Sturgis Motorcycle Museum

During our Sturgis visit, we spent about 45 minutes touring the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum.  During the rally, admission to the museum is $10.00, free with our VIP pass.  There are 2 levels of exhibits to the museum, and covers a brief history of motorcycles and the history of the Sturgis Rally.

Sturgis Motorcycle Museum

Sturgis Motorcycle Museum

They have several dozen motorcycles on display, including many brands that we never heard of.  In 1938, Indian Motorcycle Dealer J.C. “Pappy” Hoel and the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club held the first races in Sturgis.  This became the basis for starting the Sturgis Rally in August.  This is a 1938 Indian Chief.

1938 Indian Chief

1938 Indian Chief

Just 10 years later, the Indian Chief model:

1948 Indian Chief

1948 Indian Chief

Here are some earlier models of the Indian motorcycles:

1923 Big Chief

1923 Big Chief

Indian motorcycles were very popular racing bikes, before Harley Davidson started producing racing models.

1911 Indian

1911 Indian

In 1914 Harley Davidson started sponsoring motorcycle racing, and hired engineers with racing experience to come up with this “speedster”

1915 HD Board Track Racer

1915 HD Board Track Racer

The Flying Merkel was known as one of the fastest racing bikes in its time.

1912 Flying Merkel

1912 Flying Merkel

This chopper was built by OCC Choppers Paul Tuetel, and is supposed to mimic BIC’s Flex 4 razor (or so the sign says!)

BIC Flex 4 Chopper

BIC Flex 4 Chopper

Many motorcycles from other countries are on display as well.

 

lots of other brands

lots of other brands

In 1949, the Indian motorcycle company tried to go with a more European style, to compete with the many imported motorcycles that were gaining popularity in the US.

1949 Indian Arrow

1949 Indian Arrow

This motorcycle was designed specifically for London’s fog and rain.  It can hold up to 4 people, and keep the riders relatively dry, due to the larger windshield and lower leg fairings.

1966 Matchless w/sidecar

1966 Matchless w/sidecar

Perhaps this is why people enjoy riding motorcycles so much?

sign in museum

sign in museum

Quote for the day:  “Only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out of a car window.” – author unknown

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