Traveling by motorcycle has becoming an exciting way to see the world. With the wind in your hair and the hum of the engine in your ears, it offers endless adrenaline.
One of the best ways to plan a motorcycle trip is to venture to one of the U.S.’s famous motorcycle rallies. These multi-day events feature entertainment, chances to make new friends and possibilities for group rides in gorgeous places.
Prepping for a Rally
Before you head out to far-off destinations, you’ll want to be prepared for what’s to come.
First, ensure that your bike is up to a long journey before you leave. Shine the body, make sure everything is in working order and replace things that may hinder your safety, like motorcycle tyres and your helmet.
Leave your ego at home so you don’t clash with other riders; be open to chatting and making new friends at the rally. Bring extra food and water, if you have a way to carry it while you ride, as everything at the rally will likely be overpriced.
You should also make sure to keep track of where you park your bike once you arrive. With so many motorcycles in one small place, it’s easy to forget where you started out.
While there are a few different reasons to attend a motorcycle rally, one of the biggest is for exploration. These events are tailored to it, allowing visitors to explore a new place in addition to new people and a variety of bikes.
You may make new travel friends with whom you share common interests. If you’re lucky, you can plan future motorcycle trips with them. You’ll all already have your mode of transportation locked down.
The Best Motorcycle Rallies in the U.S.
These are some of the most thrilling motorcycle rallies held in the U.S. every year.
1. Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Held in the gorgeous Black Hills of South Dakota, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is probably the most popular in the country. Near the end of every summer, more than 500,000 riders come together to explore the nature surrounding the town of Sturgis.
Organizers also host various rides throughout the year, to check out fall colors, the prairies and the Badlands.
2. Rolling Thunder
Celebrating its 30th year, Rolling Thunder’s annual Ride for Freedom has grown from a couple thousand participants to more than 900,000. Riders flock to Washington D.C. to raise awareness for Prisoners of War and those who are Missing in Action.
The event typically includes special elements, like a candlelight vigil, a wreathlaying ceremony and a salute to the troops.
3. Laconia Motorcycle Week
This world-class rally, which lasts for an entire week, began in 1916 with a gypsy tour. Because the rally lasts for so long, some days are filled with plenty of action in the streets while other days provide quiet rides. With charity rides and live music, there is plenty to see and do at the New Hampshire-based rally.
Plus the scenery nearby the sleepy town is stunning, with beautiful lakes and plenty of open nature.
4. Redwood Run
Though California isn’t known for its motorcycle rallies, it has some stellar roads—especially along the coast. The Northern California-based Redwood Run is a smaller event that has plenty to offer.
The old school rally is filled with wild bikers, games, live music and even a wet t-shirt contest. It also provides an opportunity for attendees to camp outside among the massive redwoods by night after winding through nearby roads during the day.
5. Daytona Bike Week
Held in the beautiful Sunshine State, there’s no doubt that riders will enjoy a trip down to Florida for the Daytona Bike Week. The event has been around for nearly 80 years, offering boardwalk rides and summer concerts next to the beach. There are plenty of other activities to partake in at the rally as well. They have an annual bike blessing, a swap meet and various parties.