Motorcyle Events

Although most widely known for its annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which attracts more than 500,000 guests each summer, South Dakota is also home to several other prominent biking events. The state’s rolling prairies, soaring mountains, and picturesque lakes make it a scenic destination for riders of all ages, races, and experience levels. Below are just a few of the most popular motorcycle events held in South Dakota throughout the year:

Accelerator 2

June – Sturgis, South Dakota

Less than two months before the city hosts the massive Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Sturgis’ Buffalo Chip is home to Accelerator 2, one of the area’s most celebrated bike events. High-profile musical acts, a motorcycle rodeo, a silent auction, Saturday night dinner, and pig races are just some of the entertainment venues on tap. Members of the South Dakota Abate pay a $20 registration fee; non-members pay $40. All attendants are permitted to camp on-site. For those who love motorcycling but are seeking a smaller crowd than the main Sturgis Rally, Accelerator 2 provides a great alternative.

State Hog Rally

June – Pierre, South Dakota

One of the state’s four major Missouri River dams, Lake Oahe is the site of this year’s Hog Rally. Several rides are planned with varying lengths and levels of adventure, many of which cross one, two, three, or all four of South Dakota’s biggest dams. The event’s rides span a total of 400 miles in length, affording stunning views of scenic bluffs and picturesque water reservoirs. Ride alone, with your own group, or with one of the event’s dam guides. The Big Dam Powerhouse Tour provides riders with the compelling history of South Dakota’s four dams. For more details, call 605-222-2031.

Hot Harley Nights

July – Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation, this charity motorcycle event donates its proceeds to the organization, which helps to improve the lives of children suffering from terminal diseases. Among the scheduled events are a motorcycle parade, live musical performances, a bike show, a casino run, and raffle drawings. Many food vendors operate concessions to serve the more than 40,000 attendants.

Shovelhead Only Poker Run

July – Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Held in South Dakota’s biggest city, this ride starts at the American Motorcycle Works. Registration runs from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM. This motorcycle event is exclusive to Shovelhead motorcycles. For more details, call 605-321-1478.

Wounded Knee Memorial Motorcycle Ride

July – Ft. Yates, South Dakota

In commemoration of the Lakota People who suffered and died at Wounded Knee in 1890, this motorcycle ride begins at the Powwow Grounds in Eagle Butte and continues on to Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Each rider pays a $20 registration fee; passengers pay $10. Registration is held on Saturday, July 25th from 7:00 AM until 8:00 AM. This charitable event donates all of its profits to Children’s Village, an organization for the protection of neglected and abused local children. For details, call 262-903-0869 or visit www.otakuye.org.

Custer Cruisin’

July or August – Custer, South Dakota

Against the scenic backdrop of the beautiful Southern Black Hills, this popular motorcycle event offers an array of fun activities, including the Mayor’s Ride and Poker Run, the Annual Custer Veterans Appreciation Day with a ceremonial ride, and live musical acts at Frontier Bar & Grill. Plenty of food vendors will be on hand to satisfy riders’ appetites.

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