Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Sturgis South Dakota

A markerSturgis, SD -
Sturgis, SD, USA
[get directions]

*****ALL PHOTOS IN THIS HUB WERE TAKEN BY ME! PLEASE DO NOT USE THEM OR ANY OTHER PURPOSE!!!*****

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has just passed it's 72nd Annual Rally. For 72 years bikers from all over the world have been coming to the small town of Sturgis, South Dakota for one of the largest motorcycle rallys around. From concerts, races and bike shows, along with 5 blocks of "bikes only" Main Street, there is something for everyone.

Sturgis is a small town in western South Dakota. It's population was 6,627 as of the 2010 census. It is in Meade County and is usually just a sleepy little town with not much going on. During the first FULL WEEK (Sunday through Saturday) over half a million people flock to the small town to enjoy the Rally festivities. In 2004 there was an estimated 514,951 people in Sturgis and in 2005 there were 525,250. The entire state of South Dakota only has a population of 824,082! That is a lot of people going to one small town for just that one week a year.

"It is the experiance of a lifetime in a place where local people can still show you a thing or two about hospitality and visiting exhibitors can show you anything and everything you'd want or need to dress you up or dress up your bike." - Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Website

show route and directions
A markerMount Rushmore -
Mt Rushmore National Memorial, Black Hills National Forest, 13000 State Highway 244, Keystone, SD 57
[get directions]

B markerCrazy Horse -
Crazy Horse, West Custer, SD 57730, USA
[get directions]

C markerBear Butte State Park -
Bear Butte State Park, State Highway 79, Sturgis, SD 57785, USA
[get directions]

D markerDevil's Tower, WY -
Devils Tower, WY 82714, USA
[get directions]

E markerBadlands, SD -
Badlands National Park, 25216 Ben Reifel Rd, Interior, SD, USA
[get directions]

So what is there to do during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally? Well, there is plenty!

To start there are some incredible roads to travel and sights to see around the Sturgis area. Some of these roads include:

  • Needles Highway in Custer State Park is 14 miles in length on SR 87. This drive has spectacular views of the Black Hills scenery that include granite spires, the Needles Eye, narrow tunnles and hairpin curves.
  • Iron Mountain Road extends between Mount Rushmore and the junctions of Highway 16A and SD 36 and is 17 miles in length. There are three tunnles and pigtail bridges that frame Mount Rushmore in the distance.
  • Wildlife Loop is in Custer State Park and is an 18 mile loop. Wildlife goes through forests and prairie grasslands and you can see bison, pronghorn, deer, elk, burrows and prairie dogs on this wonderful road.
  • Spearfish Canyon is a National Scenic Byway and is 20 miles long on US 14A. You wind through an ancient, narrow canyon with scenic mountain views and beautiful fall foliage. There are many places to stop and hike and fish along this streatch of road.

Some sights to see are:

  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  • Custer State Park
  • Crazy Hourse Memorial on US 385
  • Bear Butte State Park
  • The Badlands
  • Devil's Tower National Monument in Wyoming

Other cities in the area that are amazing and have a ton of things to do include

  • Rapid City
  • Hill City
  • Silver City
  • Custer
  • Deadwood
  • Hot Springs

Now, you might be more of the type that wants to hang out around town, walking the 5 blocks of main street that are closed off to all traffic other then the bikes and that's fun too. I don't know how many times I have been down main street and very seldom do you see the same bike twice. The bikes are backed up for miles and miles. There are souvineer and gift shops along with tattoo joints at every turn.

Every day of the week there are new concerts at the bars. The Buffalo Chip is a huge campground/concert area that has huge parties every day. This year Journey, Zac Brown, Surgarland, Slash, and Lynyrd Skynyrd were just a few concerts at the Chip. In 2013 it's already been confirmed that Toby Kieth and ZZ Top will be at the Buffalo Chip during the Sturgis Rally! How cool is that?

There are hill climbs, roller derbys, races, and helicopter rides. There is something for everyone at the Sturgis Rally.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO STURGIS?

  • Yes, for the bike rally
  • Yes, but not during the rally
  • No
  • No, but am looking forward to going in the future
See results without voting

Every year since 1996, my Mom has had people staying in her yard. They come from all over the world. She has a lot of Canadians that come and has had some from Australia even. Those that normally stay in her yard are ones that have been coming for years or are friends of those that have been to her house before.

This one week a year is when people can just sit and relax and enjoy the company of other people and not have to worry about anything else. It's the best vacation a biker can ask for.

