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Sturgis Museum Honors Million Mile Man Dave Zien and his 1991 FXR

Posted on Nov 21, 2011
On January 20, 2007, Tony and Vicki Sanfelipo presented an appreciation banquet for former Senator Dave Zien. The list of well wishers included Willie G. Davidson, Ken and Rita Bostelman, A.B.A.T.E. of Illinois FEDPAC Treasurer, numerous colleagues in the Wisconsin legislature, Darla Crown, Children's Home Society, Rapid City, South Dakota, Jim Baxter, President, National Motorists Association, and many more. The list of speakers at the event included South Dakota State Representative Jim Putnam, Wayne Curtin, Government Relations, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, New York Myke, Owner, San Diego Harley-Davidson, Pam West, National Parks Service, Ed Moreland, VP of Government Relations, AMA, Kirk "Hardtail" Willard, President MRF, Steve Phillips, VP of Quality Reliability & Tech Support, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Mike Kneebone, President, Iron Butt Association, Jim Braun, NRA and Governor Tommy G. Thompson, Wisconsin.

At the time, nobody realized that a short two years later, Zien would break yet another world record, this time being the first and only person to accumulate 1 million miles on a single motorcycle. You can read more about this in an article posted on ridernet. Zien, the man, was inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum in August, 2000. Nine years later, his motorcycle claimed its spot in history among the many cherished vintage motorcycles on permanent display or loan at the Sturgis Museum.

Many people know about the many world records Zien achieved aboard his beloved motorcycle, like 31,068 miles in 31 days, three 100,000 + mile years, 6,200 miles in 5 days, etc.  What many people don't know is that he was a major force in the Wisconsin Legislature, authoring every bill that had a positive affect on motorcyclists of that state. He ran eleven marathons (26.2 miles) seven of them carrying a 3X5 foot American flag in honor of fallen veterans and reminding people of our country's POW/MIAs. He initiated the first major Veteran's monument recognizing motorcyclists, the Wisconsin Veterans Tribute. He coordinated the carrying of four memorial stones, each weighing over 200 pounds, on Harley-Davidsons in 1998, making them the heaviest objects ever left at "The Wall" in Washington, D.C. He is also the person responsible for teaching then governor Tommy G. Thompson to ride a motorcycle back in 1994, and the Tommy Thompson Reunion Rides continue to this day with Thompson joining the riders each year to tour Wisconsin and other states.

Unfortunately, Zien was in a serious motorcycle crash in March, 2011 and nearly lost his life. He did lose his left leg because of injuries sustained in that crash. He hired Hupy and Abraham to represent him in that crash because he had faith in the firm, having been a former client.  He trusted God and Harley-Davidson to handle his rehabilitation. It must be working because five months after his crash, he was back in the saddle of a new Harley-Davidson Trike and has already been back to Sturgis to visit his old FXR. In fact, since he picked up his bike at Hal's Harley-Davidson on August 9, 2011, he has over 18,000 miles on it. Not bad for a one legged rider who, except for the grace of God, shouldn't even be alive today.

He received a new 2009 Harley-Davidson Road Glide on April 6, 2009, when he completed his Million Mile world record and that was the bike he was riding when he crashed last March. In just under two years, he was on track to reach one quarter million miles by April, 2011. The crash ended that dream but who knows what records he'll break on his new Trike. As for the Road Glide, Progressive Insurance has donated the bike to Road Guardians Compound in Big Bend, Wisconsin. Owner Vicki Sanfelipo plans on erecting a Motorcycle Tribute with the bike where people will be encouraged to drop off mementos of crashes they survived or memorials to riders injured or killed in crashes. She envisions a shrine of sorts for people to visit and reflect on loved ones, share stories, offer thanks for survivals or perhaps gratitude for having someone spend time on earth with us.  More about the tribute when it's completed.