Party Time! | 71st Annual Sturgis Rally

Living the Life

Every August, hundreds of thousands of bikers flock to the annual soiree, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, to blow off a little—maybe a lot of—steam. Folks save for months, even years, to make the pilgrimage to the Black Hills in search of fun, freedom, and good times thanks to the weeklong rally.

Sturgis is the destination for all things motorcycle related. From beautiful day rides through the Black Hills to Mt. Rushmore National Park, or nearby Crazy Horse Monument, or the historic low-limit gaming town of Deadwood, bikers can enjoy the scenery by day, and relax at one of the many watering holes by night.

Lazelle Street, the main drag in Sturgis, features a constant parade of motorcycles during rush hour where ogling of women or downright weirdo pedestrians is the norm. It’s a sensory overload of sorts of the good kind. Hedonism at its best. No wonder folks make this their annual trip. And the 71st Annual Sturgis Rally didn’t disappoint in the slightest. Lazelle Street is also where Harley-Davidson and multiple aftermarket parts vendors display new offerings for rally-goers to buy and install custom goods on their bikes while in Sturgis. Manufacturers like Küryakyn, J&P Cycles, Performance Machine, Custom Chrome, and many more, are all on hand with new parts for the taking. Being that Lazelle Street is also the main drag, along with of course Main Street, there is no shortage of activities for bikers to enjoy.

The Buffalo Chip is a self-sufficient, self-contained, very-well-supplied mega-campground that allows campers to park for the week and let it all hang out (literally). Folks could choose from any of the nightly concerts on the Main Stage from Def Leppard, George Thorogood, Alice Cooper, or Greg Allman.

Renowned motorcycle photographer Michael Lichter hosts an annual art exhibit at the Buffalo Chip, Motorcycles as Art. For 2011 Lichter focused on the work of Jeff Decker, renowned bronze sculptor and overall bike enthusiast. The Slant Artist–An Eccentric View, was a giant success and provided an introspective look on how Jeff thinks, creates, and showcases his overall talent and interest in the industry. Visitors could chat with Jeff during the week while he sculpted new pieces of art. Jeff displayed his own works of art and motorcycles from his personal collection, as well as some of his friends’ works in order to fill the 7,000-square-foot Lichter Exhibition Hall.

Lazelle Street, the main drag in Sturgis, features a constant parade of motorcycles during rush hour where ogling of women or downright weirdo pedestrians is the norm.

For those looking to trade in their motorcycles, Harley-Davidson and Victory had many, if not all, of their models on display for interested consumers to testride. Located where Lazelle and the 90 Freeway intersect, many left with the bike of their dreams until this year’s rally of course.

There are many more activities that took place during the rally—enough to fill an entire magazine—so we won’t try to highlight everything. Simply put, if you were there you had a kickass time. If you missed it, be sure to check out the 72nd Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. You won’t be disappointed. HB