Ed Spilker

This week, the world famous "Sturgis Motorcycle Rally" is taking place in Sturgis, South D...

ed spilkerThis week, the world famous "Sturgis Motorcycle Rally" is taking place in Sturgis, South Dakota. It's probably the biggest motorcycle rally there is.

While many people know about Sturgis, not many have heard of Ed Spilker. He's one of the guys credited with having started the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. He's considered by many to be one of the living legends of motorcycling, and he lives in Sun City.

Though right now, he's in Sturgis.

Many people know him as "Indian Ed", because that's the bike he rode for many years. He bought it brand new in 1948, an Indian Chief. Spilker was one of the original members of the Jackpine Gypsies, which dates back to the 1930s. This is the club that started the Sturgis Motorcyle Rally. As I understand it right now, he's just one of the four last remaining members still alive.

Spilker attended every Sturgis Motorcycle Rally there was, except in 2005. That was when someone stole his beloved 1948 Indian. They stole right off of his property in Sun City. They haven't found it yet.

I actually met Ed Spilker at the Albertson's on Newport & Murrieta roads. This was in June 2006, I had just parked my truck in the parking lot, and saw him parking his Yamaha motorcycle up by the entrance. A while later, I walked to the check out line, and found him right in front of me. I didn't know who he was at the time.

I said to him, "Is that you're Road Star parked out front?" He said, "Yeah, that's mine", and he proceeded to tell me about his 1948 Indian and when it got stolen. That's when he told me about being in the Jackpine Gypsies and having been at every Sturgis Motorcycle Rally except for 2005.

He spoke loudly and strongly, his tone of voice was rather assertive. He seemed angry. Then it dawned on me that it was only a year ago that his 1948 Indian was stolen. The bike he had been riding ever since then, 57 years in fact, gone, vanished. You'd be angry too.

What made me think about this, was the fact that that the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is taking place right now, and because I had happened to find a report of his stolen motorcycle online...
http://www.indianmotorbikes.com/watch/stolenbikewatch.htm

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  1. Ed is a nice guy and whoever stole his beloved Indian will get what they deserve! I rode to Sturgis this year but I did not get the chance to see Ed. We rode back in 25 hrs. stopping only for gas and food (and for an hour to watch the sun come up just north of Vegas). 1410 miles - Sturgis, SD to Menifee, CA in 25 hours on Harleys!

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  2. Update: I've been told by some that Ed got his Indian back. I don't know how, but if I see him, I'll ask.

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  3. I heard they found it at a scrap yard in moreno valley. Ed was in Sturgis in 2005, I went to his Birthday party at the knuckle saloon. And yes he was tearing up the dance floor with the young ladies! I have Pictures.

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  4. He was doing the same thing this year. Indian by bis side. Girls at the ready. We spent his birthday with him at the Knuckle and the girls fell in love with him. Happy Birthday Ed!

