Sturgis Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced

sturgishalloffameThe Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the 2015 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 2015, the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame will honor one Freedom Fighter and induct seven into the Sturgis Hall of Fame. The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Breakfast is scheduled for Wednesday, August 5 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  605.347.2001 or they can be purchased online at Sturgis Museum Hall Of Fame Breakfast.

Richard LesterFreedom Fighters Hall of Fame – Since 1982, Richard Lester has founded five nationwide programs – Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (AIM), National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), Confederation of Clubs (COC), Christian Unity, and National Sports Bike Association (NSBA). Each program is free and they are all focused mainly on uniting, educating and informing motorcyclists of their rights. Richard has worked alongside politicians, attorneys, club members and leaders and individuals – bringing together groups where others had failed. Richard has also provided financial support to numerous organizations that are furthering the cause of motorcycling.

Everett Brashear – One of the top AMA dirt track racers in the 1950s, Everett won the first AMA National held in Sturgis in August of 1952. That win – on the all-new at the time KR Model – established a milestone for Harley-Davidson and considerable publicity for the Sturgis Race. He beat five-time National Champion, Paul Albrecht for that win, just one year after earning his expert license. He won four nationals in 1953 before being seriously injured in 1954. He returned to racing that same year, though, and continued to race and win nationals across the country for the next few years. Another bad crash in 1960 led to Brashear’s decision to stop racing. He did race in select events for a few years. After he finished racing Brashear continued to work in the motorcycle industry until his retirement.

Chief Jim Bush J.C. “Pappy” Hoel Lifetime Achievement Award – Jim Bush joined the Sturgis Police Reserves in 1978, was hired as a full time patrol officer in 1979, worked his way up through the ranks, and became Police Chief in 1990. Chief Bush has watched the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally grow to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors, and has consistently met the challenge of providing the community of Sturgis with appropriate law enforcement readiness both during the rally and throughout the year. While much of his work is behind the scenes, Chief Bush is recognized as an excellent ambassador for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. He works closely with the promotors of the rally and the events incorporated within the rally to find ways to accommodate the needs of organizers, participants, visitors and residents alike.

Chris McIntyre – It was 1992 when Chris McIntyre with co-founders Jeff Brown and Peter Wurmer had the idea to start a business providing motorcycle rentals to the public.  At the time, it was thought by most to be a crazy idea and banks and insurance companies alike laughed at the idea.  But Chris and his partners persisted in meeting with bankers, insurance companies and prospective investors and finally managed to open the doors of EagleRider Motorcycles with a fleet of four Harley-Davidsons out of a small Los Angeles garage in 1994.  The company has grown to over 100 locations worldwide, employing over 400 people and delivering over 100,000 riders dreams a year.  EagleRider has evolved to become the world leader in providing a full range of motorcycle experiences including, rental, tours, bike sales and service, parts, and apparel.  The company also recently began opening their own dealership locations.

John Shope – For decades, John Shope has been a high-volume designer and producer of quality custom motorcycles and a parts supplier to the industry. John was one of the first to recognize the value of customizing a touring bike and developed a complete line of custom injection molded parts. John’s company, John Shope’s Dirty Bird Concepts has been featured in numerous magazines and television shows. John has been a major supporter of the Sturgis Brown High School Student Bike Build Challenge since 2012. This year, Shope and his co-stars on “Biker Battleground Phoenix” are stepping up that involvement by helping the students with a brand new Indian versus Harley-Davidson challenge. Shope will help students customize a 2014 Indian Chief while his competitor Paul Yaffe works with students on customizing a 2014 Harley-Davidson.

Sugar Bear – His love affair with choppers – particularly stretched front-end choppers – began when a girl on the back of a chopped bike threw a peace sign to him in 1969. Despite having never ridden, he went out and bought a Honda and started tearing it apart to make it his own. Sugar Bear opened his own shop in South Central LA in 1971, and has been building bikes and providing his own signature springer front ends for over 40 years. A master machinist, Sugar Bear hand builds front forks that range in length from stock to as much as 40 inches over stock. His specialized rocker design gets rave reviews because of their superior handling.

Don Tilley – If anyone in the motorcycling world deserved the title of “Renaissance Man,” it would probably be Don Tilley. A self-taught welder, mechanic, tuner and competitor, he has raced both motorcycles and cars in a number of areas. Tilley opened his first Harley-Davidson dealership in Statesville, North Carolina in 1972, opened a second store in Salisbury, North Carolina in 1999 and expanded it to a full-fledged dealership in 2008. Tilley Harley-Davidson in Statesville started the first-ever H.O.G. chapter in 1983. Don served as a resource to racers, a mentor to builders and an inspiration to new riders for over 40 years. Sadly, Don was killed last year in a motorcycle crash that left his wife Robinette severely injured.

