What to Expect at a Motorcycle Rally


Ready to attend your first motorcycle rally, but not sure what to expect? Read on: we’ve prepared a motorcycle rally survival guide.

Every spring, there are more and more motorcycle rallies across the country. And we aren’t just talking about the Sturgis Bike Week or Overland Expo: there are dozens of other rallies, from vintage motorcycle enthusiast gatherings to off-road riders’ meets, family motorcycle events, women’s motorcycle rallies, and so on. If you’re planning your very first riding event, here’s what to expect at a motorcycle rally.

Do Your Research

Do you already know what sort of an event you want to attend? Are you all about the bands, the beer, and the chrome? Check out the aforementioned Sturgis, the Daytona Beach Bike Week, or the Laconia Motorcycle Week. Looking for travel inspiration, overlanding tips, and adventure riding tales? Overland Expo, Horizons Unlimited, and the Dirt Daze might be for you. Whatever rally you choose, have a look at their programs, rides, and vendors. Talk to riders who have already attended rallies that interest you, or get feedback online: motorcycle forums are usually a great source of information. Before making a decision, just try to get a feel for what the rally is going to be like, and what kind of people are likely to attend.

what to expect at a motorcycle rally

Prep for the Event

Are you going to camp or stay in a hotel? Are you planning to have some rider training, participate in a treasure hunt on two wheels, or perhaps a slow race? What’s the parking going to be like? Find out the details in advance, and prep accordingly: service your bike before you go, pack your camping gear and bike cover if needed, and book your hotel in advance – most of the time, hotel prices skyrocket before the event, so make sure you book early!

Buddy Up

Riding into a motorcycle rally on your own can be a little intimidating: although you’re among people with the same passion as you, bringing your friends along can enhance the experience. On the other hand, don’t worry if you’re flying solo: motorcycle rallies are fantastic places to meet amazing people and make new friends, or find like-minded souls like these moto-dog lovers:


Bring Cash, But Don’t Splurge

ATM’s at events often charge a lot more than your usual bank, so bring some cash if you want to avoid extortionate ATM fees. But keep your cash close until the last day of the event: most vendors are anxious to get rid of their wares before they go, so if you buy on the last day of the rally, you’re more likely to get a better deal.

what to expect at a motorcycle rally

Get Inspired

Motorcycle rallies are all about two-wheeled fun, but they are also an invaluable source for information, riding and travel tips, networking, and of course, inspiration. If you’re attending a motorcycle rally, make sure to sign up to hear their keynote speakers and presenters: it can become a start of a wonderful journey.

what to expect at a motorcycle rally

Would you like to come say hi to Al Jesse and check out MirrorLok at one of the motorcycle rallies? Have a look at our events page!

What tips would you give to a first-time motorcycle rally goer? Let us know in the comments below!

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