Harley-Davidson is preparing to put its stamp at the heartland of American motorcycling with the official ground-breaking of The Harley-Davidson Rally Point right in the center of Sturgis, South Dakota. The Rally Point, as it will come to be known, is being developed to become the city’s permanent and designated year-round space for riders, further cementing the relationship between the quintessential American motorcycle brand and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

It’s only fitting that Sturgis and Harley-Davidson would push their partnership to a whole new level with the development of the Rally Point. Everybody knows that Sturgis is the mecca for motorcycle riders, not just here in the US, but all over the world. If you’re a self-respecting rider, Sturgis is the one pilgrimage you need to make to make bike-riding experience complete. It just is.

The timing of this project couldn’t have been planned any better, too. Motorcycle history buffs will tell you that this year is actually the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. What better way to celebrate this momentous occasion in the history of the event with the introduction of a new set location that’s being designed specifically for anybody riding into Sturgis.

Plans to develop the Rally Point were officially announced last January 15, 2015 and like anything that comes with landmark announcements like this, some pomp and flair came with it, including the collection of 74 bricks from Harley-Davidson’s headquarters in Milwaukee and one brick from the Harley-Davidson Museum, all of which will be integrated into the design of the venue.

The Harley-Davidson Rally Point is expected to be finished in time for the opening of the 2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally on August 1, 2015. That’s a little over four months away, but if you’re already itching to see what the site is going to look like in full bloom, just go ahead and check out the video.

Continue reading to read more about the Harley-Davidson Rally Point.

Why it matters

If you asked any motorcycle head what they thought of Stugis, South Dakota, one of the more popular answers you’ll get is its status as a holy land of sorts for the motorcycle community. In a lot of ways, it is, and has been for the past 75 years.

It’s only fitting that the year the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will celebrate its 75th anniversary is also the same year that Harley-Davidson will permanently etch its name as a proud partner of Sturgis the event, and more importantly, Sturgis the city.

I personally can’t find two entities better suited to celebrate the this occasion than Sturgis and Harley-Davidson. Both embody everything that’s right about America’s motorcycle culture. The shared history between the two also places an added importance to the development of the Rally Point. Once developed, the Rally Point will embody its name as a real rally point for motorcycle riders all over the world every August for at least the next 75 years.

That’s probably the coolest thing about this project, other than the fact that the venue will symbolize what it truly means to be a part of America’s love for motorcycles and the people that share this love with each other.

Press Release

Harley-Davidson and the city of Sturgis traded-in gilded shovels and ceremonial hard hats for revving motorcycles and open-face helmets to break ground, or more accurately, tear it up to start construction of The Harley-Davidson Rally Point, the city’s new permanent year-round space for riders.

"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."

Building on the 75-year agreement that makes Harley-Davidson the rally’s official motorcycle, The Rally Point – at the corner of Main Street and Harley-Davidson Way – will include a stage for events, concerts and weddings. An elevated area for riders to take pictures on their motorcycles with the iconic STURGIS sign as the backdrop is also part of the plan.

Harley-Davidson fans across the country suggested dozens of names for the new Main Street presence. The Rally Point – an enduring term for a ride-starting meeting place – rose to the top. Riders on three Harley-Davidson® motorcycles: a 1978 Super Glide with a Shovelhead engine, a 2015 Street™ 750, and a Project LiveWire motorcycle broke ground today on the new space, which will be open in time for the 75th Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™.

Officials from Sturgis and employees from Harley-Davidson worked with FourFront Design, Inc. in Rapid City to develop the final design and renderings. Eirik Heikes with FourFront Design, Inc. is the principle landscape architect and Jessica Hawn lead planner.

"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."

A Special Delivery from Milwaukee

To ensure the new multi-purpose space builds on the legacy of the brand and is pure Harley-Davidson, 74 bricks from the company’s Milwaukee headquarters, a building that once housed the company’s factory dating back more than 100 years, and one brick from the Harley-Davidson Museum will be integrated into The Rally Point’s final construction.

As part of the ceremonial groundbreaking, the bricks traveled 900 miles from Milwaukee on Harley-Davidson motorcycles and were delivered to Mayor Carstensen by members of the Harley Owners Group. Carey Hart, motocross star and 2015 Grand Marshall of the Sturgis City of Riders Mayor’s Ride, received the bricks with Mayor Carstensen.

As riders swap out their cold weather riding gear for lightweight jackets and vests, now is the time to visit a Harley-Davidson dealership and start preparing your bike for the summer riding season and the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The party starts Aug. 1, 2015. For inspiration and pictures from the 2014 Sturgis Rally and to see the design images of The Rally Point, visit www.h-d.com/sturgis.

To view the Rally Point from an aerial perspective, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb4MtRa-0UE.

About Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson® motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s website at www.h-d.com

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