For those of us who are new to the motorcycle community, biker rallies are excellent places to see the newest bikes and modifications before anyone else. Vendors, builders and manufacturers use them as expos to show off their latest work. Talk to any leather-vested enthusiast out there and they will rattle off the major four, Sturgis, Daytona, Laciona and Myrtle Beach, faster than a belly-shover on the home stretch. But if you’re yet to break-in those leather chaps, here is a little bit about the famous foursome and some of their unique attractions.
STURGIS MOTORCYCLE RALLY
Best get an early start for this mid-August cruise. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally brings roughly 650,000 people to the little old town in South Dakota, population 7,000. Since its start in 1938, Sturgis has only been called off twice. Breathtaking landscapes and superb runs through the Black Hills make this venue a must see for flat and fatheads alike.
It started in 1937 and has grown into one of, if not the most, recognizable events in motorcycle culture. Just down the road from the Kennedy Space Station, Daytona Bike Week is home to traditions like, the Big Daddy Rat’s Custom Chopper Show, and Coleslaw wrestling matches (look that one up). Daytona is also a great family event, with local theme and water parks contributing to the festivities.
LACONIA MOTORCYCLE WEEK
Just up the road from Daytona, Laconia is known as one of the oldest biker festival with a 1924 debut. Located in New Hampshire’s Belknap County, Laconia is commonly known as the third largest of the big four. Along with its renowned demo rides, the famous biggest beer belly contest brings in a hearty crowd. Laconia is just a few hours south of the Motorcyclist Shrine in Colebrook, another spot of interest for motorcycle enthusiasts.
MYRTLE BEACH BIKE WEEK
Now going on 70+ years of age, the Myrtle Beach Bike Week takes place mid-May during the biker tour. With the beautiful beach-front setting and temperate weather conditions that time of year, Myrtle Beach is a must-ride spectacle. Although the town plays host to a few other rallies throughout the year, the mixture of motocross racing, custom motorcycle shows and a lively music scene make this the headline event.