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In History: John Reed Traded to Another Team

Two Museums Trade Motorcycles

Photos and text by Christine Diers, Sturgis Motorcycle Museum


John Reed was inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame, as the master of masters.
John Reed was inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame, as the master of masters.

You might think that the relationship between one motorcycle museum and another could be more competitive than cooperative, but that’s really not the case. A great example of the cooperative efforts of two motorcycle museums is the recent “trade” that’s been made between the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame and the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa.

“The National Motorcycle Museum was designing a new exhibit called 'Motorcycles At Work' and was looking for examples of motorcycles that are used in work settings,” said Christine Paige Diers, Executive Director of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. “Our collection in Sturgis includes the very first police motorcycle ever used in the city of Sturgis, and the National Motorcycle Museum asked if they could include it in their new exhibit. With the permission of the Sturgis Police Department, we said we’d be happy to share this example of a motorcycle at work.”

That’s not the end of the story, though. The cooperative spirit continued when the National Motorcycle Museum offered to lend a great motorcycle to the Sturgis Museum while the police bike was away. So, the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum is pleased to have in its collection a temporary loan of a custom motorcycle originally built for the 50th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

The bike, designed in 1990 by Custom Chrome’s John Reed, was owned by Custom Chrome founder Nace Panzica. It was donated to the National Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame, where it’s made its home. The one-of-a-kind Harley is built from a 1986 engine and frame and finished with 24 karat gold plating. Now, as part of this cooperative agreement, it’ll be on exhibit at the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum until the National Motorcycle Museum’s “Motorcycles At Work” exhibit concludes.

“It really is great to be able to share loans of motorcycles between the two museums,” said Paige Diers. “We are happy that people visiting the National Motorcycle Museum will get to see the very first police bike used in Sturgis, while our visitors will have a chance to see this great custom bike built for such a momentous occasion as the 50th Anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. It’s just a win-win for everyone involved.”

The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 999 Main Street in Sturgis, SD. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday during the summer season. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for anyone 65 and over. Children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.



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