October 2000 Event
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   Sturgis 2000
   By Mike 'Kiwi' Tomas
We (Chris Good and myself) arrived at Sturgis on Tuesday, a week before it all started. We decided to set up on Wednesday morning and what a good decision that turned out to be. Some had set up on Tuesday and about 9pm a big storm warning came through while we were at Deadwood. We were inside the casino when it hit, it was a decent down pour but Sturgis sure took a beating. We did not recognize the road on the way back from all the debris and crap all over the highway. When we took a tour of Sturgis the damage was extensive. Almost anyone that had set up Tuesday was severely damaged. Driftwood had a motel roof torn off. The upside of all this is we all helped each other to fix things and the weather was almost California perfect for the rest of the time.  Click on pictures for full size

Kiwi Freightliner, Chris, local dignitary and Kiwi at Sturgis

The house we were staying in was past Leeds which is about 30 miles out of Sturgis which made for a fantastic ride each morning and evening. I rode the 38 Chief while Chris rode the original 48 Chief (number six off the production line in 48). On each trip we would cruise through the main street of Deadwood. Deadwood is a small old historical mining town which has been restored and has deep history. The ride was fantastic through the Black Hills, canyons, scenery, tons of motorcycles, it was great. All in all we did about 3,000 miles between us on our old bikes. Chris did a little more one day as he got some bum instructions and ended up in Wyoming...

Our primary reason for being at Sturgis was to put on display of six of our antique Indians plus we were able to offer parts for anyone who broke down and needed them. There were a few. One 47 Indian died 10 miles before Sturgis, we gave him the necessary parts and Chris threw him on the back of the orig 48 and hauled him back to his bike. Chris even did the mechanical repair work on the side of the road to get him going again. It’s always nice to help riders out. I would say that we had the most complete inventory of parts for any make or model motorcycle in Sturgis by far. No matter what anyone wanted, we had it. It was a great feeling to help people out.

A little roadside repair. Battery cable came lose. We're so used to having no problems that we don't carry spare tools. It took longer to figure out what to tighten it with than to actually do the job. Dave stopped by to assist but preferred to give us verbal abuse rather than his helping hand. After this we ran into a heck of a thunder and lightening storm which we rode in it for over 2 hours. One bolt of lightning was within 200 yards of us 
One evening early on in the week some guys come strolling in late and were interested in two Indian head front fender lights. It turned out to be two of the band members from Cheap Trick. They flipped us “All Access” passes for trade to their show later that evening. Once we got there we were openly welcomed in person and were handed some drinks of our choice. Then they had us (nobody else but just us) up on stage during their gig. Afterwards we were invited back to their motel (and only us once again). They just had to have their photos taken on our old Indians. Two of them recall their fathers riding Indians. We all had a blast. 
Cheap Trick and Kiwi Indians
Another evening Chris and I noticed a guy broken down on his bike while we were out on the 38 and 48 Chiefs so we offered him a hand. It turned out to be Mike Hossack who is the drummer for the band Doobie Brothers. Since he was on a modern bike that has an alternator, we already knew that we were in totally over our heads. We told him if it was a generator we'd probably have him taken care of without much of a problem. Another guy showed up and he was somewhat familiar with alternators, so he dug into it and during the course of a few hours he got it figured out and fixed. Mike was so appreciative that he treated us out for the rest of the evening. He would not let us pay for one thing, everywhere we rode, drank, ate and did, it was all paid for. Over the following days when we met up with him we nicknamed him "Generator Mike". He got a kick out of Chris and I riding all over town with him with our old Indians with a generator charging system.  More from Kiwi in the VI:

