A motorcycle rally is a gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts. Some rallies are ride-in events; some are like the Iron Butt Rally with days of riding followed by a gathering at the end of the ride.
A few of the more famous rallies are the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Laconia Motorcycle Week, Daytona Beach Bike Week and Biketoberfest are just a few. There are hundreds, if not thousands of smaller, regional rallies around the United States, including the annual BMW MOA international rally, the Oyster Run in the Pacific Northwest, the Golden Aspen Rally. We are deeply involved in motorcycle rally shipping, so we thought we would keep you updated on some of the more famous rallies.
Lone Star Rally: Galveston, TX, November 3rd– 6th, 2016
The Lone Star Rally is held every year in Galveston Texas, and brings together thousands of motorcycle lovers from across the country. Known as “North America’s largest weekend rally” the rally has plenty to offer everyone of all ages.
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally: Sturgis, SD, August 4th – 13th, 2017
A tradition for 75 years; the Sturgis Rally has become an iconic motorcycle rally. Sturgis attracts riders from all walks of life from weekend riders to hardcore bikers. Nearly half a million riders attend this annual event. You’ll find good music, great food, comedy, bike shows, vendors and more! This is one can’t miss rally.
Laconia Bike Week: Laconia, NH, June 10th – 18th, 2017
From Laconia, New Hampshire this annual event is a great place to go for food, music, bike build offs raffles, hill climb, tours, swap meets, concerts, fireworks, vendors and bike shows. Plus, you can’t beat the scenery. Don’t miss this one!
Daytona Beach Bike Week: Daytona Beach, FL March 10th – 19th, 2017
A rally tradition since 1937. Nearly half a million people attend this 10 day event each year. With great food, (seafood festival and clambakes) parties, street festivals, motorcycle races, custom bike shows, cabbage wrestling, vendors and more! Hands down, a great time to be had by all.
Biketoberfest: Daytona Beach, FL October 19th – 22nd, 2017
Halloween isn’t the only good time to be had in October. Biketoberfest draws thousands of people to Daytona Beach looking for a long weekend of fun each year. Look for shows, rallies, great food, and music, racing and beautiful scenic rides. This is a smaller and quieter rally but well worth attending.
Americade: Lake George Village, NY June 5th – 10th, 2017
If you’re looking for a quieter experience in your next rally, Americade in Lake George Village, New York might just be for you. Americade has been touted as the “world’s largest touring rally” and has drawn crowds of nearly fifty thousand riders. There’s plenty to see including, fireworks, a parade, prizes, free rides on demonstrator bikes, shows, music, food, you name it! This rally isn’t just for “geezers”. Riders of all ages attend this rally and it’s “biker neutral”. Any year, make or model is welcome. Americade offers a delightful and sober experience for any rider.
Laughlin River Run: Laughlin, NV, April 26th – 29th, 2017
This event was founded by Dale Marschke in 1983 and attracted less than five hundred riders its first year. Now drawing over seven hundred thousand riders it has become one of the biggest events of the year. The attraction of the old west can be felt as riders travel down old Route 66 to take in the Colorado River, Laughlin, NV, Oatman, AZ. (watch out for those burros!) Kingman and Bullhead City, AZ. Events include music, poker runs, vendors, races, the Ms. Laughlin competition and other charity events. This is not your grandma’s rally. Expect to get a little rowdy.
Love Ride: Southern CA, Cancelled.
Love Ride has been called the largest one day motorcycle rally of its kind. This event has taken place in Southern California and features a ride from Glendale to the Castaic Lake Recreation Area. This ride has attracted up to four thousand riders and has raised over twenty four million dollars for charity. While they have officially ended the Love Ride’s 30+ year motorcycle charity ride and huge concert, the LOVE RIDE FOUNDATION itself will continue to forward charitable causes for underprivileged children and US veterans in the near future.e.
Bikes, Blues and BBQ: Fayetteville, Arkansas, September 20th – September 23rd, 2017
Even though this is a relatively “new to the scene” rally it has grown quickly over the last twelve years and is now billed as the “Largest US Charity Rally” and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity. Also called the BBB Rally this event includes a Miss BBB pageant, poker runs, a Bar-B-Q contest, Lots of great blues music, a battle of the bikes and other events. If you love great Q, Cool bikes and great music, this event is for you.
