It’s time to change the oil, check the tires, tune up your credit cards and go flatten some bugs. But where?
Here’s a list of some of the major motorcycle rallies and events this year, along with contact info and a brief description of what’s happening. So mark your calendar, grab some friends, fill your tank and let’s go wear out some tires! Because things can change since press time, be sure to check the website for updates shortly before you lift the sidestand. And when you get there, tell ’em Rider magazine sent you!
Ride for Kids
40 events in 2012
The Ride for Kids gives us the opportunity to ride, and by doing so to help kids beat cancer. The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation sponsors rides all around the country that raise funds to help find a cure for childhood brain tumors, and that help supports families of brain tumor victims. With 40 events this year, there’s sure to be one in your area.
(828) 665-6891, (800) 253-6530
Progressive International Motorcycle Shows
February 25-27, Greenville, South Carolina
March 9-12, Daytona, Florida
Progressive Insurance is the sponsor of these popular shows that present an up-close and personal look at the new motorcycles, scooters and ATVs from the major bike manufacturers, as well as new products from the accessories folks. Expect demo rides, stunt shows and autograph sessions with racers. The shows will resume in the fall.
Daytona Bike Week
Daytona Beach, Florida
Here’s the 71st annual celebration of the nation’s largest bike event with auctions, rides, custom bike shows, live music, that outrageous street scene and plenty of racing! At Florida’s historic Daytona International Speedway you’ll enjoy Supercross, Superbike, vintage racing and the Daytona 200 on March 17.
Arizona Bike Week/Cyclefest
March 23-27/March 28-April 1
This 16th annual event is held at the Westworld facility, and kicks off with pre-event activities March 23-27. Then things really amp up as Cyclefest begins with rides, demos, camping, stunt shows, Paul Yaffe bikes and live music by Quiet Riot, REO Speedwagon, Tesla and others.
Laughlin River Run
The 30th annual version of the West Coast’s largest motorcycle event will include a custom bike show, poker runs, rides, vendors, concerts, casino action and the Ms. Laughlin River Run contest.
Myrtle Beach Bike Week
Myrtle Beach area, South Carolina
This rally is essentially a condensed version of Daytona and features vendors, custom bike shows, poker runs, bands and a major street scene, all happening in the general area of Myrtle Beach.
Run for the Wall XXIV
Cross-country ride to Washington, D.C.
To honor veterans, this organized cross-country ride reaches Washington, D.C., on Memorial Day weekend. Riders can join all along the route, and the ride culminates in the Rolling Thunder Parade to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Sunday. The mission of Run for the Wall is to promote healing among veterans and their loved ones, to call for an accounting of all prisoners of war and those missing in action (POW/MIA), and to honor the memory of those killed in action.
Rally and Poker Run
Ruidoso, New Mexico
Why the “AspenCash” name? Because of the $10,000 poker run, that’s why! Meanwhile, enjoy the four-day trade show, parade, live music and daily scenic rides.
National Star Days
The Star Touring and Riding Association is devoted to Yamaha’s line of Star cruisers, and Star Days is its national rally. Open to all, Star Days includes bike games and skills tests, a custom bike show, seminars, a poker run and vendors.
(800) 422-1041, (520) 292-0200
(The International Star Days rally will be held May 17-20 in the Czech Republic.)
Lake George, New York
Welcome to the 30th edition of what is billed as the world’s largest touring rally. Enjoy parties on the lawn, ghost tours of old Fort William Henry, minitours, fireworks, boat cruises, seminars, stunt shows, demo rides from many manufacturers, the TourExpo trade show (in two locations) and huge parade. Guest speakers include Rider’s own Road Test Editor Greg Drevenstedt.
The Mother Road Ride/Rally
Chicago to Los Angeles
Get your kicks on historic Route 66, The Mother Road, which stretches 2,448 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles. This week-long ride/ rally involves hundreds of enthusiasts riding all brands of bikes along the original route. Ride the entire route in either direction or just do segments, but all participants must register.
