Hall of Fame Inductees Announced at Sturgis Motorcycle Museum
STURGIS |The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame has announced the 2013 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 2013, the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame will honor one Freedom Fighter and induct five into the Sturgis Hall of Fame.
• “Still” Ray Fitzgerald – Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame – “Still” Ray Fitzgerald was a charter member of the Nevada Association of Concerned Motorcyclists and worked through that organization to support candidates sympathetic to motorcycle causes. Later, when he moved to Arizona, Fitzgerald helped to build a number of ABATE chapters in that state. He’s served as an officer of ABATE of Arizona, and was the Motorcycle Rights Foundation’s first Sustaining Motorcycle Club Representative. He serves as president of The Journeymen’s Motorcycle Club and as chairman of the Arizona Confederation of Clubs.
• Russ Brown – Russ Brown has been involved in the motorcycle community for more than 35 years, championing motorcycle rights and serving as an attorney for motorcyclists. He created BAM, a free breakdown and legal assistance service for motorcyclists. BAM currently has close to 2 million members. The program is a volunteer effort in which members are available to assist each other in the event of a breakdown or other emergency roadside need. Brown’s most recent effort is a new “Keep Me Alive, Don’t Text and Drive” campaign to encourage safe driving habits.
• Rick Fairless – Rick Fairless spent 20 years working for the Glidden Paint Co. But his real love was riding and building custom motorcycles. He opened his own motorcycle shop, an Easyriders franchise in Dallas in 1996. He added Strokers Ice House Bar & Grill to the shop and in 2002, when Easyriders ended its franchise program, Fairless changed the name of his shop to Strokers Dallas. Since then, he’s added Strokers Ink, a tattoo and piercing parlor, and RF Custom Parts. Rick is a master bike builder, columnist for two national magazines, hosts his own radio show and is a motivational speaker.
• Bill Gikling (J.C. “Pappy” Hoel Outstanding Achievement Award) – Bill Gikling grew up in Rapid City and spent as much time as he could around motorcycles. He worked at the local Honda dealership, and rode in all the local races, hill climbs and other events. In 1977, purchased North West Sports – a Yamaha and Harley-Davidson dealership. Bill worked with “Pappy” Hoel to start the White Plate Flat Trackers and the original museum and hall of fame in Sturgis. He sold the Harley-Davidson stores in Rapid City and Sturgis in 2000, but works with his son, Todd, at Black Hills Power Sports in Rapid City.
• Marjoe Gortner – Marjoe Gortner, fomer child evangelist and actor, helped change the perception of motorcycling and enhanced the Sturgis motorcycle rally when he organized the 2000 TV show, “Sturgis: The Great Ride,” which documented a ride that began at actor Peter Fonda’s ranch in Montana and ended at the Buffalo Chip Campground. It also featured numerous other rally experiences including the daredevil jump by Robbie Knievel through the Chip’s stage. The show was among the first motorcycle-related programs to be broadcast on a non-sports channel when it debuted on the Travel Channel.
• Lonnie Isam, Sr. – Lonnie Isam, Sr. is a well-known expert in the history of antique American motorcycles and has bought, sold, collected and restored hundreds of them. He started a motorcycle shop in Houston called Competition Motorcycles which became well known in the world of vintage motorcycles and performance drag racing. Islam moved to Sturgis one of his manufacturing companies, Competition Distributing Inc., which specializes in design and manufacture of correct reproduction parts for pre-1936 Harley-Davidsons and other early American motorcycles. He is active in Sturgis business organizations.