Eddie Trotta – Since the late 1980s, Eddie Trotta has been building custom choppers and baggers from his shop in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  Thunder Cycle Designs focuses on imagination, craftsmanship and attention to detail in every build.  Eddie spent two seasons as a builder on V-Twin TV, and has also starred in multiple Biker Build-Off shows on the Discovery Channel in addition to being featured on numerous magazine covers over the last 10 years.  He is supportive of numerous charities not the least of which is the Boys and Girls Clubs in Broward County.  He has donated three motorcycles to be auctioned at the Bikers Ball in Daytona in support of that organization alone.  Besides building bikes, Eddie also has spent time as a musician, raced offshore powerboats and owned thoroughbred race horses, fulfilling his need for speed.

The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Breakfast is scheduled for Wednesday, August 5 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


55 Responses to “Sturgis Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced”

  1. 1 chopmonster66 Feb 25th, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Indian made the first canam ..

  2. 2 Blackmax Feb 25th, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Congrats to all !!!
    Kudos to Eddie Trotta & John Shope,
    but especially to Sugar Bear
    Long Overdue, Brother, Long Overdue !!!!

  3. 3 Rogue Feb 26th, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Myself and other people in the Freedom Fighter Section of the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame question why Richard Lester was inducted.
    From Webster dictionary A Freedom Fighter is a person engaged in a resistance movement against what they believe to be an oppressive and illegitimate government.
    Though there are those who will say Lester does that through his law office and organizations like A.I. M (Aid to Injured Motorcyclist) and his NCOM group (National Coalition Of Motorcyclist) But others will say that he is a lawyer making money off motorcyclist and since he does that he is Not A Freedom Fighter But A Mercenary.
    Webster Dictionary definition of a Mercenary – One that serves merely for money: Hired to fight: Caring only about making money.
    Some years ago I had a meeting with Christine Paige Diers and Dave Davis after the induction breakfast to ask why a specific person got inducted and was told that she was the only one nominated. That makes me ask now was anyone else nominated for the Freedom Fighter section of the Hall of Fame this year? If so who were they and why was Lester chosen over them?
    At that meeting Christine also told me that they did not know a lot about the Freedom Fighters around the country. I suggested that she and the board refer questions to Tony “Pan” Sanfelipo the First Person Inducted Into The Freedom Fighter Section. That they could also add a name or two and when the nominee’s names came in to simply ask is there anything that we should know about this person that will help in our decision process. To the best of my knowledge that has never been done.
    I am suggesting that some changes need to be made in the way that those getting inducted is handled.

  4. 4 Danny Feb 26th, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Richard Lester? John Shope? You must be kidding. More discredit for the Sturgis Museum. The comment above from Rogue says a lot. These people at the Museum don’t know who is who, who has merit, etc.

  5. 5 Rodent Feb 26th, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Time for the Museaum to find knowledgeable curator

  6. 6 jim Feb 26th, 2015 at 10:14 am

    EXTREMELY glad to see Sugar Bear on the list. Congrats Sugar Bear!!!!!

  7. 7 Mike Greenwald Feb 26th, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Congratulations to all of the inductees.
    That being said, I have a question about the process used to determine the criteria and accomplishments of a Freedom Fighter is in the eyes of the board voting for the inductee. What is a Freedom Fighter?
    Are these honors being used as recognition trade-offs? That being the case, what is the cost?

  8. 8 Jon Feb 26th, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Congratulation Sugar bear and Eddie Trotta. Way over due man. Good points Rogue.

  9. 9 Gary Hilderbrand "Hildy" Feb 26th, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Regarding Christine Paige Diers comments in Rogue’s statement that the Freedom Fighter’s section of the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame does not know a lot about the Freedom Fighters around the country is sad. With ABATE having been around since the 70’s and the MRF growing from that shows that the people charged with keeping our heritage have very little knowledge of the motorcycle rights world. There are other groups that have accomplished much as well including Bikers of Lesser Tolerance (B.O.L.T.) and many other motorcycle associations.

    Freedom fighting means fighting for the right to ride with or without a helmet, run loud or quiet pipes, build custom scoots without government interference, stop motorcycle only check points, and try to deal with any laws that unfairly single out motorcycles or forget to include them in when it makes good sense. It also means doing this for free because it is about more than just money. It is a way of life. It is personal.

