Florida Georgia Line to Cruise into the Sturgis Buffalo Chip®

FGL300x300Sturgis, SD (November 5, 2013) – The Sturgis Buffalo Chip added chart-topping country act, Florida Georgia Line, to the artist lineup of its 33rd annual motorcycle and music festival. The duo will bring their collection of hard-driving country hits to the 2014 festival including singles, “Cruise,” “Get Your Shine On,” “Round Here” and “Stay.” The contemporary country superstars will perform on Wednesday, Aug. 6 during the 2014 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, joining a lineup that currently includes previously announced headliners, Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Buffalo Chip festival will take place July 28-Aug. 9, 2013.

Florida Georgia Line’s popularity has skyrocketed since releasing consecutive, multi-week No. 1 hits from their debut album, “Here’s to the Good Times.” The smash hit, “Cruise,” broke the record for longest No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart, sold over 6 million downloads in the US and is the second best-selling country single ever, according to SoundScan.

“These guys are selling out stadiums all over the nation right now,” says Rod Woodruff, president of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. “Their work-hard-play-hard attitude provides fans a heavy dose of ‘Good Times,’ which is very relatable for those who come to the Chip to have fun and let loose.”

The four-time American Music Awards nominee, Florida Georgia Line, is one of many artists Buffalo Chip campground guests can enjoy during the nine-day music festival. Concertgoers can expect to sing along with popular radio hits while taking in the authentic 2014 Sturgis Rally experience at the Buffalo Chip. The festival will continue to announce world-class entertainment as it books more artists who fit its motto of “Best Party Anywhere™.”

The 33rd annual Motorcycle and Music Festival delivers nine days of non-stop entertainment July 28-Aug. 9, 2014. Camping passes are on sale now, and all concerts are free with camping. For more information about camping, concerts and motorcycle events at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip campground, visit www.BuffaloChip.com or call (605) 347-9000.

About The Sturgis Buffalo Chip

The family-owned and operated Sturgis Buffalo Chip® is host to the Sturgis Rally’s cornerstone event, known as the Largest Music Festival in Motorcycling™ and The Best Party Anywhere™. Now in its 33rd year, this event is one of the few remaining independent music festivals in the world. The famed creek-fed 580-acre camping resort is located three miles east of Sturgis, SD. Since 1981, the Sturgis Buffalo Chip has provided nine days of epic live music experiences and exciting activities for fans from around the globe. Concerts are free with camping. Passes grant access to music industry’s hottest stars, the Bikini Beach Swim Paradise, 25 bars, mouth-watering food and beverage vendors and thrilling exhibits. The Sturgis Buffalo Chip offers clean, well maintained facilities, private showers, cabins, RVs, paved roads and more. Outrageous events such as unforgivably hot bikini contests and jaw-dropping daredevil stunts are a few of the many daily spectacles unique to the Chip. The Buffalo Chip is a festival experience like no other. More details are available atwww.BuffaloChip.com.

 

As Harley-Davidson Prepares for An Indian Revival it Drops Road Glide From Lineup.

harleydavidsonroadglideultra-600Harley-Davidson officials confirmed in an investor conference call Thursday that it intends to discontinue the FLTRX Road Glide Custom and the FLTRU Road Glide Ultra from its 2014 model line up.   Senior vice president and CFO John Olin said the decision was part of the company’s typical process of bringing models in and out of the lineup each year as it introduces new bikes.  “While those two Road Glide models are strong for us, they represent a relatively small portion of our touring sales,” Olin said in the investor call. “We don’t expect any large impact for taking those two models out for the next model year.”

HD’s Chief Operating Officer Matt Levatich told the Milwaukee Business Journal the decision to discontinue those models was so the company could plan ahead for their business and “manage customer expectations.  HD officials say the cuts would not have a material impact on sales going forward.

CEO Keith Wandell told MBJ Harley management isn’t taking the competition lightly, but “we believe the way we’ve positioned our company and how we’ve transformed product development and the pipeline of products we have coming … Our job is to just bring great products to market and make sure we’re winning with great products.”

Wandell gave props to Polaris for picking Sturgis to relaunch the once famous brand. “I think they’ll get certainly a lot of traffic, a lot of folks looking,” Wandell told me. “But it’s just going to be folks that are at Sturgis. I think when we then unveil our new products a couple weeks later, I think it’ll more than offset what’s been done there.”

Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Featured on Antiques Roadshow

antique mc toyThe Sturgis Motorcycle Museum was one of three chosen locations for an Antiques Roadshow segment for the upcoming shows taped in Rapid City, South Dakota.  Episode #1714, the second hour from Rapid City, features a segment on motorcycle toys that was taped while Roadshow was in the Black Hills. This segment will premiere on Public Television stations nationwide on Monday, April 29th at 8pm/7pm Central.

In the segment taped at the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum, host Mark L. Walberg talks with vintage toy expert Noel Barrett about a number of American-made, antique, cast iron motorcycle toys.  Barrett shares the history of these early toys, some tips about how one might tell a reproduction from the real thing, and offers his valuation on several highlighted examples.

