2014 Sturgis Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Inductees

sturgismuseum1The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the 2014 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 2014, the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame will honor one Freedom Fighter and induct six into the Sturgis Hall of Fame.

sturgismuseum2Deb “Tiger” Chandler – Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame – Deb “Tiger” Chandler has been an active part of the motorcycling community for over 40 years.  In partnership with the Colorado Confederation of Clubs (CCOC), she assumed the role of Colorado Commander of the Coalition of Independent Riders – a registration of independent riders.  Tiger has worked tirelessly through the state legislature to address issues of importance to motorcyclists in Colorado including funding for beginning rider training and alcohol interlocking devices for motorcycles.  She has also been instrumental in implementing a Biker Day at the Capital in Colorado as a means of opening dialog between bikers and legislators.

Clyde Fessler – During his 25 year career at the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Clyde Fessler 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.  He was responsible for many innovative programs, policies, products, and marketing strategies that made Harley-Davidson one of the most recognized brands in the world.  Since his retirement in 2002, Fessler has remained active in motorcycling as a member of the Hamsters Motorcycle Club.  He recently wrote a book, “Rebuilding the Brand” and now travels extensively as a Keynote Speaker.

Jesse Jurrens – Legend Suspensions began in 1998 when Jesse Jurrens recognized the benefits an air spring could have on motorcycles and sought to develop the technology for Harley-Davidson Softail Chassis. Eventually being convinced, Gates™ Rubber Company, the leader in air spring technology, agreed to lend their patented Kevlar impregnated rubber air spring technology to the fledgling South Dakota start-up.  Since that time, Jesse has continued to develop innovative suspension systems.  Today, Sturgis South Dakota based Legend Suspensions manufactures Aero Air Suspension systems and Revo coil suspension systems for all Harley-Davidson models and Off-road UTVs.  Legend Suspensions are available world-wide providing a smoother ride with “on the go” adjustability, increased vehicle capability and versatility.  The Offroad systems are used by the U.S. Military and countless fire and rescue operations.  Legend has become known for its innovative quality products, Lifetime Warranty, and outstanding customer service.  The company is a recognized leader in suspension technology.

Jay “Lightnin’” Bentley – From the time he was a teenager, Jay Lightning rode in a motordrome owned by Pappy Boudreaux – first part-time and later full-time.  Early on, Jay rode Harley Hummers as a straight rider, but soon graduated to trick riding on the wall on Indian 101 Scouts.  By 1998, Jay took out a loan against his home to purchase wood and equipment to begin building what would become the American Motor Drome Wall of Death.  Completed in 2000, it was the first of its kind to be built in over 50 years.  For the past 14 years, the American Motor Drome has toured the country full-time.  Besides keeping the drome running, Jay collects classic motorcycles and wall bikes that he displays as part of the traveling show.

Keith Terry – An avid motorcyclist since he was 15, Keith Terry’s career actually started in the automotive industry, after which he operated a company that promoted bicycle motocross races.  In 1994 Keith built his first custom motorcycle, and he’s been building them ever since.  Keith and his wife Fran have owned Terry Components, the largest supplier of motorcycle starter motors and battery cables in the industry for 20 years.  More recently, Keith – along with Chris Malo – started Baggster LLC, a company that manufactures custom conversion kits for Harley-Davidson applications. For the last three years, Keith has been in charge of the Buffalo Chip Challenge working with Sturgis Brown High School students to build a custom bagger that is auctioned at the Legends Ride each year.

Bonnie Truett – Ask anyone in the drag racing world about who’s had a broad impact on the sport and Bonnie Truett’s name will likely come up.  Bonnie 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.  Bonnie continued to race until 1984, and he and Paul continued to run Truett and Osborn together until his retirement in 1997.  Following his retirement from racing, Bonnie helped his son Scott who is a four time champion in Pro Drag class in AHDRA. Bonnie is well known to everyone in the drag racing world as a friend, mentor and all around good guy.

Paul Yaffe – For over 20 years, Paul Yaffe has created custom motorcycles, working on as many as 12 commissioned bikes in any given year.  Many a Paul Yaffe Original has graced the pages of motorcycle magazines in the U.S. and abroad.  As part of his creative process, Paul often engineers new and exciting parts for one of his custom creations.  Often those parts are in demand from others in the custom-bike building world.  So, Paul created his Bagger Nation brand of custom parts and accessories for touring motorcycles.  Paul’s contributions do not end with the motorcycle industry, though.  He’s well-known as an advocate and fundraiser for children’s charities both in Phoenix and in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Breakfast is scheduled for Wednesday, August 6 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

28 Responses to “2014 Sturgis Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Inductees”

  1. 1 industryguy Feb 26th, 2014 at 11:16 am

    congrats jesse!!!!!

  2. 2 Feb 26th, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Congrats to ALL !!!!

  3. 3 Snooz button Feb 26th, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    It’s always great to see people that have knocked off other companies parts be put in a hall of fame.
    Way to go Jesse, you too Paul. You’ve earned it!

