“Come for the races, stay for the entertainment,” said Myrick Robbins, Executive Director for the Sturgis Museum & Hall Of Fame. Appropriately things kicked off at the very same historic dirt track where it all began back in 1938. Backed by Coca Cola and area grocery stores, the Pappy Hoel Speed Classic roared into the Meade County Fairgrounds in downtown Sturgis on August 3-5.
“We were twisting the throttle to the stops with the Speed Classic, the inaugural Block Party co-hosted by our friends from Monster Energy and the annual Hall Of Fame ceremonies,” said Robbins. “But that is what the Sturgis Rally is all about. Founder J.C. ‘Pappy’ Hoel started with a race and a week-long spectacle just sort of evolved from there.”
Also evolving was the Sturgis Block Party. For the first time this year, merchants on the newly revitalized Main Street teamed up with the Museum and Monster Energy to host a week-long event right in the heart of downtown. “Motorcycles, music and more… it was rocking,” said Robbins.
However, the Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony presented by Strider Sports was definitely the highlight of the week. John Paul DeJoria, philanthropist co-founder of Paul Mitchell hair products and Patrón Spirits (as well a Hall of Famer himself) emceed the class of 2017 induction ceremony in his own inimitable style… he even passed along some business advice to everyone in the room.
“I’d like to give you a little secret to building something,” said the man who went from being homeless to becoming a billionaire. “However you participate, whether it is as a rider, builder, or any way you participate in this industry, make sure the quality of what you personally do or the quality of the product you produce or the quality of the words you say are the finest quality in the world.”
When DeJoria started Patrón in 1989 it was the quality that made the difference. “Quality reaps longevity. Quality continuously keeps something going… and it is the quality of these people that will keep the industry and the Museum going.”
“The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame recognizes individuals or groups who have made a long-term, positive impact on the motorcycle community,” added Robbins. “We honor our Hall of Fame members by telling their stories and history, showcasing their contributions and accomplishments. In doing this, we hope to inspire our visitors and the riding community.”
The class of 2017 may have been the most influential and inspirational yet. From Lifetime Achievement honoree William G. Davidson to the Pappy Hoel Award winner Rod Woodruff, founder of The Buffalo Chip, the Lodge at Deadwood in Deadwood, South Dakota, was packed with the best and brightest in the motorcycle industry. Colleen Barnett-Taylor and Mike Taylor, Cory Ness, Mark Shadley, Jim Thiessen and Terry Vance comprised this year’s inductees.
“I get excited every year at Sturgis… I jump up and down a lot and I yell and scream and I blew out my voice, “said Lifetime Achievement honoree Willie G. after being introduced by his son and current director of the Harley Davidson Museum, Bill Davidson. “I would like to thank the Sturgis Hall of Fame for honoring me and I will always remember a day like today.”
Blown out voice or not, Willie rallied to conclude the ceremony shouting a message near and dear to all the honorees, past and present: “Ride free! Sturgis forever!”
To keep the quality up as suggested by John Paul DeJoria and to keep Sturgis forever as Willie G. called for, any and all donations are welcome. Donate through http://www.sturgismuseum.com/
About The Museum: The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame’s mission is to collect, preserve and interpret the history of motorcycling; honor those who have made a positive and significant impact on the sport and lifestyle; and pay tribute to the heritage of the Sturgis Rally. Our vision is to continue as a world-class museum offering comprehensive and educational exhibits and showcasing rare and unusual motorcycles significant to our history and our sport. The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame stands out because of the fact that we not only document the history of the machines, we document the history of the people who have shaped and changed the sport and lifestyle. This will be a resource and inspiration for future generations. Honor the Ride… Build the Legacy!
About The Pappy Hoel Speed Classic: For Sturgis Rally founder J.C. “Pappy” Hoel, the focus for the Rally was always on racing. From 200 spectators and 8 racers in the summer of 1938, the Rally brought in more than 800 riders the following year and the race became highlight of barnstorming competitors in the uniquely American sport of Flat Track. The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall Of Fame is honored to partner with the White Plate Motorcycle Club and Steve Nace Racing Promotions to produce the The Pappy Hoel Speed Classic.