As a special treat, watch Mark take a ride on a vintage Harley-Davidson Servi-Car (a three-wheeled motorcycle).  Additional footage shot at the museum will be posted on the Antiques Roadshow website after the episode has aired.

Please check your local listings to confirm the April 29th at 8pm/7 pm Central air date.

STURGIS MOTORCYCLE HALL OF FAME 2013 INDUCTEES ANNOUNCED

The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the 2013 inductees into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame and the Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame. The Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame is designed to recognize individuals or groups who have made a long term positive impact on the motorcycle community. The Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame recognizes the commitment and sacrifices individuals across the nation, and world, have made to protect the rights of motorcyclists. For 2013, the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame will honor one Freedom Fighter and induct five into the Sturgis Hall of Fame.

Still” Ray FitzgeraldFreedom Fighters Hall of Fame – “Still” Ray Fitzgerald first became involved in motorcyclist rights when he lived in Nevada. He was a charter member of the Nevada Association of Concerned Motorcyclists and worked through that organization to support candidates sympathetic to motorcycle causes. Later, when he moved to Arizona, Fitzgerald helped to successfully build a number of ABATE chapters in that state. He’s served as an officer of ABATE of Arizona, and was the Motorcycle Rights Foundation’s first Sustaining Motorcycle Club Representative. He has been awarded the MRF Presidents Silver Cup and the organization’s most prestigious award, the John “Farmer” Eggers award for efforts supporting the mission of the MRF. Ray serves as president of The Journeymen’s Motorcycle Club, and chairman of the Arizona Confederation of Clubs.

Russ Brown – Russ Brown has been involved in the motorcycle community for more than 35 years, championing motorcycle rights and serving as an attorney for motorcyclists. He created BAM, a free breakdown and legal assistance service for motorcyclists. BAM currently has close to two million members. The program is a volunteer effort in which members are available to assist each other in the event of a breakdown or other emergency roadside need. BAM is available to members and non-members 24-hours-a-day. Brown has spearheaded other efforts in the motorcycle world, too. His most recent effort is a new “Keep Me Alive, Don’t Text and Drive” campaign to encourage safe driving habits in an effort to keep motorcycle riders safe.

Rick Fairless – Rick spent 20 years in the paint industry working for the Glidden Paint Co. At 19 years old Rick started out in the downtown Dallas warehouse pulling paint orders. Through the years Rick worked his way up the ladder to store manager & then to the #1 sales rep in the country. But his real love was always riding & building custom motorcycles.  So, he left a lucrative career and took a chance on opening his own motorcycle shop – an Easyriders franchise in Dallas.  It was 1996, and Rick wanted his shop to be more than just a motorcycle shop – he wanted a destination for all motorcycle enthusiasts, regardless of what kind of motorcycle they rode or even if they rode a motorcycle at all, so he added Strokers Ice House Bar & Grill.  In 2002, Easyriders ended its franchise program so Rick changed the name of his shop to Strokers Dallas.  Since then, he’s added Strokers Ink, a tattoo and piercing parlor & RF Custom Parts. On weekends, Rick’s Strokers Dallas “Empire” will welcome between 1,000 and 2,000 people.  Besides being a successful business owner, Rick is a master bike builder, columnist for two national magazines, hosts his own radio show, is a motivational speaker and a family man.  Rick’s custom motorcycles have been featured in many magazines around the world & numerous and television shows.

 Bill Gikling (J.C. “Pappy” Hoel Outstanding Achievement Award) Bill Gikling grew up in Rapid City and spent as much time as he could around motorcycles. He worked at the local Honda dealership, and rode in all the local races, hill climbs and other events. In 1977, he scraped together enough money to purchase North West Sports – a Yamaha and Harley-Davidson dealership. For the next 20 years, he grew the dealership before splitting the Harley-Davidson and Yamaha Divisions into two separate dealerships. Over the years, Bill worked with Pappy Hoel to start the White Plate Flat Trackers and the original museum & Hall of Fame in Sturgis. He also worked with the Harley-Davidson Motor Company to get them more involved in the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Bill sold the Harley-Davidson stores in Rapid City and Sturgis in 2000, but still works with his son Todd at Black Hills Power Sports in Rapid City. He still loves to ride and participates in rides from Japan to Australia.

Marjoe Gortner – Marjoe Gortner probably did more than any other person in more than a decade to change the perception of motorcycling and to enhance the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally when he organized the 2000 television show called “Sturgis: The Great Ride.” The show recorded a ride that began at Peter Fonda’s ranch in Montana and ended at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. It not only followed the ride, but also featured numerous other rally experiences including a one-of-a-kind daredevil jump by Robbie Knievel through the Chip’s stage. The show was the very first motorcycle related show to be broadcast on a non-sports oriented channel when it debuted on the Travel Channel. It was broadcast repeatedly for three years and was the most watched show on the Travel Channel for more than two years.  It was also only the beginning of television shows that brought the motorcycling experience to a wider audience than ever before. Marjoe has been involved in film-making, acting, television documentaries and charitable fundraising for many years.

