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Rev Your Engines and Enjoy Two Great Motorcycle Events in October

Motorcyclists don’t need an excuse to go kickstands up and take to the open road. Whether you ride a sportbike or a big twin, October has two great events that will get your blood pumping.

Events in October Are a Celebration of Motorcycling

More than anything else, both National Motorcycle Ride Day and Biketoberfest®   celebrate the people and joy that motorcycling offers. It is more than just hopping on a bike. The entire community supports and enjoys it.

National Motorcycle Ride Day

National Motorcycle Ride Day (October 14) celebrates the men and women who ride, the camaraderie they share, and the freedom motorcycling provides. The second Saturday in October event also calls motorcyclists worldwide to rally and share the experience. 

Chad Geer, an employee of Dunlop Tire in North America, started the event in 2015. He wanted to encourage enjoying the fall weather and acknowledging the pneumatic tire which was first introduced in October 1887. Without this invention by John P. Dunlop, motorcycle tires would not provide the same level of reliability. 


Biketoberfest® is held in Daytona Beach, Florida from October 19 – 22, and roughly 50,000 people will be there celebrating. This year is the 31st anniversary of the event, and the celebration is expanding with more things to do. For the 11th straight year, GEICO serves as the official sponsor.

The motorcycle rally takes the front stage, including many top vendors and racing at the Daytona International Speedway. There are also rally routes along A1A in Volusia County and down Main Street or the Ormand Scenic Loop encompassing 30 beautiful miles of roads showcasing the Atlantic Ocean.

The Daytona area puts on its party face with live music at night, featuring Runaway June for country music at its best and Jukebox the Ghost providing alternative/Indie fare. Dirty Harry’s Pub at 700 Main Street is another place to enjoy live music during your stay.

Restaurants are plentiful in the area, and riders and their families will appreciate a wide range of cuisine. Everyone can find whatever tantalizes their taste buds in restaurants, such as mouth-watering seafood, authentic Italian cuisine, and barbeque at Daytona and Ormond beaches.

Accommodations, from hotels to campgrounds, are available to meet every budget. Download the Biketoberfest® app from Google Play or the Apple Store to help with reservations. The app provides immediate access to everything you need for your stay.

To learn more about Biketoberfest® and its history, check out this video:

Event Calendar and Information

Join the celebration of Daytona Biketoberfest® held on October 19-22 in Daytona Beach, Florida and surrounding Volusia County area. This is also an excellent opportunity to take advantage of bike shows. The Daytona International Speedway races occur from Thursday, October 19, through Sunday, the 22nd. Times are available when you enter. There is no admission charge. You also have the option of scheduling other rides when you arrive. 

The National Motorcycle Ride Day’s schedule is looser and depends on the area you live in or visit. It is best to contact motorcycle clubs to review plans if you want to ride in a group. Otherwise, grab a friend, head out and enjoy the ride.

Biketoberfest® Routes

  • Street Festival Ride: This ride extends from Main Street in Daytona to historic Midtown and loops back. It covers 4 miles and takes about 15 minutes to complete. 
  • The Ormand Beach Scenic Loop: This route begins at the Speed Park, reaches the Tomoka River Basin, and loops back. The distance is 23 miles and takes 30 minutes. The trail lets you enjoy the view as you pass the Atlantic Ocean and oak trees that form a rich cover. 
  • Lucky Ride: The ride leaves the Daytona Beach Racing and Card Club at the I-4 and I-5 at Williamson Boulevard, reaches the Orange City Racing and Card Club, and loops back. It goes around the Daytona International Speedway, travels to Woodland Boulevard, and passes to Blue Spring State Park, Orange City Racing, and Card Club. From here, it goes down Enterprise-Osteen Road by Lake Monroe and then returns to Daytona Beach. The entire ride covers 70 miles and lasts for two hours. 
  • National Seashore Ride: This one-hour, 33.8-mile route is close to the Canaveral National Seashore, south of New Smyrna Beach. The trail passes through remote areas with spectacular scenery. Make sure to take a look at Spruce Creek Preserve along the way.
  • Ponce Inlet Ride: This loop is 24 miles long and takes 45 minutes to complete. Pass by the lighthouse and return via the Intercoastal Waterway.
  • Ride Along Highway 1: and soak in the history: This popular route is 42.8 miles long and takes about one hour to finish.

