The 98th Annual Laconia Motorcycle Week kicked off on Saturday with big crowds, nice weather and COVID-19 vaccinations.
A National Guard Tent was set up at the rally headquarters to distribute the vaccine.
“We’re just appreciative of the opportunity to serve the state of New Hampshire. This is the highest level that we can do as Guardsmen for our state is to serve us in a public need,” said Staff Sgt. Dante Davis Jr. of the Army National Guard. “It’s just the sincere appreciation of not only our state but just Americans all around the world.
Event organizers also set up hand sanitizer stations to make hand sanitizer readily available.
COVID-19 guidelines weren’t the only safety guidelines event organizers emphasized this year. Organizers have asked Granite Staters to be cautious of traffic and speed, and ask that people try to maintain a safe distance from bikes when driving.
LACONIA, N.H. — Laconia’s Motorcycle Week will have a very different look and feel than it did in 2020
The declining COVID-19 numbers are making a big difference this year as Laconia gets ready for the 98th annual Motorcycle Week.
“It means we’re getting back on to life and back on to what we all do best in the hospitality industry, so we were grateful to have it last year, but this year is especially important,” said Cynthia Makris, Motorcycle Week president.
There was a rally last year, but it was a completely different event. It was held in August instead of June, crowds were down and the normal carnival atmosphere suffered.
One difference this year will be the vendor tents. Last year, just four nonprofits were allowed to set up shop in Laconia. This year, there will be more than 200 tents selling everything from T-shirts to leather goods.
Officials said that alone will be a big draw for the event.
“It’s huge this year, especially after all our businesses have gone through in the last 12 to 15 months,” said Scott Myers, Laconia city manager. “And this really kicks off the summer season. It gives it a jump start because schools aren’t quite out yet and it’s not really family vacation time.”
Officials say safety measures will be in the form of awareness, hoping visitors are mindful of where the state and the country are at in terms of the pandemic.
“We’re encouraging everyone to still remain socially distant when possible,” said Jennifer Anderson, of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association. “We’re going to have handwashing stations and sanitizer stations available.”
Officials said the best way to be socially distant is for people to get on their bikes and ride.
We are about to publish a story about the motorcycle boom during the Covid era. It’s interesting how our industry flourished when the world was shut down.
I’m about to finish a Life and Times piece about our move to the Badlands. I’m hoping it will help others, who are grappling with similar decisions. It was a stressful challenge but well worth every box of crap we hauled out here.
I’m working on a Cantina Episode, a few bike features, and a girls of bikernet feature.
NEW LEXINGTON – An old motorcycle has woven friends into family in memory of Slow Joe Ellis, a Perry County motorcycle enthusiast who lost his battle with cancer in 1986.
Ellis, a Shawnee native, was one of the driving forces behind a British Motorcycle show that that now bears his name, the Friends of Slow Joe British Motorcycle Show. This year’s event, the 39th annual, will be held at the Perry County Gun Club on Friday and Saturday.
The show opens on Friday, with a tribute to motorcyclists who have passed away and a surprise, said John Fiore, a long-time friend of Joe’s. “Around 5 p.m. we have our opening ceremony, a prayer and a moment of silence for the veterans.” He is calling the ceremony “those that ride, and those that died,” and keeping the details under wraps until the event.
Saturday will feature a poker run starting at noon and a bike show, which welcomes non-British bikes as well starting at 4:00 pm.
The show is free, and all are welcome, including “well-behaved children,” said Fiore. “We turned it onto a free show because there are so many people that were not showing up because they couldn’t afford it.”
Calling it a gathering of a good group of like-minded people, Fiore said the camaraderie of the local motorcycle scene brings out people who, even if they can’t ride any more, still want to come out and talk motorcycles. Fiore credits the show’s good vibes for keeping it going for 39 years, creating a bond between Ellis’ friends and those who never met him.
Slow Joe gained his nickname because he slowed down a bit during his 9 1/2 year battle with cancer, but he could still outride anyone, Fiore said.
A family man and avid dancer, Ellis and Fiore met by chance in 1977, and quickly developed a bond over a shared love of Triumph motorcycles. “We did a lot of riding together, a lot,” Fiore said.
The motorcycle, a fully restored 1972 Triumph 500 T100, that Joe used to ride on the highways and byways of Perry County has changed hands numerous times, connecting friends and family to Ellis, who died just after the third British Motorcycle Show. It now resides with Ellis’ niece, Lisa Fox and her husband Alan. “It is a blessing to have it,” she said, “a connection to Joe.”
