The new retail sales and service dealership opened its doors to the public on Monday and is owned and operated by Vern Eide Motorcars.
Sturgis is home to the annual motorcyclist mecca, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which was founded by a group of Indian Motorcycle riders in the late 1930s. Last August at the Sturgis rally, just blocks from the new dealership location, Indian Motorcycle unveiled its all-new 2014 Indian Motorcycle lineup to cheers and accolades from motorcycle fans around the world.
Bruce Eide said he first came to be offered a Victory motorcycle franchise in Sioux Falls in 2013. Following that, a representative of Polaris, which relaunched the Indian Motorcycle brand, came to visit asking if they would be interested in taking on the Indian franchise for Sioux Falls.
Last July, some of the staff at the Sioux Falls dealership encouraged Eide to take some cycles to Sturgis to sell. Later, Eide learned that Polaris announced they were going to make an open point for an Indian dealership in western South Dakota.
"The Vern Eide family is honored to partner with Polaris Industries in bringing the iconic Indian Motorcycle brand back to Sturgis, South Dakota. We are both grateful and excited for the opportunity to become a responsible business partner with the city of Sturgis. Special thanks to Mayor Mark Carstensen, City Manager Daniel Ainslie and SEDC President Pat Kurtenbach. Their vision and thoughtfulness have been invaluable in our efforts to bring Indian Motorcycle to Sturgis," said Eide said.
The opening of the new Indian Motorcycle Sturgis marks the first time that Indian Motorcycle has had a dedicated retail presence in Sturgis for decades. J.C. "Pappy" Hoel, a racer, motorcycle dealer and race promoter, purchased an Indian Motorcycle franchise and opened shop on Junction Avenue in Sturgis in 1936. Two years later, Hoel co-founded America’s most famous motorcycle rally with his motorcycle group, the Jackpine Gypsies. In 1947, Hoel sold more Indian Motorcycles per capita than anyone in the nation due to his passion for the bikes. By the end of the 1950s, Hoel’s rally drew nearly 1,000 people each year and today draws nearly half a million visitors annually.
“Vern Eide Motorcars and our team of 400 associates have been dedicated to serving our loyal customers throughout the Upper Midwest for more than 50 years, and today we are proud to announce the opening of the new Indian Motorcycle Sturgis dealership,” said Jeff Johnson, Director Dealer Development, Indian Motorcycle Sturgis. “This is a truly historic day for our organization and a seminal event for the Indian Motorcycle brand and for all of motorcycling. We very much look forward to opening our doors to the motorcycling community during the Sturgis Rally this year and for many years to come.”
Indian Motorcycle Sturgis is a newly renovated 5,700 square foot facility located at 2106 Lazelle Street in downtown Sturgis. The dealership will offer sales, service, parts and accessories for the entire lineup of Indian Motorcycles, including the Indian Chief Classic, Indian Chief Vintage and the Indian Chieftain. The showroom will also include a full selection of Indian Motorcycle apparel for purchase. Throughout the Sturgis motorcycle rally, taking place August 4-10, 2014, Indian Motorcycle Sturgis will open its doors to motorcycle fans and offer consumers a hands-on Indian Motorcycle experience including demo rides, apparel sales, live music and more.
“I’m happy to welcome Indian Motorcycle Sturgis to our rapidly expanding family of dealerships across the country and around the world,” said Steve Menneto, VP of Motorcycles, Polaris Industries. “Sturgis is a very special place in the past, present and future of Indian Motorcycle, and I know the team at Vern Eide Motorcars is the right partner in which to entrust this great legacy.”