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Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

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Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Official Site: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Wikipedia: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

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One of the largest motorcycle rallies in the world, in Sturgis, South Dakota. Begun in 1938.


The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally page on 17 November 2015, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is an American motorcycle rally held annually in Sturgis, South Dakota usually during the first full week of August. It began in 1938 and was originally held for stunts and races, but has evolved into being a meeting for motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world. It brings significant income to the citizens of Sturgis, a town of only 6,627 people. It is one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the world.


The first rally was held on August 14, 1938, by the "Jackpine Gypsies" motorcycle club, who still own and operate the tracks, hillclimb, and field areas where the rally is centered. The first event was called the "Black Hills Classic" and consisted of a single race with nine participants and a small audience. The founder is generally considered to be Clarence "Pappy" Hoel. He purchased an Indian Motorcycle franchise in Sturgis in 1936 and formed the "Jackpine Gypsies" that same year. The Jackpine Gypsies were inducted to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1997. Hoel was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame the following year, in 1998.

The focus of a motorcycle rally was originally racing and stunts. In 1961, the rally was expanded to include the Hillclimb and Motocross races. This could include half-mile track racing (the first year in Sturgis, there were 19 participants), intentional board wall crashes, ramp jumps and head-on collisions with automobiles.

The Sturgis Rally has been held every year, with exceptions during World War II. For instance, in 1942, the event was not held due to gasoline rationing.

Article Index

31 March 2011Let The Good Times Roll Into Sturgis, South Dakota This SummerJohn V.
22 July 2015Sturgis 75th AnniversaryCongressional Record: Congressman Tim Walberg
1 August 2015Vanson Leathers at 6 Great Events for 75th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle RallyVanson Leathers
5 August 2015Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 75th AnniversaryCongressional Record: Senator Mike Rounds

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