The City of Sturgis Soars into 2023 on a custom Harley-Davidson Road Glide

STURGIS, SD - The City of Sturgis is excited to announce it has reached an agreement with Laura Klock, Founder and President of Helping with Horsepower, to customize a 2018 Harley-Davidson Road Glide for the 2023 Mecum Las Vegas Auction, using her Helping with Horsepower Bike Rebuild Program. For this project, students from Mitchell Technical College’s Powersports Program are hands-on and tear down has begun.

“What an honor to be asked to share our program to benefit the City’s Sturgis Rally Endowment fund and promote the Rally!” said Klock. The Helping with Horsepower Bike Rebuild Program began in 2011 when Klock wrote a curriculum because of her desire to share motorcycles as an effective tool to teach life lessons with at-risk youth ages 7-17 in residential treatment. Klock said the program has affected countless lives, including most recently a group of South Dakota Veterans who came together for a bike build. 

The mission of the Helping with Horsepower Bike Rebuild Program is to teach life lessons on a personal and professional level, hands-on, with youth, Veterans, or any group that would benefit from the experience, all the while providing education, empowerment, and encouragement that delivers an important message: “Just like a motorcycle, you can repair, customize and rebuild anything in your life with the right tools and inspiration,” Klock said. The hands chosen to work on this project are those of seven second-year students from Mitchell Technical College.

“Participants in the program are hands-on throughout the entire customization process, including design and marketing,” Klock said. “This one is special because the Rally connects generations, and this project is meant to honor 83 years with a nod to the history of racing through our performance bagger style.”

Chris Degen, Mitchell Technical College’s PowerSports Program Director, said he was searching for a project for his students and this collaboration was a perfect fit.

“The Helping with Horsepower bike rebuild program adds a marketing, design and teamwork aspect that pairs perfectly with the student’s hands-on mechanical course work. These programs have a significant impact on the future of powersports and the students are excited to be working on a project of this caliber,” he said. The students train on a variety of brands including Harley-Davidson, and as South Dakotans, are honored to promote the world’s largest Rally, Degen said. This project brings in a motorcycle and they get to be creative and try some fabrication ideas with no additional cost to the school. The students are working on the project in addition to their regular coursework. 

The Helping With Horsepower Bike Rebuild Program at Mitchell Technical College launched on September 22, 2022, where Klock and Degen introduced the project to the students during class. When presented a 2018 Road Glide to customize, the group unanimously approved the performance bagger style as the theme. Design ideas began and the team has enlisted Tex McDorman, TexEfx, to draw the concept. The original concept drawing will be auctioned off with the motorcycle at the Mecum Auction.

Industry leaders dedicated to the project’s mission include Todd Dozart, local painter; Tex McDorman of TexEfx, artist/paint; official Sponsors of the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, including Custom Chrome USA and Rockford Fosgate; and other parts donations have been provided by Paul Yaffe’s Baggernation, Klock Werks, and Vance & Hines. The students are even doing custom fabrication to make this motorcycle more unique, Klock said.

“For years, a part of the profits from the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally have been donated to local charities. In 2021, the City of Sturgis set up the Sturgis Rally Endowment Fund, a part of the Black Hills Community Foundation to ensure that the Rally tradition of charitable giving endures for the benefit of future area residents,” said Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen.

In 2021, the Sturgis Rally Endowment attracted the attention of a generous anonymous donor who agreed to match donations to the fund, in the form of cash, pledges, or deferred gifts, including the city’s share of net proceeds from the city’s motorcycle build program to a maximum of $100,000. The finished motorcycle has been accepted by the Mecum Auction in Las Vegas, January 2023. 

“If possible, we would like to recognize the person who buys the bike during the opening ceremony of the 2023 City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally next August,” Mayor Carstensen said.

Follow the progress of the build on social media pages and websites and plan to attend or watch the Mecum auction for your chance to own this one-of-a-kind custom motorcycle. 