    Some the inductees nominated don’t seem to fit this profile.

  10. 10 Gary Bang Feb 26th, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    one of my Favorite Champion’s I have known and a Good Friend. I never got tired of listening to your Stories.
    Way To Go Everett My Best To You.

    Don Tilley:
    A Good Friend for a Lot of Years. When some of our old friends talk we always share a Don Tilley Story. All of your Don Tilley Fans Miss You.

    Who would have known that both of us would be in the “Hall Of Fame” and we thought that all we were doing was having Fun for all these Years.
    Mary and I both are Very Happy for You.

    Gary Bang

  11. 11 Rusty Feb 26th, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    If you have the money, and advertising you can be anything. Shoot, even the president of the United States.

    Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.
    Napoleon Hill

  12. 12 john reed Feb 26th, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    I agree with you rough,
    in fact I cant think of ANY accident lawyer that shout be inducted to ANY motorcycle hall of fame.

  13. 13 john reed Feb 26th, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Sorry rogue

  14. 14 Tad Verret Feb 26th, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    I agree with Rogue, but also am sad about the passing of Don Tilley. I was building Buells for Peterson’s of Miami in the 90’s and ended up pitted next to Don in Daytona a couple times. Always a class act. Helped me with problems that I had by asking me short questions to my inquiries. Once he realized that I wasn’t too stupid we had some great conversations…. Thanks for the help Don, I’ll always remember you…

  15. 15 RamblinRose Feb 26th, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    A true Freedom Fighter is not out for wealth and fame. They are the humble men and women who are willing to take it to the gauntlet for what is right. Don Tilley deserved this honor a long time ago!! Richard Lester doesn’t even come close! Two encounters with two of his organizations proved he is out for the almighty dollar, not the rights or protection of this rider. It is a shame that our free lifestyle is being sold out for fortune and fame. One should not be honored for making a living off the backs of bikers in despair. Shame on you Richard and shame on the board.

  16. 16 Rogue Feb 26th, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    I should make note that Only Richard Lester got into the Freedom Fighter Section of the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

    The others are inducted in a different section.
    I do see some who I feel should be on the list but can not understand a few.
    Must be one of them Good Ole Boy Things I just don’t understand.

  17. 17 Banshee Feb 27th, 2015 at 7:35 am

    I often step out of my little piece of Florida to speak out as the Bike Lifestyle in my opinion is being brought and paid for by those seeking not only undeserved fame and glory but constantly making a good living of of the Riding Community….

    As I watched this announcement, I had to wonder, why? Men and Women that have done so much for us over the years are missing and those that make their living off of some of our worse moments (ie) the death of a family member on a ride or ourselves being injured as we ride…

    So here’s my Rant and as always it is my Opinion… I respectfully agree to Disagree with many… We all have a right to our Opinion.

    Lester’s Group gave the Sturgis Museum an award and now it looks like they repaid the favor

    The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame will be a recipient of the coveted 2013 Silver Spoke Award presented by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM). The Award is in the “Special Recognition” category and honors the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame for its work in improving the image of motorcycling. The award will be presented at the NCOM annual convention located in Reno, Nevada in May 2013.

    “We are extremely honored to be receiving this recognition from NCOM,” said Christine Paige Diers, Executive Director of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. “We will join a number of exceptional individuals who have received this award in the past.” This is the first time in its history that NCOM has awarded the Silver Spoke for Special Recognition to an organization rather than an individual. Previous winners of the award include a number of notable ABATE members from various states, a long-time NCOM Board member, the AIM Chief of Staff, an author and a publisher.

    The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is solely sponsored by the Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) nationwide legal services program and serves as an umbrella organization for more than 2,000 NCOM Member clubs, organizations and associations worldwide, representing well over a quarter of a million politically active motorcyclists.

    The goal and purpose of NCOM is to assist all motorcycle organizations and individual riders with legal, legislative and other motorcycling issues. The Coalition provides numerous FREE services including legislative assistance, nationwide information network, public awareness programs, safety projects, loan program, biker anti-discrimination legal and legislative assistance, etc.

    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.