  4. 4 Joshua Feb 26th, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Agreeing with Snooz Button. Again, the Sturgis Hall Of Fame doesn’t know who has merit and who deserves. Just friends helping friends…The good ones don’t ask anyone to fill out an application to be nominee and inducted. The Hall Of Fame is not located in Sturgis. No credibility whatsoever.

  5. 5 Rodent Feb 26th, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    They’ve done worse. Among their honorees are a a biker killing South Dakota Governor and a bottom er ambulance chasing lawyer.

  6. 6 Feb 26th, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Is this a hall of fame for people that have sold a lot of stuff? Like The NYSE trading floor,but for motorcycle parts? Do people buy these titles with cash or credit guarantees? Do they have to wear funny looking shirts to identify themselves?

  7. 7 Feb 27th, 2014 at 7:51 am

    @Terence Tory, Bullseye. Need more ammo?

  8. 8 Feb 27th, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Congratulations Jay, the original “extreme original” !!!!

  9. 9 Tom Maioli Feb 27th, 2014 at 11:37 am

    To Snooz button and Joshua,
    I don’t know who you are. Your many accomplishments and award winning works must have slipped under the national media radar. Please give me your web sites or other location that I might find your work.

    Thank you,

    Tom Maioli

  10. 10 Feb 27th, 2014 at 11:42 am

    I am not surprised by the comments in this post as they seem to be a continuance from last year.
    Realizing that you cannot please all the people all the time those making the decisions on who gets inducted into the Hall of Fame have a difficult job balancing who gets in and why and yes politics and possibly friendship does seem to be a factor. Well at least to some of us who do not know all the facts on why one person was inducted and not another.
    Since we do Not Know who the other Candidates were and the museum does not make that information available it makes it difficult to decide if favoritism or other factors came into play.
    I personally believe the museum needs to do whatever necessary to maintain and or rebuild their image so that people will believe that those who do get inducted really deserve that honor.

  11. 11 Joshua Feb 27th, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Tom Maiolli. I am not and will never be a candidate to any Sturgis Hall Of Fame. I am not in any way a competitor of these people. But I have known the industry for more than 30 years. I know the politics, the friendships, the good and the ugly, the honest and the liars, the fake and the real ones. An objective observation seen from above, being impartial and objective. It is a shame that because many industry members have decided to stay silent, a lot of people don’t know who has merit versus who is both smart and dishonest being able to get a name on the work of others. There is in this industry like in others a kind of club of friendship where people push each other to get recognition and awards they don’t deserve. You will see very few comments on the article above because people who are in the know and who have decided to not litigate in the past will not start a war of words in a website. And I guess, Cyril who is an insider, can see all emails (including mine) of those who comment…

  12. 12 Feb 27th, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    When people complain about this sort of thing it’s not surprising but it’s disappointing. Human nature being what it is, the complaints come off as jealousy, especially when the complainers hide behind pseudonyms. If you’re forthright in your beliefs, state them under your own name, otherwise your words carry no credibility.

    As to both the AMA and Sturgis Halls of Fame, these are two viable, dignified ways we have as motorcyclists to honor people who have made an impact in our sport. They have the potential to draw positive attention from the mainstream and make riders out of non-riders. When current riders express negative attitudes about HoF members, it’s counterproductive to motorcycling as a whole. If you agree with me, speak up. Let’s shut down the negativity.

    So instead of complaining, if you think an individual has been overlooked for Hall of Fame honors step up and nominate them. Someone took the time and effort to nominate the people in this year’s group; you can do it, too – if you’re willing to spend constructive energy.

  13. 13 Tom Maioli Feb 27th, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    To Joshua
    Great explanation. I see you earlier comments a little differently now. That being said, you feel quilified to make the statement, “the Sturgis Hall of Fame doesn’t know who has merit and who deservews.” May I ask who does?

  14. 14 Pat Simmons Feb 27th, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    I know it’s tough to figure out who should be inducted, and who maybe doesn’t merit the honor. Unfortunately, a board makes the decisions, as opposed to members who vote. ( I like the members who vote process better myself, like the AMA H of F) I totally understand the points of view here on both sides. For the most part, the folks who are inducted, have contributed, in one way or another, to a positive image that supports the sport of motorcycling, and it’s image. Just because we don’t know them, and what their life has meant… does that make them unworthy? I’ve been to many of the H of F Breakfast’s during the Sturgis Rally, (always a great meal, “all you can eat” for a small donation that helps support the Museum). When you’re there, and hearing detailed stories about these folks, who maybe you’ve never heard of before, ( more coffe please!), it becomes clearer as to why they’re being honored. I encourage you to keep an open mind about this stuff (as much as you can anyway…) I’ve found that everyone of them has been an innovator of some kind, who has brought something new to motorcycling that others might have missed. A cast of characters that makes motorcycling an ever more interesting tapestry, if you will. I nominate Rodent! And for sure Cyril!

