Neither the City of Sturgis, nor Harley-Davidson will disclose the specific terms, but reports are the two have finalizing an agreement that will give the Bar and Shield a 75 year sponsorship of the iconic summer rally, effectively ending any chance that a newly revived Indian Motorcycle Company might reclaim its place as the “First Brand of Sturgis.” The rally was started by Indian Dealer Clarence “Pappy” Hoel in 1938 when he served free weenies and sloppy joes in the garage behind the shop. Hoel switched his dealership to other brands after Indian shuttered in the 1950’s, with Yamaha eventually becoming the top selling brand.
A spokesman for Harley-Davidson confirmed that as a part of the agreement, the company will build a permanent plaza in downtown Sturgis that will be a year-round venue for special events, concerts and even weddings.
To tie the plaza to Milwaukee, a 2015 Harley motorcycle will be used to pull a brick from the front entrance of the historic headquarters building that once housed the company’s factory. That brick, a brick from the museum, and 73 bricks from the headquarters’ famous motorcycle-only parking area will be delivered to Sturgis on motorcycles.
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