We bring you highlights from the 74th annual rally in the Black Hills, from the debut of the 2015 Indian Scout to the Legends Ride. Check out the action from the Buffalo Chip and beyond in our 2014 Sturgis Rally in Review video, then enjoy our 2014 Sturgis Rally Review
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Indian Motorcycle Co. once again tried to steal headlines at the 2014 Sturgis Rally. It started with a star-studded party for the reveal of the 2015 Indian Scout. Anticipation was palpable as Picker Mike Wolfe and actor Mark Wahlberg worked the crowd. The new Indian was a big hit. Daredevil Charlie Ransom showcased it’s abilities on the Wall of Death while Roland Sands finished the night with a big burnout on his Indian boardtracker.
We spent the next day rumbling around the Black Hills on the new Scout. Light, quick, and revvy, the new Indian is a blast to ride. We didn’t want to give it back, but Michael Lichter’s party for his latest Motorcycles as Art display awaited.
“Built for Speed – Race Inspired Motorcycles and Art” was the theme of this year’s exhibit. Just about every discipline of motorcycle racing was represented, the artwork as compelling as the bikes. Lichter and co-curator Paul D’Orleans once again hosted an incredible show.
In honor of Lichter’s theme, we caught some drag-racing action at the Sturgis Dragway. The WMDRA was hosting an event and were busy qualifying when we showed up. Everything from nostalgic twin-engined dragsters to full-blown nitro bikes blasted down the dragway.
The pace was a little slower at the social affair known as the Legends Ride. We rolled into the annual benefit ride on the 2015 Magnum, Victory’s latest bagger. The 7th annual ride, put on by the Sturgis Buffalo Chip, begins in historic Deadwood with a big street party and auction. Celebs show up to support the cause, while Chris “Leo” Leonardi stepped up huge with a winning $51,000 bid for the custom bagger built by Sturgis Brown High School students. The Legends Ride culminated with a killer concert by the Zac Brown Band at the Buffalo Chip.
The Zac Brown Band was just the tip of the iceberg of great shows at The Chip. The Motley Crue show Tuesday night was electric, the boys in rare form on their farewell tour. Florida Georgia line also drew a huge crowd. Each night ended with the girls competing for the title of Miss Buffalo Chip 2014. While all the girls were deserving, at the end of the week Britney (last name??) was crowned champion.
The day we needed to get away from the rally, we headed out to Custer State Park on the 2015 Harley Road Glide. We’re glad to see Harley’s shark-nosed bagger back, the latest version updated with the Project Rushmore treatment. We appreciated its new venting system on a warm day as we took in the incredible rock formations the park has to offer.
While bike shows were seemingly around every corner this year, few carry the prestige of the Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show. This year saw the Black Hills Bagger Showdown, the segment the most hotly contested at this year’s show. There was a wide variety of styles in the 70-plus bikes entered, from a tilting wheeled Street Glide trike to high-necked choppers. In the end, Brian Jenkins of Hatred Customs walked away the big winner, the seamless fabrication on his classy bagger earning ‘Best of Show.’
We had a blast at the 2014 Sturgis Rally, but beware. Next year the party in the Black Hills turns 75 and people are already making plans for the biggest blowout of all biker bashes.