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Sturgis Motorcycle Rally


PIERRE, S.D. – 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 up this South Dakota Great Place. It’s the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Clarence Hoel and members of the Jackpine Gypsie Motorcycle Club established the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in 1938. At first, the Rally was just a weekend celebration with less than two dozen racers participating in a handful of events.

Today, average attendance is in the hundreds of thousands, with the largest estimated attendance of more than 600,000 at the 60th Anniversary in 2000. Based out of the small community (approximately 6,400) of Sturgis, South Dakota, this annual rally officially runs for seven days in August.

The 2011 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will take place August 8-14.

Rally-goers can still enjoy many of the original events along with several that have been added over the years such as motocross races, professional and amateur hill climbs, and drag races. Visitors can enjoy countless food and souvenir vendors, concerts, booths and shops offering everything from motorcycle customizing to tattooing, and simply enjoying the sights and sounds of Sturgis.

South Dakota’s Motorcycle Guide is a good resource for motorcycle enthusiasts. The guide highlights 15 scenic routes, lists locations of Interstate Information Centers and rest areas, and includes South Dakota’s laws and a listing of factory authorized motorcycle dealers throughout the state.


South Dakota’s Great Places weekly press release series is a project of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, designed to highlight places in South Dakota that are unique to travelers and residents alike. View our newsroom to access the complete list of articles.