Mike's Famous Harley-Davidson to Host Kick-Off Reception for Commissioning of USS South Dakota

New London, CT – On January 31, 2019, from 5-8 p.m. Mike's Famous Harley-Davidson at 951 Bank Street, New London, CT, will host the official kick-off reception to celebrate the commissioning of the USS South Dakota (SSN 790) the Navy’s next generation Virginia class fast attack submarine.

The invitation-only event will honor the first sailors of the original USS South Dakota, all active and veteran military, and those who built the new submarine at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, CT. Commanding Officer Cmdr. Craig L. Litty, Chief of Boat YCOB-HMCS Adam Goulas, South Dakota’s former Governor Dennis Daugaard, the USS South Dakota Commissioning Committee and a host of high-ranking Connecticut government officials will be in attendance along with Harley-Davidson® representatives and other VIP guests. There will be entertainment, food and beverages by RD86 Restaurant of New London, and guest speakers at this official kick-off reception.

Additionally, there will be a private viewing of the Commemorative USS South Dakota 2018 H-D Street Glide® motorcycle and 1956 Ford Thunderbird Medal of Honor Car hand painted by word-renowned artist, Mickey Harris, who will also be in attendance and speak about these fabled machines. Both historic pieces will be displayed together under one roof from January 29th-31st only at Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson.

The public is invited to visit the dealership to see these vehicles on January 29 - 30, 2019 from 12 -7pm. Food and beverage will be complimentary from 12-2 pm and a happy hour will occur from 5-7 pm. After the commissioning, the Commemorative Street Glide® motorcycle will be on its way to the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame in South Dakota. A motorcycle ignition key will remain on board the submarine and any USS South Dakota sailor can ride the bike when visiting the museum. The bike will stand ready as the crew's official motorcycle and will help build bonds between the CT based sailors and the State of South Dakota as they experience the excitement of riding a motorcycle on open road.

There is limited availability for the private reception on Thursday January 31st.  All military and Electric Boat employees please use the links below to register for your tickets today:

For the preview days, which are open to the public, Tuesday and Wednesday January 29th and 30th please use the link below:
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About the USS South Dakota (SSN 790):
The Virginia Class is the first class of submarines developed for post-cold war missions. These fast-attack submarines have the newest technology the Navy has to offer. The USS South Dakota (SSN 790) is armed with four torpedo tubes as well as two Virginia Payload Tubes (VPT), each capable of holding six vertical launch Tomahawk missiles that can hit on-shore targets up to 1,240 miles away. The ship is 370 feet long, 10 feet longer than a standard football field. It is 34 feet wide and is nearly as tall as a 12-story building. The USS South Dakota will be manned by 132 crew members: 15 officers and 117 enlisted servicemen. The employees of General Dynamic Electric Boat will also be acknowledged for their building of this new submarine.

About General Dynamics Electric Boat:
Established in 1899, Electric Boat has established standards of excellence in the design, construction and lifecycle support of submarines for the U.S. Navy. Primary operations are the shipyard in Groton, CT, the automated hull-fabrication and outfitting facility in Quonset Point, RI, and an engineering building in New London, CT.

About Mike's Famous ® Harley-Davidson New London, CT:
A proud supporter of the United States Military, Mike’s Famous® is the largest Harley® dealership in southern New England. In 2015 Mike's Famous® received the Military Community Support Award as Business of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT. Mike's Famous® is the official Toys for Tots headquarters for southeastern Connecticut, and serves as host for the Gift Run, one of the oldest bike runs in Connecticut which is celebrating its 40th year in 2019. Mike's Famous® resides in a historic former Coca-Cola® bottling factory, circa 1939. The 55,000 square foot factory houses a museum-like experience including automobilia, collectibles, signage, and Coca-Cola® and Harley-Davidson memorabilia.

About J&L Harley-Davidson Sioux Falls South Dakota:
J&L Harley-Davidson in Sioux Falls, SD calls riders from all over the country. Their flagship store is located in Sioux Falls, SD. They have been a strong partner in the Sioux Falls and surrounding communities for over 41 years.

While Harley-Davidson® Motor Company donated the USS South Dakota Tribute 2018 FLHX H-D Street Glide® to the Navy League of South Dakota, J&L Harley-Davidson has sponsored the bike including providing the H-D® parts and labor for the life of the motorcycle, and coordinating the painting of the bike which will be on permanent display at the Sturgis Motor Cycle Museum & Hall of Fame.

*The Navy League of the United States, South Dakota Council and Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson are working in partnership on the events listed above. The United States Department of Defense is not affiliated with these events in any manner and does not endorse or otherwise have any relationship with Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company® or any of their affiliates.