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Vale RK Stratman

  • Dealernews
  • Jun 19, 2020



The man who made the buffalo bike legendary and the original Harley-Davidson T-shirt licensee RK Stratman has ridden off into the sunset. 


Ron Stratman once said, “I am not a philosopher. I am just a man who loves what he does. I am a father of seven, a grandfather of twelve, and a great-grandfather of four. I am not an MBA, but I am a graduate of life, a self-made man, and a born salesman. I am not a suit; I am an ex-racer, a motorcycle rider and lover of the open road.”


In 1990 Ron created the infamous BUFFALO BIKE, a 1980 FLT draped with buffalo skin, which has become a staple at the Sturgis Rally and at dealership events all over the country. The Buffalo Bike was inspired by an attention grabbing cowboy who rode a buffalo down Main Street during the Black Hills Rally. Not to be out done, Ron rode his own version of the Buffalo, who he named “ole Buff” the following year. To this day the Buffalo Bike creates a buzz and is likely the most photographed bike in the world.


RK Stratman Inc., founded in 1969, became an official Harley-Davidson Licensee in 1983, is now into its third generation and is still wholly owned and operated by the Stratman family. In 1987 Black Hills Harley-Davidson opened a second location for the Rally and Ron along with Laverne (who now manages Sturgis Harley-Davidson) ran the facility selling quality Harley-Davidson apparel and products.


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