Motorcycle Events

2016 Patriot Ride Report & Photos

2016 Patriot Ride

Motorcycles by the thousands streamed into the Key Air facility at Anoka County Airport as a record turnout showed up for the 2016 Patriot Ride.

They flowed into Key Air Anoka County Airport by the thousands, flags mounted on their motorcycles whipping in the wind and a love for our country and military members in their hearts. On a sparkling Minnesota summer day, they came to honor the fallen, to herald the enlisted, and to share in the bonds that bring us together as Americans.

By all measures the 2016 Patriot Ride was a roaring success, this year’s event estimated to raise between $200,000 to $250,000 for the Minnesota Patriot Guard, Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund, the Minnesota Tribute to the Troops Chapter and Folds of Honor. Dennis Kirk President Bob Behan, the driving force behind the Patriot Ride, said overall the event has raised approximately $1.9 million in 11 years for Minnesota’s veteran organizations and their families. Even the weather was on board this year, sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80s replacing rains of years past, a big factor in the record number of motorcycles that attended in 2016 with estimates ranging over 5,000.

The Honor Guard at attention, Patriot Ride 2016.

While members of the Patriot Parachute Team dazzled the crowd with death-defying dives in the sky above, the St. Paul Motor Unit delighted the crowd on the ground with its demonstration of amazing riding skills, dodging in and out of 18-foot-wide orange cone circles on big Harley Electra Glides that tip the scales at almost 900 pounds. The Donnie Smith Bike Show had an outstanding turnout, with Paul Lovas earning a huge trophy and a feature spread in American Iron Magazine for winning “Best of Show.” Don Halverson, a 93-year-old WWII veteran, was a special guest at the 2016 Patriot Ride. With a wit still sharp as a tack, Halverson told us he proudly served in Minnesota’s Red Bull Infantry Division, 168th Rainbow Regiment, 2nd Battalion. He was a member of G Company, 4th Platoon that he said was comprised of three machines guns and three mortars. Halverson got the rock star treatment at the event as a steady flow of fellow veterans came up to him to thank him for his service.

WWII vet Don Halverson Patriot Ride 2016

Fellow veterans share a laugh with WWII vet and special guest Don Halverson.

The level of patriotism displayed during the 50 mile ride through the Minnesota countryside was simply astonishing. People lined the route and waved flags frenetically, cars honked their horns, and everywhere you went people waved, waved, waved. One group held a “Never Forget” banner up high for all riders to see, words that sink into your soul. After the ride, there was no shortage of tears shed at the honorary “Laying of the Wreath and “Ringing of the Bell” ceremonies at the Soldier’s Cross.

Soldiers Cross Patriot Ride 2016

The “Laying of the Wreath” ceremony begins at the Soldier’s Cross at the Patriot Ride 2016.

To say the 2016 Patriot Ride was a moving experience doesn’t do it justice. But we’ll try in an upcoming feature article in American Iron Magazine. Until then, relive the ride vicariously courtesy of our photo gallery and check out videos on the American Iron Facebook page.

2016 Sturgis Rally Preview

Main Street Sturgis

Main Street Sturgis will soon be the center of the biker universe as the countdown begins for the 2016 Sturgis Rally.

The countdown has begun. In less than 30 days, motorcyclists from the four corners and beyond will begin their annual pilgrimage to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Because while the 76th Anniversary Sturgis Rally officially begins August 5, many like to get there early to avoid the crowds, while others take pride in being in the middle of the mid-week madness.

Of course, there would be no Sturgis without the vision of an Indian Motorcycle dealer Clarence “Pappy” Hoel and his wife Pearl. “Pappy” opened up his motorcycle franchise in Sturgis in 1936 and formed the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club the same year. By the following year, the Jackpine Gypsies had an official American Motorcycle Association charter. A year later, the first Sturgis Rally took place on August 8, 1938, with races at the old half-mile horse track at the county fairgrounds. Like many rallies, the history of the Sturgis Rally is steeped in motorcycle racing, a tradition the Jackpine Gypsies strive to keep alive as the group continues to host races daily during the rally, from traditional vintage flat track to the ever-popular pro hill climbs.

And while “Pappy” will forever be associated with the rally, Pearl Hoel deserves just as much credit. You see, Pearl served as a county official, was an active supporter of her church, and was a well-respected woman in the community. In her job at the courthouse, it’s said Pearl “knew everyone in Meade County by name.” Locals liked and respected Pearl, which helped when she lobbied community leaders to embrace the rally. In the early years of Sturgis, she and “Pappy” would pitch a circus tent in their back yard so riders would have a place to meet, greet, and sleep, and pitching a tent in yards around town is a tradition to this day. Pearl’s ambivalence included making coffee and homemade donuts for riders in the evening who were returning from the Gypsy Tour. Even after “Pappy” passed away, Pearl continued to be an ambassador for the event, welcoming riders and hosting parties. In 2004, Pearl was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame as she deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as her husband for creating what has become the biggest, baddest motorcycle rally of them all.

Doug Danger Sturgis Buffalo Chip jump 2015

Doug Danger breaking Evel Knievel’s record on one of Evel’s old bikes was one of the big storylines of Sturgis last year. What will this year’s big Sturgis story be? (Photo courtesy of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip)

With a little background on the rally out of the way, there’s many new storylines surrounding the 2016 Sturgis Rally. The new access road they’ve been pushing for that provides a shortcut to campgrounds east of town and will hopefully alleviate some of the congestion downtown is finally open. “Fort Mead Way” can be accessed from Pleasant Valley Road at Exit 37 off of I-90. The new road is about a mile up on the left and spits out at the entrance to the Sturgis Buffalo Chip off of SD-34. Our friend and fellow editor Marilyn Stemp says the road is hard-packed gravel, narrower at the entrance before widening out nicely. Stemp said the speed limit on the first section is 25 mph but bumps up to 45 mph on the wider stretch of road. Count us among those excited to see this new thoroughfare.