    Here is where I respectfully agree to Disagree with Christine Paige Diers. The Hall of Fame I thought was set up to Honor those that have made lifelong contributions to the Biker World. Not those that can afford to buy their way in, claim more fame, use the “I am a Hall of Fame Member” in their advertisements in their quest to make money. Please correct me if my opinion and thinking is backwards.. Most likely I will continue to Respectfully Disagree but I will listen to your side of this story before I just write you off as another that did not stay true to themselves in the new century…

    Banshee aka Lostsoul

  18. 18 Rogue Feb 27th, 2015 at 7:59 am

    It is a well-known fact that Christine Paige Diers did accept the award from NCOM, A well-known Richard Lester Group and at the time many people wondered why she chose to accept it. Most people I talked to felt it was a bad move and the Lester would want something in return. It appears that is what has happened.
    Now that this has been brought up it brings up some other questions. Who else was nominated for the Freedom Fighter Award? I do know that Tony “Pan” Sanfelipo who was the first person inducted into the Freedom Fighter section of the Hall Of Fame did Nominate Mark Temple. For the record I did send a second to that nomination and I personally feel that Mark is more deserving of the award than Richard Lester. So that brings up another question and since Christine has already told me that they will not divulge the names of those nominated I have to ask those reading this, If you know someone that was nominated to any position in the Hall Of Fame Please Let Me Know. I would like to compare the names to those inducted.
    Another question is did Christine Vote for Richard Lester to be inducted? Who voted for him and were any of the board against? It is long overdue that the induction committee be more open about how they have been inducting people

  19. 19 Hillbilly Jim Feb 27th, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Congrats Bear, much respect brother.

  20. 20 Drake Feb 27th, 2015 at 8:54 am

    There is no doubt for me that since Christine Paige Diers is in charge, most nominations (not all) are extremely controversial, and it includes some builders, not only the chosen Freedom Fighters. Politics by people in the industry who are well known for making a living…doing politics. After Pepper Massey, the Sturgis Museum/HOF went down the tube. For me, no Sturgis nominees breakfast until things change drastically. Want to be in it? Ask friends to apply for you then write a check?

  21. 21 Rogue Feb 27th, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Drake I agree with you that after Pepper Massey left things took a turn for the worse.
    Hopefully Pepper will comment on why she is no longer with the museum?
    There are others who are no longer there and or on the nominating committee and if they will let us know why it will help for others to understand what is going on.
    I agree No Sturgis HOF Breakfast until things change.

  22. 22 Rogue Feb 27th, 2015 at 9:03 am

    This was posted on Facebook

    Steve Johnson

    February 25 at 1:14am · Milwaukee, WI ·


    As a lifetime member of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame. I am publicly denouncing their choice of inductee as the Hall of Fame Freedom Fighter. Their lack of respect and regard to the Motorcycle Rights Community has once again reached a unacceptable low!

    It should be a great honor in our community to be inducted to the Freedom Fighter Hall of Fame to be among the likes of Tony Pan Sanfelipo, the first member inducted, Senator Dave Zien, Governor Tommy G. Thompson, Dick Gilmore, and Buck Kittredge. All these are great Freedom Fighters that no one could argue the sacrifices they made to keep and regain freedoms for motorcyclists.

    Now once again my ire is raised by the board of the museum for choosing to give this prestigious recognition to an attorney who has divided the rights community by putting their marketing agenda ahead of everything else. Rewarding someone for using manipulative tactics to control associations and groups to gain exclusive access is unacceptable.

    It is time that the selection of this honor be made by the members of the Motorcycle Rights Community and not the local business people of a small South Dakota town who do an excellent job of keeping a fine museum operating. They just simply lack the knowledge of the community to be making the selection for this award and that has been shown several times recently.

    I now more that ever understand why one of the Greatest Freedom Fighters Richard Quigley asked before his death that he never be inducted into this Hall of Fame.

  23. 23 Drake Feb 27th, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Jon Shope???

  24. 24 Darryl Hartman Feb 27th, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Rogue & Banchee
    In mid November I sent a e-mail to Christine Diers asking when the nominees and for what catigorie they were nominated would be posted I never recived a responce from her I do not know if it went to her junk mail or the trash bin.
    in early December I went on there web page and asked the same questions in the contact us block as of today I have not recived a answer

  25. 25 jim-bar Feb 27th, 2015 at 11:51 am

    The person who really “runs” the motorcycle museum and “helps” determine the HOF is Rod Woodruff, from the Buffalo Chip. If you know anything about the motorcycle industry, then it is easy to figure out the rest…

  26. 26 Rogue Feb 27th, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Here is a post from Facebook by Tony Pan Sanfelipo

    Tony Pan Sanfelipo

    It’s official: I won’t be attending the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame breakfast this year. I’m refraining from commenting further, other than to say I almost puked when I read who was being inducted into the Freedom Fighter Hall of Fame. The second time in three years I was shocked at their choice. I may not even go to Sturgis this year.