Just before Ellis took his final ride, he asked Fiore to keep the show going. “We didn’t know this thing was going to take off,” Fiore said, but the show has attracted visitors from all over the world.
“Our eyes painted a different picture,” Fiore said of the style of the Friends of Slow Joe British Motorcycle Show. “We had that vision and we stuck with it.”
Bagger Racing League Partners with FITE for exclusive Live Viewing of First-ever Drag Specialties Battle of the Baggers.
Tune in to Bagger Racing League™ Utah, Sunday June 27th, and watch Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycles Battle
Durango, CO (June 9, 2021) – Race fans and riders alike can tune in live to the first-ever Bagger Racing League, featuring five unique races, most of which are the first of their kind. BRL is proud to partner with the premier pay-per-view provider FITE to broadcast the first ever BRL Sunday, June 27th at 3:00 pm EDT.
For just $14.99, viewers can watch all the action live and be a witness to motorcycle history in the making. With five epic classes and over 50 riders from across the globe the Harley-Davidson and Indian fight for racing dominance will be seen at every level live on FITE. Order here.
“I am ready to see the score settled between Harley and Indian!” announced BRL founder, Rob Buydos.
Drag Specialties Battle of the Baggers Bagger Racing League™ Round 1 takes place at Utah Motorsports Complex, June 25–27, in Salt Lake City. Tickets, hotel packages, camping and VIP experiences for Drag Specialties Battle of the Baggers are available now at www.BaggerRacingLeague.com.
“FITE fans have really embraced the motorsports we’ve offered,” said FITE COO, Michael Weber. “Battle of the Baggers is another exciting inaugural event for us that we feel will appeal to existing and new fans with some of the top riders in the field competing.”
Each round will be a 3-day event, featuring the world’s largest V-Twin vendor village at a road racetrack, stunt shows, camping, the Arlen Ness Custom Bike Show and much more. Drag Specialties Battle of the Baggers will broadcast live through FITE and will feature a live audience and announcing.
An action-packed highlight video of what to expect from Bagger Racing League can be viewed here: youtu.be/EsNBJW7dk8I.
Drag Specialties Battle of the Baggers Bagger Racing League™ will feature 5 classes of racing, making this accessible to all riders that have put in track time, not just pro-racers:
Class 1 Hooligan GP presented by Icon: Includes American V-twin inspired platforms.
Class 2 Big Twin GP presented by NAMZ: Includes any American large-displacement big twin.
Class 3 Pro-Stock Bagger GP presented by Metzeler Tires: Includes Harley-Davidson or Indian with fairing and saddlebags to qualify
Class 4 Stunt GP presented by Lucas Oil: Invitational. Invited entrants compete in a judged stunt competition Friday night, then take their bike to the track for qualifying on Saturday and the main event on Sunday.
Class 5 BRL’s premier Bagger GP presented by Custom Dynamics: Harley-Davidson and Indian touring bikes duke it out in a fight for dominance.
In addition to the excitement around the Harley-Davidson – Indian Motorcycle rivalry, featuring Tyler O’Hara on an Indian and Ben Bostrom on a Harley-Davidson in the Premiere Bagger GP Class, Bagger Racing League history will be made with the first female racer in a Bagger GP, featuring Patricia Hernandez riding for Saddlemen racing.
“With all the experience that FITE has, they are the perfect partner for the Bagger Racing League,” said Bagger Racing League COO, John M. Oakes. “The excitement of the first race will be history in the making.”
Bagger Racing League has united Harley-Davidson aftermarket parts companies from across the world, including: 31 State, Beringer Brakes, Bridgestone Tires, Continental Tires, Custom Dynamics, CVRD Canopies, Drag Specialities, Dream Rides, Dunlop Tires, Eric Herrmann, Icon, Kicker, Klock Werks, Kraus Motor Company, LA Choppers, Legends Suspensions, LePera Seats, Lucas Oil, Lucky Speed Shop, Metzeler Tires, Moto United, NAMZ, Optimate, Rider Justice, SMT Wheels and Sturgis Buffalo Chip.
Companies, brands and shops building bikes competing in the premier Bagger Racing League Bagger Premier GP presented by Custom Dynamics include: Alloy Art, Barnett, Bassani, Feuling Parts, Performance Machine, Pistol Pete Custom Cycles, Saddlemen, Slyfox, S&S Cycles, The Speed Merchant and Trask Performance.
