Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame Unveiling Extension Concept Drawings

The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is excited about the initial response to concept drawings of an expanded museum that were released at a public meeting in Sturgis on Monday. The concept drawings were created by Forefront Design, a Rapid City firm hired by the City of Sturgis, the Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce and the Sturgis Economic Development Commission to work on a downtown revitalization effort.

“The drawings that were made public at last night’s meeting are conceptual in nature, but are based on input from the Board of Directors of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum,” said Dave Davis, Museum Board President. “The museum board is ready to move forward into a feasibility study phase to determine the full scope and timeframe for making an expanded museum like the one represented here a reality. We want the community and all the constituents of the museum to understand that we are excited about growing our museum into an iconic structure that draws visitors to Sturgis on an ongoing basis.”

The downtown revitalization project has brought together a task force of community members from Sturgis to discuss ways to make downtown more vital and exciting on a year-round basis. The task force has been meeting for four months discussing various ideas for improving the Sturgis downtown area. The public meeting on Monday unveiled four potential projects to improve downtown. Besides the museum, those projects included a downtown plaza for events, a prototype mixed-use building with retail on the main floor with apartments above, and a splash park.

The mission of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of motorcycling, honor those who have made a positive and significant impact on the sport and lifestyle, and pay tribute to the heritage of the Sturgis Rally. Established in 2001, the museum is home to an ever-growing variety of motorcycles dating back to 1907. On display are a huge selection of American and metric bikes that are on loan from private individuals, along with a wide variety of exhibits, photographs, memorabilia and Sturgis Motorcycle Rally history. Museum memberships are available at the Sturgis Museum Website.

50 Responses to “Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame Unveiling Extension Concept Drawings”

  1. 1 Rodent Nov 29th, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Ugly, looks like the HD Cafe in Lost Wages,NV

  2. 2 Drake Nov 29th, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Sometimes Rodent may be funny. Like it.

  3. 3 Jester Nov 29th, 2012 at 10:51 am

    It’s good but strongly inspired by the Harley & Hard Rock Cafe. Was expecting something a little bit more “Sturgis” or “Black Hills”

  4. 4 Bill Parker Nov 29th, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I think it looks terrific. I guess Cyril’s new post about the Museum will be about raising money to build it. By the way where is the bikes only parking space?

  5. 5 richard Nov 29th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    The building looks cool. The bike emerging from it looks overdone and tacky. It reflects a juvenile approach. The building need signage that reflects the history/heritage of motorcycles with a sturgis and black hills background.

  6. 6 Roger Nov 29th, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I also think that the motorcycle idea is somewhat tacky and childish. Like at Disney. A museum needs some class and in this case needs to reflect the Black Hills motorcycling history. I don’t see it in these renderings. Looks more like the entrance of a kids’ amusement place. Disappointing.

  7. 7 Shifter Nov 29th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    At least, the designer could have proposed the installation of a giant antique motorcycle, not a new plastic looking Harley/Victory. Let him re-do his drawings.

  8. 8 Johny Letgo. Nov 29th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    All evident ideas are the worst. Lack of creativity.

  9. 9 Brandon Nov 29th, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Hey, guys, you are tough. I think it looks pretty good. But true, I imagined an antique sculpture.

  10. 10 J. Alexander Nov 29th, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I guess the museum is testing the renderings. Now they know that they need to do some rework.

  11. 11 Mark Jags Nov 29th, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Looks cheesy…

  12. 12 eBikerLeather Nov 29th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Looks really cool!

  13. 13 John Green Nov 29th, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I agree with Rodent – it looks like a 12 year old added a bike to a drawing of a nice building.

  14. 14 Mike Greenwald Nov 29th, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I hope that the efforts put forth on the Hall of Fame and the Freedom Fighter Hall of Fame are both treated with more respect than a vestibule decoration in a building that appears to be a cross between the Hard Rock Cafe and Bob’s Big Boy.

  15. 15 Jack Nov 29th, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    @Richard, Roger, Mark, Rodent – +1 agree completely! C’mon. Museums are not the same as the Americana side trips. A giant front end of just one motorcycle type is a side trip, not a destination

  16. 16 B. Moss Nov 29th, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    These people at the Sturgis museum have no clue about who to nominate every year. And now they demonstrate that they have no clue about how a museum should look. Pathetic.

  17. 17 Danieli Nov 29th, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Maybe OCC is opening a burger joint inside. Absolutely RI-DI-CU-LOUS for a museum.

