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A Sturgis Recap from our President/CEO Bob Behan

Posted on 18 Aug 2010 in Cruiser-Motorcycles, Harley-Davidson, Scooter, Sport Bikes | 2 comments

I have just returned from the 2010 Black Hills Rally. Generally speaking the story of the 2010 Sturgis motorcycle rally was attendance. It was way up! It was easy to see and feel that attendance was on par with the rallies of 5 or so years ago which were the biggest of all time. It was good to see.

The hotels were all booked full. The Buffalo Chip Campground reported 2 to 3 times the number of campers this year compared to last year. The Broken Spoke Campground came into its own after opening three years ago. This year they added the biggest bikers’ swimming pool in the world. Kind of different to see hot and tired bikers cooling off in a clear blue pool.

The weather was pretty much hot and dry. The sun shined every day and the riding as always was awesome. The hills were filled with bikes everywhere. This is a shot taken on the Needles Highway south of Mount Rushmore.

This shot was taken inside of Custer State Park

This year Harley moved their factory display from the Rapid City Convention Center to Lazelle Street in Sturgis. This year’s Sturgis setup was a much smaller and less informative display than in years past. They didn’t have all their bikes on display and had a lot fewer of their staff around to answer questions. Clearly it was an expense saving move and in that regard they met their objectives. However, from a consumer standpoint it was disappointing.


The vendor display lots were not as full as they have been in recent years. I am sure that is because many companies are not doing the rally the way they have been in the past. Some vendors have gone out of business. Some just chose not to attend. And some vendors that did go had smaller displays.

However, for those vendors that did attend business was very, very good. I talked to a lot of people and most reported sales up 25-50 percent. So not only were the rally attendees having a good time but so were the vendors!

And Sturgis wouldn’t be Sturgis without the nightlife. The Buffalo Chip once again was music central with ZZ Top, Kid Rock, Bob Dylan, The Guess Who and many other nationally recognized acts. Guns N’ Roses rocked the stage at the Monkey Rock. They were scheduled to start at 10:30pm. They actually went on at 1am. Too late for me…but by all reports it was a great concert.

The Broken Spoke Campground had .38 Special, Eddie Money, Great White and others. All for $10 a concert. There was free live music all over the place including the Broken Spoke downtown and the Full Throttle Saloon where they were filming for the Tru TV reality showsthat will air starting sometime this fall or winter. Be sure to watch and you will get a good look behind the scenes at a major Sturgis biker bar.

Downtown was filled with the best people watching anywhere in the world. When they say you see it all in Sturgis…they are right. Tattoos reign and people showed off what they have both good and bad. I would post a picture but you know what they say. What happens in Sturgis stays in Sturgis…at least as it relates to what goes on downtown!

Custom motorcycles are everywhere as are factory rides of all brands and styles. Yes there are sport bikes, trikes, off road bikes, rat bikes, and even a few ATVs.Though in the end it is a Harley dominated gathering.

All in all it was a very good rally. Attendance was way up, the weather was good, the energy and activity was really juiced and I am sure most all rally attendees had a really good time.



  1. Donna / December 5th, 2012 17:34

    I’ve been to Sturgis twice & it’s true, if your idea of a goodtime is sippnig your drink of choice while watching the sunset or a casual stroll with your lady before hitting the hay early THE BUFFALO CHIP is not for you. If that is you, PLEASE stay at one of the other fine campgrounds in the area. You, and I, will be much happier. You will enjoy your style of rally and I won’t offend you as my type of rally is LOUD! I’ll sleep when I’m dead. The Buffalo Chip is large, loud, brash, raucous, dusty & FUN! Everything a biker campground should be. The Chip offers the best collection of world-class concerts and party-goers, anywhere. Yes it may cost a bit more then the surrounding campgrounds, but keep in mind for what you pay for a week long camping pass at The Chip (including concerts & camping), is less then what you would pay for a single concert at home for you and a friend. The Chip is outside of Sturgis proper. That is a great thing as it can allow for easy access to all of what The Black Hills offer. Just make sure you use the alternative routes. It’s worth the energy to learn the alternative routes. They will save you a ton of time. Unless of course, you enjoy biker traffic jams. The first few days of the rally at The Chip are electric. There is a buzz of energy as folks are ready to have not a goodtime, but, a GREAT time!!! By midweek, the limitations of the facilities become very noticable. Toilets, showers and the staff, begin to show the strain and it’s still fun! By the end of the rally you will be ready to hit the road. But, that is part of the satisfaction of what a good rally can do for you and your peace of mind. You go home appreciating what you have and mindful of the fun you just had looking forward to the next Sturgis Run! Ride safe and I’ll see you at The Chip. I’ll be the guy with the beer in his hand, a wide grin and bugs in his teeth. Yeah that’s me .Let’s Party!

    • Sarah / January 7th, 2013 9:25

      Thanks for sharing your Sturgis experience with us Donna! Hopefully we’ll bump into you there next year. 🙂 Until then, ride on!


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