  27. 27 P. Hamilton Feb 27th, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    I don’t belong to the industry, but if I would be suspicious of any nominations, I would boycott the ceremony or leave the room when these people are called.

  28. 28 Mike Greenwald Feb 27th, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Research on this years’ Freedom Fighter.
    “…a whole mini-industry in leg-protector lawsuits has sprung up in this country. And at the center of it seems to be Richard Lester, founder of AIM (Aid to Injured Motorcyclists) and NCOM (National Coalition of Motorcyclists).

    Through AIM, Lester administers a nationwide network of personal-injury lawyers who, he says, will represent injured motorcyclists and protect their rights in court. Just call his toll-free telephone number and he’ll put you in touch with an attorney in your area.

    The AIM network files a number of lawsuits against automobile drivers who are at fault in accidents involving motorcyclists. But it recently came to light that Lester’s network also pursues leg-protector suits against motorcycle manufacturers. AIM is so committed to its leg-protector agenda, in fact, that the organization has developed an 11-page model lawsuit. All the attorney has to do is fill in the blanks with the injured motorcyclist’s name and a description of the accident and voila, instant lawsuit.

    Judging from information the AMA has received, Lester’s network of attorneys has been filling in a lot of those blanks. Reports indicate that more than 20 leg-protector cases have been filed by AIM attorneys across the country, all of them claiming that the motorcycle manufacturer sold a “dangerous, unsafe and unsuitable” product that failed “to provide proper leg protection.”

    Twenty lawsuits over an alleged safety device that some researchers say causes more harm than good? Why not? After all, AIM’S attorneys are probably counting on the fact that if it comes to a court trial, they’re going to be sitting on one side of the room with some poor guy who lost his leg in an accident. And sitting on the other side will be lawyers for a large corporation with lots of money. Under those circumstances, juries often find a way to give some of the big company’s money to the injured individual.

    Actually, unlike the Toney and Satcher cases in Mississippi, it doesn’t even have to go that far. Using a potential jury trial as a threat, AIM’S attorneys have been willing to negotiate out-of-court settlements. The motorcycle company hands over a big check, the lawyers get their cut (often 33 percent or more). . .and you get to pay more for your next motorcycle.

    Of course, to be successful, this scheme requires more than a willing network of lawyers. You also need a constant supply of injured motorcyclists. And that’s where NCOM comes in.

    NCOM was established by Lester under the guise of promoting unity within the motorcycle rights movement in this country. NCOM affiliated itself with many state motorcyclist rights organizations, providing them with money to support their efforts. In turn, the state organizations provided Lester with member mailing lists and ads in their newsletters to support AIM.

    The organization also has had a highly visible presence at many motorcycle shows and events, handing out stickers and signing up new “members” on the spot. The idea is that when a motorcyclist who’s signed up with AIM directly or through one of the NCOM-affiliated groups is injured in an accident, he or she will naturally turn to AIM for legal assistance.

    A high percentage of the riders in the motorcycle rights community are Harley-Davidson enthusiasts, and since AIM draws its clientele from the ranks of those organizations, it probably comes as no surprise that Harley is the defendant in every one of the AIM leg-protector suits we’ve uncovered.

    And this is where the cumulative effect of AIM’S actions show up. We have located copies of six of the lawsuits AIM attorneys have pursued against Harley, including one filed by Lester’s own law office in Encino, California.”

  29. 29 Nuke 'n Pave Dave Feb 27th, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    So we have a quid pro quo for Richard Lester. I have to shake my head in sheer wonderment over that one while people like Luke Metcalf, the founder of Brother Speed MC, have been overlooked. Luke may well be the founder of the motorcycle rights movement since he is the one who originally founded ABATE as a regional rights group in the Pacific Northwest. It spread out of Idaho into Washington and Oregon before Easyriders magazine hijacked it making it National Abate. Luke never forgave them for kidnapping his baby. That may be right or wrong of him since they did grow it into much more than he might have. We’ll never know. All I can tell you is that my original ABATE card number had two digits on it and we did get the Oregon helmet law repealed. Funny how things work out, isn’t it?

  30. 30 Beverly Roberts Feb 27th, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Well stated Rogue. I could not have said it better. There are so many deserving people to choose from. People to do what they do for no other reason other than pure love of our culture and lifestyle. This honor should be theirs and theirs alone.

