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Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
August 5-11, 2013 - 73nd Anniversary
It's Biker Heaven...Each year, Sturgis' Main Street becomes a sea of motorcycles, leather and denim, not to mention, people.
Since 1938, Sturgis has welcomed motorcycle enthusiasts from across the United States and around the world to the annual Motorcycle Rally. Based out of this small community in the northern Black Hills, the Rally officially runs for seven days every August.
Motorcycle traffic to and around South Dakota typically increases as early as two weeks before the official start date of the event and continues for as late as two weeks after the conclusion.
What started as a weekend celebration with less than two dozen racers participating in a handful of events including half-mile races, ramp jumps, and board-wall crashes, the Rally has grown significantly. First organized solely by the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club, the Rally now takes the efforts of most of the population of Sturgis (approximately 6,400) as well as hundreds of outside vendors.
Rally Events and Vendors
Rally-goers can still enjoy several of the original events, although many others have been added over the years such as motocross races, professional and amateur hillclimbs, and drag races.
Visitors can also check out the countless food and souvenir vendors, booths and shops offering everything from motorcycle customizing to tattooing, and the concerts, not to mention simply touring around Sturgis taking in all of the sights and sounds.
Black Hills Attractions
In addition to the activities in and immediately around Sturgis, many individuals and groups take day-trips throughout the Black Hills, and beyond. Within easy riding distance are many attractions including Mount Rushmore (62 miles), Crazy Horse Memorial (67 miles), Custer State Park (75 miles), Spearfish Canyon (20 miles), Deadwood (13 miles) and the Badlands (110 miles). (Distances listed are approximate.)
Average Rally attendance is in the hundreds of thousands, with the largest estimated attendance of more than 600,000 cruising in for the 60th Anniversary in 2000. Attend the Rally once, and it becomes clear why this slightly out-of-the-way place has become a mandatory destination for so many motorcyclists.
The sound of growling engines, the smell of exhaust, and the glint of sunlight off chrome are just a few of the elements that make the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally a unique experience.
There are a number of websites with more information about the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally as well as motorcycle rules, regulations and safety.
South Dakota Motorcycle Guide
The South Dakota Motorcycle Guide is a resource especially for motorcycle enthusiasts.
The guide highlights 15 breathtaking routes around South Dakota and details the locations of Interstate Information Centers and rest areas. The guide includes valuable information about laws and lists factory-authorized motorcycle dealers in the state.
To request a South Dakota Motorcycle Guide, select it when you request a South Dakota Vacation Guide or by calling 1-800-S-DAKOTA (1-800-732-5682).
You may also download a PDF of the guide.
South Dakota Rides
Launched in April 2012, www.SouthDakotaRides.com is part of a campaign by the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety to promote motorcycle education and safety.
The site provides information about safety, state laws, rider training opportunities and other topics. It engages users with interactive riding maps, information about rider education courses, and opportunities for users to share photos and videos and to take part in live chats with other motorcycle enthusiasts.