The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is an American motorcycle rally held annually in Sturgis, South Dakota, each first full week of August. Bike Week attendance has historically been around one half million people, reaching a high of over 700,000 in 2015.
The first rally was held on 14 August 1938, by the "Jackpine Gypsies" motorcycle club, who still own and operate the tracks, hillclimb, and field areas where the rally is centered. The first event was called the "Black Hills Classic" and consisted of a single race with nine participants and a small audience. The founder is generally considered to be Clarence "Pappy" Hoel. He purchased an Indian Motorcycle franchise in Sturgis in 1936 and formed the "Jackpine Gypsies" that same year.
The official Sturgis Bike Rally includes a number of events (especially touring) that branch out to discover the many attractions in the area. These tours include the Dark of the Moon tour that rumbles off to Mount Rushmore for the evening lighting ceremony, and the annual Governor's Tour that rides to both Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. Bikers can also compete in short-track races and hill climbs. There are parties, biker food, concerts and performances offered throughout the week in campgrounds, parks, and the famous party locations: Buffalo Chip Bar and Full Throttle Saloon.
An integral part of the Sturgis Rally is food, dining, food, and more food. All the local restaurants participate, and hundreds of food vendors appear. Fast food and traditional barbecue are the two favorites. Other vendors include tattoo artists, T-shirt vendors, bike-parts firms, bike customizers, and entire motorcycle companies. There are so many vendors setting up a weeklong business that even the Internal Revenue Service is one of the vendors during Bike Week, they are there to ensure everyone pays taxes on their income.
The Black Hills Run is a route favored by motorcycle riders, across the Black Hills from Deadwood to Custer State Park, South Dakota. It reached the height of its popularity between 1939 and 1941. The popularity of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally attracted additional attention to the route in recent years. The pine forested mountains of the Black Hills make for a unique scenic motorcycle ride during bike week.
Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of motorcycling while honoring the heritage of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. The museum's doors officially opened in June 2001. The Motorcycle Museum offers informative and comprehensive exhibits, showcasing nearly 100 unique and historic motorcycles that date back to 1905. The museum's Hall of Fame recognizes individuals or groups who have made a long term positive contribution to the motorcycle community. The Hall of Fame honors individuals who have contributed to the sport and the lifestyle.
Sturgis is a city in Meade County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 6,627 as of the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Meade County. Sturgis was founded in 1878. It was originally named Scooptown, because many of the residents "scooped up" their pay from nearby Fort Meade. These days Sturgis is most famous for being the location of one of the largest annual motorcycle event in the world, which is held annually on the first full week of August. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world flock to this usually sleepy town during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.