Genevieve Goes to the Sturgis Rally 2009 Part 2

Behind the scenes of the top industry party

By Genevieve Schmitt, Editor

“World class” and “stunning” were a few words that were used to describe Michael Lichters 9th Annual Motorcycles as Art Exhibition held during this years Sturgis Motorcycle Rally at the Legendary Buffalo Chip. The exhibit entitled “Rebel Rousers, Motorcycle Icons that Inspire Us to Ride” showcased the most important collection of motorcycles and art to ever grace Sturgis and was viewed by thousands of guests. From August 1 through August 8 throngs of bike enthusiasts were captivated by the relics and imagery on display that was curated by celebrated custom motorcycle photographer, Michael Lichter, on hand at the brand new 6,500 square foot Lichter Exhibition Hall.

The collection of motorcycles, artwork and memorabilia that was assembled for the seven-day exhibition at the 69th Annual Sturgis Rally, rivaled permanent collections and established museums. It focused on the history of iconic motorcycle imagery that inspired many to ride. Members of media and motorcycle industry VIPs were invited to a special party on Tuesday night of Sturgis week. Below are some photos from that event. Click on each make larger and view a slideshow.

Rod Woodruff, owner of the Buffalo Chip told us, “The construction of the Lichter Exhibition Hall is the culmination of a strategic vision that we at the Buffalo Chip have had for some time now. This year#39;s Motorcycles as Art Exhibition was the perfect inaugural event for the facility. We#39;re elated to have Michael here at The Buffalo Chip permanently.”
This was Lichter#39;s ninth year as curator for the original Sturgis art and motorcycle exhibition but the first year that he was able to display his work in the brand-new Lichter Exhibition Hall. The theme was “Rebel Rousers, Motorcycle Icons that Inspire Us to Ride.”
Photographer/curator of this exhibit Michael Lichter addresses the crowd at the party. Later he told us, “I#39;m ecstatic with the show this year. I#39;ve been working on it for months and it#39;s good to see a wide array of people coming and taking it in. I loved the historic perspective of this year#39;s exhibition and am now working on next year#39;s show.”
Celebrity faces in the crowd. That#39;s me with Cris Sommer Simmons, author of the book “The American Motorcycle Girls 1900-1950” with her husband, Pat Simmons, member of the Doobie Brothers, and vintage motorcycle enthusiast. He commented, “When I walked through the door, I was transported back to that moment in time when I first realized that I had to have a motorcycle. All the reasons for my love of the sport were gathered together in that room.”
That#39;s me with bronze sculpture artist Jeff Decker and his wife, Kelly. Jeff contributed a piece of motorcycle art to the exhibit.
Steve Tyler of Aerosmith (who was playing at the Buffalo Chip the next night) mingled through the crowd and graciously posed with fans for pictures.
I love the old Harley-Davidson WLA models, produced specifically to be used in World War II, because one of my favorite color combinations is camo green and aged brown leather.
These brought back memories. The old Schwinn bicycles with banana seats and apehanger handlebars. These inspired many to ride a motorcycle back then.
Among the interesting motorcycles on display was the bike ridden by Lorenzo Lamas in the TV series “Renegade” (in photo); the only Captain America motorcycle to survive from filming of the Easy Rider film (authenticated by Peter Fonda), and a replica Billy Bike; and the original bike ridden by Mickey Rourke in “Harley-Davidson and the Marlboro Man.”
There were lots of old motorcycle movie posters on display. I#39;m going to catch up on these “B” movies of the day this winter when there#39;s nothing else to do.
Brigitte Bardot sure made motorcycles look good back then.
Legendary custom motorcycle builders Donnie Smith (left) and Dave Perewitz having fun with a photo opp.
More motorcycle movie posters. I took these photos so I won#39;t forget what movies to rent this winter.
Posing with my friend, land speed racer Laura Klock, who was about to attempt another record at the Bonneville Salt Flats a few weeks later.
And here#39;s Laura#39;s youngest daughter Karlee Cobb, who at 15 was also going to attempt another racing record at Bonneville. She would go on to set a new personal best of 115 mph on the 500cc Buell Blast amidst stiff competition.

Sponsors that helped make the exhibit possible included Interstate Battery, Metzeler Tires, Progressive Insurance, Spectro Oil, Renewable Fuels Association and Baker Drivetrain.

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