If your summer plans include a week spent in Sturgis, SD, you might be a motorcycle enthusiast. Every year, thousands of motorcyclists from around the globe load up their bikes and make their way to one of the most well-known motorcycle rallies around. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is the place to be.
Started in 1938 by Clarence “Pappy” Hoel and members of the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club, the first rally had only 9 participants and a handful of spectators. But the excitement was there. Year by year, the event grew to have competitions, vendors, rides of every length, and sight-seeing tours. Today, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is the largest in the world.
Should you plan to head to Sturgis this summer, you will want to be sure your bike is ready for the ride. It is essential to plan ahead as you don’t want any repair or maintenance surprises the week before or during your trip.
Motorcycle Maintenance Tips to Prepare for Sturgis
At least a month before your leave date, give your bike an intense lookover to ensure it is in prime condition for travel.
Lights and Electrical System
Test your bike’s headlight, brake light, turn signals, and tail light. Not only is it essential that they are working, but be sure that none of the wirings is frayed, cracked, or rubbing/dragging against other parts of the bike. If you discover any concerns or if any of the components need repairs or updates, now is the time to take it to a professional.
An old battery, or one that is not in good condition, can cause your bike to stall, not start, or not ride smoothly. If the battery is old, replace it before leaving. You don’t want to discover battery issues while en-route to Sturgis. If you have a battery that needs water, now is the time to ensure the levels are correct.
Oil and Filter
To keep your bike running smoothly, changing the oil and the filter is a must. If road-tripping to Sturgis, make the trip better on your bike’s engine by using synthetic oil, filters, and more from AMSOIL. And while in Sturgis, you can keep your bike running great for all the local rides by visiting Mylo at his AMSOIL mobile Lifetime Oil store.
Wheel and Tire Alignment
If your tires and wheel are not aligned correctly, you are risking the safety of your ride. And, when taking the journey to Sturgis (or anywhere else), the goal is to be safe. Be sure your tires are in good condition, free of worn tread, nicks, or other elements that could affect your safety.
For your kickstand to work effectively, it must have tension. If it’s loose, get it corrected. Also, it is quite hot in Sturgis, sometimes causing a kickstand to sink a bit into the asphalt. Some riders recommend bringing along a metal plate or piece of wood to help steady your parked bike.
Being in complete control of your bike is a vital part of riding. Before heading off the Sturgis, check out your bike’s brake lever, pedal, clutch, throttle, and grips. Get these parts replaced or adjusted if they show signs of trouble, wear or tear.
For 80+ years, bikers have been riding to Sturgis. If this is your year, then do your part to make it all it can be. Inspect your bike, enjoy your trip, and check out Lifetime Oil while you are there!