Harley-Davidson Dealerships from across the country are fielding teams including:
Bumpus Harley-Davidson of Memphis
Harley-Davidson of Yuba City
Iron Steed Harley-Davidson
Las Vegas Harley-Davidson
Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson
Registered teams include
Blakline Speed Shop
Collective PHX & Leading Edge V-Twin
Fab 28 Industries
Miller Built Performance Cycles
My Garage – Ventura
RPM & Arlen Ness
Speed Kings Cycle
Team Dream Rides
The Chopper Place
The Warrior Built Foundation
Drag Specialities Battle of the Baggers, Bagger Racing League™ Round 1 will take place June 25–27, 2021, in Salt Lake City, Utah, at Utah Motorsports Complex. Get your tickets, hotel packages, camping and VIP experiences and more at www.BaggerRacingLeague.com.
About FITE: FITE is the premier global platform for live sports and entertainment offering many of the industry’s marquee PPV events and SVOD packages with over 4.6MM registered users. FITE is available worldwide through its iOS and Android mobile apps, Apple TV, Android TV, ROKU, Amazon Fire TV and Huawei apps. In addition, FITE supports Samsung, LG, Cox Contour, Vizio SmartCast™, Foxxum, Chromecast, PS4, XBOX, ZEASN, Netrange, Vidaa/Hisense, VEWD, Netgem TV, Virgin Media, Comcast’s Xfinity 1 and Xfinity Flex as well as 7,000 models of Smart TVs. Available online at www.FITE.tv. Follow FITE on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If it Happens, it’s on FITE.
Mile-long burnout video that broke Instagram | Bagger Racing League Competitor C-Bear:
The Peter Makris Memorial Run hits a milestone in this 15th year as the “Official Kickoff to Laconia Motorcycle Week®.” Started as a tribute to NASWA patriarch Peter Makris, the charity run offers the best riding experience with the escort of NH State and local police, offering a “feet-up” ride through the Laconia area scenic hills, lakes and small towns.
The run also accentuates one of the reasons we ride—to give back to the community. Bikers are known for their generosity and heart and this ride is an expression of both. Makris was for many years the face of the legendary NASWA Resort, the Official Hotel of the rally, welcoming all to “The NAZ” with his warm smile and handshake. He was well-loved in the community as a leader and is now commemorated in this 15th annual ride which has raised over $475,000 for area charities including the Laconia Fire Department, Easter Seals “Veterans Count,” the Laconia CERT team, and last year, the Belknap House homeless shelter and Building Dreams for Marines.
This non-profit was formed to assist Marines and other U.S. military veterans with mobility issues as it retrofits residences to enable vets and their families to live comfortably and confidently in their homes. Peter Makris’ service in the Marines and membership in the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club brings the charity full circle.
“We know my father would be proud of this initiative,” says Cynthia Makris, president of the NASWA Resort who followed in her father’s footsteps to make the NASWA a strong community service and contributor. The Resort was founded by her maternal grandparents in the early 1900’s and she now guides 4 generations of the Makris family in maintaining its legacy, with her mother, 96-year-old Hope, busy in the kitchen, baking the desserts for the resort.
The Peter Makris Memorial Run
8:30-9:30 AM – Registration – Pick up your 15th anniversary collector T-shirt, with artwork by renowned Harley Davidson artist, David Uhl’s Uhl Studios design group, chip for a beer “on Peter.” $50 registration – $75 VIP, front-of-the-pack.
10:00 AM – Inspirational opening ceremonies across the street at The NASWA parking lot on Weirs Boulevard. This year the New Hampshire Leathernecks, the U.S. Marine Corp’s motorcycle club, will also be honored and will lead the ride in Peter’s memory!
10:30 AM – Kickstand UP for a no-traffic, “feet up” cruise, thanks to the escort of the State and Local Police. Breezing by other bikers, cruise to another Laconia legend, The New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Feel like a racer, running exciting laps around the track and road course, thanks to NHMS GM Dave McGrath, who offers Memorial Run riders this breathtaking experience.
12:30 PM – After the ride, the adventure continues back at the NAZBar & Grill for the After-Ride Party. The gourmet boxed lunch and beer on Peter will be waiting for you at the NazBar! Participate in the 50/50 raffle and have plenty of fun with new and old friends. Live, rocking music will feature top talent—The James Montgomery Band will again grace The NASWA stage to bring fun to the party all afternoon.
Start your Laconia Motorcycle Week® experience at The NASWA Resort! Share Peter’s passion for riding and help benefit the area’s veterans and first responders on Saturday, June 12 with the 15th Annual Peter Makris Memorial Run.
