Common Tread

Harley Davidson and city of Sturgis sign 75-year deal

Jan 21, 2015

This summer's rally in Sturgis will be the 75th edition of that event, and Harley-Davidson is promising to be around for the next 75 years by signing an agreement with the city that extends to 2090.

Coincidentally, that is also the average term of financing for baggers, as well.

“Harley-Davidson riders have attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for decades. This new agreement will help fuel many more years of freedom, independence and rebellion for this iconic gathering,” said Matt Levatich, Harley's president and COO. “Riding is a passion passed down through generations, so it’s important we celebrate the legacy and history of Harley-Davidson in Sturgis, while helping create new memories.”

Getting ready to rip some old bricks from the wall. Harley-Davidson photo.

At first I was pretty skeptical of the whole deal. The suspicion that money was changing hands for some banners and a few bold claims on HD's website had my snark muscles ramping up for attack. But it turns out there really is some bricks-and-mortar substance to this deal.

It includes construction of a permanent plaza on Main Street in Sturgis for events and concerts, which will be done in time for this year's 75th rally. To take things one step further, they're using bricks from Harley's Milwaukee headquarters to build part of the new multi-purpose venue. I can get behind anyone creating more space for motorcyclists, even if the bikes they ride aren't my cup of tea.

“For decades, Harley-Davidson has been the motorcycle of choice for Sturgis Motorcycle Rally fans and a great partner to the City of Sturgis,” said Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen. “Today it gives me great pleasure to solidify its importance by making it the official motorcycle of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.”

No one has ever been this happy holding a brick. Harley-Davidson photo.

This actually seems like a really cool thing for both the city of Sturgis and the Harley-Davidson community, even though I think using a Street 750 to yank the bricks from the wall is a lame stunt.

For more info, check out Harley's site.