The 77th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally officially starts today, Friday, August 4th, and runs through Sunday, August 13th. If you haven’t already noticed increased traffic on I-90 yet, you will as Rally goers begin pouring into the Black Hills region.
Last year the rally had an estimated attendance of 463,412. Even if you aren’t going up to Sturgis you will be affected by the Rally. Tourist sites from the Badlands to Devil’s Tower and throughout the Black Hills, as well as restaurants, bars, or anything you think of as entertainment will be packed. HAVE PATIENCE!
The Rally is the experience of a lifetime. Visiting exhibitors can show you anything and everything you’d want or need to dress you up or dress up your bike. Or demo virtually every kind of bike on the market – custom, V-Twin or metric. In addition to the bikes there are concerts, races and bike shows, five blocks of Sturgis’s Main Street (bikes-only), organized rides, and custom legends.
If you are new to the area or have never gone to the Rally, check it out, but be prepared for traffic and a lot of people.
Here are a few tips to survive the Rally:
- If you are going, have a plan. (Have a designated driver!)
- There are no open containers allowed in Sturgis
- Pay attention to the signs that say NO PARKING and the curbs that are painted yellow. If you park by these you will be towed and walking to the impound yard to pay to get your ride back.
- Look out for motorcycles, not all of them are looking out for you
- Pay attention to speed limits and additional stop signs in all areas
- Again, HAVE PATIENCE!
South Dakota Motorcycle Driving Laws (Source: South Dakota Rides)
- No person may operate a motorcycle more than two abreast in a single lane. The operator of a motorcycle may not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.
- Every motorcycle must be equipped with at least one but no more than two headlamps..
- All persons under the age of 18 must wear motorcycle safety helmets that are approved by the South Dakota Department of Transportation.
- A person riding in an enclosed cab attached to a motorcycle does not have to wear a safety helmet.
- A motorcycle operator must wear an eye protective device unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen of sufficient height and design that protects the motorcycle operator. When headlights are required to be on, a motorcycle operator cannot wear protective eye devices that are tinted or shaded to reduce the light transmission of the device below 35 percent.
- Motorcycles must have at least one tail lamp, which when lighted emits a red light visible for a distance of 500 feet.
- Noise Limits: Every motorcycle must at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise.
What will bad behavior cost you? (also factor in costs to your career)
Common City Violations
- Careless Driving – $110
- City Parking Violations – $10
- City Trespassing/Camping in the Street – $130
- Deposit of Filth in Public Place – $105
- Disorderly Conduct – $130
- Dog Running at Large (1st off.) – $75
- Driving on Bike Path/Sidewalk – $130
- Exhibition Driving – $85
- Indecent Exposure – $130
- Open Container In Public -$80
- Parking in Handicapped Zone – $100
- Stop Light/Stop Sign Violation – $110
- Truck Routes & Use of Streets by Trucks – $110
- U-turn Prohibited – $85
- Wrong Way on One Way Street -$110
- Unlawful to Obstruct Streets/Selling on the Street – $105
Common State Motorcycle Violations
- Cyclist Overtaking and Passing M/V in same lane – $120
- Eye Protection Required – $ 25
- Helmet Required under Age 18 – $120
- Illegal Handlebar Height – $25
- Illegal Motor Cycle Exhaust – $25
- Operation Without Motorcycle Endorsement – $120
Common State Law Violations
- Furnishing Alcohol to Minor 18-21 – Court Appearance Req.
- Open Container in Motor Vehicle – $120
- Possess of Controlled Substance – Custody Arrest
- Possess of Drug Paraphernalia – $270
- Possess of Marijuana – Custody Arrest
- Possess of Substances for High Abuse (Distribution) – Custody Arrest
- Underage Alcohol Purchase/Possession/Consumption – Court Appearance Req.
- Underage Purchase/Possession/Consumption of Cigarettes – $95
- Cancelled License – $140
- No Driver License – $120
- Revoked License – Custody Arrest
- Suspended License – $270
- Violation of License Restrictions – $120