- The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the 2014 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 2014, the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame will honor one Freedom Fighter and induct six into the Sturgis Hall of Fame.
Deb “Tiger” Chandler – Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame – Deb “Tiger” Chandler has been an active part of the motorcycling community for over 40 years. In partnership with the Colorado Confederation of Clubs (CCOC), she assumed the role of Colorado Commander of the Coalition of Independent Riders – a registration of independent riders. Tiger has worked tirelessly through the state legislature to address issues of importance to motorcyclists in Colorado including funding for beginning rider training and alcohol interlocking devices for motorcycles. She has also been instrumental in implementing a Biker Day at the Capital in Colorado as a means of opening dialog between bikers and legislators.
Clyde Fessler – During his 25 year career at the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Clyde Fessler played an integral role in the turnaround of the company. He served in multiple marketing positions including, Director of Marketing, Vice President of General Merchandise, Vice President of Motor Accessories, and Vice President of Business Development. He was responsible for many innovative programs, policies, products, and marketing strategies that made Harley-Davidson one of the most recognized brands in the world. Since his retirement in 2002, Fessler has remained active in motorcycling as a member of the Hamsters Motorcycle Club. He recently wrote a book, “Rebuilding the Brand” and now travels extensively as a Keynote Speaker.
Jesse Jurrens – Legend Suspensions began in 1998 when Jesse Jurrens recognized the benefits an air spring could have on motorcycles and sought to develop the technology for Harley-Davidson Softail Chassis. Eventually being convinced, Gates™ Rubber Company, the leader in air spring technology, agreed to lend their patented Kevlar impregnated rubber air spring technology to the fledgling South Dakota start-up. Since that time, Jesse has continued to develop innovative suspension systems. Today, Sturgis South Dakota based Legend Suspensions manufactures Aero Air Suspension systems and Revo coil suspension systems for all Harley-Davidson models and Off-road UTVs. Legend Suspensions are available world-wide providing a smoother ride with “on the go” adjustability, increased vehicle capability and versatility. The Offroad systems are used by the U.S. Military and countless fire and rescue operations. Legend has become known for its innovative quality products, Lifetime Warranty, and outstanding customer service. The company is a recognized leader in suspension technology.
Jay “Lightnin’” Bentley – From the time he was a teenager, Jay Lightning rode in a motordrome owned by Pappy Boudreaux – first part-time and later full-time. Early on, Jay rode Harley Hummers as a straight rider, but soon graduated to trick riding on the wall on Indian 101 Scouts. By 1998, Jay took out a loan against his home to purchase wood and equipment to begin building what would become the American Motor Drome Wall of Death. Completed in 2000, it was the first of its kind to be built in over 50 years. For the past 14 years, the American Motor Drome has toured the country full-time. Besides keeping the drome running, Jay collects classic motorcycles and wall bikes that he displays as part of the traveling show.
Keith Terry – An avid motorcyclist since he was 15, Keith Terry’s career actually started in the automotive industry, after which he operated a company that promoted bicycle motocross races. In 1994 Keith built his first custom motorcycle, and he’s been building them ever since. Keith and his wife Fran have owned Terry Components, the largest supplier of motorcycle starter motors and battery cables in the industry for 20 years. More recently, Keith – along with Chris Malo – started Baggster LLC, a company that manufactures custom conversion kits for Harley-Davidson applications. For the last three years, Keith has been in charge of the Buffalo Chip Challenge working with Sturgis Brown High School students to build a custom bagger that is auctioned at the Legends Ride each year.
Bonnie Truett – Ask anyone in the drag racing world about who’s had a broad impact on the sport and Bonnie Truett’s name will likely come up. Bonnie started racing in the 1960s, and was constantly working to get more out of his drag bikes. He started by changing the flywheels in his own Sportster, but eventually he and his partner Paul Osborn started to create and manufacture their own flywheels, frames, cams, cylinders and rods. Bonnie continued to race until 1984, and he and Paul continued to run Truett and Osborn together until his retirement in 1997. Following his retirement from racing, Bonnie helped his son Scott who is a four time champion in Pro Drag class in AHDRA. Bonnie is well known to everyone in the drag racing world as a friend, mentor and all around good guy.
Paul Yaffe – For over 20 years, Paul Yaffe has created custom motorcycles, working on as many as 12 commissioned bikes in any given year. Many a Paul Yaffe Original has graced the pages of motorcycle magazines in the U.S. and abroad. As part of his creative process, Paul often engineers new and exciting parts for one of his custom creations. Often those parts are in demand from others in the custom-bike building world. So, Paul created his Bagger Nation brand of custom parts and accessories for touring motorcycles. Paul’s contributions do not end with the motorcycle industry, though. He’s well-known as an advocate and fundraiser for children’s charities both in Phoenix and in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Breakfast is scheduled for Wednesday, August 6 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 by calling the Museum at 605.347.2001 or they can be purchased online at http://www.sturgismuseum.com/shop/hall-fame-breakfast.