Today, in the center of Sturgis, SD, the official ground breaking for The Harley-Davidson Rally Point, the city’s permanent, designated year-round space for riders, takes place. First announced on January 15th, the site will stand for the special relationship that Harley-Davidson motorcycles and their riders have with the city and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
“Sturgis is a mecca for riders around the world. The Harley-Davidson Rally Point establishes a new site in downtown Sturgis for people to gather year round,” said Bill Davidson, great-grandson of Harley-Davidson founder William A. Davidson and vice president of the Harley-Davidson Museum. “The renaming of 2nd Street to Harley-Davidson Way honors the legacy of our company’s founders along with all the extraordinary men and women who ride our motorcycles.”
Since 2015 will the the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, this agreement marks a commitment to the second 75 years of motorcycle celebration in Sturgis. The Rally Point will become the locus of the Sturgis/Harley-Davidson relationship by providing a set location which includes a stage for riders to enjoy events ranging from concerts to weddings and beyond. Additionally, The Rally Point’s design includes an elevated area that riders can visit on their motorcycles and have their picture taken in front of an iconic Sturgis sign.
As with its Project Rushmore and the Livewire, Harley-Davidson enthusiasts nationwide were asked to contribute suggestions for the name of such an important location for the brand and its riders. The Rally Point, a term known to most motorcyclists as the starting point of a group ride, was eventually chosen. To break ground for The Rally Point, three H-D motorcycles were chosen, a 1978 Super Glide with a Shovelhead engine, a 2015 Street™ 750, and a Project LiveWire motorcycle, to participate, and we’re pretty sure what the method will be: smoking rear tires!
Designing a structure intended to represent the rally’s and Harley-Davidson’s special relationship for 75 years, officials from the city of Sturgis, Harley-Davidson, and FourFront Design, Inc. in Rapid City created the iconic structure and landscaping.
“Breaking ground on The Rally Point solidifies Harley-Davidson’s presence in Sturgis,” said Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen. “The Rally Point will be a hub for riders during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and it will serve as a gathering point for the citizens of Sturgis throughout the year.”
The 74 bricks collected on January 15th at the company’s Milwaukee headquarters, a building that once housed the company’s factory dating back more than 100 years, plus a single brick from the Harley-Davidson Museum are integrated in the design and will be a key feature of The Rally Point’s final construction. Naturally, the bricks were carried on H-D motorcycles on their 900 mile journey and were delivered to Sturgis Mayor Carstensen by Harley Owners Group members. Motocross star and 2015 Grand Marshall of the Sturgis City of Riders Mayor’s Ride also received the bricks with Mayor Carstensen.
Riders who can’t wait to see The Rally Point when the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally starts on Aug. 1, 2015 can visit the Harley-Davidson website’s special Sturgis page at www.h-d.com/sturgis. An areal view of The Rally Point is available on YouTube.