Sturgis 2013

August 13, 2013

All Posts, News

Sturgis, the Black Hills Motorcycle Rally, ended Sunday and most of the official numbers haven’t been calculated yet but it looks like it was another banner year for motorcycle tourism.

Event sponsors said this years rally attracted more visitors than last year. Event sponsors say that every year but South Dakota Highway Patrol Captain Kevin Karley told Rapid City television station KNBN “we can see the traffic is up this year.” Last year’s official attendance was 416,000. That’s about 30 percent less than 2000 when an estimated 604,000 bikers attended the rally. The city of Sturgis issued 734 temporary vendor licenses this year which was 42 more than last year. There were 69 motorcycle accidents resulting in injuries this year. Last year there were only 50. There were 50 non-injury accidents last year. This year there were only 33.

Cops wrote 1,535 traffic tickets and issued 4,932 warnings for violations. There were 255 drunken driving arrests, four more than last year, and 275 drug arrests. Last year there were only 219. The 275 drug arrests amount to about 15 percent of all the drug arrests the entire state of South Dakota expects to make this year. Cops seized nine vehicles and $13,221 in cash as a result of drug arrests.

Behind The Numbers

One of the DUIs was awarded to second generation daredevil Robbie Knievel. Fellow stuntman Clint Ewing wasn’t so lucky. Ewing, who holds the record for the longest motorcycle ride through a 2,900 “tunnel of fire” tried to break his own record at the Buffalo Chip Campground last Wednesday. The video below seems to indicate Clint might have gotten as far as 300 feet through the 360 foot long tunnel before he crashed and ran screaming and flailing through the side of the tunnel. He suffered third degree burns and is now being treated at a burn center in Los Angeles.

The state of South Dakota estimates that rally attendees spend about $250 a day each to attend Sturgis and those numbers are probably on the low side. The minimum price of a hotel room in Rapid City or Sturgis is $200 a might. Weekly rates to camp at the Buffalo Chip are $180 for dry RVs, $450 for RV hookups and $150 for a tent spot. According to an article in the Rapid City Journal a typical rally visitor spends about $400 for gas travelling to Sturgis and about $750 for tee-shirts, souvenirs, concerts, beer and food. This years concerts included Bret Michaels, Vince Neil, Kid Rock, ZZ Top, Rob Zombie and Mastodon.


The sleazy side of Sturgis included a sting by the Rapid City Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that led to the arrests of nine men on charges of trying to buy sex with underage girls after responding to online ads.

There were no reported “motorcycle gang” incidents this year.

Sturgis, with a population of 6,500, spent about $1 million to host the rally.  The city will probably reallize a profit of about $350,000 which will amount to about 80 percent of its annual budget.




97 Responses to “Sturgis 2013”

  1. Grumbler Says:

    @10Guage – Man, I *hated* riding in the Sacramento Valley. At least there’s plenty of killer secondary roads and whatnot branching outta the valley.

    Haven’t been to Zelda’s, but will definitely keep it in mind the next time I’m out that way. Cowboy Pizza (defunct) on Spring St in Nevada City was excellent. Have you been to the Washington Hotel in Washington off CA-20 for suds and grub on the rear deck overlookin’ Yuba River?

    Your poem gave me a flashback to that sweet, attractive blonde lady ridin’ around the main drag in Red Bluff on her Road King back in 2001. It was like seeing that blonde woman inna white Thunderbird from American Graffiti.

  2. 10Guage Says:

    Did I mention the bar (; ?

  3. 10Guage Says:


    I agree completely with the hot pavement deal…It is extremely noticeable when I ride in the valley for prolonged periods of time….Best deep dish pizza on the planet is in Downtown Sacramento called Zelda’s and they have a full bar to boot….The ingredients are fresh, the dough is flaky and full of butter and a hungry mother fucker can’t eat more than four slices…they have a full bar ta boot….great story about the dinner man.