Thunder In The Valley: Johnstown, PA, June 22nd – 25th, 2017
This rally is little more adult themed with events such as tattoo contests, hill climbs, mud wrestling and other adult entertainment. You will however find a parade and other events for the kids. There is music, events at bars and lots of vendors. Some of the local dealerships in the area sponsor their own events. You will also find some great scenery to ride through.
Only have a few days? No problem, there are countless rallies right in your own back yard. Rallies from a few hundred riders to several thousand riders can be found within a day’s ride from almost anywhere in the United States.
For more Rallies and Events visit Motorcycle Events
O.K., now that I know what a rally is… how do I get there?
The first thought that comes to mind is RIDE! Riding is always a fun idea but not always practical. Let’s say I’m in Columbia, SC. I’ve always wanted to go to Sturgis. I hop on my hard tail and hit the road. Several days and 1700 miles later I make my triumphant entrance into Sturgis. My back is killing me, my breath smells of the thousands of exotic bugs I’ve eaten along the way and I’m wearing my kidneys for a necklace. TIME TO PARTY? I don’t think so. No, don’t think I’ll ride. I’ll fly! Excellent! I’m in Sturgis and my iron steed is stuck at home in the garage. No way. I didn’t come all the way to Sturgis just to leave my baby home. What about shipping my motorcycle? Ask your friends. Maybe a buddy has a trailer and is hauling his bike to the rally. Maybe you can throw in with him for a little extra gas money. If not, there are companies that offer motorcycle rally shipping.
What’s the best way to ship my bike? How do I find a reliable motorcycle shipper? What do I look for and what should I ask about?
There is no “one size fits all” answer to motorcycle shipping. The most important thing to remember, timing is everything. Don’t wait till the last minute. Motorcycle shippers fill out their rally trucks weeks in advance. Plan next year’s event this year and start making some calls. Know what your needs will be before you start making your calls. Are you going solo or with a group? Is there a discount for group shipping? How long will it take? Here’s a few of the questions you should ask.
How much should I pay?
This is always a good first question. When shopping for a shipper, make sure the quote you receive is “all inclusive” and that there are no hidden costs, fuel charges etc. Some companies may charge extra to load the bike at your door. Ask about group discounts if you’re going with a group. If you’re going solo, ask about round trip discounts. Make sure the company you select has proper operating authority and is fully insured.
How long will it take?
Most companies will provide an estimated time frame for pickup and delivery of your bike. Total transit time will depend on the service you are provided. Something to keep in mind is all shipping companies have a “plan” in place to make shipping affordable for you and profitable for them. What does this mean? You’re not booking a limousine. Most can’t be there exactly on your time frame. You will have to show a little flexibility with your schedule.
How will my bike be transported?
Find out the type of vehicle your bike will be transported on. Some carriers use open air transporters with no protection against the elements. A true enthusiast will want his/her baby transported fully enclosed. The last thing you want is to show up at the rally with a bike that looks like it just went through a war zone. Ask if you will need to prep the bike in any way. Some companies require that the fluids be drained. You probably don’t want to show up at the rally with a dry bike. A good company requires nothing more than a signature upon pickup and delivery.
I think I’m ready to rally but am I really a rally kind of person?
Absolutely! There’s a rally out there for every man, woman, boy and girl. There’s something for everybody from the Wild Bunch to the weekend enthusiast. So you’re not the tattoo and leather type. No problem, there’s a rally for you. You’re a scooter freak. There’s a rally for you too. Trike Rallies? You bet! Sidecar rallies? You know it! There are rallies for every taste and preference and they all have one thing in common. BIKES! You want to see what’s new in the industry? It’s there. Looking for that special set of pipes? They’re there. Seats, apparel, accessories of all kinds. It’s all there. Plus it’s packed with music, bikes, great food, and bikes, great people, and more bikes, games, raffles, prizes, and oh yeah, BIKES! Don’t miss the fun, the camaraderie, the excitement. Don’t just sit there! It’s rally time!
Clint Lawrence, Founder of Motorcycleshippers, is an avid motorcycle enthusiast, industry consultant and board member for a major logistics provider. [email protected]