STURGIS, S.D. – A talented woman with roots in the motorcycle world has been named the Grand Marshal for the 83rd City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Laura Klock, president and founder of the South Dakota non-profit Helping With Horsepower, most recently completed her Bike Rebuild program with students from Mitchell Technical College which will be auctioned at Mecum Auction Las Vegas on Saturday, Jan. 28. Funds from the sale of the motorcycle will benefit both Helping With Horsepower and the Sturgis Rally Endowment Fund.
Klock said she was honored and humbled to be asked to be grand marshal.
“The Sturgis Rally holds a really special place in my heart,” she said.
The first time she came to the Rally was in 1996 with her dad who got married at the event.
“I was hooked after seeing all the different bikes and all the different kinds of people that come here and the rides you can do, the music – as a small-town Wisconsin girl, it opened a world of ideas for me! It’s been a tradition in our family ever since,” she said.
Klock has seen all sides of the Rally from being a vendor to enjoying all the Rally has to offer while on girls’ trips to the event.
“I’m so excited to represent the rally and encourage people to come here if they’ve never been. Even if they don’t ride motorcycle, they can come and experience it and see this world. It’s amazing.”
Klock is known in motorcycling circles for setting land speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats. She was the pilot of the first “world’s fastest bagger,” a modified Harley-Davidson Road Glide that was featured on Discovery Channel’s Biker Build-Off series and helped design and test the patented Flare windshield.
While personal records are dear to her, Klock will tell you that being the first in history to do something is more important. Klock and her daughters, Erika and Karlee, are the first mother-daughter-daughter trio in land speed racing history to set records at the same time on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Their story is told in the documentary “Klocked: Women with Horsepower.”
Klock is a member of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame, taught the Basic Rider Course for the State of South Dakota for 10 years, is a founding member of the Biker Belles (15 years in 2023), enjoys giving sidecar rides to her two grandchildren, and loves helping others achieve their dreams in both business and life.
The Helping With Horsepower Bike Rebuild Program is near and dear to Klock. It began in 2011 when Klock wrote a curriculum because of her desire to share motorcycles as an effective tool to teach life lessons to youth ages 7-17 in residential treatment.
The Abbott House in Mitchell, SD, was the first location, and the program was so successful that five projects, which completed six custom motorcycles hands-on in the classroom with youth in care, had a significant financial impact (nearly $500,000) for the Abbott House, and produced measurable results in personal growth and reduced critical incidents while the girls were participating. Inquiries came in so Klock taught and licensed the curriculum to other centers. At its peak, there were eight Helping With Horsepower Bike Rebuild Programs in residential treatment centers across the US.
Klock has been involved in various successful start-up and business transformations and is currently part owner of Farm Life Creamery in Ethan, SD.
She has traveled for speaking engagements to connect, inspire and challenge people to follow their passions.
“Create the life you’d love to live,” she says, “and if you’re afraid to do something, do it afraid!”