How to Stay Safe at Sturgis

The biggest event of riding season and the celebration every motorcycle enthusiast looks forward to is almost here. But as you look to leave home, make sure you’re staying safe so you can make it back at the end of Rally week. Get our best tips and take the right precautions for your safest Sturgis ever.



Before you leave, make sure your bike is ready to travel. Now is a great time to conduct a basic T-CLOCS inspection, checking your tires, lights, oil and fluids, chassis and stands. It’s also the right time to make sure you’ve got proper saddlebags and other gear to pack your bike and keep it balanced.

Download a T-CLOCS checklist to get started, or watch motorcycle maintenance videos for a helpful overview of how to prep your bike.



Being prepared might be one of your best bets in staying safe. Whether you’re cruising to and from Sturgis or joining in on the rides during the Rally, you should put more thought into prepping.

Plan your rest stops so you’re taking frequent breaks off the bike. And make sure you plan your riding routes. Though South Dakota may be known for its rolling prairies, the Black Hills are another story. Expect hairpin turns, pigtail bridges, blind curves and heavy traffic.

Plan ahead

You can prep ahead of time by studying an interactive map with real, rider-perspective helmet cam footage. Or, you can download printable PDF maps to pack along for the trip.

Finally, avoiding crowds and heavy traffic can mean avoiding hazards. Plan your stops around peak hours. And always plan a designated driver.


When making the trek to and from the Rally, what you wear matters. Proper riding gear helps you stay safe on any ride, but especially during a packed Sturgis Rally with more bike and vehicle traffic.

Grab your gear

Make sure you’ve got quality gear that’s going to protect you. A full face helmet is the best way to protect your head. You can even win a free helmet during this year’s Rally. Complete your packing list with full leathers, boots and riding gloves to improve your grip and guard your body against road rash. Finally, pack layers of clothing so you can dress down or up, as weather changes quickly in the Black Hills.


Conditions change fast in Sturgis, from the flow of traffic to finding bison on the road. If you’re unsure about weather conditions, the safety of the road surfaces or times with particularly heavy traffic, wait it out. It’s better to take your time and slow down than risk your safety.

The same goes for drinking and riding. If you’re enjoying a few craft brews, plan ahead with a designated driver or call a safe ride.

Sturgis is a wild, wonderful place to get away and feel the freedom of riding. Just make sure you’re taking the right steps to make it back at the end of the week. Your friends and family will thank you for it.


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