  18. 18 Jeff Nicklus Nov 29th, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    @Mike Greenwald,

    Spot on …. I couldn’t agree more.

    Over & Out,


  19. 19 Ray Shaft Nov 29th, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Sturgis museum and hall of fame . The damage is already done.

  20. 20 Dan Nagel Nov 29th, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Next rendering, please.

  21. 21 Dennis Crabtree Nov 29th, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Tacky, dumb, silly.

  22. 22 Patrick Nov 29th, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Anyone to rescue this bike?

  23. 23 Rob Nov 29th, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    How many “Hall of Fames” are there in this country?

  24. 24 Hippie The Hun Nov 29th, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Ya, Another ‘ Biker Boutique ” for all them “Bank book Bikers ” to go to after a long drive in the RV- pulling there Putt on a tailor.

  25. 25 Mike Greenwald Nov 29th, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    @Jeff Nicklus, Thank you.

    @Rob, There are two halls of fame. AMA has one in Pickerington, Ohio. The second Hall of Fame is in Sturgis. Both halls of Fame have a nomination process. Neither process is perfect. Seemingly, Sturgis has a broader scope of acceptable candidates from more diverse backgrounds.

  26. 26 Doc Robinson Nov 30th, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Yeah, tacky to a degree but so are Hooters girls and who doesn’t love them! I think the motorcycle bursting out, tacky tho it may be, has great value to attract non motorcyclists. Who other than we bikers has ever visited the Sturgis Museum and Hall of Fame? The big bike up front would sure attract attention in my opinion. I visit the Museum each year during the Rally and it is well worthwhile with a great collection of bikes on display. The more people we can attract to our sport the better off we are in the community. And there would hardly be a kid who didn’t want his Pop to stop if they were driving past.

  27. 27 Mark Mederski Nov 30th, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Too many windows, too much daylight on antiques, no wall space for historic art. Too much maintenance. Architects draw such things and walk a way. After 5 or 10 years the upkeep on the bike sculpture (and cleaning all the windows) eats the organization alive. Flat roofs are often problematic as well. Complicated designs, 50% more cost to build…..and limit options for interior display space. What every exhibit designer wants is a clean box shape with good lighting and a power grid in the floor. FLEXIBILITY!

  28. 28 dannyb278 Nov 30th, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    i would rather see a museum that looks more like jay lenos garage. Lots of open space, bikes and huge murals on the walls that replicate advertising from the past.

  29. 29 Ken Foster Nov 30th, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Just remove the bike and the museum will look ok. Just add at the entrance a bronze of Pappy Hoel and of a couple of boardtracker bikes, and the museum will look fine.

  30. 30 Woody Nov 30th, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Does seem to be a better match for a theme park, “Six Flags over Lakota”? Not a very good fit with the area or it’s history and frankly the only place it’d possibly look right is the Vegas strip.

  31. 31 Mark Jags Nov 30th, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Agree with Ken Foster…a bronze statue of Pappy, the man who started it all. If it wasn’t for him, nobody would have heard of Sturgis unless you happened to be on your way to or from Mt. Rushmore.

  32. 32 Cris Sommer Simmons Dec 1st, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Mark Mederski is right…

  33. 33 Bernie Carter Dec 1st, 2012 at 6:51 am

    The board members of the Sturgis museum don’t seem to know the particularities and constraints of an automotive museum architecture and layout. Nor those who produced these renderings who probably have worked only on retail stores. A museum has to be designed from the inside to the outside, not the opposite..

  34. 34 Patrick Bauer Dec 1st, 2012 at 7:12 am

    “The mission of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of motorcycling. ” Does a giant modern motorcycle toy fit with this mission statement? Of course not.

  35. 35 Lonnie Isam Dec 1st, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    This is a concept folks, It is designed to do what it is doing. It is getting feedback from motorcycle enthusiast. Keep it coming, Positive or negative , your feedback is not falling on deaf ears. The drawing is not carved in stone.

  36. 36 ROGUE Dec 1st, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I posted the following on some of the LinkedIn sites and other blogs so I could get opinions of other people.
    The Sturgis Museum Concept Drawing of what the planned expansion may or will look like is showing up all over the internet and I am interested in what you think about it.

    Because it says Concept I am interpreting that to mean it is what they are thinking of doing and have sent it out to see what people think about it.

    Some of the places it is posted do not allow comments so that is why I am asking for them here.

