It’s never too early to plan for a motorcycle event! Do you want to take your ride to a place where you can dive deeper into the motorcycle culture?
If so, then we suggest planning a vacation to Sturgis, South Dakota for Sturgis Bike Week. This is an opportunity to meet fellow bikers and learn more about how these rides work.
With our knowledge of motorcycles, you will be able to make your first visit to Sturgis a memorable one.
Here are 10 reasons to check out Sturgis Bike Week.
1. Rally Races
If you want to see how well your bike will perform against others, then you can take it for a race at the Sturgis, South Dakota bike rally. There are races that are fit for beginners in case this is your first time owning a bike, as well as those who have used their bikes for years.
Bike Week is also open to dirt bikes and other vehicles that aren’t exactly motorcycles, and you can take these vehicles for a spin in specific races. The paths for these races are set in the canyons and desserts so that you could get fresh air along the way.
Some races put you on smooth and winding paths, while others challenge you with hills and similar obstacles. Make sure that you have the right license beforehand so that you have fewer issues in case of an accident.
2. Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame
Make sure to spend some of your break in Sturgis learning about motorcycles so that you can better operate them in the future. One spot where you can do so is the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame, which aims to make education fun and informative.
This museum is full of photos and older models of motorcycles that show the people and bikes who are responsible for Bike Week’s popularity. You can find out what people used to build bikes in the past and how that technology evolved over time.
There are also documentaries and short films about Clarence “Pappy” Hoel and other Sturgis bike rally pioneers, as well as the struggles they went through to start this tradition. If you bring your kids along for your visit, then we recommend a trip to the museum so that they have fun learning.
3. Main Street
Not all of your vacation in Sturgis has to be spent riding and learning about motorcycles. We advise that you spend some of your free time looking for souvenirs to bring home and show off to friends and family.
One spot where you will have a variety of souvenir options is Main Street, which you can travel through on your motorcycle or on foot. If you’re visiting with your friends, then make a stop at one of the many saloons down the block and end the night with a cold beer.
The shops on Main Street are full of clothing, picture frames, toys, glasses, and other gifts that you can take home for yourself or a friend or relative. It is also important to pick up a Sturgis Patch during your visit so that you show everyone that you experienced the best that Bike Week has to offer.
4. Prairie Emporium
Do you want to take a stop during Sturgis Bike Week that allows you to pick up gifts and learn about motorcycles all at once? If so, then a visit to Prairie Emporium is the way to go, as this can save time on both goals.
You can buy figurines of popular motorcycles, as well as individuals who started major motorcycle brands and events that make Bike Week popular. There are also plenty of paintings and photographs that will be great to hang up in your living room or office.
This emporium is also full of memorabilia and books that tell the story of Harley Davidson and other big motorcycle names. You can learn about all of their best projects from the past, as well as the present and future.
5. Buffalo Chip
Do you want to enjoy music and other forms of entertainment during your stay in Sturgis? If so, then you should save an evening for a visit to the Buffalo Chip Campground so that you can check out live performances in different forms.
This spot is also home to different bike shows that display old and new models, in case you plan on getting a new bike in the future. You can also check out roller derby competitions in case you want to witness a form of competition that you’re not used to watching.
Buffalo Chip also has vendors in case you want to get your bike repaired or upgraded. Since Bike Week is held in the summer, you should take dive into the campground’s swimming pool to get a break from the heat.
6. Motorcycles as Art
While the next exhibit we are able to talk about is part of Buffalo Chip, the “Motorcycles of Art” exhibit stands on its own. This is because it showcases the work of photographer Michael Lichter and his appreciation for bikes.
The photos consist of old bikes from the biggest names in the bike world that have inspired the models that are getting attention today. The artwork and memorabilia come with a specific theme each year.
You can use this as an opportunity to learn about how people built bikes in the past and what changed over time in the production process. This can also serve as inspiration for your own creative projects.
7. Bear Butte
Visiting Sturgis will take you a little further away from civilization, but you can use this as a chance to get fresh air in nature. One way to do that is with a hike up Bear Buttle, a mountain that gave the state park its name.
You can take your bike out to the park if you still want to see how your motorcycle performs on long roads in the outdoors. Make sure that you practice hiking before you get to Sturgis so that you are used to long walks and heights.
The view of the land will be worth the long trip to the top, and you will make great additions to your photo collection. If Buffalo Chip is holding a performance, you can watch the show from the comfort of the top of Bear Butte.
8. Black Hill National Cemetery
If you normally put popular cemeteries on your to-do lists for traveling across the country, then we recommend stopping by Black Hill National Cemetery. This location honors members of the armed services, making it a must-visit for those who have served.
The beauty of the landscape combines with the somber setting as you walk past tombstones of hundreds of servicemen. Whether you know anyone buried here or not, you can pay your respects to them when you stop by.
Bike Week is the best time to visit this cemetery because the weather will be easy on you and nature will add to the setting. If you have served in the armed forces and are thinking about where to be buried, you can now add a possible option to your list.
9. Iron Horse Saloon
One of the most popular activities in Sturgis is touring through the saloons to try different drinks. One of the spots that you need to take your bike to is the Iron Horse Saloon, which is built to join your photo collection, as well.
This is an activity that we recommend to those visiting with their adult friends so that they can enjoy tough liquor with no worries. Schedule a dinner at this saloon so that you can enjoy fried food and cold beers.
Does someone among your group have a wedding or other special occasion that they want to host in Sturgis? If so, you should pick the Iron Horse Saloon for your party. The walls on the inside are decorated with pictures of motorcycles and riders to look at when you’re taking a break from your drinks.
10. Belle Joli
Do you want to enjoy some luxury and fine dining while you take your motorcycle out on dirt roads? If so, then you have that chance in Sturgis when you take a ride to Belle Joli.
This winery sparkling house allows you to taste a variety of wine that can give your favorite beers a run for their money. The champagne makes a great addition to the dishes that this spot offers for dinner.
We advise taking a trip to Belle Joli on a sunny day so that you can enjoy a long drive outside of the main area in Sturgis. This will also allow you to take a break from the fast drives and thrill-seeking that will make up the rest of your visit.
Our Take on Sturgis Bike Week
If you’re wondering “When is Bike Week in Sturgis, South Dakota?,” the next bike week will take place next year from August 7th to August 16th. While this means that you’ll have to wait another year, the activities in Sturgis will make the wait worthwhile.
Sturgis Bike Week is full of chances to learn about motorcycles, discover new models, and explore the land that makes riding bikes fun. With these activities, you will want to visit Sturgis every year.
If you want to learn more about bikes before visiting Sturgis, check out our guides to see how motorcycles have played a role in history.