Be sure to keep checking the events page on the official site of Progressive Laconia Motorcycle Week® laconiamcweek.com for updates on this and many other events at this year’s rally.
Laconia Motorcycle Week® gives great appreciation to all of our sponsors, especially our Presenting Sponsors: Progressive, AMSOIL and Team Motorcycle, as well as the State of New Hampshire for their large financial support of our rally each year.
For more information about visiting the state of NH, check out visitnh.gov.
The origin of Laconia Motorcycle Week was a small group of motorcycle enthusiasts gathering for a “gypsy tour” to Laconia, over 98 years ago. Today, the spirit of Progressive Laconia Motorcycle Week® continues with rides and gypsy tours at the center of an already packed events schedule. Join us for at least one of our many Motorcycle Week rides, where you’ll enjoy the spectacular NH scenery while also raising money for some worthy causes.
The 15th Annual Peter Makris Memorial Ride to NHMS kicks off the week on Saturday, June 12th at 11am. This NH police escorted ride around Lake Winnipesaukee starts and ends at Naswa Resort, where riders can enjoy lunch and entertainment. Proceeds benefit the Easter Seals NH Veterans Count Program, Laconia Fire Department’s Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and “Building Dreams for Marines.”
The AMA Gypsy Tour to NHMS for USCRA Vintage Races takes place on Sunday, June 13th. The tour leaves Rally Headquarters on Lakeside Avenue at 10:30 and ends at NH Motor Speedway for the USCRA Vintage Races. Tour includes a 50% discount on race tickets for the day and a lap around the track!
Monday “Life of Ridetime” ride to benefit families of fallen first-responders. Register at Laconia Harley 9am-9:55am, kickstands up at 10am. Join us for a scenic ride to Cigar Shenanigans in North Conway for an afternoon of live music, food, & fun! $20/rider, $15/passenger, lunch included. For more info: lifeofaridetime.org or call 732-210-6910.
Show your love for pets on Monday, June 14th by taking part in the Mae-West Memorial Pet Run Ride, leaving Rally Headquarters at 10:30am for a ride through scenic local towns and ending at Destination TBD. Participants receive a custom t-shirt for their donation. Proceeds to benefit local animal support shelters.
On Tuesday, June 15th, join the Ride to Bentley’s Saloon! The Bentley’s crew will lead this gypsy tour from Rally Headquarters at 10:30am for a 70+ mile scenic ride to Bentley’s Saloon in Arundel, Maine.
Tuesday: Ride to the Racetrack! Help New England children in need by joining this motorcycle ride from Laconia Harley-Davidson to NH Motor Speedway for laps around the 1.6-mile full road course! Registration is $20 per rider or passenger & ALL proceeds benefit the NH Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, the official charity of NHMS. Registration at 9am and Kickstands up at 10am! More information here.
Don’t miss the Covered Bridge Gypsy Tour on Wednesday, June 16th, leaving Rally Headquarters at 10:30am. Route includes at least 6 covered bridges throughout New Hampshire and a stop for lunch along the way. A popular ride led by Dave and Deb!
Don’t forget, you can skip the traffic by parking the bike in Meredith and taking the Weirs Shuttle Train to the Weirs and back June 12 & 13 and June 18 & 19. A convenient (and scenic) way to visit ground zero of Progressive Laconia Motorcycle Week®.
JOPLIN, MO – Today was an ideal day to spend on a motorcycle, and that’s what a large group of riders did.
A group, that made its only official stop in the state of Missouri, in Joplin.
Hideout Harley-Davidson in Joplin was the one and only stop in the Show-Me State for the Nation of Patriots motorcycle ride.
An event that takes a single American flag on tour throughout the U.S. which starts on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day.
Roger Beckley, who spent nearly 30 years in the U.S. Army had the honor of bearing the flag through his native state of Kansas.
“I retired in 2009. I’ve been to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait, in today’s world, I don’t know how much respect is still out there for this flag and so when we can put it on a bike and ride it down the road and people see it coming, it makes them think what it is and what’s it stand for,” Says Beckley.
Beckley took an oath to carry the flag to honor the nation’s veterans, the enlisted, and their families.
On Saturday many of these same riders will be joined by others from Arkansas for its next destination, which will be fort smith, before eventually making its way back to Nevada.
This is the 12th year for the event and each year it starts and ends in the same state, this year it ends in Las Vegas.
