What Sturgis Police Will Be Watching For During This Year’s Motorcycle Rally : V-Twin Life

Nothing puts a damper on fun quite like a run in with Johnny Law, and with the increased police presence in and around the city of Sturgis during the annual motorcycle rally, knowing the state and local laws is a must. To make sure you have the 411 on what law enforcement officers will be looking for, Sturgis Rider® News sat down with Chief of Police Geody VanDewater of the Sturgis Police Department. Make sure you and other riders on the road can have a safe and fun time during this year’s Sturgis motorcycle rally by checking out his list of dos and don’ts.

Drinking and Driving

This is a no-brainer. If you plan on kicking back some cold ones, please designate a sober driver to get you back to your home base safely. If that’s not an option, there are modes of public transportation you can use that will cost you significantly less than a DUI. The Sturgis Party Shuttle can get you where you need to go with stops at most of the area’s campgrounds and hotels including Sturgis and Deadwood. With the Buffalo Chip as its headquarters, the Sturgis Party Shuttle has shuttles that route every 30 minutes from 12 p.m. to 3 a.m. Aug. 4-13 at both the Chip’s east and west gate. 

Illegal drug use

During the Sturgis motorcycle rally there are plenty of rides, concerts and activities that’ll give you a high that’s just as good as the hard stuff. According to their website, the Sturgis Police Department has a zero tolerance policy on all drug arrests no matter how small and will not relax charges on any violations. Just say no to drugs and you can avoid spending the bulk of your vacation in the clink.

Traffic Violations

Failure to Stop at Red Lights and Stop Signs

Traffic congestion is to be expected when you come into the city of Sturgis, but it’s important to remember to obey all traffic laws. When stopping at red lights and stop signs, you must come to a complete stop.

“Some people can balance their bike at a complete stop, but to be safe, we suggest you put at least one foot down and stop for 2-3 seconds.”
 – Sturgis Chief of Police Geody VanDewater

Passing on the Sidewalk or Shoulder

You might get impatient when waiting in traffic, but don’t try to pass on the right shoulder or sidewalks. If you are caught doing this, Sturgis police will stop you and issue you a $111 ticket. You can also use Fort Meade Way to avoid the hassle of waiting through heavy rally traffic.

Bike Modifications

Recent law changes allow you to have handlebars on your bike at the height of your choosing, but there are other modifications that are still illegal. For example, there are rules about how loud your exhaust system can be. All modifications must be factory altered. Removing the baffles in your exhaust is still against the law.
There is no specific decibel level for exhaust in the state of South Dakota, but every motorcycle must at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise. Sturgis Police will be listening for unusually loud exhaust to determine if you are violating South Dakota’s vehicle noise law, 32-15-17. If you are, they’ll fine you $120.

Indecent Exposure

When the number on the thermometer starts climbing, you might be tempted to wear less. While there’s no dress code, it’s smart to remember the law requires you to keep your naughty bits covered. Failure to do so will get you charged with indecent exposure, which will land you a $111 fine.

Helmets and Eye Protection

Helmets are required for any passengers under 18 and protective eyewear is a must. Beyond that, there are no restrictions on what you can wear on your bike, but Chief VanDewater recommends you play it safe and wear the right gear when riding. Full leathers and closed-toe footwear are encouraged.
Get great gear recommendations from seasoned riders prefer by checking out “10 Essential Pieces of Gear You Shouldn’t Ride Without.”
Parking Violations
The most common complaint the Sturgis Police Department receives during the rally involves parking violations. Parking downtown can be a real pain in the you-know-what, but that doesn’t mean you can park just anywhere.
You are allowed to park anywhere on downtown streets within the barricades, except for intersections. If you are parked in handicap spots or in zones outside of the barricades that are painted yellow or red, your vehicle will be ticketed and towed. Avoid parking in alleyways or private parking lots. Public Works cleans the streets nightly to keep Sturgis looking beautiful, so if you leave your bike parked downtown after 2 a.m., it will be towed. Chief VanDewater suggests taking advantage of public transportation to keep you and your bike safe.
Outside of the city, you won’t find parking to be nearly as regulated. Remember, there is always plenty of free parking available at the Buffalo Chip CrossRoads.