Undoubtedly, this road benefits the Sturgis Buffalo Chip, just in time for the 35th anniversary of the “Best Party Anywhere.” The Chip offers a Five Finger Death Punch of fun. Literally. The Buffalo Chip’s new Moto Stampede will culminate with powerhouse Five Finger Death Punch trying to blow the speakers on the Wolfman Jack main stage. The Stampede starts with motorcycle drag races in the outdoor amphitheater, the first Buffalo Chip Street Drag Invitational featuring Crazy John. The Seattle Cossacks brings its acrobatic, precision-riding spectacle to South Dakota to entertain Chipsters after that. Next, Roland Sands Design and its “Super Hooligan” friends will be ripping it up inside the amphitheater for the first-time ever, The Chip cobbling out a short dirt track with the concert stage in the background. The RSD SuperHooligan Indian Scouts, super Sportsters, and bikes of all ilk will be bangin’ bars in these dirt track melees whose popularity has been sweeping across the country. The races will barely be over before Low Volts and the Reverend Horton amp up the crowd for the headliners.

When headliners finish, the real party begins at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip as it spreads to late-night hotspots like Bikini Beach and small stages spread about the campground. It then filters into the campground itself, a place where seeing is believing as there’s no telling what you might witness there.

Michael Lichter Naked Truth Exhibit Sturgis 2015

Michael Lichter’s “Motorcycles as Art” exhibit is always a must-see attraction of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. (Brian J. Nelson Photo Courtesy of Harley-Davidson)

The Sturgis Buffalo Chip also hosts many long-standing staples like Michael Lichter’s “Motorcycles as Art” exhibit, the Legends Ride, and Freedom Celebration. Between the craftsmanship demonstrated on the motorcycles in Lichter’s exhibit to the moto-themed collection of artwork, photography, and curios, the project is always a highlight of Sturgis. The theme of this year’s Lichter exhibit is “Skin & Bones: Tattoo Inspired Motorcycles & Art,” and includes artwork of the late Richie Pan. The Legends Ride has raised over $400,000 to-date for local Special Olympics programs and other charities, the star-studded combination of celebrities and custom builders making it a big hit with riders. Finally, the Freedom Celebration is the Buffalo Chip’s way of honoring U.S. veterans, a full-day celebration with ceremonies at the Flag of Fields that will bring a lump to your throat.

And while The Chip will be on the throttle at Sturgis 2016, it will be interesting to see how one of its primary competitors, the Full Throttle Saloon, rebounds from the catastrophic fire that burned the old location to the ground. FTS proprietors Michael and Angie Ballard and Jesse James Dupree have moved the Full Throttle a bit further out of town to the former Broken Spoke location. After Ballard and Dupree bought the Broken Spoke Campground, they renamed it the Pappy Hoel Campground and Resort. The place has been getting a makeover, including the construction of a new Full Throttle Bar. The old Broken Spoke bar you could ride through has been gutted as they’re turning it into a grocery/convenience and camping supplies store. The building will also house all-you-can-eat breakfast and dinner buffets. Luckily, the famous swimming pool is still there, and like before the pool and FTS bar are free to get in. To celebrate its new beginnings, the Full Throttle Saloon is planning on burying a time capsule in the concrete at the front door of the bar with intentions of breaking it open at the 100th Sturgis Rally.

Which leaves us with the question of what about the Broken Spoke Saloon? The Spoke used to be one of the major players at Sturgis with two streams of revenue, the bar at the end of Lazelle and the campground out by Bear Butte. The Chip closed up its Lazelle location a few years back and now has sold off its big campground. Apparently, The Broken Spoke is returning to its old downtown Sturgis location at 905 Lazelle Street for the 2016 rally. And while once upon a time The Spoke hosted its own lineup of big musical acts, this year it’s opting to promote the concerts going on at the Iron Horse Saloon located next door.

John Fogerty jams on the main stage of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip.

John Fogerty jams on the main stage of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. Big-time concerts are abundant at the Sturgis Rally. (Photo Courtesy of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip)

This leads us to the Iron Horse Saloon itself. The Iron Horse has long been a Daytona Beach icon. Seems like now it’s trying to stake a claim in the Sturgis mine. The Iron Horse Saloon has moved into the former building and property formerly run by Easyriders. It’s a prime location on Lazelle consisting of a multi-story restaurant and an outdoor concert area. We can see why The Spoke is promoting their concerts. The Iron Horse has a pretty strong lineup of free shows, kicking off its nightly party with a big Hell Yeah August 6. The venue shifts gears to country the following night with country star Jerrod Niemann (Aug. 7) in a diverse lineup that includes Scott Stapp (Aug. 9), Yelawolf (Aug. 13), and rally favorites Hairball and Cold Hard Cash.