    The one with the most comments so far is Cyril Huze’s site

    The only reply I have received so far is from Joe Distefano

    I believe you are correct Mr. Rogue in that nothing is etched in stone for any design at this time. I can tell you that the thought process behind the rendering we see here is that the conspicuous nature of the building would be a huge draw for tourists to stop regardless if they are a motorcycle enthusiast or not.

    That being said, if you can get someone within arms reach, you can then tell them the story of Sturgis, the rally, the Hall of Fame members, Freedom fighters, and the evolution of the industry and the sport in general.

    Whether it is well received by the general motorcyclist community or not, I would say what we see here would accomplish that task.

    I am sure, as I know you are aware, it WILL be a process and the board of directors are a very capable group as well as Executive Director, Christine Paige Diers. I am confident they will come up with the suitable plan to move forward.

    I will post other comments as I recieve them.

  37. 37 ROGUE Dec 1st, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I believe the Board of Directors are looking for input and what is supplied here and other sources will help them make the decisions ahead of them.
    Positive comments work well.
    If you agree please state why, if you disagree please state why and what you would like to see changed.

  38. 38 ROGUE Dec 1st, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    My answer to Joe was.

    I agree it WILL be a process and the board of directors are a very capable group as well as Executive Director, Christine Paige Diers. I am confident they will come up with the suitable plan to move forward.
    Just hoping that people will share Constructive Comments with the board.

  39. 39 Donnie Dec 1st, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I wonder how many board members visited the Harley-Davidson museum in Milwaukee. It’s a great example of functionality.

  40. 40 J. Semper Dec 1st, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    A giant bronze vintage bike would make most people agree with the design. But I guess it’s a huge budget. I know nothing about how architecture impacts light, maintenance costs, etc. You need a lot of greenery around it, maybe a kid’s park with human supervision.

  41. 41 Dave Blevins Dec 1st, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Personally, I would rather see the museum have a more artful appearance, something with tall flowing lines and a graceful, inspiring & open feel. This seems more like a hospital designed in 1965 that had a motorcycle crash into it. I realize that budget is a factor, but I really think making the building beautiful would make it appealing all year long instead of just dropping by 1 weekend per year.
    I’m not trying to be mean, but this is just a really un-inspiring design that represents all the freedom and grace of a post office… the total opposite of motorcycling.

  42. 42 Greg Dillon Dec 2nd, 2012 at 8:32 am

    To make the museum a destination all year long has more to do with the Sturgis downtown revival than with the museum architecture. But it’s true that in an area with a rich history the museum doesn’t reflect it with its architecture design. Like many, I think that the giant bike idea is silly and childish. What is proposed is a look more appropriate for a burger joint on I90 in the suburb of Rapid City.

  43. 43 Lonnie Isam Dec 2nd, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    J. Semper, I like the giant bronze antique bike idea. Maybe they could talk Jeff Decker into taking a look at it.

  44. 44 giconez Dec 2nd, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    It looks like they need an architect… may be the designer should visit some technical dedicated museums because this looks like an shopping mall.

  45. 45 Mike Corbin Dec 3rd, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I agree with Mark, build a building that will last the test of time.
    Light should be there, but indirect..
    I can’t even think of a way that wheel + tank will stay looking good..
    Love the idea of. New Mecca in High Country..

  46. 46 Harlan Schiilinger Dec 3rd, 2012 at 11:13 am

    It is nice to see the Museum moving forward with their vision. It is a start and a concept for sure.
    Forward thinking has been on the table since the museums inception.
    Keep moving forward with all of your thoughts. You will get there. Ride on!
    Harlan S.
    Past board member……..

  47. 47 Blackmax Dec 3rd, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I think the front is definatly “cheesy” looking
    It’s a museum not a side show attraction
    Take another look at the H-D museum
    and get back to us …..

  48. 48 sollis Dec 4th, 2012 at 12:37 am

    How about ask Jeff Decker to build sculpture like one at HD museum looks classy

  49. 49 Dave Davis Dec 10th, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    As the President of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame Board, I am excited and optimistic about the future of the museum and downtown Sturgis. There have been many questions asked about the concept drawings circulated recently and what is in store for the museum that honors the largest motorcycle rally in the world. I am pleased to field some of the most frequently asked questions.

