The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame has included aftermarket vendors Paul Yaffe, Keith Terry, Jesse Jurrens, Drag Racer turned parts maker Bonnie Truett, and legendary former Harley-Davidson VP Clyde Fessler among their nominees for their Hall of Fame this year.
During his 25 year career at Harley Clyde Fessler is said to have 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. His 2012 book "Rebuilding the Brand" is a 'must-read'.
Jesse Jurrens started Legend Suspensions in Rapid City, South Dakota in 1998 with what was then the first purpose made air spring for the Harley-Davidson Softail Chassis. Now based in Sturgis itself, Legend manufactures Aero Air Suspension systems and Revo coil suspension systems for all Harley-Davidson models and Off-road UTVs.
Keith Terry, a native Californian who now lives in The Black Hills area, started Terry Components (with his wife Fran) 20 years ago, and the company is said to be the largest supplier of motorcycle starter motors and battery cables in the industry. More recently, Keith - started Baggster LLC with Chris Malo, a company that manufactures custom conversion kits for Harley-Davidson applications.
With Paul Osborn, Bonnie Truett was one half of the Truett and Osborn engine parts business at Wichita, Kansas and drag race legend until his retirement. He 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.
Paul Yaffe's business story is a remarkable one and his prowess as an entrepreneur is a case study in survival. Having seen his Paul Yaffe Originals business hammered by the downturn in custom bike building and the wider recession, he was an 'early adopter' when it came to spotting the vacuum that existed where parts and accessories for Harley's tourers were concerned. Paul created the Bagger Nation brand of custom parts and accessories and the rest, as they say, is history!
(Picture: Michael Lichter)