Sturgis: The Holy Grail of Motorcycle Rallies

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Sturgis: The Holy Grail of Motorcycle Rallies

The Holy Grail of Motorcycle Rallies is without a doubt “Sturgis,” and this year’s event, being the 75th anniversary, brought the attendance numbers to a record high. This is my personal favorite rally of the year, not only because of the fun canyon roads to ride, but the energy level in the attendees it produces.

People come from all over the world from your vagabond gypsy motorcyclists that camp in the national forest to your doctors and lawyers in million dollar RVs with matching trailers. But no matter how they arrived, there is an upbeat vibe and a positive attitude that’s infectious.

Sturgis riders.

The rally in itself has changed over the years since I’ve been coming. My first time was in 1981 when the only place to camp was in City Park, and I have to admit, that was the craziest party that I’ve ever been to and it had me hooked.

With lack of control, the city finally closed City Park and campgrounds started springing up everywhere. This is when attendance levels started climbing because now you can hear top name entertainment, eat and catch a hot shower if you get up early enough.

There is always something to do and see in and around the area and never enough time to catch it all from flat-track racing, hill climbs, drag-strip racing and even a Wall of Death for all your adrenaline needs. Bike shows are everywhere, and if a new bike is in your future, there are demo rides offered by most of the major manufacturers.

A trip to Sturgis wouldn’t be complete without a stroll down Main Street. There you could buy yourself a 75th annual Sturgis tee shirt and of course every relative, coworker and your unfortunate buddies that couldn’t make it there.

If you wanted something to enhance your ride then no problem. There were hundreds upon hundreds of vendors selling everything under the sun to help your bike go fast and look good.

If you haven’t been to Sturgis, S.D., for the Rally, then it’s time to start planning now. Next year’s dates are from August 8 through the 14. Will you be there?

Recap from the 75th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
American Motor Drome Co. Wall of Death
American Motor Drome Co. Wall of Death

When you’re out there on the Wall of Death, you are truly alone with a hundred eyes upon you.
When you're out there on the Wall of Death, you are truly alone with a hundred eyes upon you.

Unbelievable sight.
Unbelievable sight.

Tow strap…
Tow strap...

Today’s outstanding tattoo.
Today's outstanding tattoo.

The Crazy Horse of bikers.
The Crazy Horse of bikers.

The colorful people of Sturgis.
The colorful people of Sturgis.

It’s Miller Time!
It's Miller Time!

Beautiful.
Beautiful.

Your #1 source for motorcycle parts.
Your #1 source for motorcycle parts.

Speed costs. How fast do you want to go?
Speed costs. How fast do you want to go?

Seeking shelter from the storm at the tunnel atop of Needles Highway.
Seeking shelter from the storm at the tunnel atop of Needles Highway.

Rally Veteran Extraordinaire Charlie St. Clair of Laconia fame says it’s a workhorse not a showhorse.
Rally Veteran Extraordinaire Charlie St. Clair of Laconia fame says it's a workhorse not a showhorse.

Quite possibly the most modified scooter of all time, but this is the first time I’ve seen a dresser Ruckus.
Quite possibly the most modified scooter of all time, but this is the first time I've seen a dresser Ruckus.

Packing it in.
Packing it in.

Nothing runs like a Deere.
Nothing runs like a Deere.

Not a trailer queen.
Not a trailer queen.

The breathtaking Mount Rushmore.
The breathtaking Mount Rushmore.

Jim Nasi and the Bahn Nasi Bagger Bike.
Jim Nasi and the Bahn Nasi Bagger Bike.

Big wheels.
Big wheels.

Beauty comes in all forms.
Beauty comes in all forms.

Made in the USA.
Made in the USA.

Thumbs up.
Thumbs up.

Hopefully the last storm to roll through before the end of the Rally.
Hopefully the last storm to roll through before the end of the Rally.

Hippy Chick
Hippy Chick

Distracted driving.
Distracted driving.

Deep in the Black Hills early in the morning.
Deep in the Black Hills early in the morning.

Choppers forever.
Choppers forever.

Bruzer has been attending the Black Hills Motorcycle Rally since 1977 and has only missed 2 years.
Bruzer has been attending the Black Hills Motorcycle Rally since 1977 and has only missed 2 years.

Bikes of Sturgis
Bikes of Sturgis

Bear Butte Mountain
Bear Butte Mountain

If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to follow along with all of Joe Sparrow’s adventures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at #WanderingSparrow and right here on the blog.

By |2015-08-12T08:50:32+00:00August 12th, 2015|Categories: Editorial/Commentary Articles, News/Events Articles|5 Comments

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5 Comments

  1. Gypsy Wango Tango August 28, 2015 at 6:33 am

    Love Sturgis, always a good time. The ride from Houston through New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming always makes me feel like my cowboy ancestors, except riding a
    Road King instead of a Quarter horse.

  2. Dan August 27, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Great re-cap Joe. I’ve only missed maybe half a dozen Sturgis rallies in the last 20 years and always end up regretting not making the trip. Sure it’s changed a fair amount since I started going, but that’s fine. Everything evolves. It’s definitely gotten more commercial but what better time than the Rally to upgrade your bike, attire, or whatever. You can still do anything you could back then, just might have to find a more suitable place to do it. Some of the best riding roads in the country. Can’t wait for next year!

  3. Mad Dog Mike August 27, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Sturgis is now known as the million dollar motorhome with hauler painted to match with 4 brand new Harleys being “trailered” to a bike rally. Then you add all the golf carts, and 3 wheelers all over the place and people not aware of the power of the bikes they are on, and it was not safe to be out and about. Harley had ruined it making it an official HD HOG spot, as HOG means Harley owning a bike, not a Harley riding group.

  4. Daren August 14, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Sturgis sounds like such a great adventure. I’ve had Sturgis motorcycle rally on my bucket list for a while now. but i’m also looking forward to the smaller rallies to get my feet wet.

  5. Mark August 12, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Thanks for bringing us review of the Sturgis story for 2015. Well done words, and photos that speak.

    M

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