IN more recent times he’s hit the headlines with ‘Sons of Speed’ – his homage to the board-track racing that took place across America in the 1910s/’20s. Stripped-down bikes were raced on purpose-built banked tracks constructed with wooden planks and garnered massive crowds of spectators, but due to the Great Depression in the early 1930s, it slowly disappeared… until now. It’s now undergoing a resurgence in popularity, thanks to Billy and his eclectic band of vintage racers.
On a trip to Daytona last year, we went to see the latest round of the Sons of Speed Vintage Motorcycle Race, held at the New Smyrna Speedway race-track as part of Biketoberfest. The raceway dates back to 1964 when the half-mile banked track was first built, originally with a dirt surface, but then paved over in ’66. It’s currently a sanctioned NASCAR track, but a few times a year Billy stages his Sons of Speed event there, taking advantage of the 23-degree banked corners.
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BACK IN ISSUE 420, IN THE H-D SUPPLEMENT WE DID FOR THAT ISSUE, WE INTRODUCED YOU TO KNOCKER, AND HIS NO-NONSENSE IRONHEAD – A BIKE THAT GAVE THE FINGER TO BOTH TRADITIONAL BSH CHOPS, AND THE NEW SKOOL RETRO-CHOPPER CROWD TOO.
THE SHINY SURVIVALIST
THERE’S LITTLE DOUBT THAT 2020 DIDN’T REALLY TURN OUT THE WAY THAT ANY OF US EXPECTED, OR HOPED, IT WOULD. MIND YOU, I DID WONDER IF THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC MIGHT’VE INFLUENCED BIKE BUILDERS IN A MORE VISIBLE WAY THAN IT SEEMS TO HAVE, AND EXPECTED A RESURGENCE IN THE BUILDING OF ‘SURVIVAL BIKES’.
MANY YEARS AGO I BUILT TWO FXR SOFTAILS – MINNESOTA FATS (A SORT OF SUPER FAT BOY), AND DAKOTA BLACK (A PROPER CHOP), ONE FOR ME AND ONE FOR MY MATE JIM. WE’D DREAMT UP THE NAMES IN THE PUB ONE NIGHT AS PART OF AN IMAGINED SERIES OF BIKES – THE NORTHERN STATES SERIES. THEY CAME OUT WELL, AND WERE FEATURED IN BSH 170 IN 1998.
I BUILT THIS CHOP 38 YEARS AGO (THE DRY BUILD WAS IN MY BEDROOM), AND I TRY TO KEEP IT LIKE IT WAS WHEN IT WAS FIRST FINISHED. I USED TO PRIDE MYSELF ON IT STARTING FIRST KICK, AND NOT LEAKING OIL – IT STILL STARTS FIRST KICK (OCCASIONALLY SECOND), BUT THERE IS NOW, NEARLY 40 YEARS LATER, ONE SLIGHT OIL LEAK…
UJB UNIVERSAL JAPANESE BOBBER
ONE OF THE WORST THINGS TO HEAR WHEN OUT AND ABOUT AMONGST ANY GATHERING OF MOTORCYCLE TYPES IS A SLIGHTLY NASAL VOICE SAYING, IN THE PAUSE BETWEEN PEOPLE SPEAKING, ‘DID YOU KNOW THAT…’ BECAUSE YOU KNOW, YOU JUST KNOW, THAT YOU’RE GOING TO TURN ROUND AND BE CONFRONTED WITH AN ANORAK.
LONG SHOP MUSEUM BIKE SHOW
THE THIRD BIKE SHOW AT THE LONG SHOP MUSEUM IN LEISTON, SUFFOLK, WAS HELD ON SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 13TH. IT’D BEEN HANGING IN THE BALANCE, LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE THIS YEAR, BUT UNLIKE MOST IT, WAS DEEMED OKAY TO GO AHEAD, DESPITE CONCERNS OVER LIMITING NUMBERS AND KEEPING EVERYONE SOCIALLY DISTANCED.
AS I’M SURE YOU’RE AWARE (IF YOU’RE NOT, REALLY? WHERE’VE YOU BEEN? DOWN A WELL?) OUR CHOSEN LIFESTYLE IS, AS ELIZABETH BATHORY MIGHT SAY, IN DIRE NEED OF AN INJECTION OF FRESH BLOOD BECAUSE… WELL, WE’RE ALL GETTING A BIT OLD, A BIT PAST IT THESE DAYS, AREN’T WE?
DURING MY VISIT TO MUDDY BEACH CUSTOMS BACK IN AUGUST, WHERE I TOOK THE PICS OF CHRIS LINDSAY’S CUSTOM CHAMPS-WINNING S&S (AS FEATURED LAST ISSUE), GUS, THE MAIN MAN, ARRANGED FOR A WHOLE LOAD MORE SCOTTISH BIKES TO ARRIVE TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED TOO. AS WE DON’T GET UP ACROSS THE BORDER THAT OFTEN THESE DAYS, I GOT ‘EM ALL IN THE CAN, AND YOU’LL SEE ‘EM IN A FORTHCOMING ISSUE.
HOT ROD SHOUEL
IF YOU’RE A LONG-TERM READER OF THIS AUGUST PERIODICAL (AND THE ONES PUBLISHED OTHER MONTHS TOO), THEN YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE BIKES, OR AT LEAST THE KIND OF BIKES, BUILT BY A GENTLEMAN BY THE NAME OF VINCENT SUMMERS
AMOC CUSTOM SHOW
AH, THE JOYS OF A SEPTEMBER MORNING – STILL SOME OF THE SUNSHINE FROM SUMMER, BUT THOSE SOFT TONES OF EARLY AUTUMN COMING IN, WHICH MAKES FOR A PERFECT COUNTRY RIDE... MIND YOU, I’M NOT SO KEEN ON THE BARRAGE OF CONKERS AND ACORNS WHICH SEEM TO MAKE A BEELINE FOR THE HELMET.
MIRANDA FLYING COOP & LEAVING HUBBY BEHIND!
She’s desperate for alone time
Hooks in You
IN HIS JUST-PUBLISHED FIRST BOOK, IRON MAIDEN STALWART ADRIAN SMITH SHARES A BOATLOAD OF BIG-FISH STORIES
Angie's LONELY LIFE
ONCE THE MOST ALLURING STAR IN HOLLYWOOD, ANGELINA JOLIE HAS BECOME MORE AND MORE ISOLATED, RELYING ON HER BROOD OF SIX AS HER ONLY COMPANY.
young and restless
THEO-LOGICAL NEWS Theo calls Sally to tell her that he’s in Chicago on a business trip and can swing by Genoa City to give her dirt about Kyle.
The Shirt Off Your Back
Ed Iskenderian is credited with inventing the branded T-shirt, handing them out to promote Isky cams in the ’50s.
Indian Larry - The Last Interview with Born To Ride
The proliferation of cable biker shows has given mainstream exposure to the motorcycle industry and made celebrities out of many of the builders.
young and restless
LATE BREAKING NEWS
Burst of Activity
Tool’s Adam Jones — and Gibson’s Cesar Gueikian — discuss the finer points of Gibson’s new Adam Jones 1979 Les Paul custom
MILEY LAPS UP CHER'S SLAMS
Celebs sharpen knives for her as chaos swirls
Y&R: HEALTH CRISIS FOR CHELSEA
What A Pain: Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) and Adam (Mark Grossman) face a new challenge.