The 78th Sturgis Rally is less than 2-weeks away and now is the time to check and double check your ride to make sure it is road ready to travel.

Some people like to pull their bike or have it shipped to Sturgis and while that is convenient, I've always ridden my bike to the festival. Personally speaking, the ride to and from Sturgis is most of the fun for me. I enjoy the ride and regardless of the route you take, now is the time to make sure your bike is ready for travel.

Sturgis week is August 3rd through August 12th, and that's two weeks away!

Sturgis week is the time of year where local merchants and private individuals make a majority their money for the year. These businesses depend on this revenue coming into the area. And if you have a mechanical breakdown during Sturgis week, this means you'll pay and pay royally. A simple flat tire can cost you somewhere between $150-$250 locally. If you need a tire during bike week, you'll pay close to $400 including labor. As a matter of fact, you'll pay close to 100% more for everything during rally. For example, I dropped my cell phone and needed a new screen. Locally, I could get a new screen for about $100. During the rally last year, I paid over $200 for a new screen! That's CRAZY!

 Now is the time to get your bike checked by a qualified mechanic locally. Your checklist can include-
  • tires
  • fluids
  • chain
  • brakes
  • plugs
  • lights and turn signals

The worst is to have a breakdown on the side of the road going to or from Sturgis. Just about any route from Bismarck takes you through miles of little or no population. Depending on the route you take, some areas don't have cell service.

It is best to check these areas on your bike and ride your bike now prior to leaving for Sturgis. If you notice an issue, you'll have time to get it into your local repair facility. Then after the repair, ride it more, to double check and make sure you'll have peace of mind during your trip. You want that peace of mind knowing your cycle is mechanically sound.

Last year while at Sturgis, I had a major mechanical issue which totaled my bike. It wasn't the fault of anyone, as a piece of debris was kicked up from another motorcycle and hit my engine and cracked the casing and totaled the bike. I had to get a taxi from Sturgis to Keystone where I was lodging. That cab ride took $170 out of my pocket. From there, the next morning, I had to take an airport shuttle to Rapid City airport for a rental to drive back to Bismarck. This entire episode hit me for over $600 not counting the total loss for the bike. This is where roadside assistance and motorcycle insurance comes in handy! Thankfully all of the out-of-pocket expenses were covered by my insurance carrier.

Make sure you check your policy and see what's covered, and make sure your payments are up to date and check your roadside assistance policy.

Hotels are booked, but still, a few hotels have vacancies. You can check Hotels.com. A word of advice, for the last 8 years, I've used AirBnB , you'll find the room you need at a price that is 70% less than staying at a hotel. Many of the hosts offer breakfast, snacks, afternoon drinks, covered parking, private entrances and personal living spaces. I have never paid more than $70 a night and I have stayed in some remarkable homes with great hosts.

A little time and money now will save you a lot of money later.