About Mitchell Technical College

Founded in 1968, it is an innovative leader in technical education and a valued partner in global workforce development, preparing students for career success and lifelong learning in an ever-changing world. The ultramodern campus, found on the edge of Mitchell, South Dakota, is home to thirty-five on-campus academic programs and four online programs. The college prides itself on its regionally unique programs and military friendliness. The Power Sports and Marine Technology is a two-year associate degree program. Students choose to specialize in either powersports or marine in their second year. Students train on a variety of brands, including Harley-Davidson. Currently, the program has six Harley-Davidson motorcycles, including a Live Wire EV, and six Harley engine trainers. The program uses Japanese motorcycles, as well as a dozen metric engines. Students learn on machines from the 1970s through current technology. 

About Helping With Horsepower Bike Rebuild Program

Helping with Horsepower Bike Rebuild Program began in 2011 by President and Founder of HWH, Laura Klock, who wrote a curriculum because of her desire to share motorcycles as an effective tool to teach life lessons to youth ages 7-17 in residential treatment. The Abbott House in Mitchell, South Dakota, was the first location, and the program was so successful that 5 projects, which completed 6 custom motorcycles hands-on in the classroom with youth in care, had a significant financial impact (nearly $500,000) for the Abbott House, and produced measurable results in personal growth and reduced critical incidents while the girls were participating. Inquiries came in so Klock taught and licensed the curriculum to other centers. At its peak, there were eight Helping with Horsepower Bike Rebuild Programs in residential treatment centers across the US. Helping with Horsepower offers additional programming including equine therapy through a partnership with Crystal Young and Reclamation Ranch in Mitchell, SD.

About Laura Klock

A self-proclaimed Serial Entrepreneur, Laura Klock is President and Founder of the South Dakota non-profit Helping With Horsepower, and most recently, part owner of Farm Life Creamery in Ethan, SD. She has been involved various successful start-up and business transformations. In 2022 she was asked to facilitate a class for entrepreneurs. Klock is well known in the motorcycle world for her bike rebuild program, and for setting land speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats. She was the pilot of the first “world’s fastest bagger,” a modified Harley-Davidson Road Glide that was featured on Discovery Channel’s Biker Build-Off series. While personal records are dear to her, Klock will tell you that being the first in history to do something is more important. Klock and her daughters, Erika, and Karlee are the first mother-daughter-daughter trio in history to set records at the same time on the Bonneville Salt Flats. The story is told in the documentary “Klocked: Women with Horsepower”. The trio reached speeds over 194 mph at the same event. Klock is also a member of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame, enjoys giving sidecar rides to her two grandchildren, and loves helping others achieve their dreams in both business and life. She travels for speaking engagements sharing information to encourage you to follow your passions and create the life you’d love to live and a business you enjoy!

About the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

When Clarence "Pappy" Hoel purchased an Indian Motorcycle franchise in the depths of the Great Depression, he had no idea that he was about to begin the most famous motorcycle gathering in the world. It began in 1938, when Pappy, his wife, Pearl, and his Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club decided to host a race in Sturgis. Nine participants and a mere 200 spectators attended. Today the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is one of, if not “the” largest gatherings of motorcycle enthusiasts in the world. The annual Rally turns the town of 7,020 into a city of more than 450,000 each year.   In 2015, Sturgis hosted the 75th Annual Rally with an estimated attendance of 739,000! The Rally takes place every August in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, home to Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse National Memorial and Devil's Tower Monument to name a few of the area's most well-known landmarks. The 2023 Rally, August 4th - 13th, celebrates the 83rd Anniversary of an event known to motorcycle enthusiasts around the world as the "Granddaddy of 'em all". From the Governor of South Dakota to entertainment and sports superstars, to motorcycle industry legends, to your friends from down the street, you are likely to find them all in Sturgis enjoying The Ride. The Roar. The Rally.®

Find a gallery of photos about the bike build here

 Tex McDorman (TexEfx) drew the concept for the Old 83 Spirit of Sturgis bike rebuild.

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