Sturgis Bike Rally - Obeying The Motorcycle Law

We've compiled a list of tips on how to stay within the law at this year's Sturgis Rally -- and the penalties if you don't.

_Needless to say, South Dakota law enforcement is both heavy and vigilant during the rally. We're offering this list of laws and penalties to show you what to expect if you get a little too wild _

The following tips are offered to help you have an uninterrupted vacation:

1. Don't drink and drive. That's why they started a biker campground in the first place-so you can party safely. Crash at the Buffalo Chip and not on the highway.

2. Make certain you have photo identification with you.

3. Make certain all the lights and safety devices are functioning properly on your bike.

4. Inspect your bike before you come to SD, especially if you've purchased an older bike and you know it has pieces of other motorcycles on it. There will be motorcycle theft specialists here from all over the continent who will walk around the town's streets and inspect serial numbers. The law requires them to seize any motorcycle that has parts with inconsistent numbers, or if the serial numbers look like they've been altered. If you have such a bike, either ride a different bike, or be certain to bring along written documentation to prove the legality of the inconsistent or altered-looking numbers.

5. Do not, if you're driving a four-wheeled vehicle, hang anything from the mirror. Not even a crucifix or a thread.

6. Check SD law if you've any questionable equipment on your bike.

The Buffalo Chip is not located within the city of Sturgis; therefore, the Sturgis municipal ordinances do not apply at the campground. The following information is provided so you'll know what Sturgis expects when you are in town.

1. Every motorcycle must be equipped with at least one but no more than two headlamps.

2. The handlebars of a motorcycle must be no higher than the shoulder height of the person operating the motorcycle.

3. All persons under the age of 18 must wear motorcycle safety helmets that are approved by the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

4. A person riding in an enclosed cab attached to a motorcycle does not have to wear a safety helmet.

5. A motorcycle operator must wear an eye protective device unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen of sufficient height and design that protects the motorcycle operator.

6. When headlights are required to be on, a motorcycle operator cannot wear protective eye devices that are tinted or shaded to reduce the light transmission of the device below 35 percent.

7. Motorcycles must have at least one taillamp, which when lighted emits a red light visible for a distance of 500 feet.

Ordinances and Fines
Indecent Exposure



Open Container In Public



Deposit of Filth



Disorderly Conduct



Careless Driving



City Parking Violations



City Trespassing



Dog Running at Large



Driving on Bike Path/Sidewalk



Exhibition Driving



Parking in Handicapped Zone



Reckless Driving


Custody Arrest

Truck Routes Violations



Use of Mechanical and Electronic Sound Amplification Device


Court Appearance Required

State Laws
Cancelled License



Violation of Restricted License



Revoked Driver's License


Custody Arrest

Furnish Alcohol to Minor


Court Appearance Required

Open Container in Motor Vehicle



Notice: The Sturgis Police Department has zero tolerance on all drug arrests no matter how small and will not relax charges on any violations of the following laws:

Possession of Controlled Substance


Custody Arrest

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia



Possession of Marijuana


Custody Arrest

Possession of Substances for High Abuse (Distribution):


Custody Arrest

**Juvenile Laws **
Underage Alcohol Possession/Consumption


Court Appearance Required

Underage Alcohol Possession/Consumption in Motor Vehicle


Court Appearance Required

Underage Purchase/Possession/Consumption of Cigarettes



**Motorcycle Laws **
Carrying a Loaded Pistol or Revolver Without a Permit


Custody Arrest

Cyclists Overtaking in Same Lane



Eye Protection Required



Helmet Required (under age 18)



Illegal Handlebar Height (must be shoulder height or shorter)



Illegal Exhaust Motorcycle (must have baffles)



Operation w/o Motorcycle Endorsement