As for us, in addition to bringing you daily reports and photos from the 2016 Sturgis Rally on our website, we hope to meet plenty of you in-perosn as American Iron Magazine takes part in the Harley-Davidson Ride-In/Editor’s Choice Bike Show. Sign-ups for the show are from 8 a.m. to noon at the Harley-Davidson Rally Point on the corner of Main Street and Harley-Davidson Way. American Iron will be looking for a Harley that really stands out to present our award to and feature in a future issue of American Iron Magazine. If you haven’t seen the Harley-Davidson Rally Point yet, now you have reason to. From its industrial design to the photo platform where you can have your picture taken next to your motorcycle with the Sturgis hillside sign in the background, it’s a great addition to downtown Sturgis. Even if you don’t enter a bike in the show, come on out and say “Hi” as we hope to see many of our readers there.

Willie G Harley Rally Point

Willie G was at the ribbon cutting of the Harley-Davidson Rally Point on Main Street Sturgis last year. (Brian J. Nelson Photo Courtesy of Harley-Davidson)

With motorcycle racing at the core of the rally’s history, Sturgis still hosts its fair-share of racing events, from hill climbs to drag racing. Top fuelers take to the strip to find out who’s “King of the Sturgis Drags” early in the week, the festivities firing up Saturday, August 6 when Sturgis Dragway hosts a “Move In, Drag Race School, Test and Tune and ‘Run What Ya Brung’” event. Over in Rapid City, the finest flat trackers around will compete in the AMA Pro Flat Track Sturgis Half-Mile on Tuesday, August 9. The “Pappy Hoel Classic Half-Mile” vintage dirt track races also go down August 9 at the Meade County Fairgrounds. The event features “20th Century Racing, Harley vs. Indian, and Vintage Racing” at the historic track where the original Sturgis races were held. The Jackpine Gypsys keep their tradition alive with a full slate of races, starting with Moto-X and ending with the crowd favorite Pro Hillclimbs Friday, August 12.

Custom bike shows are also a Sturgis tradition. What better place to show off your prized ride than a place than attracts hundreds of thousands of bikers annually? The Rat’s Hole will hold its 28th competition in the Black Hills at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip CrossRoads Thursday, August 11. Overall, its history of judging custom bikes stretches back 40-plus years. The “Big Cheese” Ted Smith creates some of the coolest trophies around, and traditionally the Rat’s Hole “Best of Show” Sturgis winner has been paraded out onto the main stage of The Chip in front of thousands of screaming fans right before the headliner as icing on the cake. This year builders will compete in 16 classes ranging from “1-250cc” to “Most Unusual” to “Over 1000cc Super Radical.” Harley Sportsters will have their turn in the spotlight Tuesday, August 9, during the Sportster Showdown also at the Buffalo Chip CrossRoads. The show is sponsored by a slew of companies that know a thing or two about Harley’s versatile Sportster, including Biltwell, Led Sled Customs, Rusty Butcher, S&S Cycle, Chop Cult and Street Chopper. From the Full Throttle to Lazelle, FXRs to baggers, there’s no shortage of custom bike competitions slated for the 2016 Sturgis Rally.

Sturgis Buffalo Chip amphitheater

With multiple acts and big headliners nightly, the amphitheater of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip is always packed.

And while Sturgis is synonymous with the non-stop party scene at popular joints like the Knucklehead Saloon and One Eyed Jacks on Main Street, there’s more to Sturgis than what is depicted on TV. There’s plenty of rides that raise big bucks for charitable causes, like the Legends Ride we’ve already mentioned which has raised a ton of money for the Black Hills Special Olympics. Indian Larry Motorcycles hosts another ride for a great cause, the second annual Aidan’s Ride taking place Monday, August 8. Money raised goes to the Aidan Jack Seeger Foundation for its battle against the childhood disease Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). The 14th annual Sturgis Mayor’s Ride is also scheduled for Monday, August 8. This year, popular American road racer Ben Bostrom will be “Grand Marshal.” The ride is a fundraiser for the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department, Ambulance Service, and Police Reserves. So while the wild party scene at Sturgis is always sensationalized, there’s plenty of honorable events happening in the Black Hills too if you scratch beyond the surface of what’s shown on TV.

If group rides aren’t your thing, then just get out and ride. The incredible scenery and destinations in the Black Hills and surrounding countryside are one of the things that set Sturgis apart from other rallies. Where else can you ride by incredible monuments like Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial then travel through tunnels blasted through mountains and cruise with the buffaloes of Custer State Park all in one day? Head east and in a couple of hours you’re in the midst of the fantastic formations of the Badlands or go west and visit the enigmatic presence of Devils Tower. For quick getaways, Spearfish Canyon, with its vertical cliffs, verdant forest, and abundant hiking trails, is a great way to get away from the hustle of Main and Lazelle. There’s plenty of local destinations that deserve a visit, too, from Deadwood’s “Wild West” sceen to the mini-rally that takes place annually at Black Hills Harley-Davidson on the cusp of Rapid City.

This preview barely scratches the surface of the Sturgis experience, but hopefully it’ll provide a few helpful tips and points out some of the events and destinations you might want to put on your planner. For those that can’t make, be sure to check out American Iron online the second week of August, from our website to our social media channels, as we bring you stories and shots from the scene.

15th Anniversary Gettysburg Bike Week Kicks Off Thursday, July 7

15th Anniversary of GBW Jam-packed with Bikes, Bands and Contests

Gettysburg Bike Week is back for its 15th anniversary rally at the Allstar Events Complex in Gettysburg, PA. Festivities kick off Thursday, July 7, 2016, and run through Sunday, July 10. Top-flight entertainment is on tap, including great bands, bike shows, bikini contests, tattoo contests, burn-out pits and poker runs. One, two and four-day passes are available here.

