Originally Published In The November 2016 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
One of the great additions to the city of Sturgis has been the Harley-Davidson Rally Point on Harley-Davidson Way right in the center of town. While this event center was in operation for the 75th, it was this year that it was filled to near capacity on Tuesday August 9th for the Harley-Davidson / Editor’s Choice custom bike show. Now, as far as historic happenings I have to tell you with some great sense of pride how cool this was from the industry’s perspective. The Editor’s Choice show started three years ago but started a new chapter at Daytona Bike Week when it teamed up with the Harley Show. The idea behind Editor’s Choice is that we bring all the national and international Motorcycle Media Outlets together and let each one select a bike that would not only get an award but would also be featured in their publication. When added into Harley’s already successful show series, what could be better. Well, how about the fact that this year the people from the Motor Company also invited eight of the top bike builders in the country to choose a bike for an award. Dave Perewitz, Eddie Trotta, Pat Patterson, Will Ramsey, John Shope, Jesse Rooke, Taber Nash and Indian Larry Motorcycles all chose bikes that they felt represented the top of the bunch. It didn’t stop there. About halfway through the day Big Kris “Schoony” Schoonover from Harley rolled in with Dana White and his boys from UFC and Dana picked a bike for an award. The crowning glory for any build was the Willie G Award that the man himself was on hand to present. It all added up to the first show, at least that I can remember, where the factory, the custom industry, the national and international press and celebrities all worked together to celebrate the world of the custom motorcycle.
As you can imagine the awards lined two tables and honestly were all cool but the ones that were delivered from Harley-Davidson themselves were bad as hell. They were hand made from engine components from the factory. In the end there were nearly one hundred bikes in the lineup that closed down half of Main Street, another historic first I believe, with over 26 separate classes and the rest of the special guest trophies to hand out, anyone in the show had a great shot. At the ceremony some of these builders ended up with twoand three awards, as they should have. Some of the bikes were just that amazing so they got the nod from Harley, an American Editor, International Editor and sometimes one of the celebrity judges as well. The real story was the diversity of bikes. Everything was on hand from radical FXRs to Big Wheel Baggers, kick ass little choppers to street customs and Classic restorations, each of which had only to compete against other like motorcycles. It was, in my humble opinion, one of the better shows I have ever seen. In it, not only did hard working cats get their just reward, but a culture of separate interests and varied backgrounds came together in celebration of this thing we share; the passion for the motorcycle. You can see more of this by watching the fine publications who all signed on to participate, Harley’s own media stream and of course the Editor’s Choice FaceBook page where you can also watch for upcoming shows to get in on this action.