Ride Alongside USS South Dakota Tribute Harley, July 14 & 15
‘USS South Dakota Ride Across South Dakota’ will journey from Sioux Falls to Sturgis to honor history of namesake ships.
When most Harley fans think of South Dakota, one name comes to mind: Sturgis. The small town a half-hour northeast on the edge of the Black Hills National Forest swells into a big city of half a million for 10 days every August during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
For a few Harley fans in the United States Navy, though, the state also happens to be the namesake of the USS South Dakota battleship and its successor, the SSN South Dakota submarine. Both ships were memorialized on a special 2018 Street Glide, one that, per Yankton, South Dakota newspaper Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan, will be take part in the USS South Dakota Ride Across South Dakota July 14 and 15.
According to the Yankton Daily Press, a group of 10 Navy sailors led by Commanding Officer Craig Litty and Chief of the Boat Adam Goulas will take the commemorative Street Glide out on the two-day journey from Sioux Falls to Sturgis, each sailor taking turns riding the Harley painted by Menno, South Dakota artist Mickey Harris.
Riders will gather before the Battleship USS South Dakota Memorial in Sioux Falls at 8 p.m. July 14, then roll out an hour later to the famed Corn Palace in Mitchell to view the corn murals of the battleship and submarine which share the South Dakota name. From there, the ride will make an overnight stop in the state capital of Pierre.
At 9 a.m. July 15, the riders will rally at the State Capitol, then set out to Black Hills Harley-Davidson in Rapid City before, finally, landing in Sturgis to induct the USS South Dakota Street Glide into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. There, the tribute Harley will be on permanent display and maintained for plankowners of the current SSN South Dakota to ride whenever they wish.
Black Hills Harley-Davidson will help the museum keep the Street Glide running for the next three decades, while J&L Harley-Davidson in Sioux Falls is the main sponsor of the two-day run for one of the coolest tribute Harleys ever made, donated to the Navy League of the United States by the MoCo themselves. According to the SSN 790 website, the Harley was on display at the Harley-Davidson Museum, and was there for the SSN South Dakota’s christening ceremony on October 14, 2017.
Photos: PCU South Dakota SSN 790/Facebook and USS South Dakota Commissioning Committee/Facebook