How Much does it Cost to go to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally? | 2021 Guide
Matt Ellis, Motorcycle Shippers Brand Ambassador. Armed with a laptop and camera, he can often be found at the race track with friends and family. Motorcycle Shippers
How Much Does it Cost to Go to the Sturgis Bike Rally?
Now in its 80th year, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally isn’t just a “can’t miss” event for U.S. riders; it also draws motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world to western South Dakota. Great rides. Drag races. Endless events, food and camaraderie. Once you’ve made it to Sturgis, you’re in another world for 10 days. And as any rider will tell you, the memory of attending is unforgettable.
But as with any trip, there’s also the logistical side of the equation. One of the top searches related to the rally is “how much does it cost to go?” Although your location, the length of your stay and other factors can impact how much your trip ends up costing, some expenses are a given. (And others, like shipping your motorcycle to Sturgis and back, might actually end up saving you time and money.) Here’s a quick checklist of Sturgis rally costs to keep in mind as you’re planning to attend the Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which is slated for August 6 to 15, 2021.
Sturgis rally costs to keep in mind
Attending Sturgis can wind up being pretty expensive, especially if you stay for the full 10 days and have to travel from somewhere that’s located more than one day’s ride away. Although any rider will tell you that it’s worth every penny. We have included some cost-saving tips below, but most of all we recommend than you plan ahead to help reduce surprises.
| Event Ticket ($60+)
Full festival passes can run well into the $300 range. However, keep in mind that this price can be lower if you purchase earlier. Buffalo Chip is selling 2021 passes for one day ($60), three days ($165) and the full festival ($225 to $275), but those prices are sure to rise as the rally draws closer.
Pro Tip: Ok.. this is really a no-brainer.. Book Now!
| Food: ($10/meal+)
At the rally, you’ll find great food options nearly everywhere you look. Normally you can expect to pay a minimum of $10 per person per meal, plus $7 or more per drink. But of course there are super deals if you look around. Of course the Sturgis Buffalo Chip® offers $1 Drafts & Dogs to help satisfy those quick needs. You can find this ridiculous deal at the Woody’s Watering Hole in the amphitheater daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
Pro-Tip: Get a meal plan from the Stage West Café. Order one meal at a time or reserve a whole week’s worth of meals and save big with the Sturgis Rider® Meal Deal, leaving you with one less thing to worry about during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally!
| Drinks: ($1/drink+)
Ok, this part can get expensive for some, so factor in the cost based on your intake. Here are some tips to help you make it through on a smaller budget. $1 Drafts at Woody’s Watering Hole, $3 Beers and $3 Buffalo Chip Whiskey at the Big Engine Bar, The Rat’s Hole mug, craft beer cans at Club Chip and specials on shots at Bikini Beach and the bar at the Kinison Stage. There’s no excuse for not throwing back a cool one at unheard of prices.
Pro Tip: VIP’s drink for free at the Iron Horse Saloon.
| Lodging: ($300/night+)
During rally week, plan to pay anywhere from $300 to $400 per night for hotels and motels. If you’re going with a large group, consider renting a full house to shave dollars off your trip costs. Have an RV? Week-of 30 Amp service can run you $400. If you’re open to camping, you can stay for less—but watch out for additional camper fees, which can quickly add up when you’re staying for multiple days. Need a good place to start your lodging search? Check out the official rally lodging list.
Pro Tip: Group up with friends and use VRBO to find a house to rent. You might even have a garage for your rides. Prices can range from $320 and up if you plan ahead (we checked this on 10/15/2020).
| Getting There ($ Varies)
This all depends on how far you’re traveling from. Are you riding your motorcycle to and from the rally? Factor in gas, wear and tear, and time to make sure you have an accurate Sturgis rally budget. Harley-Davidson Insurance provides a good calculation of event fuel costs on its rally page. Many riders tour 300 miles per day just around the Sturgis area. At $7 per 100 miles, that’s $21 per day just in rally riding. And of course, if you’re riding to Sturgis, you’ll need to factor that in, too. (More on that point below.) If you’re flying, purchase your ticket into the Rapid City Regional Airport ahead of time to avoid last-minute price hikes. Also remember to factor in the 40-mile drive (or Uber) from the airport to Sturgis.
Pro Tip: Consider shipping your motorcycle either to or from the rally to save time and expense.
| Renting a Motorcycle($139/day)
What’s the Sturgis rally without a motorcycle? Maybe that explains why, in a recent TripAdvisor forum, overseas riders said they paid up to $300 per day to rent a motorcycle at Sturgis. You’ll likely find a better deal reserving your rental far in advance or renting from outside Sturgis itself. If you’re facing a price in the ballpark of $300 per day, shipping your motorcycle is going to be a less expensive option. And there’s really no substitute for riding your own motorcycle.
Pro Tip: Check Eagle Rider Rapid City. We found Harley Road Kings for as low as $139/day when you rent for 7-days.
How much it costs to ship your motorcycle to the Sturgis rally
Depending on where you live and how much time you can set aside for the trip, riding your motorcycle to and from Sturgis can make for a real adventure. And what better way is there to kick off rally week than to roll into town after an epic ride? But in some cases, this just might not be possible for you. When it’s not, you should consider shipping your motorcycle to Sturgis.
When does it make sense to ship your motorcycle to Sturgis? First off, if you live far away from South Dakota and either 1) can’t ride your motorcycle there or 2) don’t have enough time to attend the rally AND take a multi-day ride there and back. It might also be a good option if you want to save your energy for rally-week rides or want to avoid unnecessary wear and tear on your motorcycle. But no matter your reason for doing so, shipping your motorcycle to the Sturgis rally is possible, and it can be surprisingly affordable as well.
Want to calculate the cost of shipping your motorcycle from your door to the Sturgis rally? Use our instant quote tool above to find out now. Select your motorcycle make and model from the dropdowns. Then, put your zip code as the “pick up” and your zip code as the “delivery.” If you don’t have a specific location yet, you can use the Sturgis zip code (57785). Click “Get Quote,” and you’ve got your number.
Not sure how to ship your motorcycle to and from the Sturgis rally (or just one way)? We’re here to help. Drop us a line, and we’ll answer all your questions about the logistics, and costs, of shipping your motorcycle to and/or from the Sturgis rally. And while we’re at it, maybe we can even swap a Sturgis story or two with you.