The Sons of Speed race is gearing up for its inaugural season Daytona Bike Week’s 75th anniversary rally in March 2016. But before the race can even proceed, the tedious work of finding participants and sponsors remains priority number one for organizers. Fortunately, an event that’s also celebrating its own 75th anniversary is on the horizon and there’s no better place to rally potential sponsors to its cause than at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Sons of Speed founder and veteran bike builder Billy Lane sees Sturgis as the perfect place and opportunity to spread the word about his brainchild and if he’s to be believed, it looks like he’s not going to do a whole lot of convincing to get companies on board. So far, Lane says, there’s already a lot of interest in the race, so much so that organizers are already tinkering with the idea of expanding more race classes. Whether Lane’s being coy about the perceived interest or not, what’s apparent is that the Sons of Speed race really does have an appealing side to it. After all, there aren’t many races in the world that touts itself as a “motorcycle race inspired by early twentieth-century board-track racing.”

Yup. Don’t even bother looking for today’s fastest and most powerful superbikes in this race. You’ll be disappointed if you do. Instead, you’ll see stripped-down bikes with pre-1925 American V-Twin engines racing at New Smyrna Speedway, presumably with speeds that’ll make today’s pedal-pushers look like pocket rockets.

Lane and the rest of the organizers of the Sons of Speed aren’t making any apologies for the Sons of Speed’s format, nor should they because anybody who understands the purpose of the race will know that despite being in the race title, “speed” isn’t the most important thing about this race. It’s reliving the days when wide-open, full-throttle didn’t rely on electronics or technology, but more on pure talent and skill.

Turns out, many notable personalities have already signed up to be part of the inaugural Sons of Speed race. Sons of Anarchy’s Tommy Flanagan will be there, as will Broken Spoke Saloons proprietor Jay Allen and a host of other industry big wigs and motor racing enthusiasts.

But before the spectacle of the Sons of Speed happens, the business side of getting sponsors to make the event a reality has to be settled. That’s where the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally comes into the picture. So if you end up going to the massive anniversary gathering in South Dakota anywhere from August 3 to 9, 2015, keep an eye out for the Sons of Speed. Chances are, you’ll be seeing a whole lot of the race’s organizers for the entire week.

Continue reading to read more about the inaugural Sons of Speed race.

Why it matters

I’ll admit to being curious about the Sons of Speed race. Now I’ve seen classic motorcycles in races before but I’ve yet to see one being organised in a platform as big as the Daytona Bike Week. The fact that the inaugural race will take place at the 75th anniversary of the bike week makes it a little more interesting for me.

To be clear, riders won’t actually race classic motorcycles per se. Instead, each racer will be race custom built motorcycles that will all feature identical hand-built racing chassis holding pre-1925 1000cc American V-Twin engines. Everything else, including the handlebars, exhaust, fenders, foot pegs, and fuel/oil tanks, will be customized according to the whims and preferences of the rider. That’ll put a touch of individuality on these race bikes, adding yet another layer of intrigue into the event. Apparently, there’s not a lack of that leading up the inaugural Sons of Speed race in March 2016.

I fully expect organizers to be in full stride at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally as it continues to seek support for their baby. Those attending the festival will also get the opportunity to not only learn more about the Sons of Speed but to also score some merchandise that could help the Sons of Speed get off the ground.

Oh, and some of the bikes that will compete in the actual race in March 2016 will also be on display at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. If you needed any more convincing about the race, these custom bikes should give you an idea on what you can expect at the Daytona Bike Week.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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Press Release

In preparation for its inaugural race at Daytona Bike Week’s 75th anniversary rally in March 2016, Sons of Speed is engaging sponsors and previewing bikes at the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, August 3-9, 2015.

"There’s a lot of interest, a lot of sponsors approaching us," says founder and veteran bike builder Billy Lane. "We’re already thinking about expanding to more race classes—but, obviously, our focus now is on preparing for the first race during Daytona’s 75th."

Inspired by early twentieth-century board-track racers, the Sons of Speed race hearkens back to a stripped down, wide-open approach to motorcycle riding. The inaugural race takes place in March 2016, during the 75th Anniversary of Daytona Bike Week at New Smyrna Speedway’s half-mile, banked racetrack. It will feature up to 9 riders in several different heats, and winners of the heats will advance to a championship round. Each racer will sit astride identical hand-built racing chassis holding pre-1925 1000cc American V-Twin engines, and most racers will customize their machines by fabricating handlebars, exhaust, fenders, foot pegs, and fuel/oil tanks.

Anticipation and curiosity has run rampant since news of the event first broke, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally offers one of the only opportunities to get merchandise and see some of the Sons Of Speed bikes in person before the actual race.

Billy Lane and his Crocker speedway racer will be on hand at the Broken Spoke Campground during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally—along with a few of the potential Sons Of Speed racing participants—for information sessions and photo opportunities. Limited-edition Sons Of Speed merchandise will also be available at the Broken Spoke Campground for purchase. Billy’s personal race bike—featuring his Sons of Speed hand-built chassis and 1914 Pope Model L engine—will be on display at Michael Lichter’s Naked Truth Exhibit all week at the Buffalo Chip.

"I’m both thrilled and humbled by the enthusiasm we’re seeing for Sons of Speed," says Billy Lane. "It has really taken off—so much excitement. There’s talk of expansion. Sturgis and Daytona have been so generous and enthusiastic—it’s all a bit mind blowing."

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