Sturgis is a bucket-list destination for most riders. Each year thousands upon thousands descend on Sturgis, S.D., and turn this small, sleepy town into a motorcycle mecca. While COVID-19 will keep some riders home in 2020, here are a few motorcycle riding tips for those of you still making the trek.
Sturgis motorcycle riding tips
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the sights and sounds of Sturgis.
Leaving room for spontaneity is essential, meaning you don’t need a minute-by-minute itinerary. But having some guidelines ensures you are in the right place at the right time, whatever your dining/entertainment/riding needs.
Before you leave, check out the various venue schedules to see what they have in store throughout the week and plan accordingly.
Prepare your bike
Nothing is worse than a roadside breakdown, whether on Main Street in Sturgis or en route to and from the rally. Ensuring your bike is roadworthy for the miles ahead is one of the most important motorcycle riding tips to follow.
Check your tires for proper inflation and good tread; chain/belt condition; brakes; lights and, of course, fluids.
A fresh oil change with AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil will help your engine deliver peak performance despite the intense heat for which Sturgis is famous.
Sturgis can get hot. Very hot.
Bring light-colored clothing that breathes and reflects the sunlight. Long sleeves are a must to prevent windburn, so bring something light and easy to take on and off before and after the ride. Don’t forget sunscreen to keep you protected during the long hours you’ll spend out in the open.
Did we mention Sturgis can get hot?
Staying hydrated is key to staying alert and refreshed while clocking miles under the sun. Plan rest stops around gas stations and restock your drinking fluids often.
Be prepared for lots of bikes. And wildlife.
Driving alongside a large pack of bikes takes skill and confidence in your riding abilities.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times and practice safe riding habits to keep yourself and those around you out of harm’s way.
Additionally, South Dakota has deer, bison, coyotes, sheep and other animals roaming the frontier and wandering onto roadways. A key motorcycle riding tip around Sturgis is to be alert to their presence and avoid riding at night.
Most importantly, have fun and enjoy making memories at the largest motorcycle rally in the U.S.
Expect to see thousands of enthusiasts who share your passion for riding and see a ton of awesome custom bikes, like these from the 2019 Sturgis rally.
When the rally draws to a close, expect to leave while already making plans for your next trip to the historic Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
AMSOIL oil-change locations at Sturgis
- Sturgis Cycles at the corner of Junction Ave. and Sherman St.
- Rapid City: In the Black Hills vendor lot off exit 55
Updated. Originally published Aug. 1, 2017.