so far, took to the half-mile paved banked track at New Smyrna Speedway.
“Each time out, we’re growing,” said Billy Lane, renowned bike builder and founder of Sons of Speed. “Three classes for this one, and the bikes keep getting faster.”
Inspired by early twentieth-century board-track racers, the Sons of Speed hot 61” and boardtrack class hearkens back to a stripped down, wide-open approach to motorcycle riding. Each racer sit astride identical hand-built racing chassis holding pre-1925 1,000cc American V-Twin engines, and most racers customize their machines by fabricating handlebars, exhaust, fenders, foot pegs and fuel/oil tanks. None of these bikes feature brakes.
The 45” class makes the race more accessible to racers who can’t shell out thousands for an early Harley J-model or Indian Powerplus. The 45” also has the added benefit of a three-speed gear-box and wider more modern tires but still without brakes. The 45” class allows racers a sensible access point to one of the most thrilling vintage races of the year.
The fourth running of the Sons of Speed race saw some of the best riders and well-known personalities in the business participate, including: Billy Lane, eBay Jake, Go Takamine, Ken Curtis, Shelly Rossmeyer-Pepe, Dan Rose, Rhett Rotten, Brittney Olsen, Rick Petcko, Mark Hanna, Freddie Bollwage, Jody Perewitz, Matt Harris, Josh Young and many others.
Top honors in the Hot 61” went to Matt Walksler on his 1924 Harley-powered Sons of Speed racer, earning himself the Sons of Speed Sturgis McCann Trophy from Bill McCann. Walksler managed to dethrone eBay Jake, who’d taken the checkered flag the last two times running.
“Oh, man, that was something,” said Walksler, flushed with victory. “I thought Jake might get me, but I held him off. That McCann trophy is amazing—a work of art. So stoked to win it.”
The final race took place after several heats, and thousands of eager fans watched from the infield and stands, reveling in the thrill of the vintage race and the sunshine of a beautiful March day.
The fifth Sons of Speed race is already in the works set for Sturgis 2018 at the Full Throttle Saloon. Check out the Sons of Speed Facebook page for breaking news and upcoming events.