For most of the year, Sturgis, South Dakota, resembles a lot of other midwestern towns. But for one week every year the town quickly doubles its population and the streets rumble with excitement and adrenaline. This week is, of course, the week of the Sturgis, SD Motorcycle Rally. This rally is arguably the largest gathering of motorcyclists in the world and it’s been going on for over 75 years, making it sacred haven for bikers everywhere.
Participating in at least one group ride is almost a must-do if you are visiting the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Offering you the chance to ride along some of the most influential members of the motorcycle community, these group rides are a great opportunity to see the picturesque black hills of South Dakota, while taking part in a Sturgis rally tradition.
Annual Mayors Ride: Join motocross legend Kevin Windham, along with other industry pros, celebrities, and fellow motorcycle enthusiasts on an escorted ride down the spectacular two lane roads of the Black Hills. This ride ends with a tasty lunch at Custer State Park, hosted by the mayor of Sturgis himself!
Annual BozBros Benefit Ride: This 50-mile ride begins at the Sturgis Dragway where participants will be given the opportunity to take a run down the dragstrip. This ride is guided by World Superbike competitors Ben and Eric Bostrom and will end with a private party complete with burgers and beer! Proceeds benefit the Sturgis Parks and Recreation Trail System.
Sturgis Angel’s Ride: Led by South Dakota native Michelle Thomson, this scenic ride aims to celebrate the rising number of women riders out there. Join the pack of motorcycle matriarchs and cruise the winding roads of the Black Hills. All levels of experience are welcomed, and proceeds from this ride benefit the Sturgis Animal Shelter.
Carey Hart’s Good Ride: Make history by attending this monumental first annual event led by freestyle motocross legend Carey Hart! Begin by taking a run down the famous Sturgis Dragway before heading out to the beautiful Black Hills. Finish the ride with a lunch and pool party at the Broken Spoke.
Sturgis Rally Drags
Watch top motorcycle racers from all across the globe perform live and in action at this one-of-a-kind, unprecedented event that stretches for six days. With nine different classes and tough competitions, the Sturgis Rally Drags are a must-see event if you attend the rally.
Legends of Racing Pub Crawl
Celebrate with racing legends over a few cold beverages at the Sturgis Mayor’s Ride Legends of Racing Pub Crawl! Not only does this annual event allow you to rub elbows with some of the stars of the racing circuit, but it also gives you a chance to check out Easy Riders, The Knuckle Brewery, the Loud American, and other local Sturgis gems.
Harley-Davidson Rally Point
Meet up and connect with like-minded riders on the corner of Harley-Davidson Way and Main Street, known during the gathering as Rally Point. Rally Point is a legendary gathering place, made iconic by the materials used in its construction. Bricks used to make Rally Point were taken from the Harley Davidson Museum, the first Harley-Davidson factory, and a famous motorcycles-only parking area. Rally Point was completed in 2015 and is a main hub for bikers looking to converse, check out some impressive bikes, and listen to some live music.
Around the Town
Concerts are held throughout the week during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally at a number of different private venues. The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame preserves the history of the rally and the people who build upon its legacy. Check this museum out for some information and insights into the rally’s past. Take a solo ride down the 70-mile winding loop of the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway. This route will take you past Cathedral Spires, Harney Peak, and the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Excellent dining and shopping options are also available along this route.
Where to Stay
When you visit Sturgis, you’ll find a number of different campgrounds to choose from. The following options are all within close distance of the rally, and some even offer shuttle services downtown during that week! No matter which park you stay at, you are sure to enjoy your time spent in the beautiful, historic town of Sturgis, SD.
Big Rig RV Park: This RV-oriented park is just three minutes away from downtown Sturgis and boasts long pull-through sites with full-service hookups. The campground sits atop a hill, giving campers a great overlook of the town and the surrounding Black Hills.
Days End Campground & RV Park: With 100 full hookup RV sites, this campground is a clean, comfy, and convenient place to stay when visiting the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Wi-Fi is available, along with a dump station, 24-hour laundry, and a beer garden. On-site shuttle service is offered during the rally for convenient transportation.
Vanocker Canyon Campground & RV Park: Nestled at the foothills of the Black Hills National Forest, this campground gives campers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and is just over a mile from Downtown Sturgis. Boasting 50 RV sites with electric and water hookups, this campground is centrally located within a range of South Dakota attractions.
Sturgis View Campground: This lovely campground is just minutes from Downtown Sturgis, but offers a select number of RV full hookup sites. Perched high on a bluff, this park offers breathtaking views, along with a Beer Barn, an on-site restaurant, and shuttle service during the rally.
Sturgis, SD Motorcycle Rally is a monumental gathering that draws motorcycle enthusiasts in from every corner of the world! If you are planning on hitting the open road on your bike this summer, you won’t find a better destination to set out for than the annual rally in Sturgis. With lots of activities to keep you busy and plenty to see, your visit here is sure to be memorable and leave you wanting to return the following year!