“Where the Rally Began”

In 1938, an Indian Motorcycle Dealer in Sturgis, South Dakota named JC Pappy Hoyel started the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.  It was an informal gathering of his customers and friends designed to facilitate races, promote touring and above all reinforce the camaraderie of motorcyclist everywhere.  It is this spirit that continues to dominate the rally today and it is in “Pappy's” old shop that Gypsie Vintage Cycle continues to honor the vintage motorcycles of our past while promoting the indomitable spirit of today’s bikers.

What kind of motorcycle did you ride in high school?  How about your “Pappy?”  Even Gramps’ first scooter may be sitting on our showroom floor just waiting for you.  We specialize in vintage motorcycles of all makes and models with emphasis on American, English and Japanese manufacturers of the ‘50s and ‘60s.  Our showroom features restored and near new motorcycles.  Additionally, we maintain a large inventory of original and complete “project bikes?”  Looking for a winter project?  That’s our specialty!  Gypsie Vintage Cycles also maintains a large inventory featured on the next page.

Thank you for visiting our home page.  No trip to Sturgis is complete without a stop by our showroom.  Our special inventory of classic bikes will take you back to a place and time of long ago.  Additionally, our inventory of select gifts for the vintage biker is unique with many one-of-a-kind items.
Pappy Hoel also founded the White Plate Racing Association, whose history is as rich as the rally itself.  We are proud to be affiliated with the White Plate Racing Association and offer many fine items representing their history and abundant contributions to motorcycling greatest event.

My Sturgis Journey

It was 1990, the 50th Sturgis Rally. I was a rookie rally goer camping at a small campground up Vanocker Canyon. Riding in and out of town each day I passed a tired little building next to an old farm house. It was vacant, in disrepair and sporting a small "For Sale by Owner" sign in the cracked window. The 50th Rally ended and back to Denver I went but the image of that small tired building stuck with me somehow?

The 51st Rally was awesome and my rookie rally year was behind me. Riding, races and revelry dominated my visit. To my surprise, the tired little building was still for sale, still vacant, and for some reason, still calling to me. I took a chance and called the number. No answer, no answering machine. It was the Rally after all and real business was taboo. The 51st Rally passed and home I went and again with me, the nagging curiosity of this cool old building.

In the dead of winter that year I had a dream about Sturgis and about the old building. For reason I still don't understand, it became impossible to push this place out of my mind. I dug out the crumpled paper with the phone number that failed before and tried once again. This time I got the owners broker and set an appointment for two days later. I flew into Rapid City in a raging March snowstorm. The visit went well and the hook with the property was a purchaser needed to not only buy the building, but also the big farmhouse next door. (That part wasn't mentioned on the phone.) The deal was now bigger. The stakes a bit larger. What hadn't changed was my inexplicable desire to own the property. The offer was made, accepted, and in no time the tired little building and the big house was mine.

The house already had renters and the building cleaned up nicely. It was a sheet metal shop, an antique store and a woodworking shop over the next few years. I rented the front and camped during the Rally in the back. It was ten years later, Rally 2000, the 60th Sturgis Rally that finally answered all my questions. A friend who was staying with me came running in with a newspaper in hand. "You're not going to believe this" he said, unfolding the newspaper. There on the front page was a picture of the original Indian motorcycle shop of "Pappy Hoel" the Rally founder. There on that newspaper was a photo of my building and the house long occupied by the #1 family of Sturgis. The pieces of the puzzle started to all fit together.

It wasn't long thereafter that I retired and made the decision to pour my savings into expanding and remodeling the shop and the historic Hoel house. I'm a vintage motorcycle collector and as such, the decision was made to open a vintage motorcycle shop bringing back to life the bikes that helped to define my generation-60's & 70's for the most part. The history of the Rally became a huge part of our operation. No film, video or documentary of Sturgis is complete without a visit to ground zero and the origin of the greatest motorcycle event in the world. It's now up to us to find the next generation of caretakers and businessmen to move this business forward while preserving its illustrious past. Sturgis and the Black Hills are in our blood now and regardless of where we end up, you can be sure we'll be back in Sturgis come rally time every year. For information on our tired little shop call 605-490-3632.

Coe & Vicki Meyer

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