Sturgis Bike Rally: What to Know to Go [2023]

Sturgis Bike Rally: What to Know to Go [2023]

Last updated by Ori Adler on

As one of the most anticipated motorcycle events of the year, the Sturgis Bike Rally attracts riders around the world to the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Today, we'll explore everything you need to know before your Sturgis adventure. From the rally's rich history and iconic attractions to the best riding routes and biker-friendly accommodations, you'll love everything this event has to offer. Get revved up and discover what awaits you at the legendary Sturgis Bike Rally.

What is the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally?

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is an annual motorcycle rally held in Sturgis, SD, and the surrounding Black Hills region of the United States. It originated in 1938 when a group of Indian Motorcycle riders came together to showcase their skills in stunts and races.

Since its inception, the rally evolved into a diverse and inclusive gathering, featuring events organized by various groups within the motorcycle community.

Sturgis Bike Rally Guide 

When is Sturgis Bike Week?

Sturgis Bike Week is typically held in August each year. The upcoming 83rd Rally takes place from August 4th to August 13th. During these ten days, motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the world gather in Sturgis, South Dakota.

Here are the official dates for the upcoming Sturgis Bike Week Events. 

  • August 4th - August 13th, 2023
  • August 2nd - August 11th, 2024
  • August 1st - August 10th, 2025

How Many People Attend Sturgis Bike Week?

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally draws a significant number of attendees each year. Historically, the event has attracted around 500,000 people, making it one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the world.

The event peaked in 2015 as crowds of over 700,000 people attended the rally. 

Related: What to Wear to Sturgis Bike Rally

How Much Money Should I Bring?

The amount of money you should bring to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally depends on your personal spending preferences and the duration of your stay. It's important to consider expenses such as accommodation, food, transportation, entertainment, and merchandise.

Accommodations will be a major portion of your budget as room rates skyrocket during the event. In the area, you’ll find modest hotels, campgrounds, home rentals, and more. It’s best to book in advance as many rooms will be reserved over a year in advance of the rally.

Food and drink will also vary widely. You can save money by cooking at your accommodations, but there are several cheap dine-out options during the event. Of course, there are plenty of food vendors on-site, so you’ll want to save some money to taste the varied options.

Transportation, fuel, parking, and rental fees can quickly add up as well. If you don’t have a motorcycle, you can rent one as long as you have the budget.

You’ll also want to set some money aside for souvenirs. From motorcycle hats to official merchandise, be prepared to spend some money on cool stuff.

During the week there are countless events and concerts to attend. Concerts for 2023 at Sturgis include ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd. After the concert, you can purchase a top hat just like the band members.

You’ll need to budget for tickets for every event you plan on attending during the motorcycle rally. 

Where is Sturgis?

Sturgis is located in the state of South Dakota in the Black Hills Region. The town of Sturgis serves as the central hub for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and various events and activities take place within the town and in the surrounding areas.

How Far From Mount Rushmore?

The Sturgis Bike Rally is in the heart of the Black Hills and only twenty miles northwest of Mount Rushmore. This proximity makes it convenient for rally attendees to visit the iconic national memorial during their time at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

If you need a break from the rally, you can arrange a day trip from Sturgis to Mount Rushmore. The monument is a sight to behold and a must-see attraction while visiting Sturgis. While there, you can explore the surrounding scenic trails and capture spectacular photos from several viewpoints. Don’t forget a cowboy hat to protect your face from the bright summer sun while hiking the trails.  

Where to Stay?

Attending Sturgis Bike Week can be exhausting and you’ll want a nice place to rest every night during the event. Here are our picks for the best hotels and motels in town.

If you want more privacy, there are many cabins, homes, and cottages available for rent in the area surrounding Sturgis.

Related: Best Things to Do in Sturgis, SD

Where to Camp?

Camping is a fun and exciting way to enjoy the rally. We encourage everyone to pack their tent and hop on their Harley to enjoy the Sturgis Bike Rally. The local camping areas provide a unique opportunity for riders to immerse themselves fully in the rally atmosphere and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow motorcycle enthusiasts.

If you want to be in the heart of the action, camping is the best way to experience Sturgis Bike Week. 

Pappy Hoel Campground

The most popular camping option is Pappy Hoel Campground. As the official campground of Sturgis Bike Week, you’ll be at the heart of the party. The campground offers private cabins, RV parking, and tent sites for your enjoyment. Don’t forget to book early as this campground sells out months before the event. 

Ride N Rest Campground

Ride N Rest Campground is another top choice for bikers at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. They offer various accommodations including tent camping, full RV hookups, deluxe cabins, and dry camping.

Most Popular Bikes?

Sturgis Harley Davidson is the official motorcycle of the Sturgis Bike Rally. But, you don’t have to feel left out if you don’t own a Harley.

As the original motorcycle brand that played a significant role in the early years of the rally's history, Indian Motorcycle holds a special place at Sturgis. The brand is known for its stylish design and comfortable ride. The company is also under a resurgence and redesign after being bought out by Polaris in 2011.

You’ll also find riders on Victory Motorcycles, sports bikes, vintage cruisers, and custom bikes. Sturgis is a melting pot, and everyone is welcome to attend and enjoy the festivities.

Harley Cruiser Orange at Sturgis

Sturgis Final Thoughts

From thrilling rides through the Black Hills to live music, events, and a vibrant atmosphere, the event embodies the spirit of motorcycle culture. We hope this guide helps you have the time of your life while attending the next Sturgis Bike Rally.

Related: Biggest and Best Motorcycle Rallies and Bike Shows

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  • Attending the Sturgis Bike Rally is a must for motorcycle enthusiasts! Make sure to plan ahead, embrace the camaraderie, and enjoy the thrilling rides and incredible atmosphere.

    Apple state Harley Davidson on

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