    She used to work in a diner
    Never saw a women look finer
    I used to order just to Watch her float across the floor

    Grew up in a small town
    Never put her roots down
    Daddy always kept moving so she did too

    Somewhere on a desert highway
    She rides a Harley Davidson
    Her long blond hair flying in the wind…


  4. Phuquehed Says:

    I’m on my second year on the MC II’s and I ride all year – rain, hail, sleet (so long as it doesn’t start to ‘stick’), snow (getting out of my driveway, but once that’s done it turns to ice and I *can’t* get out after that until it melts). They’ve been doing me just fine in the wet, as well as the Dunlop’s, IMHO. Just gotta be careful of the paint lines on the roads in certain areas, as they’ve not changed over yet to the non-slippery-when-wet stuff, and a mosquito turd on that old type stuff is enough to make a tire fly out from under you.

  5. Snow Says:

    Chicago pizza, oh and Chicago dogs, mmmmmm.

  6. YYZ Skinhead Says:

    One Eye,

    Shit yeah, I am all about tasting some Windsor pizza. New Haven, CT apizza (it is spelled “apizza” but pronounced “abeetz”) is another regional variation I haven’t yet tried. I suppose I gotta fling California pizza into the fray. Ingredients can get rather odd round these parts.

    YYZ Skinhead

  7. Grumbler Says:

    @Ol’Goat – I hadda brain fart due to being under the weather, and forgot that the tire thread was over in the saloon. Nonetheless, it’s my understanding that the MCII tires are made in Thailand, and wet weather traction isn’t as good as the Dunlops. Have no firsthand experience with the MCIIs.

    During the late ’70s I had 19″ and 16″ Avon Roadrunners on my ’75 FLH1200 which, along with the extended forks, was terrific on the winding backroads. The current AM20 front and AM26 rear are $116 and $142 respectively at JakeWilson online. Am gonna do some research on ’em.

  8. Ol'Goat Says:

    Tires!? Got the Michelin commander on my rear (rear TIRE that is) sure wears slowly, but my rear sure slips & slides a lot more than with the Dunlop. Not looking forward to the winter on the Michelin. …if I die in a fiery crash this winter someone send this post to my OL & her lawyer.

  9. Budweiser Says:

    In regards to Chicago pizza, I’ve never had the pleasure, but I’ve heard it’s the best in the country. I had a night class in college with an an older dude who used to live in Chicago. He worked in some kind of shipping/transportation business. He told the class that he’d have it flown in once a month to PA. Not sure how that worked exactly.

  10. One Eye Says:

    Warthog, YYZ: All this talk about Chicago deep dish. Now, don’t get me wrong I have enjoyed it, but Windsor pizza rules. This shit hole isn’t good for much else than a casino and peeler bars, but we do pizza top notch. I got into a pissing match with my buddies in Milwaukee about Canadian and US Pabst Blue Ribbon and some begrudged ours was better. So, do we a pizza taste off in the future?

    Warthog: I dig the hell out of Chicago and have experienced many a great time there. The Matchbox and the Green Mill were two places I really enjoyed, except for the miserable broad behind the bar at the Green Mill. The first time I was there was July, 2005, and the one day was over 100 degrees; riding down Lakeshore Drive and through the Loop was brutal. We just split lanes to move faster and I don’t think we were too popular with drivers. I’ve been meaning to get back there to check out Legends. Hopefully it will be soon.

  11. Budweiser Says:

    Lol @ being called “gay.” I missed you, Bill.

  12. Bill Says:

    Budweiser seems pretty gay. I think he’s only here because SOA made him feel comfortable enough with himself to “come out” on a biker site (he’s probably on a lot of them).

  13. Budweiser Says:

    Samurai- If making an ass out of myself, is responding to a group of elderly men who believe the Internet is about telling others how they should behave on said Internet, then so be it.

    Paladin- Yep, I would act exactly like I do on here in real life. Seriously? If you believe that you haven’t been following along.

    Phuquehed- When did I call myself a “genius”? It doesn’t take a genius to be intellectually superior to people who wish someone else death over a comment or question on a message board.