Organize an Event at Biketoberfest®

If you want to organize an event in Volusia County, you must submit a form. If approved, your event is added to the calendar so visitors can make plans and obtain lodging. The event can be a rally or family-oriented celebration, such as a concert or theatrical performance. Exhibits and art shows can be enjoyable for the whole family. 

You must schedule participation in an event. You have to talk to or contact the event leader and let them know you want to participate. The event center in Daytona will give you information on how to do this. 

Ride for the Cure

Motorcycle riders support many charities, including the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Although the runs have already occurred in Sarasota and Tampa, you can join the Ride for Kids on October 15 in Las Vegas, beginning at the Silverton Casino. Not only will you be helping children and their families, you will be doing what you love. Ride for Kids is one of the longest-running charity motorcycle events nationwide. It starts at 10:00 a.m. on October 15th at 3333 Blue Diamond Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89139.

Guidelines for Ride Day & Biketoberfest – Weather, Traffic, and Regulations

Knowing the weather and road conditions is essential to a safe journey, whether around a track or down a less traveled road. That is why tuning in to a local weather channel while participating is important. In Daytona, Local Conditions.com gives you the information you need. The weather channel also provides up-to-date conditions and forecasts so you can plan for the next day. 

Regulations vary according to location, and riders must look them up ahead of their trip. In Daytona, the following rules apply:

  • Helmet: Unlike many places, Florida motorcycle law does not require helmets if the rider is over 21. Eye protection is necessary to stay within the legal requirements.  Helmet use can prevent traumatic brain injury by approximately 80 percent, so it makes sense to wear a helmet, regardless of Florida laws.
  • Medical insurance: Florida requires accident insurance, including body and property damages. 
  • Noise levels: The max sound for motorcycles made before 1979 is 82 dBA. Bikes made after 1979 have a max level of 78 dBA. 
  • Risky behavior: Florida does not permit risk-taking behavior such as wheelies. A $1,000 fine per incident is possible. 
  • Earphones: You can use helmet speakers. However, using earbuds or earphones is against the law.
  • Lane splitting: Motorcyclists can ride two to a lane. However, lane splitting is illegal.
  • Handlebar height: The law specifies that the handlebar height should be as high as the rider’s shoulders.

Safety First: Tips for Motorcyclists

Riders should always be conscious of safety requirements. It is crucial to ensure everyone is safe on the road by obeying regulations and being mindful of the following:

Pre-Ride Checklist

  • Ensure your tires are in good condition: Check your tires for recommended air pressure to see what you should use. Look for cracks and fissures that can lead to a blowout since Florida’s weather can wreak havoc on your tires. Check the bike’s wheels to ensure they are not bent. Also, look for excessive grease, which can indicate a cracked seal.
  • Check your battery: A rundown battery can cause accidents. Terminals must be clean for the battery to work properly.
  • Make sure lights are working: Ensure all lights are working correctly. This evaluation includes headlights, brakes, switches, and signal lights.
  • Mirrors: A dirty mirror makes seeing what is happening around you harder.  Check to see if there are cracks in the mirrors.
  • Controls need to be working correctly: Your throttle must move quickly without accompanying noise. Levers and pedals must also work correctly and need to be free of cracks and bends.
  • Chains: Lubricate your bike’s chains and ensure they engage appropriately.
  • Check the overall condition: The body of the motorcycle must be in good condition. This examination includes gussets and mounts. 
  • Examine the belt: Check if sufficient tension exists to complete the ride.
  • Check fluids and oil: Ensure you have enough engine oil, fuel, coolant, and transmission fluid. Inspect the seals, hoses, and gaskets, as well.
  • Stands: Stands must be able to support the motorcycle. If a stand is bent, it needs immediate repair work. 

Essential Gear: From Helmets to Boots

The gear you wear when biking can help you stay safe, including all wearables from head to toe. 