“We’re packing a ton of motorcycle fun into four days,” says GBW event coordinator Kelly Shue. “We’ve got everything regulars have come to expect from Gettysburg Bike Week, plus a few surprises.”

Gettysburg Bike Week crowd

This is Gettysburg Bike Week’s 15th anniversary, and this year’s entertainment slate boasts a stellar line-up of top-flight musical and entertainment acts. Legendary emcee Jack Schitt will once again perform master of ceremonies duties throughout the week on the Budweiser Stage, Gin Gypsies will be slinging the drinks and this year features musical performances by Quiet Riot, Kix, Mustang Sally and The Marshall Tucker Band–and those are just the headliners! GBW will rock all weekend long with A-list regional acts as well, including Blizzard of Ozzy (the country’s premier Ozzy Ozbourne and Black Sabbath cover band), Big Jack (AC/DC tribute band featuring young drumming phenom Avery Molek), Whiskey Burn and Joy Ride, among many others. Expect performances by the International Bikini Team as well, plus bike builders battling for the Biker Build-Off Championship, heavy competition in the Cycle Source Ride-In Bike Show and the Parade of Chrome and, of course, the GBW wet T-shirt contest! Not to mention Torch’s Rock & Roll Inferno Fire Performer! Fun, fun, fun! Check here for a full events schedule.

And, of course, no rally would be complete without great riding, and Gettysburg has some of the best. Whether riders want to see historic battlegrounds or just hit the road for a great cruise, hundreds of miles of the best riding in the East surrounds Gettysburg. In addition to fantastic solo riding, GBW also features awesome group rides and the Pink Journey of Lights and Stars of Hope Charity Rides.

Pricing for Gettysburg Bike Week is as follows:
$35 per-person 4-day passes, available online and at the gates.
$25 per-person 2-day passes, available online and at the gates.
$15 per-person 1-day passes, available online and at the gates.

New and returning riders can find updates, the schedule of events, lodging information and anything they ever needed to know about Gettysburg Bike Week by visiting

About Gettysburg Bike Week
Gettysburg Bike Week is Eastern Pennsylvania’s definitive motorcycle rally, featuring great national music acts, historic riding and hospitality that you can only find in a city with this much history. For more information on the Rally, including scheduling, lodging options, and more, visit Follow them on Twitter: @GburgBikeWk. To contact Gettysburg Bike Week, e-mail

Thrills and Spills – Dirt Quake USA 2016 Review

Capt Thor Dirt Quake USA 2016

See See’s Capt. Thor leads the charge aboard USS Newton during the Dirt Quake parade lap.

Portland’s P-funkiness jumped the Columbia River and invaded its neighbor to the north as Castle Rock, Washington, was overrun by riders with big bushy ‘fros and polyester shirts unbuttoned to navels, the motley crew doing their quarter-mile disco dance on mini-choppers and tracked-out Sportsters. “Danger” Ehren in his electric-blue do didn’t disappoint as he barreled up Castle Rock’s TT Jump and launched himself in the air on his Harley, the Jackass star’s antics a perfect fit for Dirt Quake USA 2016. Nobody’s jump was flashier than Jimmy Hill’s no-hander as “Hillsack” earned top honors in the “Style” contest off the Rock’s TT berm. Friday night a fearless few did “Danger” worthy dashes on their motorcycles through the bonfire under a blazing moon, cheers for the most outlandish echoing through the campground.

And though the Dirt Quake circus was a carousel of fun, come race time, when the flag dropped, things got real. Clutch levers were dumped and mad dashes were made for that first corner, Dirt Quakers coming out of Turn 2 four-wide at times. Friends in the pits, foes on the track, watching Cory Rushford of Team Rusty Butcher battle Suicide Machine Co.’s Shaun Guardado elbow-to-elbow in a heat race proved that once the flag dropped, friendships went out the window. This scenario was repeated in the Hooligan Main as Rushford diced with the Speed Merchant’s Chris Wiggins all the way to the finish line, Wiggins holding on for the win by a hair. Shaun G can tell you how real the racing was. After a hard-fought victory in the Hooligan “B” Class final, he also came home with a “mild concussion, whip lash and broken ankle” after a digger in the Main final but added in his Instagram post that he “can’t wait to go back.” While the premise of Dirt Quake is fun, the caliber of racing stepped up a notch this year.

Rubbin id Racing Dirt Quake 2016

If you think Cory (24) and Shaun (66) don’t want to win, think again. Rubbin’ is racing!

It looked like the mother ship had landed when a spacegirl circled on a Scout and Captain Thor set out on the USS Newton ATC. We were impressed by the big guy on his spoked-down, whitewall-wearing Harley Springer scraping floorboards on the clay, tassels to the wind, battling bikes half his size and holding his own. Chopper riders threw fishtails to the wind, grabbed ram’s horns in both hands, and attacked the track with abandon, lapping faster than you’d think rakes like theirs would allow.

While races were the main attraction, sideshows like a “Style” contest off the TT hump, the first-ever Dirt Quake Bike Show, and helter-skelter mini-bike races in and out of the pavilion west of the track stoked the flames. Campfires dotted Castle Rock nightly and Audios Amigos and Moondrake added audio tracks to the powder keg. Trades, barters, and buys took place on vendor’s row along the perimeter of the track. The buzz of bikes lapping the campground was constant, somehow a Seattle Cossack even finding its way into the mix.

Spacegirl Dirt Quake USA 2016

Dirt Quake to Space Girl, prepare to blast off!

