Jay Leno surprises veterans on Sturgis motorcycle ride

JUL 29, 2015 - What should grow to become one of the many great traditions we enjoy in the motorcycle world, kicked off with style and a famous face thanks to a surprise visit from Jay Leno.

Calling the ‘Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis’ “The Next Great Tradition” Full Vision Productions and Indian Motorcycles, kicked off the event with class, honor and a touch of celebrity.

More than a dozen wounded veterans started the ride by picking up their Indian Motorcycles. They were told the bikes were prepped and waiting for them in a Los Angeles warehouse. All were shocked and surprised when Jay Leno opened the door and led the group into the world famous Jay Leno Garage.

Housing his extensive collection of classic motorcycles and cars, Leno graciously gave the veterans a tour and posed for photographs before leading a group ride to a local fire station. There, the veterans were honored for their service and sacrifice.

But the day wasn’t over.

The group rode to the Annual Polaris Dealership convention in Las Vegas where they were again honored by the attendees during the main presentation by Polaris. While at the convention the group were special guests at the unveiling of Indian Motorcycle and Polaris’ new 2016 model year rollout.

The next step is six days riding the spectacular scenic backroads and exploring Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Capital Reef National Park, The Arches and Moab Utah. From Utah they continue their quest through the Colorado National Monument, Hahn’s Peak Colorado, and Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming, arriving in Sturgis Sunday August 2nd.

While in Sturgis, the veterans will partake in the ultimate Sturgis Bike Rally experience, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the rally with Indian Motorcycle, the Original Motorcycle of the Sturgis Rally started by Indian dealer Pappy Hoel in 1938. One of the highlights for the veterans will be participating and riding in the Buffalo Chip “Freedom Ride” Thursday August 6th with 600 fellow veterans.

Emmy award winning director Robert Manciero and his production company Full Vision Productions has partnered with Indian Motorcycle to create this adventure and film the entire journey.

Full Vision Productions and the Veteran Riders will be using an interactive media platform that will enable fellow veterans, Indian Riders, motorcycle enthusiasts and the general public to follow the riders and campaign in real-time interacting with the veterans on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and watch daily videos of their journey on Vimeo and Youtube.

“Going to the Sturgis Bike Rally has been on my Bucket List for many years. Riding to the 75th anniversary with fellow veterans and my brothers from the Wyakin Warrior Foundation is a dream come true. I cannot thank you enough for including us in this adventure of a lifetime and supporting Wyakin and their programs,” said George Nickel of Boise Idaho, a veteran Army Airborne Combat Engineer with 16 years of service, 3 deployments to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Oman and Wyakin Warrior program graduate.

“We created a ride 'Started by Veterans for Veterans' that would not only show appreciation and gratitude, but also help and inform fellow veterans, who still need assistance, that there are many people, groups and organizations that care about them and are truly willing to do something to help them,” said Veterans Charity Ride founder Indian Dave.

For more details about the campaign, videos and specifics of the route and excursions, visit the Veterans Charity Ride official website.

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