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. Each year, Executive Director Christine Paige Diers announces the list of new inductees. The following is a press release with that information. If you have never been to the SMHF, it is worth the trip. Congrats to this year’s crop of very deserving individuals.
Love, Respect, and Ride Safe,
Don Emde – Don Emde comes by his passion for motorcycling naturally. He was born to a motorcycling family in 1951, and spent much of his youth either working in the family’s dealership or tearing up the tracks of Southern California as an amateur scrambler, dirt tracker and road racer. He turned pro in 1969, and set numerous records with his Daytona 200 win in 1972. Emde and his father became the first (and so far only) father son pair to win the Daytona 200. After his racing career, Don went on to become a successful publisher and author. He currently publishes Drag Specialties Magazine, Parts Magazine and Parts Europe Magazine.
Del Hofer – Del Hofer has been a Harley-Davidson dealer for 50 years, first in Huron, South Dakota, then in Fargo, North Dakota. His love of motorcycling is obvious through many of his activities. Del is active in the American Motorcyclists Association and is the longest serving member of the Harley-Davidson Dealer Advisory Board. A long-time AMA amateur racer in all styles of racing, Del also served as an AMA referee and District Congressman for quite some time. Del’s passion for motorcycling is evident to anyone who meets him. He encourages men and women alike to take safety courses, get active in riding and enjoy it in a safe and fun way.
Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel – Probably one of the best-known motorcycle riders in history, Evel Knievel liked to live on the edge. From riding his bicycle at an early age to pole vaulting when he was in the army to playing semi-pro hockey, Evel tried it all. In the early 1960s, Evel joined the motorcross circuit with moderate success until a broken collar bone forced him to take a job as an insurance salesman. The insurance business didn’t hold him for long, though, and soon he moved his family to Washington where he started his first daredevil show. During his career, he attempted 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps, many successfully. In 1974, Knievel unsuccessfully attempted a jump across the Snake River on a steam-powered rocket – the Skycycle X-2. Knievel died of pulmonary disease in 2007 at the age of 69.
Michael Prugh – While Michael Prugh is certainly well recognized as a motorcycle designer and manufacturer, it’s his work educating others that has taken him beyond the title of “builder.” Michael has been involved in many builds for charity and as a competitor. He took second place two years in a row in the AMD’s World Championship of Custom Bike Building and has been featured in numerous publications featuring various builds. In 2010, Prugh led a team of students from Western Dakota Tech to build “Method” a true “one off” bike that was auctioned at the annual Legends Ride. This year, Prugh is again teaming up with Western Dakota Tech, Black Hills Harley-Davidson and the Buffalo Chip to build a bike for the Legends Ride.
Gloria Tramontin Struck – You’d never believe this outspoken 85-year-old woman is the same girl who in 1941 at age 16 tearfully told her brother “I do not want to know how to ride!” Well, her brother won that argument and she’s been riding from that day until today. She’s owned 14 motorcycles in her lifetime, has traveled every state in the continental U.S. as well as Canada. At the age of 76, she took two trips to Europe, traveling a total of over 6,500 miles in 8 countries. Gloria has been a Motor Maid for 65 years, having joined in 1946 and is the longest member still riding. She continually encourages women to ride and to be involved. Gloria is an inspiration to riders and non-riders alike.
Mike & Margaret Wilson – While both Mike & Margaret Wilson have contributed individually to the sport and lifestyle of motorcycling, those who know this couple consider them to be a pair. Mike was an expert dirt-track and TT racer both before and after his stint in World War II. Right after his return, Mike bought a 45 cubic inch Harley-Davidson motorcycle as a birthday surprise for Margaret. Mike and Margaret were business partners in a Harley-Davidson then Honda dealership in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for over 25 years. Both Mike and Margaret have been avid riders and have spent countless hours encouraging others to ride, too. Known to an entire generation of women raiders, Margaret is a golden life member of the Motor Maids celebrating 60 years this year. Mike and Margaret both serve on the Board of Directors of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum and continue to work to preserve the heritage of motorcycling through their involvement.
The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Breakfast is scheduled on Wednesday, August 10 at 9:00 a.m. at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, SD. Breakfast tickets are available for a $35.00 donation, tables of eight for $300.00. Tickets can be purchased online at the Sturgis Museum Breakfast or call 605.347.2001