  31. 31 Zenaldo Feb 27th, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    All Im going to say is I attended the breakfast last year…and I wont be attending this year….nuf said..

  32. 32 Rogue Feb 28th, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Jon Shope???
    I do not know John Shope But I think the following will explain why he got inducted.
    John has been a major supporter of the Sturgis Brown High School Student Bike Build Challenge since 2012. This year, Shope and his co-stars on “Biker Battleground Phoenix” are stepping up that involvement by helping the students with a brand new Indian versus Harley-Davidson challenge. Shope will help students customize a 2014 Indian Chief.

    I do believe the motorcycles built will be auctioned off at the yearly Legends Ride.

  33. 33 Banshee Feb 28th, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Jim-Bar in response to your comment I could not help but think along those lines after reading in the November 2014 issue of Easyriders Road Iron magazine that Chris Malo and Keith Terry owners of the Baggster custom shop in Spearfish south Dakota customized Rod Woodruff’s bike.

    That was especially interesting because Keith Terry got inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame around the same time.

    Did Rod Woodruff have anything to do with that? Since he is one of the people listed as on the induction committee did he vote for Keith? Shouldn’t people who have business dealings with the nominees exclude themselves from voting? Does that no then become a “Conflict of Interest”?

    I am basing this opinion on these facts:

    1. “Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is a 501c3 Non-Profit”

    from the National Council of Nonprofits Org – Under Conflict of Interest

    2. Conflicts that are not managed can result in significant penalties, called “intermediate sanctions,” assessed against the person who benefits as well as against the organization. (See IRS information on inurement/private benefit, also referred to as “excess benefit transactions.”)

  34. 34 Drake Feb 28th, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Politics seems in full swing in Sturgis. You help me, I help you… By the way, customizing for free with free parts is a gift. Gifts are taxable to the recipient…Conflicts of interest in a a 501c3 Non-Profit” may make it lose its IRS registration.

  35. 35 Drake Feb 28th, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Rogue. Many, many, many have done more than Shope. So, this Hall Of Fame is all about what? Contributing to the overall industry? Helping the notables of Sturgis? Pleasing a member of the HOF Committee? I thought it was about contributing to the motorcycle industry.

  36. 36 Rogue Feb 28th, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    All I know about Shope is what I read and copied from the inductee notice and Yes From what I read I would say that I know many more deserving people than him. I do not know what the Hall Of Fame is about any more and that is why I am so upset about what I am hearing and seeing happen. It appears if you build or help build a bike and give it to the Legends Ride to auction off you will get in the Sturgis Hall Of Fame. Granted the Legends Ride Does A Lot of Good Things For The Black Hills area BUT

    I have always thought the Hall Of Fame was about honoring those who live, work, and are involved in the world of motorcycling. I could not understand how Jesse Jurrens got in in 2014. I do not know him or much about him other than he owns a company that makes shock absorbers. He may be a nice guy and all but it just didn’t make sense until someone suggested it was because he owned a business in the area and the good ole boys liked him. I do not know that that is true but it sure makes one wonder.

    I believe that the induction committee needs to be more transparent and by that I mean let everyone know who the nominees are and then who the inductees are. That should take all the doubt that there is any back room politics and or favoritism going on.

  37. 37 Dean Keemer Feb 28th, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Solution. Shut down this very controversial/not credible HOF and devote your efforts to the Museum. Nobody cares about the nominees except the nominees.

  38. 38 MMAMIKE Feb 28th, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    I feel some of the HOF inductees living and not would not stand with Mr. Lester. Its an honor not a payment.

  39. 39 john reed Feb 28th, 2015 at 7:57 pm
  40. 40 Jan Mar 1st, 2015 at 10:22 am

    That’s not an earthquake with an epicenter in northern California. That’s legendary freedom fighter Richard Quigley spinning in his grave over Lester being honored.

  41. 41 jan Mar 1st, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I nominate Richard Lester for a Hall of Shame. All he is about is profiting off of motorcyclists and injury lawsuits. This is an insult to the many true freedom fighters who are deserving, having sacrificed greatly and done much to gain/preserve the few freedoms bikers (and others) have. To have such a snake in the grass be honored next to true freedom fighters brings discredit to the Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame.

  42. 42 Rogue Mar 1st, 2015 at 11:52 am

    I have been informed that some people have left the Induction Committee and that one of them was Kenny Price. Kenny would you please tell us why you left?

