Harley to sponsor Sturgis Hall of Fame Class of 2017
The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum has announced that Harley is to be the official sponsor of the Hall of Fame Class of 2017. In addition to supporting the induction ceremony on August 9th, the Motor Company has commissioned a series of videos recognizing the Class of 2017 and Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Willie G. Davidson.
This year’s inductees include Terry Vance, Collen Barnett and Mike Taylor, Jim Thiessen, Cory Ness, Rod Woodruff of Sturgis Buffalo Chip Campground fame, and Mark Shadley of Shadley Bros Motorcycles.
Terry Vance is a former professional motorcycle drag racer, racing team owner and manufacturer of high performance parts for motorcycles. He is #35 on the NHRA’s 50 greatest drag racers of all time, and is a 14-time national champ. With race partner Byron Hines, Terry used their unmatched race tuning experience to “build a company that would be a pillar of the motorcycle aftermarket – a brand that would unmistakably stand for quality and performance,” said Myrick Robbins, Executive Director for the Museum.
In addition to fielding the defending Vance & Hines NHRA Pro Stock championship team, Terry Vance also helps Harley-Davidson in other ways. “Although he claims to be retired, Terry took over operational duties for Harley-Davidson’s Factory 2017 American Flat Track Series team, a full-time job in itself.”
Colleen Barnett started her motorsports career at Barnett Clutches & Cables while still in her childhood, working for her parents (and original 1948 founders), Charlie and Afton Barnett. “Since the beginning Colleen has been a driving force and integral part of the company. Mike Taylor, already a long-time motorcycle rider/enthusiast, joined the firm in 1968, which cemented a great partnership after he and Colleen were married. Together they have operated Barnett since 1975 and owned the company since 1993.
“As for Cory Ness,” Robbins says, “don’t think for a second that he rode his famous father’s coattails into the Sturgis Hall Of Fame. At only 10 years old, he disassembled his bicycle, painted it, chromed its parts and entered it in the Oakland Roadster Show. The first motorcycle he turned his talents to was a wrecked CB350. After building it back up, Cory sold it before even getting a chance to ride it. He was 14!” Today Cory is the chief designer behind Arlen Ness Enterprises, where he runs the day-to-day business. In between designing new parts and accessories, he still finds time to wrench on custom bikes periodically.
“For 50 years, machinist and go-fast guy Jim Thiessen has generated trust with riders, record breakers, racers and certified Harley mechanics around the world who use JIMS products on a daily basis. Today JIMS is one of the industry’s leading producers of performance parts, accessories, tools, transmissions and high-performance engines – all aimed at enhancing the Harley rider’s experience.
“Since the early 1970s, Mark Shadley and Shadley Bros. Motorcycles have been shaping the perception of what a custom motorcycle is. The quality, detail and innovation of his custom-built bikes have made him well recognized by both the motorcycle industry and his peers. His enthusiasm and involvement in the custom motorcycle industry has been a lifelong passion.
“Since 1981, the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Campground has treated millions of motorcyclists to rock concerts, camping, entertainment and more. Rod Woodruff is the man who brought Rock & Roll to the Black Hills and now hosts a 10-day concert series each August during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The Buffalo Chip provides a music festival, various other forms of entertainment, and full-service tent, RV and cabin camping on almost 600 acres in rural Meade County.”
Woodruff is the J.C. “Pappy” Hoel Outstanding Achievement Award winner for 2017, a special designation reserved for individuals who have played a special role in the founding, maintaining and/or promoting of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame.
The 77th Sturgis Rally is set for August 4-13, 2017, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall Of Fame induction ceremony will be held August 9th at the Deadwood Lodge at Deadwood, South Dakota.