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Randy, his girl friend Marilyn and pal Speed are riding their motorcycles on city streets when motorcyclists Terry Lindsay and Darlene challenge them to a race. Their illegal activity is soon observed by the police, who pursue them into nearby mountains, where they manage to escape. After Terry is thrown off her bike when she hits a rock, Randy comes to her aid and tries to impress her. Although Terry is not particularly interested in Randy, she tells him that she is spending the summer on her uncle Ed's ranch, near Saratossa, while her parents are in Europe. Randy and Speed then invite Terry and Darlene to a meeting of motorcycle enthusiasts at a rock `n' roll cafe called The Blue Moon the next night. Later, while a number of riders are working on their bikes in the alley behind the café, run by Cyrus Q. Wong, Nick Rogers and his sidekick Hank ride in on their bikes. Nick, who has just spent fifteen months in jail, goads Randy into a fight and attempts to slash him with a piece of broken glass, but Randy overpowers him. Nick and Hank show up at the meeting on the following evening, and Nick dances with Marilyn. When Terry arrives, Randy flirts with her until police lieutenant Joe Watson, who has been assigned to special duty working with motorcycle gangs, calls the club's meeting to order. Joe hopes to reduce the violence associated with motorcyclists by channeling their energies into competing in officially sanctioned races and consequently, reminds the members that the qualifying trials for the regional cross-country take place the following week. Nick, who is ineligible due to his jail time, derides the club's new law-abiding direction. After Randy escorts Terry back to her uncle's ranch, he explains that he is on a two-year suspended sentence for his involvement in a hit-and-run incident in which Nick killed an old man, then expected Randy to lie in his defense. Randy is in danger of breaking his probation if he has any further confrontations with Nick, who is out for revenge. Terry, who thinks of herself as tough and independent, is unmoved by Randy's story and tells him that she is going riding with Nick, whom she finds exciting. Over the next few days, Terry dates both Nick and Randy, but begins to dislike Nick when he drinks too much and makes sexual advances to her. At the qualifying trials, Nick volunteers to ride along as a pacemaker, and Joe consents, but warns him that there is to be no trouble. During the race, Nick tries to knock Randy off his bike, but Randy manages to win and thus will represent the club at the finals. Terry congratulates Randy and invites him and the others to a weekend party at her uncle's ranch, where Terry goads Randy into racing Nick the following day. The race course runs across a railroad trestle some thirty feet over a dry wash. Nick, aware that his motorcycle is leaking oil, goes first, causing the track to become slippery. When Randy crosses the trestle, he loses control of his bike, veers over the side and falls to the ground below. Although Randy recovers, he is disqualified from participating in the regionals because of his race with Nick. Randy then refuses to have anything more to do with Terry, whom he blames for his troubles. Meanwhile, Terry, feeling guilty about Randy, breaks up with Nick after he assaults her. Eventually, Terry meets Randy and apologizes, admitting that she has behaved badly. Later, Joe relents and reinstates Randy in the club. When the hundred-mile regional race begins in the small town of Attville, Terry, Speed and others are there to cheer on Randy. Nick, Hank and two other hoodlums, Phil and Jack, all of whom have been drinking, intend to join the race illegally, but first head for Attville where they terrorize a café owner, his waitress Mary and other residents. Mary manages to phone the police, however, and when Joe hears the bulletin on his police bike's radio, he and Speed head back to the town. On their way, they flag down Randy, who, although he is in the lead, abandons the race to help them. Nick tries to escape on his bike, but Randy knocks him off and they engage in a fistfight while Ed rounds up the others. Later, back at The Blue Moon, it is clear that although Randy has lost the race, he has won Terry.