Nautical Masterpieces on Harley-Davidson Wheels

This Harley Davidson Street Glide motorcycle serves as a gleaming canvas for meticulously hand-painted depictions of the USS South Dakota.

"From top to bottom, front to back, every fender, every panel has undergone a complete custom painting," remarked Tom Verhey, a member of the Battleship South Dakota Memorial Foundation.

On the motorcycle's right flank, akin to the starboard side, are portrayals of the nuclear submarine, while the left side showcases the battleship.

"I particularly admire this image here on the front cowl, depicting a combat scenario with the 16-inch guns firing. It's truly striking," added Battleship South Dakota Memorial Board member Tom Verhey.

The motorcycle made its debut during the 2019 commissioning ceremony of the submarine in Connecticut.

"It's currently in active service, and that's precisely why this bike was crafted - for the commissioning of the USS South Dakota, the third vessel to bear the state's name," explained Verhey.

Anticipation surrounds the motorcycle's role as a major attraction for the memorial's 55th anniversary celebration.

"We typically welcome 11,000 visitors from all 50 states and around 20 countries. I believe this will significantly contribute to our attendance. We're already seeing an increase in tour bookings. We've scheduled five tours in May alone, which is well above our usual numbers," stated Museum Manager Harry Engberg.

With just under 1,000 miles on the odometer, the motorcycle isn't open to just anyone. Only current or original members of the South Dakota submarine crew can ride it.

"They're granted a lifetime pass to borrow this bike and ride it anywhere in South Dakota. Additionally, any current sailor assigned to the USS South Dakota can also ride it," Verhey clarified.

It's an elite biker's club, navigating the open road on a Harley-Davidson through the high seas.

Renowned artist Mickey Harris of Menno meticulously hand-painted the motorcycle.

After being showcased in Sioux Falls throughout May, the motorcycle will return to its permanent residence at the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum in time for the August rally.