THE EARLEY FAMILY
Hall of Fame Inductee - 2004
Just after the beginning of the Sturgis Rally, Lloyd Earley Sr. became a life member of the Black Hills Motor Classic. For many years he worked, taking admission tickets at the half-mile track. Always thrilled by each race, he never forgot professional expert racers such as Johnny Spiegelhoff, Bobby Hill, Bill Tuman, Joe Leonard, Dick Klamfoth, Dick Mann and Neil Keen, to name a few. Lloyd Sr. passed away in 1985 but loved motorcycle racing to his dying day.
It was through his father’s interest that son Bob found a love of motorcycles. Bob owned many different bikes and riding was to him the ultimate experience. Early on he learned to be a mechanic from “Pappy” Hoel and enjoyed tinkering with bikes the rest of his life. Bob was also a proficient off-road trail rider and racer, gathering many friends, memories and trophies for his endeavors.
Bob never owned a regular push bike as a youngster. His first bike was equipped with a Whizzer motor. In 1950 he purchased his first motorcycle, a Harley-Davidson Hummer, advancing later to an AJS Single and then on to a Matchless Twin, after that it was Harley-Davidson. In 1972 Bob married Ann Lushbough, also a Sturgis native. Ann also rode a Harley. After retiring in 1987, Bob and Ann moved to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico so they could ride in the great southwest weather year round, returning to Sturgis each year for the Rally. Bob was a life member of the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club, the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) and the Harley Owners Group (HOG).
Brother Gunner and his wife Bev, founded, owned and operated the famous Main Street watering hole, Gunner’s from 1965 to 2000. Gunner’s became a popular biker spot each year during the Rally.
As a youngster Gunner attended many races. His love of racing, passed down from this father, led him to be selected to the Board of Directors of the Black Hills Motor Classic in 1965, serving as president from 1971 to 1977. Like his father he enjoyed both the half-mile and short track races. Gunner was a life member of the AMA.