Daytona Bike Week? On ChopCult? WTF? Before anyone lights up the innerwebs with an onslaught of the usual kneejerk sellout BS, let me tell the backstory. Robinson Motorcycles in Daytona Beach has been a fixture on the Florida bike scene for six decades. Originally founded by Joe Robison as a Harley dealership in 1962, today the dusty old time capsule is owned and operated by Mr. Robison's son-in-law Jecoa and his grandson Jordan. Father and son have done an outstanding job preserving the essence of grandpa’s vision, which is now and always has been focused on high performance. For much of the '60s and '70s, Robison Motorcycles was the MoCo's winter race shop, building championship-winning dirt trackers, road racers and drag bikes for some of the fastest men who ever pulled on a set of orange, black and white leathers. Every nook and cranny of the dingy old tune-and-service shop is packed with priceless memorabilia: one-off engine cases and fairings, trophies, photos, track banners, riding gear, H-D nudie calendars, you name it. Look closely and you'll even see a picture of Evel Knievel posing with Jecoa's mother, herself a trophy queen in winner circles back in the day. When I visited Robison’s for the first time two years ago, I knew the place was a perfect venue for getting back to basics in the Sunshine State. One DM to Jecoa on Instagram was all it took to convince my fellow Floridian that a Biltwell Bash at his Pop’s shop would be just what his family bike shop needed to stand out from the crowd.
Biltwell’s tried-and-true formula for no-frills fun was on full display at Robison’s Friday, March 11. Things kicked off at nine with a swap meet in the parking lot, with Donny’s Donuts slinging ‘nuts and coffee for early birds. S&S Cycles popped for the breakfast treats, and they were delicious—thanks, Dave. Around noon Aunt Catfish’s Restaurant fed the masses with steaming piles of fried fish and grits. Of course, free cold beer helped Florida hillbillies and pasty tourists alike beat the heat. At four o’clock yours truly awarded trophies and prize packages to owners of the best chopper, FXR, Street Tracker and Café bikes in the crowd. When the dust settled, nearly 3,000 people came to the Biltwell Bash at Robison Cycle and got a history lesson on old-school racing that will last a lifetime. Compared to the swarm of bedazzled baggers and stretched Hyabusas that crawl down US 1 every spring, the Biltwell Bash stuck out like a boner in sweatpants.