Laconia Motorcycle Week
Laconia, New Hampshire
Come celebrate the 89th anniversary of the longest running motorcycle event in North America. It’s huge and includes vendors, demo rides, guided tours, boat cruises, bike shows, a bike build-off, swap meet and a major street scene with live bands. Also enjoy vintage roadracing including GP, flat-track and the 89th Loudon Classic roadrace.
The Concours Owners Group No Bad Roads National Rally
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
If you own a Kawasaki Concours, join the fun with the Concours Owners Group for rides, seminars, tech sessions, a bike show, bike games and a banquet. And, of course, there are No Bad Roads around Eureka Springs.
BMW Riders Association 40th Annual International Rally
Copper Mountain, Colorado
Based at the Copper Mountain Resort, this rally will feature camping, vendors, seminars and bike judging, along with fishing and golfing. The local roads roam among 14,000-foot peaks.
(866) 924-7102, (937) 339-7100
Blaney Park Rendezvous
Blaney Park, Michigan
Come party with da Yoopers at a rally situated 68 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge and 23 miles east of Manistique in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It offers camping, live music, bike games, vendors and a bike show.
The Motorcycle Touring Association invites riders of all brands to this AMA-sanctioned event for guided and self-guided tours, a poker run, field events, bingo and even whitewater rafting.
Christian Motorcyclists Association National Rally
This family rally features seminars, youth activities, worship services, a parade and bike games, rides, vendors and a tribute to late founder Herb Shreve.
(870) 389-6196, ext. 226
41st Moto Guzzi National Owners Club Rally
June 28-July 1
Buena Vista, Virginia
Not many details were yet available, but we’re betting on scenic rides, seminars and a bike show. Check the website for details as they become available.
The 17th Annual Classic Japanese Motorcycle Club Swap Meet & Show
June 29-July 1
Gold Country Fairgrounds,
If you own an older Japanese motorcycle, this is your event. Located in the beautiful Sierras with an historic California Gold Country setting, it features camping, a swap meet, bike show, People’s Choice awards, speedway races Friday, tech session and Saturday night Sunset Ride.
Wing Ding 34
Fort Wayne, Indiana
They’re calling this “Fun in the Fort” as Wing Ding is returning to Fort Wayne. Sponsored by the Gold Wing Road Riders Association, this year’s rally is centered in the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, a huge arena that allows the demo rides, seminars, entertainment and more to be held in and around an air-conditioned facility—or go out and ride the local area.
(800) 843-9460, (623) 581-2500
23rd Annual American Voyager Association International Rally
The American Voyager Association is an international Kawasaki Voyager owners group that welcomes riders on all makes and models. Held at the Shiloh Inn, the rally will feature guided and self-guided tours, a bike show, motorcycle skills games, seminars and an awards banquet.
Women on Wheels 26th Annual International Ride-In
Greenville, South Carolina
Women on Wheels spells “WOW,” and the rally of this active women’s group will offer scenic rides, vendors, bike games and a visit to the Wheels through Time Museum.
BMW Motorcycle Owners Association 40th International Rally
Using the Missouri State Fairgrounds as a base, BMW riders and guests will enjoy the opportunity to stop in Hannibal to see the fence Tom Sawyer painted, explore the wine country along the Missouri river, visit its many caverns, tour the Pony Express Museum, the Jesse James home, the Winston Churchill Museum and much more. Or just return to the rally site for vendors, seminars, a bike display, tech sessions and camping.
AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course,
Here’s your chance to see classic motorcycles of all makes and styles, and to honor the riders who made them famous. Activities include the AMA Racing Vintage Grand Championships which include roadracing, motocross, hare scrambles, trials and dirt-track. Also attend North America’s largest motorcycle swap meet, bike shows and awards, stunt shows, demo rides and seminars by motorcycling experts. All proceeds support the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum.
