After two pandemic-impacted years, Daytona Bike Week was back in a big way with local officials estimating 300,000 to 400,000 attendees in 2022. Those riders took advantage of the industry’s first big event of the year to shop, ride, race and relax while enjoying the sun and dodging a few raindrops along the way.
Vance & Hines revealed its new Backslash 450 slip-on exhaust during Daytona Bike Week, and riders clamored to be one of the first to claim the coolest new pipes in town. The massive 4.5-inch diameter, spin-formed slip-ons deliver an eye-catching style with an exhaust tip that is a perfect match for the angle of the Harley-Davidson saddle bag. The matte black finish provides a stealthy look, and the pipes deliver a rich sound from the patent-pending LS-275 baffle design.
While the first reveal was at Daytona Bike Week, the pipes are being shipped to U.S. distributors this week. Backslash 450 pipes are priced at $499.99 and designed specifically to fit Harley-Davidson’s Milwaukee 8 powerplant (2017 to 2022).
The other big news at the two Vance & Hines display locations was the huge consumer interest in the new FP4 engine tuner and the rapid sell out of the first shipment of the company’s new VO2 Falcon air intakes. The new 90-degree intake is a perfect match to the company’s black exhausts, like the Backslash 450.
As always, Daytona Bike Week included a flurry of events for attendees. Here’s a quick recap.
Terry Vance & Byron Hines were inducted into the Motorsport Hall of Fame on Tuesday, March 8. The co-founders of Vance & Hines were appreciative of the honor and shared the credit with racers and riders who helped them make their name in the industry.
AFT racing was trimmed to one event after rain forced the cancellation of Thursday’s event. Vance & Hines team rider Jesse Janisch wasted no time in reaching the podium, as he posted a third place finish his first time aboard his Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R. As a top finisher in Production Twins, Janisch was also a contestant in the Mission Production Twins Challenge, where the top four from the Production Twins Main lineup to compete in the Super Twins Main. In the Super Twins Main, Janisch fought his way to as high as P4 against the Super Twins machines and was the top finisher among the Production Twins contestants, giving him an early lead in the Mission Challenge.
Teammate Brandon Kitchen in the Singles class on the factory-supported Husqvarna FC450 showed strong pace in the early going but faced some struggles in his semifinal, missing out on the main by just one position.
There was lots of activity at the MotoAmerica event at Daytona International Speedway, with Vance & Hines cheering on riders in two classes of road racing.
In the Twins Cup Race 1, Blake Davis rode his Yamaha R7 to victory, taking advantage of power delivered by his Vance & Hines R7 race-only exhaust system. Not to be outdone, the following day in Twins Cup Race 2, Hayden Schultz leveraged his talent and his Vance & Hines pipes to take the top spot on the podium with his R7.
King of the Bagger class is known to deliver exciting competition, and Daytona was no exception. Vance & Hines team riders James Rispoli and Taylor Knapp put on an impressive display on the high banks of Daytona, muscling their Harley-Davidson Road Glides to speeds of up to 170 mph on the steep 30-degree banking. After a mechanical issue in Race 1, Rispoli made a hard charge to fourth place in Race 2, scoring the highest finish for a Harley-Davidson machine in the class. Knapp was consistently quick all weekend with fifth and sixth place finishes, seating him firmly in fifth in the standings.
A couple hours north, the NHRA GatorNationals took place in Gainesville, Florida. While heavy rains and a wet track left the new Vance & Hines/Mission/Suzuki Pro Stock team without a single qualifying run, riders Angelle Sampey and Eddie Krawiec were excited about the near perfect conditions on Sunday. Things didn’t play out for Sampey as she spun out and was eliminated in Round One, while teammate Krawiec lost in Round Two to eventual winner Karen Stoffer, who made the two quickest elapsed time runs in PSM class history on her way to the win.