  43. 43 Pepper Massey Mar 1st, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    A few points of clarification:

    – Unless things have changed, Christine Paige Diers, the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame (SMM&HoF) executive director, is not a member of the board and does not have a vote.

    – Inductees are selected from nominations. If a deserving individual is not nominated then they are not going to be selected. If you feel strongly that a person should be in the Sturgis Hall of Fame, then do the work and nominate them.

    – Several comments on Cyril’s blog and Facebook include language like “I am not familiar with that person.” Not everyone in the motorcycle community, or on the SMM board, knows every outstanding contributor to the industry, sport and lifestyle. This is why the nomination process requires biographical information, so that a worthy person won’t be overlooked because they weren’t “personally” known. There have been and are many informed people on the SMM board, several I know and respect. They work incredibly hard to recognize individuals who have contributed to motorcycling through the current process…

    which brings me to my final point.

    I don’t always agree with Hall of Fame decisions made by the SMM board, while I was executive director or after I left. I have opinions and, what I believe are valid reasons for those opinions. However, it is not about my opinion, it is about a process. A process that has worked for years, as noted in responses about past inductees on this very blog.

    If you disagree with the process, you can, and should, question it. It is indeed an important conversation to have. Interface with SMM leadership, challenge the board to review protocols and procedures to ensure a more transparent and even process.

    Question the process, disagree with the induction of a particular nominee, even choose not to attend out of principle on the rare occasion if you must, but don’t dishonor past, current and future inductees by suggesting that admittance to the HoF is bought or achieved through backroom deals. That isn’t true and it isn’t fair.

  44. 44 Zenaldo Mar 1st, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Bob Illingsworth must be rolling in his grave after hearing the news regarding Mr Lester being installed into the museum…Sugar Bear or Eddie Trotta hell yes…but this guy ? Really ? Im afraid the support for the museum may take a hit after this deal…

  45. 45 Kenny Price Mar 1st, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    I was a member of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum board of directors but had to make a very heartfelt decision and resign early this year. The reason for my resignation was based on last years inductee list. I will not name names here but there were definitely people that should have never been inducted into such an honorable institution. No matter how much I tried to reason with other board members I was outvoted and I feel undeserving people were inducted. I could not bring myself to become a part of what I feel is a “good ol’ boy” network in this years Hall of Fame voting. Yes, I said it, “good ol’ boy’ network. My integrity and honor are both still in tact and will never be for sale. My honor as an old time biker who’s word is my bond could not be a part of the process again. I, as a Hall of Fame member, welcome all those inducted this year, except one. That’s all I have to say about that…. at least for now.

    Some of the current board are very influential people in Sturgis and I hold them in high regard. I think some are misguided with some of the issues concerning motorcyclists. I mean real bikers. Real people who make up; the world motorcyclists. It’s a bit of a shame some people from Sturgis cannot think outside of the small area surrounding the town of Sturgis. I’m sure I will get a load of crap for that statement but I said it anyway. The world looks at the Sturgis Museum, not just locals.

  46. 46 Rogue Mar 2nd, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Thank You very much.
    You have said what many of us feel.
    Having been a member of the board and actually dealing with it is something none of us could speak on.
    I do realize some of the board members are very influential.
    Your Integrity and Honor is something to be Proud Of.
    I would like to personally Thank You for posting what you did.

  47. 47 Banshee Mar 2nd, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Kenny… Thank you for Respecting the Real Bikers still alive out here and upholding a Code of Honor unlike any other…. by walking away instead of taking part in this insult to those that truly do deserve to be called Hall of Fame members….

  48. 48 Voice of reason.. Mar 2nd, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Some have done nothing more then bought their way in. I want the old days back where there was integrity. Thank you Kenny.

  49. 49 Jeff Nicklus Mar 2nd, 2015 at 2:25 pm


  50. 50 Jeff Nicklus Mar 2nd, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I was so excited to read Kenny’s comment I forgot to close with……………

    Over & Out,


  51. 51 Rogue Mar 2nd, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Pepper Massey

    I would like to start off by Thanking you for posting what you did and to let you know I do respect you and your opinion.

    First for clarifying the executive director is not a board member and does not vote.

    On the issue of deserving individuals needing to be nominated before they can be inducted, this is where I believe there is a major problem. In most cases the only one that is known is the one inducted.

