It would take you a full two weeks, with scheduled planning, to enjoy everything the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota has to offer. Held every year during the first week after the first full weekend of August, there is an incredible amount of bike shows, concerts, events, vendors, and new model introductions - Sturgis is easily the biggest and best motorcycle show in the nation. Attendance was way up this year, and last year hosted over half a million people (in a town with a population of 6,442 - imagine the traffic!).
There is an assortment of rides and places to see such as the Hot Bike/Street Chopper/HOT ROD'S BikeWorks ride to the Crazy Horse monument, the Mayor of Sturgis ride, Mount Rushmore, Bear Butte State Park, Deadwood, the Homestake Gold Mine, and the Fort Meade Cavalry Museum. Entertainment on the various stages ranged from Rob Zombie and the Reverend Horton Heat to the Purrfect Angels dance team, Jimmie Van Zant, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, and Twisted Sister.
Almost every big-name builder was in attendance (or at least their trailers were) like Orange County Choppers, Exile, Johnny Chop, Matt Hotch's HotMatch Custom Cycles, Roland Sands and Tom Foster, West Coast Choppers, Kendall Johnson, and K.C. Creations, plus some up-and-coming builders like Empty Tomb Choppers and Trik Daddy. The list of vendors in Sturgis was staggering; in fact, there were almost nine hundred. Some of the more prominent names were J&P Cycles, Drag Specialties, Custom Chrome Industries, Performance Machine, Saddlemen, Barnett, Baker Drivetrain, Pro-One, and Headwinds.
Original equipment manufacturers of production customs were not scarce either. American Ironhorse had a strong presence as did Big Dog Motorcycles and Big Bear Choppers. A few new names popped up including Hard Bikes, a new motorcycle company that custom-fits a motorcycle specifically to the buyer's exact size to insure the most comfortable ride possible - and they offer a couple of chopper models too.
If you're thinking about attending next year's Sturgis Rally, plan ahead to avoid headaches. Book your room as soon as possible, and don't forget the dates for next year are August 7 through 13, 2006.