Steven Tyler At Sturgis With Red Wing Motorcycles


August 10, 2008

Steven Tyler, of Aerosmith fame, is branching out into the motorcycle industry.

Tyler, along with his partners renowned engineer Mark Dirico and Stephen Talarico of AC Custom Motorcycles, launched Redwing Motorcycles in 2007, and they are in Sturgis this year to network with domestic dealers and get their name out. The bikes are touted as beautiful creations that are both comfortable to ride and reliable.

Tyler has been doing meet-and-greets at Thunder Road near Glencoe Camp Resort to promote his new motorcycle line, for which he has had a heavy design influence. His partners include renowned engineer Mark Dirico and Stephen Talarico of AC Custom Motorcycles.

“Steven Tyler has provided the artistic vision for Redwing,” said Massey as she introduced the group. “He has insisted on making sure each motorcycle is as comfortable as it is unique.”

During the press conference Tyler explained that the goal of his new line is to provide motorcycles that look and feel good, but that are also very reliable. Redwing Motorcycles, which debuted in 2007, are distributed around the world, and the company’s goal at Sturgis is to network with domestic dealerships.

“It just went from a dream, just like a song does, that comes to fruition,” Tyler said of how Redwing Motorcycles got started. “It comes from the lust and love of driving and the ‘what if?’ That’s how I got to be in this band. It’s the same thing. I love watching things come from a dream and an idea and a thought, to what we got today. It’s just amazing.”

Tyler spoke about his new line of bikes during a Rally press conference where law enforcement officers, S.D. Department of Transportation officials and other Rally officials talked about how the Rally has been going.

Despite the two accidents, law enforcement officers said so far the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has been pretty quiet. Arrests are up, they said, but that’s because traffic is lighter and their officers are able to get around better. Smaller crowds also makes it easier for the bikers to get around, Sturgis Police Chief Jim Bush said, which means that bikers who normally stay out at the campgrounds are choosing to venture out later than normal.

But overall, Merwin and Bush said this year has been pretty mild.

“In 30 years I’ve never seen this much boring,” Bush said.

Officials from the Department of Transportation said traffic counts for Saturday show a 7.8 percent decrease in crowds as compared to last year, and counts for Sunday show a 10 percent decrease from last year. Numbers for Monday through Wednesday should be available by the end of the week, he said.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Director Pepper Massey said this year there are 696 vendors. While that is down from last year, she said many vendors are choosing to partner with others for one space, or they are not taking as many spaces as in previous years. Additionally, Massey said the vendors with small-ticket items are not doing as well as those that are peddling motorcycle parts and accessories.

“The people who have been affected by the economy aren’t here and some of the smaller vendors aren’t as successful as some of the industry people,” she said.

One group that has increased in numbers this year, Massey said, are the Europeans. This year she said there have been several large groups come to the Rally from overseas, including a group from South Korea, a group of about 50 or 60 Australians, as well as several Canadians and Japanese.

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