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IN PICS: The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Last updated on: October 27, 2012 18:13 IST

IN PICS: The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

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Wajeeh Khan takes you around the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that transforms a sleepy town into a bikers hub.

Whether you call it Bikers' Haven or Bikers' Heaven, the truth remains that there is nothing as wonderful or as inexplicably thrilling for a biker as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Held in the city of Sturgis where the magnificent Black Hills and astonishing canyons meet the twisting highways, gorgeous parks and splendid pastures, this rally is a landmark in the history of biking.

And that is what this event is all about -- motorbikes and their history. Coming to the history of the event itself, the rally first took place in 1938 when it was nothing but a group of nine bike-crazy Jackpine Gypsies who had gathered in the far-off land of Sturgis to have some fun over the weekend.

What began as a race between nine bikers and a small crowd from the town cheering them has today taken the shape and form of the biggest motorcycle rally in the world.

Courtesy:


Photographs: Sturgismotorcyclerally.com

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IN PICS: The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

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Every year, during the first two weeks of August, the townsfolk of Sturgis witness a swarm of motorbikes heading their way and flooding the otherwise empty Main Street of their city. And then begins the maddening series of activities that takes every thought away.

From then onwards, it's just you, your bike and others of your kind.

Beginning with a full-on makeover of your ride in the bike-customisation shops, you can get a simple bike transformed into a scintillating package of speed and style. And the customisation doesn't stop there.

Stalls selling exclusive bikers' clothes, leather jackets and funky patches to top them are the first stop for every participant at the Sturgis rally.

Once geared up to flaunt and show-off, bikers have a huge list of events laid out in front of them to enjoy and be a part of. Live band concerts, motocross races, tattooing, exhibitions, contests and awards, posing for the grand mosaic of the rally, drag racing and much more awaits the bikers at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.


Photographs: Sturgismotorcyclerally.com

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IN PICS: The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

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Another event that holds a very special attraction for those who join in this bike fiesta is the show put up by Harley Davidson. Year after year, Harley Davidson joins this fiesta with the youngest members of their clan giving their fans a chance to take a peek at the most fascinating rides brought to life in that legendary factory.

Over the years, the bond between the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Harley Davidson has grown so strong that their histories have got intertwined making Harley an inseparable part of the Rally and the Rally a milestone in Harley's journey.

While this association between the two legends in biking dates back years, the Indian wing of the manufacturer became a part of this great event only in 2010, at the 70th anniversary of the rally.


Photographs: Sturgismotorcyclerally.com

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IN PICS: The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

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Besides the opportunity of getting familiar with their favourite Davidsons, what makes this event record an attendance of 600,000 is the exhilarating stream of activities kept in store for the participants.

Day-trips through the mesmerising surroundings of Sturgis, in particular is something that is admired by all. Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, the Custer State Park, the Spearfish Canyon and many such marvels of nature and mankind are within a 100 miles radius of the city of Sturgis that makes those day-trips memorable.


Image: The Spearfish Canyon


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As for the city itself, rallying in the Legends Ride with real rock stars, having a blast at concerts in Buffalo Chip campground, posing with your specially personalised ride for the rally mosaic, eating off the innumerable food stalls getting tattooed and buying the wildest helmets would leave you so blown that you lose track of day and night.

And that was exactly the case with the 2012 Rally.

With stars like Robbie Knievel and Neal Schon riding in the Legends Ride after which the famous Eric Church took to the stage at the rock concert, it does not come as much of a surprise that the event was such a big hit this year. But that is not even the half of it.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is something that is impossible for a mortal to cover in a single trip. Countless competitions and exhibitions going on around the place where nothing but your spirit for biking is admired and appreciated were the life and soul of the rally.


Photographs: Sturgismotorcyclerally.com

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