Sturgis Hall of Fame announces 2014 inductees

Publish Date: 
Feb 25, 2014

STURGIS, S.D. -- Clyde Fessler, Bonnie Truett and Keith Terry are three of the industry veterans who will be inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame this summer, the organization announced.

For 2014, the organization will honor one Freedom Fighter and induct six into the Sturgis Hall of Fame.

Deb "Tiger" Chandler is the Freedom Fighter. She has been an active part of the motorcycling community for more than 40 years. In partnership with the Colorado Confederation of Clubs, she assumed the role of Colorado Commander of the Coalition of Independent Riders.

Chandler has worked tirelessly through the state legislature to address issues of importance to motorcyclists in Colorado including funding for beginning rider training and alcohol interlocking devices for motorcycles. She has also been instrumental in implementing a Biker Day at the capitol in Colorado as a means of opening dialog between bikers and legislators.

This year's Sturgis Hall of Fame inductees are as follows:

Clyde Fessler played an integral role in the turnaround of Harley-Davidson during his 25-year career. He served in multiple marketing positions, including director of marketing, vice president of general merchandise, vice president of motor accessories and vice president of business development. He was responsible for programs, policies, products and marketing strategies that made Harley-Davidson one of the most recognized brands in the world, the museum noted.

Since his retirement in 2002, Fessler has remained active in motorcycling as a member of the Hamsters Motorcycle Club. He recently wrote a book, Rebuilding the Brand, and now travels as a speaker.

Jesse Jurrens recognized the benefits an air spring could have on motorcycles and started Legend Suspensions in 1998 to develop the technology for Harley-Davidson Softail Chassis. Gates Rubber Co., the leader in air spring technology, agreed to lend itsr patented Kevlar impregnated rubber air spring technology to the fledgling South Dakota startup. Since then, Jurrens has continued to develop innovative suspension systems.

Today, Sturgis-based Legend Suspensions manufactures Aero Air Suspension systems and Revo coil suspension systems for all Harley-Davidson models and off-road UTVs.  Legend Suspensions are available worldwide, and the offroad systems are used by the U.S. military and fire and rescue operations.

Jay “Lightnin'” Bentley rode in a motordrome owned by Pappy Boudreaux – first part-time and later full-time -- as a teenager. Bentley rode Harley Hummers initially, but soon graduated to trick riding on the wall on Indian 101 Scouts. By 1998, Jay took out a loan against his home to purchase wood and equipment to begin building what would become the American Motor Drome Wall of Death. Completed in 2000, it was the first of its kind to be built in more than 50 years, and since then, it has toured the country full-time. Besides keeping the drome running, Jay collects classic motorcycles and wall bikes that he displays as part of the traveling show.  

Keith Terry has been an avid motorcyclist since he was 15. His career actually started in the automotive industry, after which he operated a company that promoted bicycle motocross races. In 1994, Terry built his first custom motorcycle, and he’s been building them since. Terry and his wife, Fran, have owned Terry Components, the largest supplier of motorcycle starter motors and battery cables in the industry for 20 years.

More recently, Terry, along with Chris Malo, started Baggster LLC, a company that manufactures custom conversion kits for Harley-Davidson applications. For the last three years, Terry has been in charge of the Buffalo Chip Challenge working with Sturgis Brown High School students to build a custom bagger that is auctioned at the Legends Ride each year. 

Bonnie Truett started racing in the 1960s and was constantly working to get more out of his drag bikes. He started by changing the flywheels in his own Sportster, but eventually he and his partner, Paul Osborn, started to create and manufacture their own flywheels, frames, cams, cylinders and rods. Truett continued to race until 1984, and he and Paul continued to run Truett and Osborn together until his retirement in 1997. After his retirement from racing, Bonnie helped his son Scott, a four time champion in Pro Drag class in AHDRA.   

Paul Yaffe has created custom motorcycles for more than 20 years, working on as many as 12 commissioned bikes in any given year.  Many Paul Yaffe originals have graced the pages of motorcycle magazines in the United States and abroad.  As part of his creative process, Yaffe often engineers new and exciting parts for one of his custom creations, so he created his Bagger Nation brand of custom parts and accessories for touring motorcycles.

Yaffe's also well-known as an advocate and fundraiser for children’s charities both in Phoenix and in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Breakfast is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 6 at The Lodge at Deadwood in Deadwood, S.D. Breakfast tickets are available for a $35 donation, and tables of eight cost $300. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Museum at 605-347-2001 or they can be purchased online.

Posted by Vince Guerrieri