  14. Grumbler Says:

    @JMacK & WARTHOG – Was caging it from Banff, AB to New Meadows, ID for the night with my ol’ lady when we stopped at the Husky House Restaurant in Radium Hot Springs, BC for breakfast. It was a cold, wet and foggy morning that October.

    Then, after we had been seated, two leather clad couples walked in, and sat inna booth on other side. Despite the craptastic weather, they were all inna jovial mood and jokin’ around. My ol’ lady had morning sickness and wanted to hurry home ASAP. The food and service was damn good.

    We walked outside after finishin’ our meal, and spotted a pair of baggers glistening in the rain with WA plates. Had been 8-years since I sold my last motorcycle for MMF (marriage, mortgage and family).

    Was bitten by the motorcycle bug again right there and then. It was almost as if I had been shaken awake from a deep slumber. About 18 months later, after savin’ enuff moola, got my own bagger and been ridin’ ever since.

    Has been 25 years since we had breakfast at that Husky House Restaurant. It’s still there, and a return trip is on my bucket list as well as a ride up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper.

    @All – Was a huge proponent of Dunlop Elite 3s (bias belted). The 160/80-16 rear costs $176 and MT90B-16 front $121 at JakeWilson online.

    Since I need a set of tires while onna budget the last time around, went with the Pirelli MT66s which are currently $113 rear (150/80-16)and $91 front (130/90-16) from same vendor. They’ve very good reviews although I’d expect to get 10K out of the rear rather than 11-12K for Dunlop Elite 3. Saved $93 going with set of MT66s over the E3s.

    Will look into the MCIIs for $114 front and $136 rear in my sizes when the MT66s are due for replacement. I’d think that the rear E3s are too bloody ex$pen$ive these days.

    I’ve the mentality that high temperatures along with road surfaces that’s hotter than the air above while haulin’ ass is akin to sandpaper on our tires. That’s why I tend to ride at slower speeds in those climates. Inna perfect world, ridin’ at low elevations in the mornings and at high elevations in the afternoons would alleviate the wear and tear on our tires.

    BTW, it’s good to have you back on this page, Jim666. Ride free forever.

  15. YYZ Skinhead Says:


    Does most of the Canadian beef imported down here come from Alberta? Some Mexican supermercados as well as US chains sell Canadian beef. I buy Canadian and Northern California beef whenever possible. Mmmmm…Canadian boneless round steak and brisket…

    (OK, boneless round is a tough cut, but it is lean and has kickass flavor when chicken/country-fried and barbecued.)


    I have a passion for Chicago deep dish. Lou Malnati’s is one spot I have for years wanted to try on my pilgrimage to the Sears Tower (do any locals call it “Willis”?). Something else I wanna do is try Jeppson’s Malört to see if it is bitterer than Turkish coffee and Marax, an ephedrine-based antiasthmatic drug I had to take when I was a kid.

    YYZ Skinhead

  16. Phuquehed Says:

    There’s that self-professed genius not working correctly again. What a fucktard.

  17. Paladin Says:


    Trust me. If you conduct yourself face to face, as you conduct yourself on this forum, there is every reason to believe that you’ll need constant paramedic attention.

    I don’t consider myself a soothsayer. However; this prediction is similar to predicting rain while standing outside, in the middle of a storm.

    Long may You Ride (to those that deserve to),


  18. WARTHOG Says:


    All depends on the citizen, really. Come with respect, I’ll give ya a few minutes of my time. Come cocky and shootin your mouth like Butt-wiper that can’t take a hint to STFU…well who knows what will happen. But, your hang arounds and prospects gotta come from somewhere.




  19. Samurai Says:

    for the warthog and budweiser show I would hook ol’ budweiser up to one of those dog collars that’s been retrofitted to run off a car battery so every time a point needed to be made all he has to do is press a button, wait until the convulsions are over and then tell him. I remember not so long ago standing up for him in a situation now i gotta say you’ve made quite the ass out of yourself. Pain is temporary but stupidity is forever

  20. Sieg Says:

    Been my experience over the years that it’s just no dealing with citizens. Used to see t-shirts with “For those who understnad, no explanation is necessary. For those who don’t, no explanation is possible.” Pretty much sums it up.