We overhead one Quaker say “this is how races used to be.” And that’s part of the beauty of Dirt Quake. It has that “back-in-the-day” feel and an organic atmosphere you don’t often find these days. It’s a Pacific Northwest drum circle of hammering V-Twins and thumping exhausts around a dirt oval in the forests of Washington, a funky beat of bikes and bro’s in the backwoods. Hosts See See, Sideburn, and Harley’ve got “a real type of thing going down, gettin’ down” at Castle Rock.

Dirt Quake III Rumbles into Castle Rock June 17-18

Dirt Quake USA III

Dirt Quake 2016 is right around the corner as the third annual USA version takes over Castle Rock Race Track June 17-18.

The grounds of Castle Rock will soon be shaking once again as Dirt Quake USA III is almost upon us. Fables and folklore abound about last year’s event. The shenanigans blew up on social, from the late-night, free-for-all dirt track session that broke out in the parking lot to the boat crash. (Still not sure where that boat came from!) Dirt Quake is an old fashioned run-what-you-brung event, from choppers to bobbers to a little bit of everything in between. Hell, last year we even saw a sidecar and snowmobiles rumbling around the dirt track.

Part camp out, part party, part swap meet, and pure fun. Throw racing into the mix and you’ve the ingredients for a raucous good time. This year’s event sports a new wrinkle as Dirt Quake races will be run at night for the first time, followed by “bands, buddies, brews and chicken!” They’ve also added a bike show to Dirt Quake 2016.

Dirt Quake USA III will go down Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18, at the Castle Rock Race Track in Castle Rock, Washington. The first day sees a combination of pros, superhooligans, and amateurs thrashing around the nationally sanctioned ¼-mile dirt/clay oval. Saturday the costumed cast of Dirt Quake characters will mix it up.

Here’s more info courtesy of See See Motorcycles.

Thats right folks, its the third annual DirtQuake USA up at Castle Rock WA, brought to you by Sideburn Magazine, See See Motorcycles and Harley Davidson!!

Join us June 17th-18th for this heart jumping, leg jolting, head spinnin’, go-fast and turn left extravaganza !!! It will be a sight to see, a grand spectacle, fun for everyone. A swap meet, vendor row, free bike show and of course, RACING!

Spectators $10 bucks a Day, or $20 for the whole weekend, pay upon entry.
For a schedule and more details on the event, see below!

Schedule of Dirt Quake USA
Friday June 17th
11:00 a.m. Gates open for everyone.
3:00 p.m. Regular night track racing sign ups open.
5:00 p.m. Riders meeting
5:30 p.m. practice starts
7:00 p.m. racing starts
9:30 p.m. Holeshot contest
10:00 p.m. Awards
10:30 p.m. campfire

Friday classes: Each group equals 1 gate unless we have more than 14 racers. 1 practice per class, 1 heat per class, 1 main per class.

• 50cc DTX Senior (7-8)
• 50cc DTX PW (4-8)
• 50cc Open (2nd class for 50’s)
• 65cc DTX
• 65cc Modified
• 85cc DTX
• 85cc Modified
• 125cc Modified
• 150R
• 201cc-250cc (12+)
• 250cc (12+)
• 450cc Mod(14+)
• 450cc Open Singles & Twins (14+)
• Lady Motorcycle
• Veteran 30+
• Senior 40+
• Super Senior 50+
• Twins
• Vintage
• $ Pro Motorcycle (16 and up)
• $ Pro AM (14 and up)
• $ Hooligan money race • Holeshot contest DTX • Holeshot contest DQ

• Gate Fee $10.
• 1 Race class $30.
• Additional classes $25.

1. Pit Riding 5 mph.
2. No alcohol and riding. (respect others safety)
3. Clean up your own mess.
4. Proper equipment required. (boots, helmet, long sleeve shirt/pant, helmet, eyewear)
5. Have fun and be safe.


Saturday June 18th
Dirt Quake USA (Night Races!)
9:00 a.m. Gates open for everyone.
11:00 – 2:00 p.m. Free Custom Bike Show & Swap Meet (see below)
2:00 – 2:30 Style contest and Bike show awards (TT Jump)
3:00 p.m. Night racing sign ups open.
5:00 p.m. Riders meeting
5:30 p.m. Practice starts
7:00 p.m. Racing starts
10:30 p.m. Awards ceremony & After Party! (bands, buddies, brews, and chicken!)

HOW TO ENTER: Send a photo of your bike and which class you want to enter to with the subject Dirt Quake USA Entry. Once your bike is approved you’ll be sent a link to pay. Entry fee is $75 (includes gate entry and camping). First come, first served. No entries on the day sorry.

CLASSES. Dirt Quake is for the kind of bikes that don’t usually get a chance to race anywhere else. Dirt Quake race day is Saturday. One rider per bike. One class per rider. It’s a chance to dress up, have fun and race a something abnormal. It’s about FUN!

DQ USA FREE BIKE SHOW. Drag out that ol’ chop, Custom tracker, or Wild stallion. It’s free to enter. Park bike in bike show lot, (this will be marked at the track) fill out info card. Bikes in lot will be judged on the same classes as Dirt Quake. Awards given at 2 p.m. sharp. (11a.m. – 2 p.m.)

SWAP MEET. Bring your junk, Buy some junk. All day Saturday. Free with gate entry.

STYLE CONTEST. Held on the TT jump from 2:00-2:30. Anyone racing can enter. Proper equipment required.