But veterans aren’t the only riders who take part in the event, so do people like Ryan Mitchell, the regional commander for the Nation of Patriots, who rides with the procession through three of the four states: Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
He says it’s his chance to serve those that did serve their country.
“Raising money and helping veterans, I’m not a veteran but I do everything I can to help veterans and so this just fills my heart to see all these bikes and all these people show up and raise money to help the veterans that need it, um they’ve already gave us our freedom, it’s time for us to give them their freedom back.” Says Mitchell.
Once the flag makes it back to its state of origin, it’s retired and donated to a worthy veteran or volunteer.
It’s time to finally introduce you to the ladies of Build.Train.Race. Road Racing, as we expand yet again. This month will be jam-packed with celebrating these ladies’ hard work, the debut of their motorcycle builds at MotoAmerica at Road America June 11th-13th, & get them ready for their first race at the end of July in Brainerd, Minnesota.
The weekend is kicking off with the official reveal of the custom Continental GT 650s at the Moto Union X Royal Enfield Open House at Moto Union in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Join us Thursday, June 10th from 5-7pm to see the bikes & meet the riders. With a special appearance by professional road racer & MotoAmerica crew chief Melissa Paris, live DJ, a chance to win free MotoAmerica tickets & more!
Flat Track Racing
The ladies had a great time in Texas unveiling all their hard work during the build phase. They were even more excited to hit the track for the first time at the Chicago Half-Mile. Catch up with all that’s been happening now! Then get ready because the next race is almost here – High Voltage Races in Elkhorn, Wisconsin is June 6th.
ROYAL ENFIELD JUNE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
B.T.R. ROAD RACING
June 4th & 5th | Belding, Michigan
The ladies put their motorcycles through their paces for their first official practice session at Grattan Raceway.
ROYAL ENFIELD SLIDE SCHOOL
June 4th & 5th | Verona, Wisconsin
Johnny Lewis & Moto Anatomy are showing you how to get sideways at S&S Cycle Speed Ranch. Grab your spot!
B.T.R. FLAT TRACK
June 6th | Elkhorn, Wisconsin
Whose taking home the checkered flag this round? It’s sure to be a great race.
MOTO UNION X ROYAL ENFIELD
June 10th | Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Come out to Moto Union X Royal Enfield Open House to see the B.T.R. Road Racers reveal their builds, win free MotoAmerica tickets, & more!
B.T.R. ROAD RACING DEBUT W/ AT ROAD AMERICA
June 11th – 13th | Elkhart, Wisconsin
This is it, the ladies of Build.Train.Race. are taking to the track for their first official MotoAmerica race of the 2021 season. The weekend is packed with things to do – get your tickets now!
AMERICAN FLAT TRACK
June 26th | Lima, Ohio
Moto Anatomy Powered by Royal Enfield with rider Johnny Lewis is back at it and ready to take home the win. We hope to see you at the track. Get your tickets now!
JUST ANNOUNCED! ROYAL ENFIELD AT FULL IMS TOUR
July – November
Curious about how the new Meteor 350 takes to the road or still haven’t been able to stop thinking about a Twin? You’re in luck! Royal Enfield will be at every stop for the IMS Show 2021 which means a demo ride is waiting for you. So which stop will we be seeing you at?
Laconia Motorcycle Week® Welcoming Press Conference Thursday, June 10, 2021 at North East Motor Sports Museum at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 922 NH Route 106, Loudon, NH 03397.
The 98th Anniversary of Laconia Motorcycle Week® begins Saturday, June 12th, 2021 and the Laconia Motorcycle Week® Association invites all media personnel to help us kick-off this year’s Rally at the Welcoming Press Conference hosted by North East Motor Sports Museum at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Thursday, June 10th from 11:00AM to Noon.
Cynthia Makris, President of the Laconia Motorcycle Week® Association, will moderate. Scheduled to appear are:
Governor Chris Sununu
Captain Bill Haynes – NH State Police Highway Safety Office
Laconia Police Chief Matt Canfield & Laconia Fire Chief Kirk Beattie
Laconia Mayor Andrew Hosmer & Laconia City Manager Scott Myers
Phil Warren – Meredith Town Manager
Chief Mark C. Armaganian | Director of Enforcement | NH Liquor Commission
David McGrath – New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Tom Day – Gunstock Mountain Resort
Bob Coy – United States Classic Racing Association
Tom Netishen – North East Motor Sports Museum
Jennifer Anderson & Charlie St. Clair- Laconia Motorcycle Week Association