Harley-Davidson inks 75-year deal with Sturgis to preserve rally

It's hard to imagine what the world will to look like in 2090, let alone the motorcycle market. One thing will be certain, though: People will be showing up to Sturgis, SD, on their Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The small South Dakota city becomes the focal point of the American motorcycle world for several days each year as hundreds of thousands of bikers celebrate the hobby. This year is the 75th anniversary, and thanks to a just completed deal by the city and the venerable American motorcycle brand, it looks like it will go for 75 more. The contract makes Harleys the official motorcycle of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and the company is building a permanent structure on the main street in the town for events all year round.

To celebrate the long-term deal and the new site, a 2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750 motorcycle tore a brick out of the company's Milwaukee headquarters that's headed for the new building in Sturgis. Another was taken from the brand's museum, and 73 more came from the headquarters' parking lot. The bricks will be delivered on the bikemaker's cycles to the city. When complete, the location will include a stage for concerts and even weddings, Harley says, and it'll all be ready in time for the 75th rally this August.

With the way Harley is developing, it's not too hard to imagine a line of Livewires and the electric bike's successors on display at the 2090 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Although, given the brand's passionate fans, some of its traditional cycles are sure to be there too. Read below for the company's full announcement of the long-term sponsorship.
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Harley-Davidson, Sturgis Plan 75-year Agreement

Deal Names Harley-Davidson Official Motorcycle of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally; Creates Year-Round Main Street Plaza For Riders in Sturgis, S.D.

MILWAUKEE, Jan. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Harley-Davidson and the City of Sturgis, S.D., are setting their sights on the future – far into the future. In the spirit of this year's 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the company and city officials are finalizing an agreement covering the next 75 years making Harley-Davidson the official motorcycle of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Bill Davidson, great-grandson of company co-founder William A. Davidson, left, and Jeff Wick, Social Media Project Manager at Harley-Davidson celebrate after removing a brick from the historic Milwaukee headquarters using a 2015 Harley-Davidson Street(R) 750 motorcycle. In the spirit of this year's 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, that brick, alongside one from the Harley-Davidson Museum and 73 bricks from the headquarters' famous motorcycle-only parking area, will be incorporated into the design...
"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, president and chief operating officer at Harley-Davidson. "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 creating new memories."

As part of the agreement, a permanent plaza will be built on Main Street in Sturgis that will include a stage for events, concerts and even weddings. The year-round location, which will be completed in time for this year's 75th rally, will be the official Harley-Davidson destination for riders and fans alike.

"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."

Sturgis: Baked into the bricks of Harley-Davidson
To ensure the new multi-purpose space builds on the legacy of the brand and is pure Harley-Davidson, the plaza will integrate bricks from the company's Milwaukee headquarters, a building that once housed the company's factory dating back more than 100 years.

During a news conference at the company's headquarters, Harley-Davidson announced the planned agreement, which has an initial term and renewals running through 2090. To unveil the deal, Harley-Davidson removed a brick from the historic front entrance using a 2015 Harley-Davidson Street® 750 motorcycle. That brick, alongside one from the Harley-Davidson Museum and 73 bricks from the headquarters' famous motorcycle-only parking area will be delivered to Sturgis on Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Whether riders are trapped inside for the winter or riding south toward warmer weather, now is the perfect time to plan a trip to the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The party starts Aug. 1, 2015, and for those who've had Sturgis on a bucket list, this might just be the year to attend. For inspiration and pictures from the 2014 rally, visit

About Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson® motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson's website at

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