CHOPPER: For choppers! Not factory customs or baggers, just choppers.

STREET TRACKER/STREET SCRAMBLER: Road legal street trackers and scramblers NOT race bikes or modern enduros.

INAPPROPRIATE ROAD BIKE: Harley Fat Boys, Trail 90s, Ducati Panigales, virtually any road bike. If it shouldn’t be on a dirt track, it’s in.

LADY: Women racers on any of the above bikes (not real race bikes please). Women can enter any other class if they prefer.

TRIPOD: Three-wheelers (and snowmobiles, of course)

MINIBIKE: Pull-start Taco-style and 3-speed autos only.

HOOLIGAN: 750-plus cc multi-cylinder beasts.

Vendor Information or inquires, email:

Spectators, pay at the gate. $10 per day. $20 for two days including camping. Same rules apply.

Please no drinking and riding, you will be kicked out with no refund! LET’S GO CRAZY!

American Iron Magazine River Run by Indian Motorcycles & Patriot Ride

Join the staff of American Iron Magazine for a free and fun run up the Mississippi River in July.
Indian sponsored, but all makes and models and years of motorcycles are welcome

Indian sponsored, but all makes and models and years of motorcycles are welcome

American Iron Magazine River Run sponsored by Indian Motorcycles. 
Friday, July 8, 2016
* Free event open to riders of all makes, years and models of motorcycles.
* We gather at Riverside Park in La Crosse, WI the morning of Friday, July 8.
* Gas tanks full and bladders empty, sidestands up at 12 noon. Ride with the editors of American Iron Magazine along the banks of the Mississippi River to the Twin Cities Indian dealer in St Paul, MN for a free reception and party that afternoon and evening.
Join us at The Patriot Ride

Join us at The Patriot Ride

Ride to the Patriot Ride with American Iron Magazine and Indian Motorcycles. 
Saturday, July 9, 2016
* Free all brands motorcycle meet-up at Twin Cities Indian in St Paul, MN.
* Gas tanks full and bladders empty, sidestands up at 9 am. Ride with the editors of American Iron Magazine to the Patriot Ride at the airport in Blaine, MN. Our group will have VIP reserved parking and a special place on the Patriot Ride. All riders must be registered for the Patriot Ride.
* Custom and classic motorcycle show supported and judged by Donnie Smith and American Iron Magazine. At least one of the bikes in the show will be photographed and featured in the pages of American Iron Magazine and/or American Iron Garage.

Buffalo Chip to Host 1st Christian Bikers “Light up the Hills” Rally

As many as 5,000 Christian bikers from across the world will be coming together to communicate, worship and coordinate their missions and work during the first annual Light Up the Hills motorcycle rally. The event, organized by the non-denominational Fellowship of Motorcycle Ministries, will be hosted at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip July 6-9, 2017. This gathering of Christian motorcycle clubs, ministries, associations and groups will offer attendees the opportunity to assemble in fellowship and enhance their individual missions.

“The Buffalo Chip is the perfect venue to host this rally,” said FMM Executive Director Quentin D. Hix. “It’s a place where thousands of Christian bikers can gather together to be renewed and rejuvenated, enjoy fellowship and worship God. Rod and the staff at the Chip share our values and have embraced our vision for this event.”

Sturgis Buffalo Chip

The Sturgis Buffalo Chip will host the Christian bikers first annual “Light up the Hills” motorcycle rally in July, 2017. 

The three-day rally will be headquartered at the Buffalo Chip where all will be offered the opportunity to camp and worship. The event is being planned in partnership with Promise Keepers Inc. and the Sturgis Association of Churches. There will be three evenings of Christian speakers, entertainers and well-known musical artists at the Buffalo Chip with an afternoon downtown Sturgis experience which will include entertainment and shopping. Christian bikers will be encouraged to participate in rides through one of the most scenic areas of the U.S. – the fabled Black Hills of South Dakota, taking in the many national parks, monuments and forests.

“Christian bikers have found a rally home where they can come together and celebrate their spirituality,” said Buffalo Chip President Rod Woodruff. “The FMM’s desire to create a welcoming event for Christian bikers and their association with partner organizations and many Christian motorcycle clubs will no doubt contribute to a successful annual gathering at the Buffalo Chip.”

About The Sturgis Buffalo Chip
The Sturgis Buffalo Chip is the home of the Largest Music Festival in Motorcycling held each August. Established in 1981, the venue’s nine-day festival, known as The Best Party Anywhere, remains one of the world’s most televised and longest running independent music festivals. Buffalo Chip guests enjoy world-class concerts, fun events, moving freedom celebrations, thrilling PowerSports and more. Located three miles east of Sturgis, SD on 600 creek-fed acres, it offers cabins, RVs, camping, a swimming hole, bars, mouth-watering food, showers, paved roads, and more to visitors traveling from all corners of the world. More details are available at

Laconia Motorcycle Week’s New Website Pays Tribute to Rally’s History

The Laconia Motorcycle Week Association is pleased to announce the recent launch of their brand new website,, developed by New Hampshire-based web design and digital marketing firm Danconia Media. Every June, an influx of motorcycle enthusiasts floods the Lakes Region for the World’s Oldest Motorcycle Rally. This beloved event brings a plethora of tourism to the state, great for local businesses and the local economy. Two months shy of the rally, the site launch comes at a perfect time, as motorcycle enthusiasts start preparing for the 93rd Anniversary celebration.

