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The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Top Rides

Over the years, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has transformed from a small nine-person bike race into a huge 10-day festival. However, one element of the event has stayed the same throughout its history — the celebration of the ride.

The Sturgis Rally includes numerous self-guided, charity, large group, and small group motorcycle rides that allow attendees to gather in community and experience the natural attractions of the Black Hills on their bikes. This year, the rally will continue several riding traditions and introduce a few new ones.

Read on to learn the can’t-miss rides at Sturgis 2022.

Self-Guided Rides

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally takes place in the Black Hills of South Dakota, a beautiful, scenic location with incredible natural attractions. If you’ve never visited this area before, we recommend taking time during the rally to complete a few of the following self-guided scenic rides. You can find the exact routes and more detailed instructions on the Sturgis website.

Mount Rushmore Loop

The Mount Rushmore loop takes you south of Sturgis to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, then through Wyoming’s sprawling hills and valleys. Once you cross the border into Wyoming, you’ll pass through Sundance and Beulah, which is where the largest biker pig roast takes place.

After passing through Beulah, you’ll circle back around to the northern Black Hills and finish where you began in Sturgis.

Devils Tower Loop

This scenic route takes you to Devils Tower National Monument, a geological feature in northeastern Wyoming. The loop begins in Sturgis, passes through Sundance and the Devils Tower, then travels back through Lead, Deadwood, and the Boulder Canyon. You’ll see an abundance of natural attractions and scenic biker destinations throughout this route.

Bear Butte & Badlands

This ride takes you through two main scenic attractions: Bear Butte State Park, home to a stunning geological laccolith, and the Badlands National Park, featuring gorgeous landscapes, rock formations, canyons, and other natural elements.

Needles & Crazy Horse Loop

This scenic route takes you along Needles Highway, a 14-mile road that passes through gorgeous meadows, spruce forests, and ponderosa pines. You’ll also travel through Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park and have a chance to stop at Crazy Horse Memorial, the world’s largest mountain carving.

Spearfish Canyon Loop

Spearfish Canyon Loop takes you through Boulder Canyon, Deadwood, Lead, and Spearfish Canyon, offering scenic views and natural attractions to enjoy from your bike. Then, you’ll head back north to Belle Fourche and into the northern hills of St. Onge before returning to Sturgis.

Guided & Group Rides

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally also features several guided and group rides that you can participate in with other rally attendees. Here are a few scenic rides and charity rides happening at the rally in 2022:

Buffalo Chip’s Legends Ride

The Legends Ride invites rally attendees and motorcycle-enthusiast celebrities to ride together through the beautiful Black Hills. This year, the Legends Ride will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, August 8th.

You and hundreds of fellow Legends riders will meet at the Historic Franklin Hotel in Deadwood. At the end of the ride, you’ll assemble at Buffalo Chip for a reception featuring food, drinks, and entertainment.

Sturgis Mayor’s Ride

The 20th-annual Sturgis Mayor’s Ride will take place on Saturday, August 6th. Sturgis Mayor Carstensen will lead this ride alongside the Sturgis Rally Grand Marshall. You’ll ride through the Black Hills, stop at Mount Rushmore for a group photo, and end with lunch at Custer State Park.

All proceeds from this ride benefit Sturgis emergency services. Be sure to register in advance, as there are only 150 spots available for this group ride.

Biker Belles Morning Ride

The Biker Belles Women’s Day celebrates female riders at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. One of the most memorable events during this celebration is the Morning Ride, a guided route through the Black Hills. The ride will begin at The Lodge at Deadwood on August 9th.

Pappy Hoel Ride

This annual group ride honors Clarence “Pappy” Hoel, who organized the first Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in 1938. This ride will begin at the Full Throttle Saloon and feature a few local celebrities, such as Michael Ballard, the Full Throttle Saloon owner, and Jesse James Dupree of Jackyl.

Peace Love Happiness Ride

The Peace Love Happiness ride is a charity motorcycle event organized by PLH, a charity that supports the families of fallen peace officers and abused and neglected children.

Western Frontier Motorcycle Ride

Calling all history fans — the Western Frontier Motorcycle Ride offers a unique opportunity to travel back in time and learn about the history of the American West. This ride will take you to the gravesite of Jonathan “Buffalo Chips” White, the namesake of the Buffalo Chip campground, among other memorable locations.

The ride will also feature hands-on historical activities and a four-hour expedition to the Great Sioux Nation Battle site. As you ride, you’ll be able to listen to the area’s history through a headset and pass through historical sites such as:

  • Hoover, SD
  • Slim Buttes Overlook
  • Reva Store
  • Gravesite of American Horse
  • Spur Creek Saloon

This year’s ride will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 11th. Be sure to reserve your spot online if you plan to participate in this historic group ride.

Rusty Wallace Charity Ride

The Rusty Wallace Charity Ride gives you the opportunity to ride alongside Rusty Wallace and a few of his NASCAR friends. This exclusive ride will begin with a party and meet-and-greet at the Black Hills Harley-Davidson, then feature an enjoyable group motorcycle ride chosen by Rusty.

After the ride, you and the other participants will meet at Buffalo Chip for a reception and silent auction. All proceeds will benefit worthy charities.

Veterans Charity Ride

Since 2015, the Veterans Charity Ride organization has taken numerous wounded and amputee veterans to the Sturgis Rally on brand-new Indian Motorcycles. Upon arrival at Sturgis, the organization takes participants through several group rides to the natural attractions in and around the Black Hills.

2022 Medicine Wheel Ride

The Medicine Wheel Ride is a non-profit organization founded by a group of indigenous women. The group seeks to raise awareness for issues affecting Native American women and provides support for women and their families.

The third-annual Medicine Wheel Ride event at Sturgis will raise funds for this worthy organization. This event will feature an escorted ride beginning at Bear Butte and ending at the Crazy Horse monument. Then, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a raffle, auction, and lunch.

This year’s Medicine Wheel Ride will begin at 7:00 a.m. on August 7th.

Ride With a Local

If you’ve never been to Sturgis or simply prefer to ride with an experienced navigator, we recommend signing up for a “Ride With a Local.” These small-scale guided rides will allow you to experience the natural beauty of the Black Hills without needing to worry about finding your own way.

You’ll have the opportunity to participate in a three-hour ride through some of the most spectacular scenic roads in the Black Hills area. A friendly, experienced guide will lead the way and point out the essential sites along the route.

You can participate in these guided rides on the Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday of this year’s rally. Be sure to register in advance, as each ride has space for only 25 bikes.

But be sure to reserve some time to check out the local scene. Next, let’s look at some of the many local attractions in and around Sturgis, SD that we know you won’t want to miss.

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