Class Of 2017 Inductees:
Colleen Barnett & Mike Taylor – Colleen Barnett-Taylor started her motorsports career at Barnett Clutches & Cables while still in her childhood working for her parents (and original 1948 founders), Charlie and Afton Barnett. Since the beginning Colleen has been a driving force and integral part of the company. Mike Taylor, already a long-time motorcycle rider/enthusiast, joined the firm in 1968 which cemented a great partnership after he and Colleen were married. Together they have operated Barnett since 1975 and owned the company since 1993.
Cory Ness – Don’t think for a second that Cory Ness rode his famous father’s coattails into the Sturgis Hall Of Fame. At only 10 years old, he disassembled his bicycle, painted it, chromed its parts and entered it in the Oakland Roadster Show. The first motorcycle he turned his talents to was a wrecked CB350. After building it back up, Cory sold it before even getting a chance to ride it. He was 14! Today Cory is the chief designer behind Arlen Ness Enterprises where he runs the day-to-day business. In between designing new parts and accessories, he still finds time to wrench on custom bikes periodically.
Mark Shadley – Since the early 1970s Mark Shadley and Shadley Bros. Motorcycles have been shaping the perception of what a custom motorcycle is. The quality, detail and innovation of his custom built bikes have made him well recognized by both the motorcycle industry and his peers. His enthusiasm and involvement in the custom motorcycle industry has been a lifelong passion.
Jim Thiessen – For 50 years, machinist and go-fast guy Jim Thiessen has generated trust with riders, record breakers, racers and certified Harley mechanics around the world whom use JIMS® products on a daily basis. Today JIMS® is one of the industry’s leading producers of performance parts, accessories, tools, transmissions and high-performance engines – all aimed at enhancing the Harley rider’s experience.
Terry Vance – #35 on the NHRA’s 50 greatest drag racers of all-time, 14-time national champ Terry Vance never lets off the gas! Terry and his tuner Byron Hines shared a passion for the quarter mile from the early days, but they also shared a vision of creating a company that would be a pillar of the motorcycle aftermarket, and they used their unrivaled achievements in racing to build a brand that would unmistakably stand for quality and performance.Terry Vance is an American former professional motorcycle drag racer, racing team owner and manufacturer of high performance parts for motorcycles.
J.C. “Pappy” Hoel Award:
Rod Woodruff – Since 1981, the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Campground has treated millions of motorcyclists to rock concerts, camping, entertainment and more. Rod Woodruff is the man who brought Rock & Roll to the Black Hills and now hosts a 10-day Concert Series each August during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The Buffalo Chip provides a music festival, various other forms of entertainment, and full service tent, RV and cabin camping on almost 600 acres in rural Meade County.
Lifetime Achievement Award:
William G. Davidson – Willie G. is not just a brand ambassador for Harley-Davidson, he is an ambassador for biker culture worldwide. The Museum’s goal is to “Honor the Rider” and Willie G. is the embodiment of motorcycle riding. Already a pre-2001 member of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame, Willie G. was joined by his lovely wife Nancy in the Class of 2010. Just like Sturgis Rally founders Pearl and Pappy Hoel, Willie G. and Nancy have made a long-term, positive impact on the motorcycle community.
Custom Builders join with Riders and Industry Companies in Sturgis
Sturgis, SD (August 30, 2016) — Good things happen when great people get together for a reason. That was evident at the second annual Flying Piston Builders Breakfast held at the Buffalo Chip CrossRoads on August 7th. As the 76th Sturgis Rally got underway, invited custom motorcycle builders whose bikes were featured in the Chip’s Motorcycles As Art exhibit gathered with industry notables and regular riders to raise funds for technical education scholarships.
Among those attending were Buffalo Chip owner Rod “Woody” Woodruff, photographer Michael Lichter and Moonshiner Josh Owens. Emcee Bob Kay of AIMExpo interviewed the builders and offered a forum for sponsors to showcase their products. Top sponsors were Jekill & Hyde Exhaust and Yelvington USA, joined by Kuryakyn, Mustang Seats, Misfit Industries and Securecaps.
“We are grateful to all of our sponsors for their participation as well as the builders for taking time out of a busy week to join us,” said organizer Marilyn Stemp. “Vital input from diverse partners makes for results far greater than the sum of the parts.”
