#52 Stephen “Doc” Hopkins
1916 Harley-Davidson with wicker sidecar
Doc, who earned his nickname after receiving his doctoral in mechanics, was part of a team that managed to navigate his handsome machine across every single mile of the difficult route that spanned 15 states. The Doc ’n’ Dawn duo came in 10th overall and became the first couple to complete the transcontinental run with a sidecar. Along the way there were lots of adjustments, gear changes and a few minor mechanical issues but Doc’s experience as a mechanic, machinist, welder, and fabricator, along with his quick wit and ingenuity, paid off to deliver both bike and riders intact. At one point, the rear brakes went out. Doc spent the day keeping that secret from his sidekick, just in case Dawn was uncomfortable with the thought. In addition to the bike tweaks, the couple themselves often showed up at the daily starting line decked out in a different set of costumes and Doc had his hand in that process as well. He’s known to pull up a chair in front of his sewing machine and whip up some nifty get-up befitting any occasion.
In his everyday life, Doc owns Doc’s Harley-Davidson in Bonduel, Wisconsin, and the place is famous as one of those destination spots that every rider puts on their bucket list. From a small zoo with a menagerie of critters like exotic birds, buffalo, alligators, kangaroos and more, to a restaurant and on-site smokehouse right on up to a car and motorcycle museum and amusement park of sorts, it’s an understatement to say Doc’s is not your average dealership. As a matter of fact, there is absolutely nothing average about Doc at all. Drag racing on the streets back in 1969, officially registered on the strips since 1975, he’s torn up the tarmac across the country and even set a land speed record. As an imaginative father, he’s known to host great parties and treasure hunts for the grandkids and as a concerned member of his community, he’s been seen grilling up free food for hungry Salvation Army bell ringers in the midst of a snow flurry. Chatty and charming, Doc was a first-time rider in the 2016 Motorcycle Cannonball and was immediately afflicted by the addiction that manages to infect everyone that undertakes the challenge of riding an antique thousands of miles across America. For 2018, Doc is registered to ride the back roads again with a new tribe of like-minded maniacs. The motorcycles will be pre-1929 and we’re looking forward to seeing what machine Doc shows up with. Whatever it is, you can bet it will be something unique, just like its rider.