With a brand new user-friendly website, it’s now easier than ever for tourists to plan their trip to New Hampshire for bike week. Upon visiting the site, viewers are greeted with a countdown to opening day on the homepage. From the main navigation, users can peruse a full schedule of events, information on where to stay, and more. Viewable day-by-day, big events are even highlighted in the daily summaries for easy access and convenience while a full schedule is also displayed for each day.

Laconia Motorcycle Rally

Laconia Motorcycle Week has launched a new website that pays tribute to the rally’s history as the oldest U.S. motorcycle rally.

One of the biggest changes to the site is the new nod to the rally’s long historical legacy. With an array of historic photos and a new history section explaining the rally’s heritage, visitors are reminded just how wonderful this tradition is to the State of NH. By combining these photos with modern images, the site design bridges the past and the present.
Andy George of Hot Leathers, Inc., a presenting sponsor of the rally, says, “Laconia Motorcycle Week’s new website looks great! Their giant beautiful pictures fit perfectly in their creative and responsive layouts. We can’t stop surfing the site and finding more pictures and stories we’d never even seen or heard before!”

In asimilar vein, Olivia Wright Bragdon of the Thunder in the Valley rally in Johnstown, PA says the new websiteis a “visual masterpiece” and has “everything a user would want in a website.”
Being the world’s oldest motorcycle rally, it was critical that the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association pay tribute to this amazing history while also capitalizing on modern technology. The overwhelmingly positive feedback from motorcycle enthusiasts and corporate sponsors shows that the association has succeeded in creating a site that not only has exciting design elements but is also user-friendly.

Laconia Motorcycle Week Association coordinates this nationally-recognized event that brings people together to celebrate New Hampshire’s motorcycle history and culture. Both the rally’s heritage and current popularity are celebrated in the new website. Along with increased functionality, easier usability, and exciting design elements, people can stay connected to all that is happening during Laconia Motorcycle Week better than ever. Visit the new site at:

A Toast & A Coast: Why We Ride to the Quail 2016

Why We Ride to the Quail 2016

Attendance doubled at the second annual Why We Ride to the Quail with hopes of tripling next year.

The cavalcade of motorcycles flowed over the California countryside more than 30 strong, shared a certain symbiosis as they started, stopped and changed lanes as one. Every time Brian Klock twisted a little throttle ahead of me I was privy to the sonic waves unleashed by the exhaust of the Jack Daniels 150th Anniversary Indian Springfield he rode. To our left, waves curled then pounded the shoreline as the mighty Pacific stretched as far as the eye could see. To our right, yellow blossoms lined the road and the tops of trees slanted perpendicular to the ocean, the Escheresque lean painted by the perpetual winds that whip onshore.

“Today as I was going through there, watching this thing of 30-40 bikes, I just feel like, look at this family, it’s unbroken. A car can come in and cut us in half for a little bit but the minute it leaves we just form back together and there’s just something amazing about that,” said Why We Ride producer Bryan Carroll.

Why We Ride to the Quail California Coast

The group of Why We Ride to the Quail riders wind their way up the California coastline.

Though we came from different walks of life, we gathered for a common cause, the second annual Why We Ride to the Quail, a fundraiser for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF). The two-day ride included an overnight stop at the Seacrest Hotel in Pismo Beach for drinks and dinner at a fireside gathering. Then it was on up the incomparable California coast to Carmel to attend the 8th annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering, a wonderful assembly of enthusiasts and incredible motorcycles.

The fight of the foundation hits close to home for Why We Ride producers Carroll and James Walker. An assistant editor on the film, Joe Northrup, lost his life to a tumor not long after the movie was completed. Northrup battled valiantly throughout filming but passed soon after its completion. Carroll said the last time they saw Joe was at the premiere, adding “I really miss him.”

Considering the motivation behind the ride, it’s not surprising attendance doubled in only its second year. The sponsor list grew exponentially as well, going from a dozen last year to 30 this year, including OEM’s Indian Motorcycle Co. and Kawasaki. Many of the sponsors came from outside the moto industry, a strong indicator of how the event’s popularity has grown in two short years.

And though most started as strangers, sharing a stretch of road together fosters a special strain of intimacy. Come around a corner and you’re whipped by the same wind. Breathe deep and you inhale the same salty air. End-of-the-ride conversations are filled with concrete details and rekindled emotions of the day. Before the Why We Ride to the Quail was over, we grew closer, an extended family.

Ndn Dave and Tommy Montgomery

Ndn Dave and Tommy Montgomery, who rode to Sturgis together for the Veterans Charity Ride 2015, got another chance to share the road at the Why We Ride to the Quail event.

Members of this extended family were as diverse as the motorcycles on the ride. There was big-hearted Steven Squire, National Campaign Manager of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation who rode a Honda NC700X DCT. Squire had been a volunteer with the PBTF since 2000 until getting the managerial position last August. As a spokesperson, he informed us that “The Ride for Kids campaign is the longest-running and most successful motorcycle charity event in the nation. It is the cornerstone for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and the leading non-profit funder of research into one of the deadliest forms of childhood cancer.”

Then there was Tommy Montgomery, a mechanical engineering student at Boise State University who was riding an Indian Chieftain. He also happened to serve in the U.S. Army as a Calvary Scout and was one of the lucky ones who got to do the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis sponsored by Indian Motorcycle last summer. Before the Why We Ride to the Quail, Montgomery got a chance to visit Arlen Ness Motorcycles in Dublin, California, where he not only got a special tour but went to dinner with Arlen and Cory as well. His adventure didn’t end at the Quail as Montgomery kept traveling up the northern California coast on the Chieftain as he made his way back home to Meridian, Idaho.