(800) AMA-JOIN, tickets (800) MID-OHIO
Gold Rush XXV
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Held at the Tan-Tar-A Resort, this 25th national rally of the Gold Wing Touring Association offers golf, a marina and indoor water park in addition to vendors and scenic rides. The GWTA is an international organization of touring motorcyclists who predominantly—but not exclusively—ride Honda Gold Wings.
(800) 960-GWTA (4982)
U.S. Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) Laguna Seca
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca,
Think you’re fast? Piffle! Here’s your chance to view the world’s best roadracers, including Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden and others as they tame this very technical 2.2-mile track. Practice, qualifying and support races will provide plenty of action Friday through Sunday. Bring your earplugs!
(800) 327-SECA (7322), (831) 242-8269
Sturgis Rally & Races
August 6-12, Sturgis, South Dakota
Come to the Black Hills for the annual rally and enjoy Mount Rushmore and the Devil’s Tower, then head back into town for the huge street scene. Sturgis remains the quintessential all-brands summer biker bash with bike shows, vendors, big-name bands and demo rides in addition to hillclimbs, drags, short-track and half-mile racing.
Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP
August 17-19, Indianapolis, Indiana
Once again the historic Brickyard hosts the second round of the U.S. MotoGP. Friday is practice, Saturday is qualifying and Sunday is race day as top American riders once again take on the world’s best on this 16-turn, 2.6-mile infield course that utilizes a short section of the legendary Indy track.
2012 BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials
Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah
Have you ever had the urge to explore your bike’s top speed on the salt under controlled, professional conditions? The BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials include classes for everything from streamliners to your own bike, and give you the chance to run the Bonneville Salt Flats for national and world speed records. Registration is on August 25.
32nd Annual Davis Rally
New Hampton, Iowa
The Davis family will once again be having bike games, live music, nightly dancing, self-guided tours, a dinner ride, sunset cruise, “Bikin’ For Bucks” poker run, light parade, bingo and vendors.
Golden Aspen Rally
September 12-16 Ruidoso, New Mexico
This rally features five poker runs, bike judging, a light show and a huge trade show, and the grand prize is a new Harley-Davidson FLHR touring bike.
41st Annual Griffith Park Sidecar Rally
September 16 (Tentative)
Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California
The (tentative) date has been moved up to September for you to ride your rig to this one-day family sidecar rally in scenic Griffith Park. There should be more than 300 sidecar rigs and thousands of other bikes. Park your rig in the sidecar area ($10) and get a plaque, but spectators (non-sidecars) are free. Because the date is tentative, check the website before you go.
(818) 780-5542, www.sidestrider.com
Bikes Blues & BBQ
This event not only celebrates riding and great music, but there’s also bike judging, a BBQ contest and Miss BBB contest. The poker run and charity events are set among the twisty roads of the Ozark Mountains.
Christian Motorcyclists Association Changing of the Colors Rally
Iron Mountain, Hatfield, Arkansas
Whether you ride or not, you’re invited to this family event for seminars, fellowship and youth activities, praise and worship, vendors, camping, a concert and parade, guided and self-guided tours.
(870) 389-6196, firstname.lastname@example.org
Daytona Beach, Florida
If Bike Week in Daytona is so much fun in March, why not come back in October for Biketoberfest? This less frazzled version of Bike Week offers bike shows, demo rides, vendors, riding on the beach, that infamous street scene and roadracing at the Daytona International Speedway.
(866) 296-8970, (386) 255-0415
Lone Star Rally
This huge rally draws several hundred thousand folks and includes a parade, rides, ride-in shows, bike giveaways, poker runs, demo rides, numerous bands and hundreds of vendors.
(832) 437-2318, www.lonestarrally.com
Fall date undecided
Ride from Glendale to Castaic Lake, California
A date for this year’s Love Ride was TBD at this writing. For 28 years this charity ride has raised money for various causes, and it features bands, bikes and food. Check the website for updated information.