Have you been stopped by Sturgis police? Share your stories in the comments below to help your fellow bikers. 

Repost: Written By Becky Kindvall 


74th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally – Harley-Davidson and V-Twin Life

Another year has gone by and already it’s time for Sturgis!  Sturgis is always an adventure and I don’t mean just during the rally.  Folks are coming in from all over the world for the biggest party in the world and getting there is half the fun.  With so much crazy weather out now and monsoon season in full force.  Your bound to get wet so make sure you get to South Dakota safe so the partying can begin!  If you’ve never gone keep an open mind and remember there is so much to do in Sturgis that you can go for years to come and have a different experience each time.

The excitement is hard to shake and the new friends are hard to leave so deciding to come back and do it all over is a fairly easy choice. The magic of the Hills is mesmerizing and the roads, well; there are few places on this good earth that offer this kind of riding.

Incredible roads like Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road, the Wildlife Loop, Vanocker Canyon Road and Spearfish Canyon take you to amazing destinations – Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, Bear Butte State Park, the Badlands and Devil’s Tower National Monument. Highway 14A’s big, wide turns transport you to the infamous town of Deadwood and the mining town of Lead, and the awe inspiring Highway 385 meanders past towns like Hill City, Silver City and Custer, all contained in the Black Hills National Forest. It’s breathtaking and it’s glorious and it will make you want to come back.

The Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally is the experience of a lifetime in a place where local people can still show you a thing or two about hospitality and visiting exhibitors can show you anything and everything you’d want or need to dress you up or dress up your bike. Or heck, demo virtually every kind of bike on the market – custom, V-Twin or metric. It’s like being a kid again, in a candy store. Only better! Because in addition to the bikes there are concerts and races and bike shows, five blocks of Main Street bikes-only street vibe, the 12th Annual Mayor’s Ride, Michael Lichter’s annual exhibit, the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame, organized rides, some pretty impressive watering holes, custom legends, blue skies and warm, sunny days. It’s all waiting for you in Sturgis and the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. #HarleyDavidson #VTwinLife #SturgisMotorcycleRally

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Welcome


For a list of events click the link below


Bike Show Events

August 3, 2014   11:00 am
August 4, 2014    
August 4, 2014   10:00 am
August 4, 2014   12:00 pm
August 5, 2014   11:00 am
August 5, 2014   12:00 pm
August 6, 2014   11:00 am
August 6, 2014   12:30 pm – 4:30 pm
August 6, 2014   2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
August 7, 2014   10:00 am – 5:00 pm
August 7, 2014   11:00 am
August 7, 2014   9:00 pm


V-Twin Life - Riding the Black Hills

V-Twin Life – Riding the Black Hills

Legendary Buffalo Chip

Legendary Buffalo Chip

V-Twin Life - Road King at the Sturgis sign

V-Twin Life – Road King at the Sturgis sign

Destination Sturgis – Recap, Photos and Days End Campground review – Part 1

The journey begin with a long trek out to Albuquerque from SoCal roughly 850 miles where we met up with family.  After a short night’s rest we were on the I-25 heading North with the destination being Sturgis, SD.  After three days of hard traveling we were pretty tired but stoked to be at our new home for the next eight days.  We booked a spot in the Days End Campground site right in the beginning of town to have better access to the festivities.  I for one have never stayed there so it was a good chance to review a different place.  It’s been three years since I’ve been to Sturgis last, celebrating the 70th anniversary and I couldn’t be more excited.  V-Twin Life has arrived!