    Warthog, et al, given that, fuck ’em. When we ride somewhere, we don’t interact with the citizens at all. No reason to do so here.

    FTF /FTP
    5 to 1

  21. Snow Says:

    I’m sure we could do a lot better than the crap their televising now.
    I believe he is referring to the ass kicking WARTHOG’s brothers would be doing to you. LOL.
    Respect sent to, well yall know who, Snow.

  22. Budweiser Says:

    Paladin- Why would it involve paramedics? I would be with “WARTHOG” and all his club connections. Just being with them will surely add to my already imposing appearance.

  23. Paladin Says:


    Great idea! I think Discovery would jump at the chance to own a show like this. Not only would this show have incredible comedic value, it would also double as a great paramedic documentary.

    Long May You Ride (to those that deserve to),


  24. mike 184 Says:

    @Ol’Goat…. Umm I dont think so…. Dude is fameous…. or infameous…And a hell of a guy to boot.

  25. Snow Says:

    I have a nice video camera, let’s do our own and sell it to Discovery and keep the money for ourselves, lol.
    Respect sent, Snow.

  26. WARTHOG Says:


    I will definitely take you up on that, my friend. Same goes if you suddenly go insane and end up here in Chicago. Lou Malnati’s pizza and a few suds. Ya gotta wait until next May when Sieg can join us, though. (Big assumption on him staying out of trouble that long.)




  27. JMacK Says:


    You get anywhere up here especially close to Banff, beer and some Alberta beef on me.


  28. Budweiser Says:

    WARTHOG- Haha….c’mon you know that wouldn’t happen.

  29. Road Whore Says:

    @ WARTHOG and Paladin…count me in! ROTFLMFAO! I’d pay good money to be ringside for this debacle.

  30. WARTHOG Says:


    Could you imagine?! Get a film crew and we’d have a better reality series than Warlocks Rising. People would tune in just to see what Budweiser would say or do that got his ass beat this week.




  31. Paladin Says:


    You have my utmost respect, but I’d pay good cash money to see that show! LMFAO!

    Long May You Ride (to those that deserve to),


  32. Budweiser Says:

    WARTHOG- There you go again. Just admit you like me and want to take me to Sturgis next year.

  33. Ol'Goat Says:

    …does that post come with a decryption key?
    -ol Goat

  34. Grumpy Says:

    Made it there in ’91 & ’93,liked the ride out to Devils Tower but Spearfish Canyon was super nice back then,our lawyer who was with us an a Brother were lookin’ into buyin’ a place in that area after we were there.Then stayed at Custer state game lodge,buffalo steak & breast of pheasant,with wine,then cigars & rockin’ chairs out on the veranda lookin’ at the face of a cliff with H-D’s steadily goin’ buy,pass the fattie……………………………………….oh wait where am I,oh yea,had a great time in Sturgis an would like to go back.

  35. WARTHOG Says:

    @Road Whore,

    Thanks and I guess you would understand. Now if we can just get that asshole Budweiser an old grey beard to show him something for 20 years maybe he’d learn to shut the fuck up…maybe. But I sure as hell ain’t volunteering for than monumental task.




  36. stroker Says:

    Was there in ’82 when “someone” burned down the shithouses. Why?
    Cuz the friggin city didn’t dump ’em for the whole week!
    Cops retaliated by pulling over anybody they could for anything they could. Paid $25. fine in the front seat of a cruiser, for “no eye protection” ….was at night, and in town! Great fun.
    Been back 14 more times, but only spend one or two days in Sturgis. I like the ride to and from.

  37. Paladin Says:

    Road Whore said:

    “One of my favorite rides is way out in the toolies through the corn fields. I sometimes pull over to the side of the little road, snick the bike into neutral, and slowly gaze from horizon to horizon…and I feel like I can breathe deeply.”

