999 Main Street, Sturgis, SD
HONOR THE RIDER

The Class of 2018

 

Jeff Decker 

Sculptor and historian 

Jeff Decker is known for immortalizing motorcycling in bronze. Perhaps the most         notable of his sculptures is "By The Horns" (also known as The Hill Climber) — a 16- foot-tall, 5,000-pound bronze located on the grounds of the Harley-Davidson Museum. His bronze-cast master works depict the synergy of man and machine, particularly historic motorcycles, making him equally well known in both the motorcycling community and the world of fine art. Working full-time at a bronze casting foundry, Decker's first idea was to capture Man's quest for speed in all vehicles. His works exemplify the spirit and passion of motorcycling and they belong in a Museum dedicated to these endeavors.

 

Marilyn Stemp

Together with late husband Dennis, Marilyn Stemp started IronWorks Magazine in 1989. The publication combined his artistic creativity and passion for motorcycles with her experience as a journalist, organizational skills and attraction to mechanical pursuits. Utilizing their experience in the printing industry and graphic arts, they wanted to ensure IronWorks would not only read well but present motorcycling in a positive manner. Following the last issue of IronWorks in March of 2014, Marilyn launched a new title, Iron Trader News. In the past four years, Iron Trader News' collaborative and inclusive presentation has become a trusted source that entertains and informs on a framework of fairness and integrity. Marilyn continues the work that she and Dennis began, striving “to elevate and expand well beyond the magazine's pages and digital reach, bringing partners and readers along for the ride.” She also works for other notable motorcycle related businesses, events and charitable organizations, including the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame, Bikernet and The Buffalo Chip.

Jack Hoel                                                   

Hometown resident, Jack Hoel has been a major influence in the development of the Rally, while also having a distinguished career in the world of motorcycling. From his racing days — including a series of state titles starting in the 1950s and running up to a 250cc class win at the legendary Daytona 200 in 1964 —Hoel parlayed his hot hand on the track to a gig as manager of the Yamaha Race Team in the 1970s. While working as Yamaha's Head of New Product Development, Hoel and his team later created the iconic DT-1 — arguably the most important dual-purpose bike in history — and he was also instrumental in the development of Yamaha's XS 650. The XS 650 was the first big bore, four-stroke powerplant produced by Yamaha and it continued to shake up the motorcycle racing world for decades. Today, Jack Hoel is passionate about the Rally, its roots in racing and remains a prominent member of the Sturgis community.

 

Valerie Thompson

“America’s Queen of Speed,”

Valerie Thompson holds 7 land speed records! She has exceeded speeds in excess of 300 mph on two wheels at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Her drag racing career spans a decade driven by a desire to go faster and break even more records. Off the racetrack, Valerie works as a vehicle presenter at Barrett-Jackson Auction Company and Metro Auto Auctions in Arizona. Between her work, racing commitments and many special appearances each year, Valerie donates time supporting charitable organizations and inspiring children overcoming personal challenges. Because of this work and her racing accomplishments, she was awarded the “American Women Riders Community Hero Award” in 2011.

Armondo "Mondo" Porras

Mondo Porras has been defining the "look" of motorcycles since 1967. Together with custom builder and founder of Denver's Choppers, Mondo created some of the first aftermarket parts for the burgeoning chopper industry. Denver's Choppers globally influential extended springer front ends and custom frames were influential in establishing the “long-bike” phenomenon that is synonymous with "choppers" and still popular around the world. This distinctive look has earned Mondo many awards in the custom bike world. For more than 50 years, Mondo Porras has been building custom motorcycles and promoting the sport. Through television, books, magazines and producing vintage chopper shows, his influence continues to this day and his peers have even deemed him the “Godfather of Choppers.”

Hamsters USA

The Hamsters is a world wide organization of Custom Motorcycle enthusiast, founded in Daytona Beach in 1978. Founding members are Steve Allington, Barry Cooney, Ed Kerr, Jimmy Leahy, Arlen Ness, Dave Perewitz, Susie Perewitz and Donnie Smith. Members make the annual trek each year to Sturgis Bike Week for their annual gathering for custom bikes, fun and to give generously to local Black Hills charitable organizations. Although many individual members have been inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame, the entire group is being inducted into Sturgis Hall of Fame this year for the philanthropic deeds that the Hamsters USA have collectively donated to the Black Hills community over the years.