Sturgis Road Trip 2013

Sturgis Road Trip 2013

Getting into Deadwood and Sturgis

After setting up our campsite with a beer in hand we were ready for the party to begin.  Old friends started cruising over and it was good to reunite and talk about old stories.  Sunday rolled around and more friends were on the road so it was a good time for us to cruise around and check things out before everything got swamped.  It was the first time for my girl traveling to Sturgis, who became quite the photographer with a little direction.  It was nice to have some help for a change and someone I could trust.  We rode through Main Street and cruised outside town to visit with the Full Throttle Saloon, checked out the Chip, and finally got to the Broken Spoke Campground.  Great day of riding once we got out-of-town and the weather couldn’t be better!  One hell of a good start to our rally.

Hangin at the Throttle

Legendary Buffalo Chip

Legendary Buffalo Chip

Hangin with the Irish

Hangin with the Irish

Monday morning woke up feeling good, a little banged up from the road but it was a good time to do some business  while we were waiting for the other crew to make it out.  We headed to Spearfish Canyon off some advice from a buddy and it couldn’t be in a better setting.  Beautiful country and had the course to ourselves.  I had to play in my Harley gear but oh well that’s what we are here for and we had a great time.

Spearfish Canyon GC

Spearfish Canyon GC

As the day went on and we got deeper into the 19th hole it was back to the rally and meeting up with our crew and friends.  Monday night became a blur of good times, photos only I have and reuniting with old friends for a BBQ we threw for a buddies birthday.  The night solidified our trip and we knew it was on!  Tomorrow was going to be a big riding day as Mount Rushmore and The Black Hills were calling my name.

Morning Coffee Harley Style

Morning Coffee Harley Style

Tuesday came around and the inevitable hangover took over but with coffee and a shower we were ready to roll.  We had the full crew today including some new friends and we were out to ride the hills.  First stop was a place we enjoyed last time, Nemo Campground .  Beautiful campground and our buddy “Double D” Dave dove into a $12 Burger with everything on it.  I dove into a PBR and I was feeling normal again.  The music was flowing, the weather was gorgeous with blue skies and a mix of crazy clouds just enough to cool the day off.  We continued to ride heading the back way to Mount Rushmore.  Some of the guys had been there but not walked into the park which is a must in my opinion.  If you haven’t been it’s time to take a trip up there.  There is a lot of cool hikes and trails letting you get closer than the circus taking photos by the lookout.  But just like anything beautiful place like this you deal with the crowd and just make it the best experience you can.  My girl and I snuck off to chill on a side lookout and had the Presidents to ourselves which was nice for her as she kept staring and staring at the magnitude of what she was seeing in person.  I’m glad we got to enjoy that moment together.

V-Twin Life - Mount Rushmore

V-Twin Life – Mount Rushmore

V-Twin Life - Riding to Mt Rushmore in the turn

V-Twin Life – Riding to Mt Rushmore in the turn

V-Twin Life - Riding the Black Hills

V-Twin Life – Riding the Black Hills

Riding around The Black Hills with family and friends is like nothing else and still my favorite part of coming to Sturgis.  Some people can’t stand the circus environment that Sturgis brings and the tons of baggers and RUB’s that come with their full get up but that’s all part of the fun in my opinion.  The older I get I seem to learn to enjoy the environment I’m in and really appreciate the beauty and times while I’m doing them.  I make my own fun no matter what cheesy things are going on.  It’s really a matter of attitude, people get too caught up in what others are doing and end up ruining what would’ve been a good trip and I’m speaking from experience.  We had a crazy lady that almost got the better of our crew but once she left and things calmed down the energy flowed in the right direction again and that made me happy.  All I’m saying is have your own time, make your own memories and do what brings you a smile cause at the end of the day that’s all that matters and those times are what helps you get through the grind.