    How did we come to this concept drawing?
    The City of Sturgis contracted with Four Front Design to provide a plan for the future of downtown Sturgis. This plan involves potential changes in zoning regulations, multi use building ideas, creation of public spaces and preliminary renovation drawings of some iconic downtown buildings. After meeting with Four Front, the board agreed to allow them to use the museum, with no obligation to either party, as one of the iconic structures.
    It needs to be said; this is only a concept drawing. The final project design may or may not resemble this concept. Additionally, we are in the very early stages of this project. The size and scope of the new museum will be limited only by the imagination of those who embrace the dream and our positive fund raising efforts.

    Why the bigger than life motorcycle?
    When most of us think of the Sturgis Rally, we think of something that is bigger than life. When Pappy Hoel started this event in 1938, I’m pretty sure he had no idea that several hundred thousand motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world would converge on this little western South Dakota town every year. Nor could he have imagined the millions of attendees whose lives are a little bit fuller because of him. How many times have you tried to explain the rally to someone, only to say “You just need come and experience it for yourself. Then you’ll understand.”?
    Since this museum is charged with preserving the history and enhancing future rallies, we feel that it too needs to be physically bigger than life. Additionally, we believ that in years to come this 40 to 50 foot tall motorcycle will become one of the prime photo opportunities, at the most recognized and historical intersection, in the motorcycle world.

    Why the 1938 Indian?
    We knew when we presented this concept, we might be opening Pandora’s box. Several have suggested a Harley-Davidson, stating that historically the Sturgis rally has been dominated by H-D riders. Others have quick to remind us that Indian has been out of business since the mid 50’s. One even suggested that we use a dirt bike. Although each of the opinions expressed is interesting, 1938 and the Indian motorcycle are both symbolic of the origin of the rally. Pappy with the help of the Jackpine Gypsies started the annual event in 1938. Pappy and Pearl owned the Indian dealership in Sturgis. When we were looking at motorcycles for the concept drawing, the 38 Indian seemed to be the most appropriate.

    Why the multi story building?
    There are a multitude of reasons why this conceptual drawing includes a four story building. This building will house the finest collection of domestic and foreign bikes in the world. We very well may need this much space just to accommodate such a collection. For anyone passing by this world class museum, the structure should project the opportunities that wait inside. One item on the wish list is a multi story hill climb display inside the museum to commemorate the impact that this sport has played in the success of the rally. The different roof levels could be built as viewing areas. These could be used year round, for both rally and non rally events. For instance, wedding receptions, class reunions and of course the other (ie. Mustang, Cushman & antique motorcycle) rallies held in Sturgis could benefit from such architecture.

    Why the corner of Junction & Main?
    Junction & Main has been the epicenter of the Sturgis Rally for decades. In fact Junction & Main may well be the most famous intersection in the world of motorcycling. Recently the museum board purchased the property adjacent to our current building. With this additional land we feel we will be able to build both a world class facility and preserve this historical location. Besides wouldn’t you love to have your picture taken in front of a 50 foot tall motorcycle on the corner of Junction and Main in Sturgis?

    Will this really happen or is it simply a pipe dream?
    As the old saying goes, “If the good Lord is willing and the river don’t rise”, the answer is YES! The board is in the process of contracting a feasibility study group to determine the potential scope of the project. They will help us project the museum’s income and fund raising potential. After that we will move towards the design and build phases, while undertaking the fund raising aspect of the project.
    My personal goal is to be operational in our new building in 2020, the 80th anniversary of the rally. This isn’t a math error (2020-1938= 82), the rally wasn’t held for two years during World War Two.

    How can I help?
    Eventually, everyone will be able to be a part of this great endeavor. For now as we move into the feasibility study phase, please take the time to visit with the survey takers when contacted. Your honest answers are critical in creating a factual business plan. In the mean time stay positive and share the good news with your friends about one of the most exciting projects in the history of motorcycling.

    If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me

    Dave Davis

  50. 50 ROGUE Dec 11th, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Though everyone may not agree on every subject I think that the Sturgis Museum Board is doing a good job. To help them do that we should support them with constructive comments that will help make the difficult decisions they have to make on a regular basis.
    On the subject being discussed here I have been told that the original concept drawing for the new building was sent out to get public opinion and I believe it has accomplished that.
    I believe that the recent post by Dave Davis explains very well what the museum is trying to accomplish and some facts that will help others understand what they are doing.
    There are many things that go into a project like this and some people may not realize what a big undertaking it is.
    I would like to personally thank all the board members of the Sturgis Museum and others who are involved in this great undertaking. I realize there is a lot of hard work and decisions to make and they are working very hard at getting things done.

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Cyril Huze