The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is on a mission to collect, preserve and interpret the history of motorcycling; while honoring those who have made a positive and significant impact on the sport and lifestyle and paying tribute to the heritage of the Sturgis Rally. Their vision is to continue as a world-class museum offering comprehensive and educational exhibits and showcasing rare and unusual motorcycles significant to the history of the town and of the sport. The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame stands out because of the fact they not only document the history of the machines but also document the history of the people who have shaped and changed the sport and lifestyle.
The exhibits in the museum are intended to showcase not only the rich history of the bikes themselves but also the colorful character of those who rode them. Their stories and their origins tie back to the freedom of the open road in the United States and western Europe.
The European collection features vintage bikes with origins from across the pond. Although motorcycles are of American origin, it is easy to argue the “modern” motorcycle was refined by the British. The collection features motorcycle brands made famous by the British such as Norton and Triumph.
The museum also features a wide collection of popular American motorcycles such as Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycles. Harley-Davidson history is prevalent in Sturgis, as the main entertainment venue downtown is known as Harley-Davidson Rally Point, with bricks included from Harley-Davidson Headquarters in Milwaukee, WI. The father of the Sturgis Rally, C.F. “Pappy” Hoel, owned an Indian Motorcycle dealership during the inception of the rally, and in the heyday of the Jackpine Gypsies, branding Indian Motorcycles as one of the first motorcycle brands of the world famous Sturgis Rally.
The museum was originally located in a refurbished church when it opened its doors in 2001. It was so well received that in 2002 it was offered the old post office location where it currently resides on the corner of Main Street and Junction Avenue, right in the heart of Sturgis.
The museum also features the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame, which is designed to recognize individuals or groups who have made a long term positive impact on the motorcycle community. There is also the Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame which recognizes the commitment and sacrifices of individuals across the nation, and world, to protect the rights and freedoms that motorcyclists enjoy today. These efforts include rallying in the political arena and in creating grassroots motorcyclist rights organizations. The museum takes great pride in recognizing these exceptional and deserving people.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum is a growing celebration of the past, present, and future of motorcycle culture. It pays tribute to the remarkable machines that started it all, as well as the dedicated people who brought it to life and ensured its survival. Biker culture is rich in the Black Hills, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame provides an insightful perspective of how it came to be.
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Visit the Sturgis Museum Site for more information.