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  5. I wanted to share this story with all of you. August 2005, I moved from Belle Fourche SD to Evanston Wyoming, during my attempted move. The horse trailer got a flat out side of Casper, we changed the flat and went on, ten miles down the road we got another flat, well we were out of spares and dropped the horse trailer down off side of the road to go back into Casper to get a new tire. Well when we got back we realized the trailer had sunk in the dirt and there was no way we were going to get that trailer hooked up on our own. Here we were stuck in the middle of no where , me with a new born baby in my arms, many passed us by, also so did a highway patrolmen, after I tried to flag him down with a new born baby in my arms and two small boys at my side, he passed right on by and never even stopped. Finally this group of bikers flew by, turned around and came back, then another man who was moving to Sidney Montana, And a Little Old man who was 79yrs old.These guys 5 big bikersthe man moving to Montana and this little old man , all helped to lift that trailer with all my belongings.These guys were so sweet and so caring, the big ole' bikers hugged me and said they would follow to make sure we made it to Evanston. The little ole man also followed, he stopped every stop we made, every stop he bought the boys candy and soda, then when we got to Evanston, he stayed and helped us move into our home and spent the night and then had breakfast with us the next morning. Gave us all some T Shirts, his name was Ed Spilker. He was just an amazing old man, who told us all kinds of cool stories, He left after breakfast that morning and the boys cried cause they had gotten attached to him already, I felt that I had known him forever.I was so pleased to know that strangers can be so nice and so helpful, and was ticked that that highway patrolmen didn't even stop, even wrote a letter to the editor of the casper paper about it, as I searched tonight online I found a picture of him and a listing for his stolen motorcycle, I always wondered how he was , well it's been 6 yrs ago, I sure hope he is well and living the good life still . I would love to know how his life is going and to tell him that we have thought about him several times over the years. Everything happens for a reason and I"m a firm believer that God works in mysterious ways. God put Ed and those other men on that highway to help us and after they helped to load that Goose Neck trailer we sit around and visited on side of the road, and those guys told me that they wouldn't had stopped but when they seen me standing out there with that little bitty baby they knew they had to turn around and come back, and that is what they did, Ed didn't have to stop either none of them did, it's beyond me why they did other then the fact that , that is what life is all about helping others.Just wanted to share this story with you. If anyone reading this knows of Ed Spilker, please tell him you heard our story, also if anyone knows his Good friend Gary Stark, please put me in touch with him, I'd love to share this story with Ed's friends and family, cause he touched our hearts on that hot august day on the side of the highway outside of Casper Wyoming. Thanks Mary Glaser marykglaser@yahoo.com

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  6. Hi Mary,
    I stayed with ED in sturgis in 2005. Last night I was at ED's 59th wedding aniverserry.I was telling a friend of mine how amazing Ed is and how he helped start Sturgis.
    Your story put a smile on my face this morning. last nights party with Ed and Evelyn was awesome. I will definetly tell him to read your thread. I have known Ed for quite awhile he is a man among men so it does not surprise me at all that he stopped and helped you. Peace

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  7. Thanks to all of you who helped to put me in touch with Ed after I left the commment about him helping my family in 2005. I look forward to talking to him in the next few days. I've listed comments on several sites about Ed and have had over 45 responses, he is for sure one amazing man who everyone loves. Thanks again Mary Glaser

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  8. WE NEED YOUR HELP IN GETTING ED SPILKER NOMINATED IN TO THE HALL OF FAME IN STURGIS.HE'S NOT DOING TO WELL THESE DAYS.WE FEEL THAT HE HAS DONE HIS PART IN KEEPING THE RALEY GOING,AND DESERVES TO BE IN.WORKING ON INDIAN MOTOR CYCLE AT STARLITE CYCLES FOR BOB STARK.PROMOTING STURGIS AND THE RALEYS ALL THESE YEARS, HE ALWAYS BRINGS PEOPLE WITH HIM TO THE RALEY,SETS UP CAMP GROUNDS FOR THEM CONTACT STURGIS MOTORCYCLE HALL OF FAME.INC@www.sturgismuseum.com/assets/file FOR APPLICATIONS.THIS WILL PERK ED UP.MUST BE IN BY JAN,13 2012 LET'S HELP ED FEEL BETTER. THANK YOU BILL DEVLIN/JEANNIE

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  9. Me and My buddy bought that bike at an online Auction a few years back. We then found out it was stolen. We then met with Ed and a few police officers and reunited Ed and his Indian. No scrap yard. But it was in Moreno Valley when it was returned to him.

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  10. I believe the true story on this was that, a gentleman named Robert Cortes from Corona, CA. saw Ed Spilkers bike on E-Bay for sale. Robert Cortes contacted the Investigator from Moreno valley Police and arranged for Ed Spilker to pick up his bike directly from the shop trying to sell it, instead of the police turning over to the insurance co. Now this is verifiable.
    Just ask Ed or Evelyn Spilker.

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