Motorcycle Rallies (Biker Rallies) - Major Rallies for Motorcycles
By Walter F. Kern
Part 1: Basics of Motorcycle Rallies (Biker Rallies)
Motorcycle rallies (biker rallies) are simply gatherings of riders and motorcycles at specified times and places usually with attendant vendors, food, games, and other activities. Motorcycle rallies or biker rallies may last from a day to more than a week. Some major motorcycle or biker rallies are built around organized professional motorcycle races. Shown here is the author, waving, at the 1993 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally®
This article gives basic information about motorcycle rallies. The second page of this article contains my list of the top motorcycle rallies. Click here to see that list now or wait and visit the list at the end of this article.
Most riders start out by attending a motorcycle rally or biker rally for a day with an overnight stay that could include camping.
Subsequent visits to motorcycle rallies are usually longer. Motorcycle rallies come in all sizes from a few hundred people to over 500,000. Motorcycle rallies usually charge a fee if you want to participate in the rally activities. Many riders don't bother to register -- they just show up and hang out.
There are three really big motorcycle or biker rallies: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally® in Sturgis, SD; Daytona Bike Week in Daytona Beach, FL; and Laconia Motorcycle Week in Laconia, NH. These motorcycle rallies have a majority of Harley-Davidson riders and tend to be noisy and crowded. They attract in the hundreds of thousands, sometimes approaching one million.
My first motorcycle rally was at the old Playboy Club in NJ and was sponsored by Rider Magazine. It had an attendance of about 2,000 and I was impressed having never seen so many motorcycles in one place. Just being at a motorcycle rally is quite an experience. You get to meet riders from all over the country and see bikes you've never seen before. There are plenty of stories to listen to as you meet riders. You'll find many two-up riders and plenty of spontaneous conversation. It's a place where people from all backgrounds can let their hair down and have fun with their motorcycles.
Motorcycle rallies have become quite organized if you want to participate in the many planned activities. You'll need to consult the Web sites of the motorcycle rallies you're interested in and read them carefully to plan your trip. Most sites have detailed schedules, information on accommodations, restaurants, routes, activities, campgrounds, etc. Usually you can get on an email list to receive information as it becomes available or is updated. Also, check the sites for any forums or message boards. They allow participants to talk among themselves and get various questions answered.
There will be additional information on this site including links to the actual Web sites of the major motorcycle rallies. There are literally thousands of rallies. The motorcycle rallies listed here are the ones most discussed. There is no way that all the large rallies can be listed here.
I suggest you start out by attending a motorcycle rally close to you to see how it goes. After experiencing one rally, you can branch out to the bigger motorcycle rallies and maybe take in one that is some distance away. My first motorcycle rally was 100 miles away. My second rally was 2,500 miles away. My favorite rally, Americade, is 275 miles away.
Members of several motorcycle forums have also formed their own rally called BuRP. The name was coined by forum members to include BRP for the Blue Ridge Parkway. The "u" has various meanings, one being "u and me." The rally, started in 2002, always includes rides on the BRP. The rallies after 2002 have been held in Maggie Valley, NC close to the BRP and Deal's Gap. BuRP 2017 will be the 16th annual BuRP rally.
For additional details about this year's major motorcycle rallies, click on Page 2, below.
=> Page 2: Motorcycle Rallies List