Two years ago, the street bike stunting scene appeared on the verge of going big. Stunting was not just becoming mainstream, it was becoming corporate. Major manufacturers like BMW and Kawasaki were officially sponsoring stunt riders, using big names like Christian Pfeiffer and Kane Friesen to market their products to a younger, more performance-oriented crowd. Wheelie-popping, tire-sliding sportbike riders kept the fans entertained at large public events, performing in front of crowds of thousands. Competitions were being organized to make the activity safer and more legitimate, giving stunters a way to stay out of jail and make a living at the same time. Street bike stunting's future looked as bright as the ground-off side of a well-used wheelie bar.
The Daytona Flea Market is the site of a Biketoberfest swap meet. Behind the rows of tents selling take-off chrome, helmet stickers and OEM Harley mufflers, a section of the concrete parking lot had been roped off with yellow caution tape. Inside, the stunt riders were warming up for their first performance of the day.
But life in the stunting world is tough and it's been a long two years since street bike freestyle was balanced, like a perfect stoppie, on the edge of becoming motorcycling's next big thing. Florida is a hotbed of sportbike activity and I thought Biketoberfest would be the perfect place to see where the scene had gotten to. I expected to take my pick from a host of stunt shows that would be performed during the four days of festivities. I could find only one.