  • Helmets: Helmet use can prevent traumatic brain injury by approximately 80 percent, so it makes sense to buy one aside from complying with state laws. The first thing you must look for is a small placard at the base of the helmet in the rear. This label carries the DOT symbol, meaning the helmet complies with safety regulations. Without this label, you may be paying for something that does not offer enough protection.
  • Jacket: Protective jackets include leather or synthetic materials such as Cordura or Kevlar that protect against lacerations and road rash. Padding in the elbows, back and shoulders offers extra protection. Some jackets have airbags to avoid traumatic injuries.
  • Gloves: Made of some of the same materials as jackets or a combination of natural and synthetic ones, gloves offer good protection when the rider strikes the road.
  • Boots: Motorcycle boots give you greater comfort while riding, protection, and weatherproofing. Good ankle support is vital to avoid foot fatigue from shifting gears. 
  • Vests: High visibility vests make it easier for other drivers to see you at night or in stormy conditions. Some jackets have reflective materials sewn in that make it clear to drivers that you are there, especially in dark conditions. 
  • Earplugs: Investing in good quality earplugs is a must if you ride a motorcycle. You can purchase industrial foam plugs that will do the job.
  • Motorcycle pants: Regular jeans will not protect you in a severe accident since they have only 0.6 seconds of abrasion resistance. Purchasing motorcycle pants can solve this problem. In addition, they will protect vulnerable areas of the lower extremities. They should not be tight or restrict your movement; trying them sitting on your motorcycle is best. Extra sewn-in protection for your hips and knees is welcome. 

Group Riding: Maintaining Order and Safety in Numbers

Group riding is one way to improve safety and enjoy the camaraderie of motorcycling. However, there must be some ground rules. Showing up on time is paramount. Working out riding at different speeds might be more complex but is doable. It is better not to ride side by side. In this formation, it is harder to avoid an accident when others are next to you. Don’t tailgate or make any outrageous moves. This behavior can endanger the entire group.

Defensive Riding: Anticipating and Navigating Hazards

Defensive riding can make your motorcycle journey safer and more enjoyable. Here are a few ways to do just that:

  • Be visible: Use reflective tape at night or bright-colored clothing during the day to maintain visibility. Use your lights and signals, too. 
  • Never tailgate: Following another vehicle with a buffer gives you time to avert an accident. If you stay at a proper distance, you can take measures that proximity does not provide you, such as braking. 
  • Predictive safety: Notice what is happening around you and watch other vehicles for signal lights, slowing or erratic driving. Also, be aware of road conditions like gravel or potholes and look for debris. Be mindful of blind spots on larger vehicles. 
  • Intersection safety: Many accidents happen at intersections. Check for red-light runners or a pedestrian crossing the street. If other vehicles fail to use a turn signal appropriately, watch if the wheels are turning.

Weather and Terrain: Preparing for All Conditions When Motorcycling

Wet roads are a hazard for all motorcycle riders. This hazard is especially true when the road is slippery due to climate conditions, making it harder to stay in control. It is essential to check the weather before riding, especially on a long trip or on unfamiliar terrain.

Staying Visible on the Road

Being visible is one of the most essential things a motorcyclist can do. Car and truck drivers may not see a motorcycle for two reasons: because of their size, and motorists do not expect to see a motorcyclist. One way of fighting this is to stay visible in your lane. This means positioning your bike to leverage the greatest visibility. As mentioned earlier, wearing reflective clothing at night helps keep you safe.

Emergency Situations: What to Do in Case of an Accident

Unfortunately, accidents happen, and knowing what to do is important. Get emergency medical attention if necessary. If your bike is down, move it and yourself to a safer location. If you cannot do this, tie a white cloth or use a flare to let other drivers know the vehicle is damaged.

Call the police to alert them to the crash. It is essential to call your insurer as soon as possible. Witnesses can be a rich source of information, and getting their contact numbers helps. Take pictures of your bike and the other vehicle. Once the police arrive, obtain the officer’s badge number and a copy of their report. 

Encouraging New Riders

Talk to new riders and encourage them to be confident and safe by knowing all the road rules. They might be timid the first time out, and offering to mentor and accompany them can help. Remind them that you were new once, too, and learning from an experienced rider is an excellent first step. Introduce them to other riders and help them become an active member of the motorcycle community.

The Road Ahead for Motorcyclists

Freedom and camaraderie are two reasons people ride. Taking part in rallies and celebratory festivals such as National Motorcycle Ride Day and Biketoberfest® highlight their love for biking. Being familiar with safety measures allows riders to enjoy their time together and helps them avoid common problems that can ruin their outing. Keeping a written or mental checklist of what you must do before taking to the road can be a great idea.