Lonnie Isam, Sr. – Lonnie Isam, Sr. is a well-known expert in the history of antique American motorcycles and has bought, sold, collected and restored hundreds of them. His passion for performance Harley drag racing spans over 3 decades. He used his knowledge gained by racing to help bring the sport to what it is today.  He started a motorcycle shop in Houston called Competition Motorcycles which became well known in the world of vintage motorcycles and performance drag racing.  Lonnie traveled to the Black Hills and fell in love with the area, so he decided to move to Sturgis.  He brought one of his manufacturing companies – Competition Distributing Inc. – specializing in design and manufacture of correct reproduction parts for pre-1936 Harley-Davidson and other early American motorcycles.  This combination has resulted in thousands of customers all over the world.  Lonnie has been committed to the growth of the community of Sturgis through his work with the Sturgis Economic Development Corporation, the Future Sturgis project and a downtown redevelopment committee.

The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Breakfast is scheduled on Wednesday, August 7 at 9:00 a.m. at The Lodge at Deadwood in Deadwood, SD.

Breakfast tickets are available for a $35.00 donation, tables of eight for $300.00. Tickets can be purchased through the Museum at 605.347.2001 or on line at www.sturgismuseum.com/cart/

Million Dollar Custom Bikes? I Ain’t Buying It

it's worth a millionAs editor of this esteemed fish wrapper, it’s my job to stay abreast on the trends in the motorcycle industry, and, believe me, staying abreast is a full time job with me, and one I thoroughly enjoy.

The only thing I like better is a well placed double entendre.

But, enough about me.

I wanna discuss the time I wasted…er.. spent recently watching Sturgis Motorcycle Mania on the Travel Channel.

To be fair, the production value of the episodes was and is outstanding. Produced by Big Fish Entertainment (Bethesda Maryland) the camera work and post production editing are as good as any I’ve ever seen, and frankly much better than anything I’ve been involved with.

But I guess what’s eating my cheese is the ridiculous hyperbole the producers insert into the story line as artificial drama in whatever event they’re taping.

A case in point was their coverage of one of the bike shows. To hype the importance of this show, and create artificial tension between the participants, the narrator says that the value of the winning bike could reach as much as “1 MILLION DOLLARS!”

It was at this point when I paused the DVR, went into my garage and retrieved my bullshit flag. It was obvious I was going to need it a lot during the next 45 minutes.

Admittedly I’m not the foremost authority on custom motorcycles, but even with my head stuck up my proverbial arse most of the time, I think I would’ve heard about builders spending less than $30k in parts and fabrication building show bikes, turning around and earning a cool million when they win this bike show.

With stakes that high the builders would be hiring 24 hour security guards and installing wireless cameras to watch their bikes when they sleep.

This wasn’t the only “contest” on the show that was hyped way beyond the realm of believability.

I suppose the target audience of these type shows isn’t middle aged motorcycle magazine editors.

I suspect these shows are aimed more toward the non-motorcycle riding viewer. Or at least the viewer who has heard the legend of Sturgis and fantasizes that one day he or she will have the funds to participate in what has become known as the “Greatest Motorcycle Show on Earth!”

My apologies to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus people for that blatant tag line rip-off.

But, truth be told the “Sturgis Experience” for lack of a better term is, for those who have yet to attend, the pinnacle of the motorcycle life.

The phrase “This year, I’m going to Sturgis” is to bikers what the phrase “This year, I’m going to Vegas” is to hard core gamblers.

Those motorcycle riders who live as much for the lifestyle as the ride, see Sturgis as the one “must do” destinations before they die.

It’s a desire I completely understand.

There are very few opportunities for working stiffs such as you and I to participate in “epic adventures.”

That’s part of the mystique of the Black Hills Rally. Even if you’re not interested in the gratuitous nudity, the easy to find debauchery, or the simply weird beyond biker weird, travelling to Sturgis promises so much more.

Endless miles of breathtaking scenery. Endless miles of prairies, bisected with mountains wrapped with ribbons of blacktop that are as close to motorcycle riding heaven as you’re likely to see this side of dirt.

Add to it the distance involved just to get there and you have the perfect recipe for a bucket list adventure worthy of wintertime daydreams, without all the made up drama.

Now that I think about it, the biggest prize in Sturgis isn’t winning some bike show, or burnout contest, and there’s not drama involved. The most valuable prize is the experience.

And, as we all know, it’s the things we do, not the things we have, that nourish our soul the most, no drama needed.

Until next time, ride safe, and always take the road less traveled

Sturgis Bar Fetches Huge Amount at Auction

One Eyed Jack’s Saloon on Main Street in Sturgis sold for more than twice it’s county-appraised value yesterday reaching 9.2 million before the final gavel fell.

The company who auctioned the property said that interest was high as bidders came from states as far California and Florida and as close as Colorado and the Black Hills.

The winning bidder was a local businessman, Louis Bruer, the owner of the No Name City Campground located east of Sturgis.

Bruer told the Rapid City Journal that he has no plans to change anything at the Saloon.

The 45,000-square-foot-property included 80 cash registers, about 800 bar stools, a Sturgis liquor license and an exotic performer license that was grandfathered in after state statutes changed in 2008.

According to the report, it was unclear if the exotic performer license would be transferable to the new owner.