  15. 15 Bruce Reynard Feb 27th, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I think I know exactly what Joshua is talking about. Accomplishments? Yes. At what price? Walking on others? What about morality, integrity, honesty. Those who fail on these should never be inducted. Or it’s just encouraging them to continue their bad behavior in the industry.

  16. 16 Rodent Feb 27th, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Thanx Pat, but as Groucho once said “I wouldn’t join any organization that would have me as a member”, so I of course would have to decline the dubious honor.

  17. 17 Kyle Feb 27th, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Well it’s been a long time since I’ve been on this blog. To Tom M. I use to build custom tanks and fenders in the industry for over a decade. Been out of it for a while and have no desire to ever be in the mc industry again. In this industry you learn VERY quick who is your friend / customer and who wants to copy your parts. My parts had been sent all over the U.S. and Canada to be knocked off. By more than one of my former friends / customers.
    I want to send a shout out to Marilyn Stemp. Big Love to you, only reason I wrote here is to say hi to you, and I’ve always lived by the words Dennis said ” if you let your friends hang out in your shop, at the end of the month all you will have is seeds and stems”
    Hey Paul after all these years I’m still holding one finger in the air for you, guess which one.
    And Jesse, are you still friends / customer of Billet 4 You?

  18. 18 Bruce Reynard Feb 27th, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Yap, Yap, Yap, Yappe, Yaffe.

  19. 19 Prodigy Feb 27th, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Who could have invented the slogan “soon to be copied”?

  20. 20 Feb 27th, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Marilyn Stemp,if anonymous comments have no credibility I don’t generally respond to them,personally.You see fit to.I see you promote your own electronic pamphlet,so you have a vested interest in so-called “trade organistions” and “trade awards”.Figures.

    “Human nature being what it is, the complaints come off as jealousy”.Only if your view of humanity accommodates and tolerates baser human nature.

    It’s I trifle ridiculous to compare a MC museums “awards”,dreamt up by cashed up buddies as a “a good idea”,to the AMA with a lifetime of motorcycle advocacy over nearly a century.

    Why would any motorcycle museum think it’s a good idea to put “Established 2001″ up on their sign? Beats me.I guess I’ll soon see a guy living under a bridge with a sign that says”Established,Friday,last week,(I think).”

    While there are war veterans that are on the fringe of society,how can there be a Bike museum “Hall of Fame”.Beats me.Fame is like David Bowie singing after a fresh visit to the beauty salon,or Miley squawking? Not to me.

  21. 21 G.O. Feb 27th, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Really ?? Sniping on a website at people who’ve been nominated to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame ? Very sad. Get a life people.

  22. 22 Feb 28th, 2014 at 1:13 am

    G.O. Nominated ? Inductees? I can’t see any process here.Just a few guys sitting around working out which of their friends or business associates,while taking shots of bourbon and flipping coins,gets a plaque on the wall.

    It makes selecting a Pope a clear and open process,compared to this mob.I guess it’s a bit like selecting a Pope,because you get a spare to use later in you need it.There has been two Popes for the price of two lately.

  23. 23 rags Feb 28th, 2014 at 5:17 am

    congrats to all

  24. 24 Feb 28th, 2014 at 7:59 am

    I to like : Unfortunately, a board makes the decisions, as opposed to members who vote. ( I like the members who vote process better myself, like the AMA H of F) I totally understand the points of view here on both sides.
    I would also like to know all the people who were nominated and not just those who eventually were chosen to be inducted.

  25. 25 Feb 28th, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Though I sometimes wonder why a specific person gets inducted I realize there are many factors I am not aware of and do think for the most part the board is doing a good job.
    Since it is impossible for any of us to know everything about someone would it help the board of the Sturgis Hall of Fame if people commented and or supplied information on those nominated prior to their final vote on who gets inducted?
    Of course for this to happen the board would have to list all those nominated prior to their final decision.
    The more information anyone has the better decision they can make on the subject.
    If the board would entertain this suggestion it might stop some of the comments and snipping after they announce the inductees.
    I do think the Sturgis Hall of Fame is a good organization and they are trying to do the right thing But as with everything thing it can be made better with some minor changes and or adjustments.

  26. 26 G.O. Feb 28th, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Terence….. Where do you get your info from ? Disneyland ? CartoonCity ? Im amazed anybody could spend so much time dreaming up this stuff….youre sounding a little jealous/petty at this point…give it a rest…Im quite proud to call several of these guys close personal friends and I can say without a doubt that they’d never use the tactics youre so well practiced at if you ever had the oppurtunity to be considered.

  27. 27 Mdspho Mar 1st, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Is Cyril in this HOF? If not, he should be for his contributions as a builder, parts manufacturer and as one of the best journalists in the industry!

    Please note: I have never met JeremySumpter, am not connected with him in any way and have no vote in this matter.

  28. 28 nitrobil Mar 3rd, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    congrats to all this years Inductees…….

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