    In the case of this year’s successful Freedom Fighter Inductee Attorney Richard Lester I do know that Tony “Pan” Sanfelipo did nominate Mark Temple. I do not know if there were any other nominees. I will stipulate that I was not part of the induction process and am not trying to be a Monday morning quarterback But I do believe the majority of the people that are interested in this are saying the induction committee made a Bad Choice.

    I will also state that for the past two years I did nominate Berry Wardlaw of Accurate Engineering. I know people will suggest that I am prejudice because Berry is a friend of mine. Well I do not know anyone who would nominate an enemy. In both years I felt there were inductees that did not come close to having the qualifications that Berry has and that has resulted in lot of questions from myself and others on the process. On top of that we do not know who else was nominated.

    I have suggested to numerous people to nominate individuals and the majority of them feel that it would be a waste of time because of what they have seen in recent years of who was inducted.

    I do believe I am one of the people that have said I do not know or am not familiar with that person. That was not to be taken as I am some expert and know everyone as I do not. What it was meant to read to people is that I cannot comment on someone I did not know. I will give that to the induction committee as well.

    So some people want us to believe that the induction committee is making decisions on the facts. Then we have people like Kenny Price say that he resignation was based on last year’s inductee list and that there were people who should not have been inducted. I would suggest people read the comment by Mr Price so I do not take any of it out of context.

    Like you, I do know and respect some of the people on the committee and yes the induction is by a majority vote. I am suggesting that some of the various people involved may be more interested in what they think is best for the City of Sturgis than the world of motorcycling.

    Just for the record I have had meetings and conversations with the director and board members for over 3 years expressing my concerns and that of others who felt these people would not take their concerns seriously. It has led to this open discussion.

    I am sorry it has gotten to this point, but I am hopeful that what is being discussed here will be a wake-up call and modifications can be made to the procedure and this will not take place next year.

  52. 52 New York myke Mar 3rd, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Wow that’s a lot of controversy! I’m not really surprised so many think the HOF had lousy AIM because he’s a lawyer who thrives offf injured riders which puts him inthe category off parasites of, not contributors to our lifestyle. However there is another side to this coin! First many of us participate and earn our livinzg in the motorcycle industry and although I allow no lawyers into my dealership and as I was state director of Abate of Cal. I fought and kept us out of NCOM, I am pleased to be accepting their Silver Spoke award this year. The reason is that I have much appreciation and respect for the Confederation of Clubs and what that has achieved over the last 30 years! On the other handle I think Richard Quigley was a despicable character and its safe to say we had a good chance of getting the helmet law fixed in Cal. As it was in Texas & Fla. that he single handedly ruined. He also did more to set back out influence in the State Capitol and got hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund his futile lawsuit, most of the money I assume going to an Attny. Also I think that Woody is a lot closer to Russ Brown than Richard Lester. Having said all that my point is going along with Pepper if we have a problem with the process it’s appropriate to voice it and get involved and change it, especially the FreedomFighters, which is a special and unique category whose ranks should be carefully scrutinized. And again there will always be the controversy by people who feel differently as I do about bolt and quiquley. Boycotting that’s hurts great inductees to the HOF like my friend Bear will not help change the process that seems to clearly need some help! Thanks Rogue for being on top of this and demonstrating how much concern there is for this institution and thanks to everyone commenting for the same reason. Especially thanks to Pepper who’s been there and who stood up to Richard Lester when it was tough and who’s got more integrity than any parasite lawyer! I hope I see you all at the breakfast this year so we can honor those who deserve it and make our presence known!

  53. 53 Mike Greenwald Mar 4th, 2015 at 7:31 am

    The commercial success of a variation of a data harvesting, marketing scheme may be the admiration of the other side of a wooden nickel.

  54. 54 Mike Greenwald Mar 4th, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Thank you, Cyril. You have brought forth great information before any other internet or paper publications. Your integrity has not been diminished by the influence of Richard Lester advertising dollars. I have noticed that other publications, that accept this advertising, have been reticent in hosting these critical discussions.

  55. 55 Ray Mar 18th, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Richard Quigley asked me and I believe others to assure that his name would never be submitted to your organization for consideration as a freedom fighter. The reason was that he didn’t want to be included with some of the others, Pan and Rogue excepted.

    This newest addition, Richard Lester, would have Quig rolling over in his grave had he been inducted.

    Quig was the greatest freedom fighter ever. Do NOT EVER consider Richard Quigley for induction to this Hall of Infamy.

    This recognition of Richard Lester soils the honors given to actual freedom fighters, like Tony Pan and Rogue.

    No compromise.

    Ray, BOLT of CA.

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