Former Olympic skater and World Champion Lloyd Eisler was another who commented about how he counted those he met at the Why We Ride to the Quail among his extended family. Eisler rode up on his Harley with the high apehangers while his wife, actress Kristy Swanson, rumbled up on a new Victory Octane. Eisler praised Swanson, who at first was a little intimidated about commandeering a motorcycle, for learning to ride six years ago, saying “I’m so proud of my wife because she’s a good rider and I’d ride behind her or with her any day of the week.”

2016 Why We Ride to the Quail Lloyd Eisler

Former Olympian Lloyd Eisler was rockin’ his big apehangered Harley at the Why We Ride to the Quail 2016.

Another member of the Why We Ride to the Quail family, Steve Moore out of Sylmar, California, personified the spirit behind the event and deservedly received the “Spirit of the Ride Award.”

“This person has been through a lot these last few years. One of the most inspirational men I know by the way he lives and the way he speaks and what he lives for. Last year he was on the ride with us. This year, he was going to be on the ride with us and then said I can’t, and I said you are going to be on this ride with us somehow.

“But I didn’t have to say that because he’d already made plans. He’d just went through surgery, thought he was going to be able to make it, and then injured himself again and then said ‘I don’t care, how do I get on this ride.’ And I said, we’ll we have a chase vehicle, and he said I’m going to ride in the chase vehicle, whatever you guys need. This person, many years ago I got to camp with him and he kind of got me thinking about motorcycles again. But the fact that this year his daughter, he got her registered, he’s probably one of the biggest, I want to say missionaries for motorcycles. He literally is out there preaching and saying what good things they are,” said Carroll.

Taking the stage to accept the award, Moore said “I’ve known Bryan for a few years now. And once he told me that he was doing this event I said I’m in it till the last sunset. I will do this ride every year that you have it, somehow if I have to crawl here, I will do this ride.”

Bryan and Ethan Carroll Why We Ride to the Quail 2016

Bryan and Ethan Carroll flash us a big thumbs up!

By all measures, the second annual Why We Ride to the Quail was a huge success. Not only did the ride raise much-needed money and awareness for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, but the producers are donating the sales of Why We Ride DVDs in the month of May to the PBTF as well. The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is also doing its part to help out. As an affiliate partner of the PBTF, the AMA will donate $5 for each new membership and $2.50 for each renewed membership using the code PEBRTU to the foundation.

And while attendance doubled for the second annual ride, Carroll and Walker are hoping to triple that number next year as well as hoping another manufacturer or two jumps on board. Considering who the ride benefits, we wouldn’t be surprised to see them reach those goals.

In parting, we share this toast from Indian Motorcycles’ External Relations Manager Robert Pandya, who graced our group with these words in honor of a dearly missed friend in the moto industry, Kyle Clack.

“Let’s toast the next ride, let’s toast the next drink, let’s toast the next kiss, let’s toast the next sunrise, the next sunset and the next time we all get together for Why We Ride.”

2016 Quail Motorcycle Gathering Photo Essay

1949 Indian Arrow 2016 Quail Motorcycle Gathering winner

This immaculate 1949 Indian Arrow won first place in the American category at the 2016 Quail Motorcycle Gathering.

It was an excess of riches, a treasure trove of motorcycles and enthusiasts all gathered on the immaculate green grounds of the Quail Golf Course. The excess included almost 100 more bikes than last year, more tickets sold at the gate, and more stories shared. The 2016 Quail Motorcycle Gathering rewarded attendees with a wonderful cross-section of motorcycles, from 100-year-old boardtrackers to high tech electrics. Even the sun graced the event with a mid-afternoon blast of warmth. The cornucopia of collectibles definitely runneth over at the 8th annual Quail Gathering.

2016 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

Craig Vetter made his first public appearance in 10 months since his accident at the 2016 Quail where the AMA awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award.

There were some undoubtedly rich characters at this year’s event, visionaries and legends mingling amongst the crowds. Reg Pridmore shared racing anecdotes in a casual conversation with Quail headmaster Gordon McCall. Flat tracker extraordinaire Mert Lawwill engaged in chats with everyone who stopped by his booth with a smile. Cliff Vaughs, a talented man of many hats including designer of the original Easy Rider bikes, civil rights activist, film maker and one of the coolest cats around, made a cameo appearance. The 2016 Quail Motorcycle Gathering also saw motorcycle visionary Craig Vetter make his first public appearance in 10 months since a motorcycle accident with a deer almost took him out of the game. Vetter was awarded the AMA Doug Perkins Lifetime Achievement Award, and rightfully so.

Judges 2016 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

The judges had their work cut out for them with the high caliber of motorcycles at the 2016 Quail.

While you’ll have to wait for the full story on the 2016 Quail Motorcycle Gathering in a future issue of American Iron Magazine, here’s a few shots from the event to tide you over until then.

Keanu Reeves 2016 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

Keanu Reeves of Arch Motorcycle Co. talks shop at the 2016 Quail Motorcycle Gathering.

La Mani Moto 2016 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

There was no shortage of artistry in iron at the 2016 Quail Motorcycle Gathering.

Cliff Vaughs, the man who designed the original Easy Rider motorcycles, made a guest appearance at the 2016 Quail Motorcycle Gathering.

Cliff Vaughs, the man who designed the original Easy Rider motorcycles, made a guest appearance at the 2016 Quail Motorcycle Gathering.