I loved sitting in my mom's front yard and just watching the passer-bys. This year Frank Fritz from American Pickers and one of the guys from Pawn Stars stopped at the yard to visit with the folks that stayed in the yard this year. My mom also got a visit from the Travel Channel and they took pictures of the tents and people in her yard.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bert setting up his tent in the yard.Mom's yard during the rally is full of tents.An incredible VW Bug made into a bike!  It was parked in Mom's driveway!!!My mom on the back of the Indian.  She takes one ride a year.The "crew" at Mom's house.  Such an incredible group of people!
Bert setting up his tent in the yard.
Bert setting up his tent in the yard.
Mom's yard during the rally is full of tents.
Mom's yard during the rally is full of tents.
An incredible VW Bug made into a bike!  It was parked in Mom's driveway!!!
An incredible VW Bug made into a bike! It was parked in Mom's driveway!!!
My mom on the back of the Indian.  She takes one ride a year.
My mom on the back of the Indian. She takes one ride a year.
The "crew" at Mom's house.  Such an incredible group of people!
The "crew" at Mom's house. Such an incredible group of people!

An amazing inspiration

Bert and his brother Mark have been going to the Sturgis Rally for over 25 years now. They have been staying in my Mom's yard since 1996. Mark was always the one who drove the bike and Bert was always just along for the ride. Bert had never gotten his motorcycle license. Until this year. At 59 years old, just 30 days before heading up to the Rally in 2012, he got his license and was able to ride his very own bike. Making that first trip down main street on his own bike was one of the many things on Bert's bucket list and he was able to accomplish that this year! Congratulations Bert!!!!! We are so proud of you!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Getting ready to head downtown for the first time.Still getting ready.On his way to main street.Caution!  Novice Rider!  Danger!Bert with his brother Mark following behind.Bert is a natural with the bike.Waiting at the stop sign like everyone else.The first trip down main street was a success!!!!
Getting ready to head downtown for the first time.
Getting ready to head downtown for the first time.
Still getting ready.
Still getting ready.
On his way to main street.
On his way to main street.
Caution!  Novice Rider!  Danger!
Caution! Novice Rider! Danger!
Bert with his brother Mark following behind.
Bert with his brother Mark following behind.
Bert is a natural with the bike.
Bert is a natural with the bike.
Waiting at the stop sign like everyone else.
Waiting at the stop sign like everyone else.
The first trip down main street was a success!!!!
The first trip down main street was a success!!!!

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Comments 10 comments

leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

Wow, the rally in Sturgis must be a really cool thing to visit every year! Those bikes are really impressive, and the rally has to be really fun. Not to mention the ability to see the guys from Pawn Stars!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

Sounds like a fun rally. I like motorcycles a lot so if I lived closer to South Dakota, I would definitely attend this event. Thanks for sharing this, Cassy. Nice photos!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I have some friends who are really into motorcycles, don't know if they have ever been this way though. Great share on this rally in Sturgis. It looks like the event is very popular and holds lots of interest.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Interesting. We have a moyorcycle-rally in Sturgis, Ky. every year. I have never been, but i'm told they have a blast. Thank you..Great pictures..


CassyLu1981 profile image

CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC Author

leahlefler - the rally in Sturgis is awesome, there's so many bikes and people. There are a ton of stars that go to the Rally. I've never seen any, but I haven't been there in years! Thanks for the comment :)


CassyLu1981 profile image

CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC Author

Om - Since you enjoy motorcycles I would definately say try and make it to Sturgis one year. It's well worth the trip :) Thanks for stopping by :) Glad you liked the pictures!


CassyLu1981 profile image

CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC Author

teaches12345 - Some years the rally loses people but other years it gains more. It draws the attention of so many people. When I lived there I never really thought about how many people come in and out during the rally but man, it's alot! Some of the town folk even rent out their houses for that whole week and make upwards of $2,000 for the week!!! Thanks for stopping by :)


CassyLu1981 profile image

CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC Author

always exploring - Sturgis, KY. . . that's cool :) I never realized there was another Sturgis or another Sturgis rally! I might have to add that one to my bucket list and see how it compares to the Sturgis I know! Thanks for stopping by and the comment :)


krsharp05 profile image

krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

Great hub and awesome photos! I grew up in Minnesota and most Minnesotans consider Sturgis to be the yearly homage. People would return with fantastic stories, tattoos and scars! Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip. -K


CassyLu1981 profile image

CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC Author

krsharp05 - some of the tattoos I have seen have been so crazy! And the stories about the scars, hillarious LOL You don't normally see or hear the same thing twice :) Thanks for the comment!

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