Media Sponsor Cycle Source magazine promoted attendance and covered the event. Auction items were kindly provided by: Harley-Davidson Footwear, Mustang Seats, Sara Liberte, Artist Atomic Bob, Kicker Audio, Kuryakyn, Corbin Seats, Garage Leathers, Republic of Texas Rally, New-Line Engraving, Howard Knight, and Chris Callen of Cycle Source.
Working with the Buffalo Chip Challenge Program, which supports tech ed for Black Hills area high school students and veterans returning to civilian life, the Flying Piston expects to award three scholarships resulting from the Builders Breakfast proceeds.
“Following last year’s 75th, this was a slower year for the Sturgis Rally. Yet our breakfast raised twice as much as last year,” said Stemp. “Better still we’ve created a place for builders to network with parts manufacturers and fans. I am optimistic that we can grow this event while maintaining its intimate atmosphere.”
For information or to participate in the next event: Jeff Najar, firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-450-5060; or Marilyn Stemp, 828-205-8482, email@example.com.
About The Sturgis Buffalo Chip: The Sturgis Buffalo Chip is the Largest Music Festival in Motorcycling™ and the leading entertainment destination during the Sturgis Rally. Established in 1981, the venue’s high-profile, nine-day festival, known as The Best Party Anywhere™, remains one of the world’s most televised and longest running independent music festivals. Buffalo Chip guests have the freedom to party and play while experiencing world-class concerts, outrageous events, moving freedom celebrations, adrenaline-fueled racing and more. The Chip’s concerts are free with camping. www.BuffaloChip.com.
About Motorcycles as Art: Every year the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s indoor Motorcycles as Art exhibition presents a changing conceptual theme showcasing the most innovative custom motorcycles from today’s premier builders with artwork from known and emerging moto-artists. Curated by photographer Michael Lichter, the exhibit is free to the public and open for just 7 days during the Sturgis Rally.
About The Flying Piston: The Flying Piston produces charitable events to assist in raising awareness and funds for non-profits and individuals in the biker community. Contact: Marilyn Stemp, 828-205-8482, firstname.lastname@example.org or Jeff Najar, 919-450-5060, email@example.com.
To me, Sturgis is a special place, and not just to me, hundreds of thousands of bikers. from the always stunning sights as seen above, to the
incredible entertainment as viewed below at the Buffal Chip. As a photographer and web dude for Iron Trader News, I try to connect myself with
the best the industry has to offer. Rod “Woody” Woodruff, Commander & Chief of the Chip, has the most incredible destination for you to visit &
even better, plant roots at. Tents, cabins, campers, your bus, everything fits. With entertainment from morning till night, what more could you want?
As a member of Iron Trader News, its my privilege to be under the wing of Marilyn Stemp, the best editor I have ever worked with. That being said,
she gives me assignments that are my pleasure to tackle. I get to mingle with industry builders and private enthusiasts that I would otherwise not
have the opportunity to do so. As seen below, I was asked to present the Iron Trader News award for our EDITORS CHOICE, and that went to
Chad Pearson with his 1957 FLH. It was a bike that took me to another era, clean, great lines, this guy has it dialed in perfectly. Presenting Chad
our award at such a high profile, well run show, proved to be a terrific day for me personally.
(Below, Woody discussing business with Custom Motorcycle Builder Johnny Mac from Johnny Mac’s Chopper House in Philadelphia)
Moving around the area a bit, Maverick Publishing had a bagger show at the new Full Throttle Saloon. Stunning bikes, amazing thought process
put into each and every one of them.
Each year the Chip has the Michael Lichter Exhibit, a different theme each year. This year he presented Skin & Bones, Tattoo inspired Motorcycles
and Art. More images to come. Below see Michael with a group of the industries well know. He looks quite happy if you ask me. Just sayin’
I save the best for last, this is me, mobile photographer, future Hamster (hopefully) and more. Standing with Rick Fairless, a great dude from
Strokers Dallas, and out on the Aidan’s Ride Sturgis, I’m blessed to play a role in this industry that we all love so much. Please stay tuned,
I have some great galleries of images to add soon.