V-Twin Life - Road to Deadwood

V-Twin Life – Road to Deadwood

V-Twin Life - Stockade, Deadwood, SD

V-Twin Life – Stockade, Deadwood, SD

V-Twin Life - Deadwood, South Dakota (get your guns)

V-Twin Life – Deadwood, South Dakota (get your guns)

Something special about this place maybe I have a soft spot since we stayed here last but Deadwood is cool little town with a lot of American history.  During the rally I just want to get through because of traffic but we’ve had good times after a long days riding partying it up here.  Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Sturgis Rally recap and photos.  More of Custer State Park and Main Street craziness with some killer bikes on display and of course the girls.  Have a great ride and keep the rubber on the road!



V-Twin Life - Road King at the Sturgis sign

V-Twin Life – The Beast at the Sturgis sign

Destination Sturgis! The largest motorcycle rally in the world!

Sturgis, South Dakota will be the place to be August 5-11.  As we are headed back to the Black Hills I am reminded of all the rides and sites this destination has to offer.  There is so much to do you could literally have a different experience each year.  The campsites continue to grow larger and larger and there seems to be a plethora of concerts to choose from.  The largest being The Buffalo Chip which has package deals for the week that include the concerts or you can purchase daily pass and enjoy the grounds.  Glencoe is another big one as well as The Broken Spoke.  I for one enjoy the old school campsites for that little bit of peace at the end of the day.  Whichever you prefer whether it be a room in deadwood or a place in Spearfish,  or craziness at the Chip, you know one thing that you are going to have a kick ass time!

Aerial View from the Chip

Sturgis which got it’s name from General Samuel D. Sturgis usually has a population of 6,627 is more of a sleepy town until the first week of August where nearly a half million bikers from all over the world attend this rally.  The flood of bikes that come in from custom to old school to new baggers to old rat bikes is astonishing.  Everybody has their newest or latest build to show off and just a walk down the famous Main street will give you a taste of biker heaven!  It’s a crazy scene with all walks of life cruising around and partying it up!

Sturgis Main street

With so many places to ride one place to see in town is the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame.  It is dedicated to preserving the history of motorcycling while honoring the heritage of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in SturgisSouth Dakota. The museum’s doors officially opened in June 2001. The museum’s first location was an old church renovated with extensive help from community groups including the museum’s Board of Directors, the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club, local students and other volunteers from the Sturgis community.

Vintage and rare motorcycles were loaned to the museum for the opening by national and local collectors. After a year of successful operation, the City of Sturgis provided the museum with a new facility at Main Street and Junction Avenue. The historical building had served as the community’s post office for over 60 years

Of course if you are riding to Sturgis then you want to ride the Black Hills which has beautiful landscape and scenery.  One of the highlights for me is going to see is Mount Rushmore which in person just blows you away.  It such a site to see and the small town of Keystone is another cool place to stop for a drink.  All through the the Black hills towns will pop up and campsites will be in full party mode.  No matter where you stay or what your agenda is just make sure to respect your fellow brothers out there and have a kick ass time!

Mount Rushmore National Memorial.jpg

Mount Rushmore National Memorial


Keep the Rubber on the Road and look out for the follow up Review and Photos!




Picture Perfect! Beautiful Indian Motorcycle!

If traveling in a car is like watching a movie and riding a motorcycle is like starring in one, then picture yourself on this Indian Beauty!  Indian Motorcycles is making some noise again with the unveiling of the 111 Thunder Stroke Engine and the soon to come all new 2014 Indian Chief.  The Indian Chief, starting at $18,999 will be revealed at the 73rd annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, which runs August 3-11, 2013. Specific details on the launch timing will be announced this summer. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the world’s largest motorcycle rally, was started in 1936 by an Indian Motorcycle club, the Jackpine Gypsies. Indian Motorcycle is honored to be back in the motorcycle community and make the brand’s launch part of the Sturgis experience.

New 111 Thunder Stroke Engine by Indian

New 111 Thunder Stroke Engine by Indian

Indian Motorcycle in a Picture Perfect Setting

Indian Motorcycle in a Picture Perfect Setting