    When I’ve done that, I shut the engine down. I like to listen to the wind blow through the corn, as the engine ticks, while it’s cooling.
    I also like the way the air feels and smells, just before it storms. Good times!

    Long May You Ride, (to those that deserve to),


  38. Dante Says:

    This was my 4th year, and even though my bike didn’t run most of the time we were there, we still had fun. Attendance did appear to be up from what I could tell. The odd thing I noticed was that I did not see very many members of the big clubs there this year – very, very few.

    I would definitely suggest, and plan to do so myself, going when it is not during rally – some of the best roads and scenery there is.

  39. Road Whore Says:

    @ Paladin…amen.

    One of my favorite rides is way out in the toolies through the corn fields. I sometimes pull over to the side of the little road, snick the bike into neutral, and slowly gaze from horizon to horizon…and I feel like I can breathe deeply.

    @ Tooj…I feel the same way, I don’t care what everyone else is doing.

    @ WARTHOG…condolences on the loss of your friend. I had an old drinking buddy that I lost several years back…one of the best friends I ever had…life ain’t been the same since.

    Ride Free

  40. WARTHOG Says:

    I had the pleasure of going to Sturgis 5 years in a row with a grey beard that had been going to the event since it was held by the Jackpine Gypsies. He passed away ten years ago and I have had no desire to go without him.


    I’ve been wanting to get up to Banff for a while now. Maybe the stars will align themselves so I can get up that way next year.




  41. JMacK Says:

    Even though I had a piss pile of rain on the first leg of my trip, I’m much happier that I rode the 1000 miles to Seattle to watch some drag racing than taking the gong show trip to Sturgis. And riding home from Seattle through BC is about the prettiest scenery in the world.

    Maybe someday I’ll bring myself to head there. Can’t see it anytime soon though.



  42. Mike 184 Says:

    Joe Smith Rolled in at the bar straight from Sturgis last night…. Never even went by the house. Maybe some of you have seen his name carved in the mirror at your favorite bar bathroom…. all over the US. I thought it was pretty cool anyway.

  43. Tooj Says:


    much the same here bein in the city. getting out of the limits is high priority. one difference, I don’t much care any more about what everybody else is doing.

    had a pair from a club known to support a club locally roll up behind me an the ol lady at a light last night and heard “Ma and Pa” as our description from behind and that’s fine by me and there’s nothing much more to say about it. makes me more incognito than incognito…one less thing, you know?

  44. SMFtwstdHICK Says:

    I looked at some pics of Sturgis 13′ and that doesn’t look like fun to me. Way too many people. When the bike finally comes my way (saving, saving), I thought of going to Sturgis. Kind of like a bucket list thing. But, I don’t think so. I want to definitely get to South Dakota and visit that beautiful scenery I see in the pics. I don’t have to wait for a bike to do that. One day, though, One day.

  45. Sieg Says:

    Haven’t been to Sturgis since the shitters in the park got burned. That said, if I wanna see a dentist I make an appointment.

    5 TO 1

  46. Paladin Says:

    I live in a city. When I ride, it’s to get away from people. I’ve taken to riding during the week, because I’ve grown weary of all the self impressed “weekend tough guys”. I like the solitude of rolling up the pacific Coast, on an overcast, winter’s day.

    I find the the towns that hold the brand name rallies, more interesting when they’re not populated by crowds of poeple that don’t live there.

    Long may You Ride (to those that deserve to),


  47. DesertH-D Says:

    Not a big burnout fan normally, but the amputee dude doing the donut show was pretty cool. I didn’t see any info about him, but I assume he’s either a wounded warrior, or had a crash… Either way, good on’im for getting back out there like that!

  48. DesertH-D Says:

    I s’pose it’s a “never say never” thing, but I can’t imagine going to Sturgis again. All the places I used to hang out won’t let me in, and dealing with the perpetual amateur hour just doesn’t seem worth it anymore.

  49. YYZ Skinhead Says:

    That video is scary as shit. I am astonished that the poor guy got out of that alive.

    YYZ Skinhead

Leave a Reply