Wisconsin Ride

Cleaning after bead blasting

Dealer Page

New Parts

Chief Heads

We were fortunate to land some free passes to the Buffalo Chip and Full Throttle for the whole of Sturgis. These places can get pretty wild at times but everybody was in a fun mood, no disturbances at all. Full Throttle is a cool place, concerts going on just like the Buffalo Chip but it has a huge bar that’s like a huge oval race track and the coolest thing was the burn out pits. You could see smoke several miles before you even got to the place. It had two stalls to pull your bike into, you raised your fingers to show how many gears you were aiming for and let it rip. It’s great watching others abusing their motorcycles. One guy ended up with a bright red exhausts for the first three feet. The prize just in case you were wondering is zero, nada. Most needed at a minimum a new rear tire. It’s a wild town.
Main Street, Sturgis
We did a lot of riding throughout the Black Hills, Crazy Horse, Mt Rushmore, Spearfish Canyon, etc. On the way back from Mt Rushmore we hit one hellava thunder and lightening storm.  We were both dressed in a T-shirts and jeans and not prepared for what we ran into. Since I was leading our ride I was not going to allow Chris to stop and put on his leather jacket that was bungied to his 48. I figured if I was going to suffer, so was he. It made sense to me. The huge rain drops beat us up pretty good. It was Chris’ birthday that day and he sure did his best to get me to pull over into a bar. It almost worked since a bolt of lightning struck just before us about 200 yards. We rode in that storm for over two hours while most of the modern guys pulled off for cover but we were tough guys, had to show ‘em new guys what a real motorcycle is. I don’t think you could call us real men, just two stupid guys now trying to prove whatever?.

One of the mornings we rode to a  breakfast function with the Hall of Famers that were being inducted at Spearfish. We rode from Sturgis to Spearfish (about 25 miles) with the 38 leading the entourage. The freeway was pretty much a solid line of bikes all the way. The Master of Ceremonies was Brandscombe Richmond who did an excellent job.

Chris with the 48 and Kiwi with the 38 at Mt Rushmore, SD. This is the day Chris got bum instructions and ended up in Wyoming. I did about 300 miles, Chris over 500 miles. This is where we both finally met back up
One evening we attended a motorcycle industry dinner that was put on by Corbin. It was a nice surprise to catch up with Doug Vancil who drag races a Top Fuel Harley for Vance and Hines. A few months earlier we had traveled together from Albuquerque to LA in our big rigs. Doug is in his late 20’s and is a way cool guy. Doug used to repair Indians when he worked for a motorcycle dealership in Albuquerque. Perry Sands owner of Performance Machine was also honored at the dinner. Perry is another super nice guy and he has bent over backwards helping us set up our custom Bobber with his PM wheels and brakes. It is amazing that some of these top Harley industry guys have had an association with Indians in their youth. Perry had two Chopper 47 Chiefs back in the mid 60’s. In fact one of them is featured on the inside cover of his latest catalog with a 9” over front end, sissy bar and pipes that stand about six foot tall. 
Doug Vancil, Vance and Hines Racing
Indian Illustrated/American Iron magazines put on a nice show in Rapid City one morning. Approximately 50 Indians turned out which was really nice to see. It makes for a welcome change from all the Harleys. There’s nothing sweeter than the sound of a 42 degree V twin. However I like to keep an open mind and appreciate all motorcycles since life only exists on two wheels. One has to appreciate the workmanship and creativity that goes into their custom machines. Guys like Jesse James of West Coast Choppers do outstanding work and needless to say are quite characters in themselves. 
Kiwi's 37 Bobber with PM wheels and brakes
On the ride from Rapid City to Sturgis (approximately 45 miles) I was riding with no hands most of the way. The 38 just runs straight as an arrow and responds well to a little body lauguage. One of the European magazine photographers (Horst, whom I’ve know for a while) came upon me. He decided to do a photo shoot while we were cruising down the highway. This was taking a while and drawing a huge amount of attention. After he was done, and speed off  a highway patrolman came upon me and yelled on his loud speaker, “hey smartass, how about putting those hands where they belong on the handlebars”. Yes Sir. More events in this issue of VI:

Chesapeake AMCA Meet

Pontiac, Illinois

Chris is a real smoothie with the girls, he had the official “Girls of Sturgis” on our display of Indians and a few days later the “Penthouse Girls” sitting all over our 47 Chief. They asked if he was getting off and he replied I’m quite happy sitting here. So they all piled on and needless to say they made him smile? Sturgis is like no other bike event that I have ever been attended. It is hard to comprehend over one million motorcycles converged on Sturgis, a little one horse town. It was great to catch up with the Indian riders that attended and it was also great to promote and display of pre 54 Indians to the crowds. They all got a huge kick out of it plus their jaws dropped when we would fire one up and ride off.  There’s just no sense in owning this old iron if you can’t ride them to truly appreciate them.
Chris with the 'Official Girls of Sturgis'
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