In what has become one of the most popular, noisy and smoke-filled events at Sturgis, a baker’s dozen of bike builders, celebrities and motorcycle media personalities will compete at dusk tonight at Easyriders Saloon. It goes without saying that each of these riders is hell-bent on walking off with the 2012 smoke-down crown.
And J&P Cycles’ own Patrick Garvin will be among these VIP participants, attempting to run through the gears of his bike and be the first to spark a fifth-gear burnout. This third-annual Baker Drivetrain Showdown at the Sturgis Thunderdome pits riders — two at a time — in a drag-style burnout elimination that will leave one smoke-enveloped rider standing by the end of the evening.
Tonight, participants will roll their V-Twins into the head-high stalls and, at a signal, run through the gears of their motorcycles as fast as they can, attempting to be the first to smoke their rear tire after the fifth gear. It takes only seconds, but nothing gets the adrenalin running like a roaring engine, spinning tires, sparks and enough smoke to envelop both riders and their bikes, thus placing this event firmly in the “third-alarm fire” category.
Maybe it’s the noise, maybe it’s the friction-induced pyrotechnics, but for some reason, the crowd can’t get enough of it.
Besides our favorite J&P rider, participants will include Joe Mielke from Klock Werks Kustom Cycles; Bill Dodge of Bling’s Cycles; Chris Callen from Cycle Source Magazine and Rally TV; Chris Maida from American Iron Magazine; Jerry Covington of Covington Cycles; John Shope of Sinister Industries; Kyle Shorey of Shadetree Fabrications; and Paul Teutel Sr. from Orange County Choppers will make an appearance.
This burnout bonanza, which is sponsored by Jay Allen Road Shows and Biker’s Choice, promises to attract big crowds. So if you’re in Sturgis, plan to get there well before dusk in order to corral a good spot. Because you really want to be close enough to smell the action.