Marilyn Stemp

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Marilyn Stemp
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Marilyn Weisser

(1954-12-16) December 16, 1954 (age 68)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
CitizenshipUnited States of America
EducationB.A. in Journalism
Alma materPennsylvania State University
  • Writer
  • Editor
  • Publisher
  • Motorcyclist
Years active1989-present
Known forFounding Editor IronWorks Magazine
Notable work
  • IronTrader News
  • Sturgis Rider Daily
  • Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations
Spouse(s)Dennis Stemp
ChildrenVincent C. Stemp, Kenzi M. Stemp
Parent(s)Frank J. Weisser, Stella Marie Weisser (Kirchner)
  • Inductee Las Vegas Motorcycle Hall of Fame (2018)
  • Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame (2018)

Marilyn Stemp (born December 16, 1954) is an American writer, editor, and publisher of topical motorcycle publications including IronWorks Magazine,[1] IronTrader News and Sturgis Rider Daily.[2][3][4] Inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame and the Las Vegas Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2018,[5][6] she freelances for both consumer and industry publications, consults with the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Campground and is a partner in the Evel Knievel Museum adjacent to Historic Harley-Davidson in Topeka, Kansas.[7][8]

Biography And Career

Writer, photographer, publisher and motorcyclist Marilyn Weisser Stemp was born in Pittsburgh, PA and graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Journalism from The Pennsylvania State University in 1976.[9] She spent the next 14 years in the commercial printing industry in both Syracuse, NY, and Pittsburgh, PA, during which time she moved through the ranks of the Craftsman’s Club to become the first female president of that chapter.

She married Dennis Stemp in 1986 and together they co-founded Dennis Stemp Publishing, Inc. and Iron Trader News, renamed IronWorks Magazine, in March of 1989. IronWorks focused on the machines and people of V-Twin custom motorcycling and the industrial art of customizing, not the lifestyle. The magazine provided a showcase for little known but talented garage builders, featuring their work based on inherent valve not commercial prowess, while also making space for women and minority motorcyclists long before it was popular. An "IronWorks bike" became a designated style recognized among motorcycle industry professionals.

As single title publishers Marilyn and Dennis struggled to keep IronWorks afloat, turning to their own garage for funding by selling their motorcycles to pay printing bills. In 1992 the Stemp’s developed an innovative funding program for Stemp Publishing through a Pittsburgh-based enterprise incubator. The deal they struck with investors featured cash infusions and pay backs at designated times. This created cash flow but did not diminish company ownership when repaid on schedule. The deal was featured in Inc. Magazine.[10]

Dennis passed away in 2000, and Marilyn became the first female editor of a nationally-circulated, mainstream motorcycle magazine, staying at the helm for the next 14 years and bringing her son, Vincent Stemp, on staff. Then as now, Marilyn traveled extensively covering motorcycle rallies, events and industry expositions, building the magazine’s respect her own solid network.[11] Increasing overhead costs led to the title ending in 2014. Marilyn re-established Iron Trader News online that January.[12] The title continues today as a grassroots resource for motorcyclists.

In 2015 she restarted her freelance career, contributing to both motorcycling industry and consumer titles as well as consulting with the Sturgis Buffalo Chip in Sturgis, SD on projects related to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.She also edited the monthly Kiwi Indian E-news from 2016 to 2020 and produced event programs for the annual Donnie Smith bike and car show.[13][14]

In 2013 Stemp partnered with Lathan Mckay’s Evel Knievel Enterprises project which led to the restoration of Evel’s iconic Mack truck and the world’s largest Knievel collection.[15] The truck and collection are now housed at the official Evel Knievel Museum in Topeka, Kansas, adjacent to Historic Harley-Davidson.[16]

Known throughout the V-Twin motorcycle community, Stemp’s presence is ubiquitous as a chronicler and connector. She lives in Winston Salem, NC and Sturgis, SD.

Charitable work

One component of the Breakfast is an element called Tiny Strider Customs in co-operation with Strider Sports International.[17] Famous custom motorcycle builders such as Rick Fairless of Strokers Dallas, Paul Yaffe of Bagger Nation, Brian Klock of Klock Werks and Bryan Fuller of Speed Channel’s Two Guys Garage are recruited to customize little 12” balance bicycles. They’ve been sold at Mecum Dealmakers auctions Las Vegas to benefit AllKidsBike.[18] One tiny Strider board tracker, built by the late land-speed record racer Jessi Combs sold in January 2019 for $11,000.[19]

In 2014, she was selected to serve as campaign chair for the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame’s development plan.[20]


Stemp maintains memberships in the American Motorcyclist Association, Harley Owners Group (HOG), Motorcycle Riders Foundation and has consistently supported charitable efforts in the motorcycle industry. She is acting moderator for the annual Biker Belles Celebration symposium since 2015 and serves on the advisory board of Las Vegas BikeFest since 2013.[21][22]

In the media



  1. "Women's Legend in Motorcycling Marilyn Stemp of IronWorks Magazine".
  2. "Garage Girls talks to Marilyn Stemp of Iron Works Magazine". April 9, 2010.
  3. "All Kids Bike National Ambassador; Marilyn Stemp, A Life Dedicated to All Things Two-Wheels". April 30, 2019.
  4. "Rapid City Journal Partners with Sturgis Buffalo Chip® to Produce Daily Rally Newspaper > the Legendary Buffalo Chip > Sturgis Buffalo Chip Announcements".
  5. "Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame Induction Breakfast". September 28, 2018.
  6. "The Las Vegas Bikefest 2018 is in the Books, Great Event, Great New Location |".
  7. "Sturgis Rider Daily Brings Sturgis News and Information to Rally Goers".
  8. "The Power of Evel – Mountain Outlaw".
  9. "Alumni Notes / Bellisario College of Communications".
  11. "Iron Works magazine No more!".
  12. "IronWorks Magazine Archives".
  15. staff, Tom Griffith Journal. "'Big Red' revives legacy of America's premier motorcycle daredevil". Rapid City Journal Media Group. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  16. "EvelKnievelThrillShow › The Collector". EvelKnievelThrillShow. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  17. "Strider Custom Bikes Auction is On". V-Twin Visionary. 2020-03-18. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  18. Throttle, Quick (2019-03-01). "MECUM Las Vegas". Quick Throttle Magazine. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  19. "The Ultimate Guide to Custom Motorcycles Built for the Sturgis Buffalo Chip®". The Legendary Buffalo Chip. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  20. "Las Vegas BikeFest Is Almost Here". Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  21. Staff 2017-05-03T00:39:07-04:00. "2017 Biker Belles Sturgis Schedule". Hot Bike. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  22. Asia. "Biker Belles Expand Sturgis Event Into An All Day Affair". Retrieved 2020-04-23.

External links

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