What motorcyclist doesn’t know about Sturgis? But in case you’ve never heard of the place, you’re really missing out.
After all, the town is home to the largest motorcycle rally in the world.
But let’s take a step back for a moment. The rally looms so large over the town that riders often don’t stop to think about the location itself.
So, what is Sturgis?
Sturgis is a city of roughly 7,000 residents in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Although the name “Sturgis” is today immortalized with the motorcycle rally, Sturgis originally went by a wholly different name.
The city’s origins trace back to the settlement of Scooptown at the foot of Bear Butte. This small encampment served as a… Shall we say entertainment outlet for the soldiers of the nearby Camp Sturgis.
In 1878, Fort Meade replaced Camp Sturgis. So, the residents of Scooptown packed up and founded a new town around the fort, naming it after the previous camp and Civil War Union General Samuel D. Sturgis.
Today, Sturgis is a motorcycling Mecca even outside the rally. The Black Hills to the west and open prairie to the east make this a prime riding environment catering to riders of all kinds.
In the west, you’ll find dozens of winding two-laners serving up gorgeous forest and mountain views, alongside dirt roads and tracks that let you test your off-roading skills. Meanwhile, the prairie offers laidback cruises along paved and unpaved roads, surrounded by vast stretches of open land and big blue skies.
More Than Just a Rally
Alright, let’s get to what you’ve been waiting for. The prime attraction bringing motorcyclists to Sturgis is, of course, the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
This enormous event brings hundreds of thousands of riders and motorcycle enthusiasts to the town. At the beginning of every August, Sturgis transforms into a frenzied motorcycling fiesta with rides, music, shows, vendors, and everything else a rider could ever want.