Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
BLACK HILLS, SOUTH DAKOTA
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in the scenic Black Hills of South Dakota, and it’s going to be HUGE!
If you’re planning on heading to Sturgis this August, it’s not too early to think about getting your bike and your gear ready for the ride. Though the riding in the Black Hills is legendary, for many the journey to Sturgis truly is the destination, as riders come from all corners of the U.S. and Canada, experiencing spectacular and diverse natural beauty along the way, to celebrate the biker life at the biggest rally in the world.
On your roughly 1500-mile ride from the Bay Area to Sturgis, South Dakota, you’ll ride through the spectacular scenery of our Sierra Nevadas, over the Rocky Mountains, and down into the grasslands of the Great Plains to a town overflowing with bikes; encountering scorching heat, strong winds, and likely plenty of rain on the way.
Whether you’re a Sturgis first-timer or a rally veteran, being prepared for changing conditions is essential to enjoying every minute of the challenge and staying safe on the road. We’ve put together this Sturgis Checklist to help you prep for your epic journey. What you choose to bring and how you fit it all on your motorcycle, well, we’ll leave that up to you!
Don’t risk it! If your tires are in poor shape or nearly worn out, don’t even think about it–just get a new set! Malformations like cupping or scalloping can severely shorten a tire’s life and cause a tire to blow out, but they are easily preventable. Always properly inflate your tires and routinely check your tire pressure.
If you’re headed to Sturgis, you’re going to encounter rain, and probably plenty of it. Thunderstorms are common around the Black Hills in the summer months. Grab some boot and glove covers and a packable rain suit and stash them somewhere easily accessible.
Keep the cold at bay by adding some warm accessories to your regular riding gear, like a neck warmer, balaklava, or a face mask if you ride with an open-face helmet.
LUGGAGE, BUNGIES AND STRAPS
Even if you’re on a Goldwing or a big ol’ Bagger, you’re going to have to pack light. Travelling two-up? Make it half that. Fortunately, we have a wide selection of sissy bags, side cases, tank bags, backpacks, and all the straps, bungees, and nets you’ll need to carry home that Mount Rushmore commemorative shot glass collection you had to have.
TUNES and an INTERCOM
Once you ride with a quality intercom headset system made by Sena or Scala, your tunes and talk will jump up to the ‘Ride Essentials’ category. You don’t have to spend a ton to get a fantastic Bluetooth headset with loud and clear audio, either, for streaming music or GPS directions, chatting via passenger-to-rider or rider-to-rider intercom, or taking phone calls. Want the best of the best? Check out brand new Scala Pack Talk, just released and set to revolutionize group ride intercom communication.
Mount your cell phone or GPS unit onto your handlebar with a RAM Mount ball and socket system. RAM Mounts are the finest mounts available–high quality and totally indestructible. There’s even a RAM Mount cup holder accessory.
HELMET, JACKET, PANTS, GLOVES, BOOTS UPGRADE
Some of your gear getting a bit grungey? Ready to take the leap from open face to full face or modular helmet? Looking for a more protective jacket or some fresh leather? Whatever it is that could make your ride and your Sturgis experience even better, we’ve got it. And even if you don’t normally wear anything on your lower half, consider giving your legs a break from the wind chill on the long ride with a pair of chaps or waterproof Tourmaster Overpants.
Heated gear is the ultimate touring luxury. Leave the bulk at home and be as warm as you want to be with a pair of heated gloves, a jacket liner, or a vest liner. Read our Heated Gear Guide for an introduction to your options.
FACE SHIELDS and EYEWEAR
Chances are pretty slim you’ll find a face shield for your helmet or a pair of KDs to replace the pair you lost on the road anywhere between here and South Dakota, so start your journey with a scratch-free shield and a backup pair of your favorite sunglasses. For open-face helmet wearers, we have a variety of goggles and gasketed sunglasses to keep your eyes fresh and tear-free for Main Street.
EVEN MORE IDEAS
HAULING YOUR CUSTOM BUILD TO THE RALLY?
We sell ramps, chocks, and fully assembled Kendon trailers. Give us a call at (408) 227-6936 for info or to place an order! We can help you select the right product for your needs.