2022 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Stats Report | American Rider (2024)

Does it really have to be bigger to be better?

Based on preliminary numbers, the 2022 edition of the famed Sturgis Motorcycle Rally turned out to be a slightly smaller gathering than the 2021 edition.

2022 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Stats Report | American Rider (1)

First, let’s admit that no one really knows how many people ever show up for the famous rally, as attendees are dispersed all around the Black Hills, not just in Sturgis. The most reputable number comes from the South Dakota Department of Transportation, which releases data based on sensors that count vehicles as they enter Sturgis.

The traffic count reported on News.sd.gov from Aug. 5-14 totaled up to 497,835.Last year, the SDDOT reported attendance of 555,000 people. The 2022 rally saw an increase in arrests, and law enforcement officials note that increased arrests typically indicate a smaller crowd – it’s easier for officers to get around and catch various offenses when the numbers are down.

2022 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Stats Report | American Rider (2)

One of the more reliable reports of rally statistics comes from the Highway Patrol Sturgis Rally Tally, which can be viewed at News.sd.gov. It compiles reports from both Sturgis and the Rapid City district, and it indicates that DUI arrests and misdemeanor drug arrests were each at 148 from Aug. 6-14. The number of felony drug arrests was slightly less at 103. The total number of citations issued was a whopping 1,430, and the amount of cash seized during the rally totaled $4,335.

American Rider spoke with a motor officer taking a break on his bike across the street from the Knuckle Brewing Company in downtown Sturgis. Retired Officer Nick Hatzgionidis had come in from New Orleans, Louisiana, to help with law enforcement, something he has done for the past five years.

Hatzgionidis said he has never had any major negative experiences at Sturgis, unlike some of his patrol duty at Mardi Gras.

“It’s always a great crowd,” he said of Sturgis attendees. “It’s really a social group, and they’re pretty pro-police, and they help us as much as possible.”

2022 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Stats Report | American Rider (3)

Based on the Rally Tally, obviously not everyone was behaving themselves, but while arrests were up from 2021, the number of fatalities and crashes – both with and without injuries – were down this year.

The most unfortunate things to come out of the 2022 Sturgis Rally were the three fatalities of fellow riders. A collision of two 2013 Harley-Davidson FLHX riders on Saturday, Aug. 6, caused the death of a 58-year-old male. He was not wearing a helmet.

The following day, a 51-year-old male on a Harley-Davidson Road King was pronounced dead at the scene of his crash after hitting a 1986 Honda Gold Wing that lost control while attempting to avoid crashing into a car. The rider of the Gold Wing failed to avoid the impact with the car, and the Road King hit the Honda, killing the 51-year-old man. He was wearing a helmet.

The final fatality occurred on Tuesday, Aug. 9, when a three-way collision took the life of a 66-year-old female passenger on a 2018 Harley-Davidson trike. The gnarly incident began when the rider of a 2012 Harley-Davidson motorcycle collided with another trike that had stopped on the shoulder of the road to make a U-turn. The fatality occurred when the trike the woman was on ran into the carnage. The woman was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Although the three fatalities suffered this year were one less than the four from the 2021 rally, at American Rider, we feel for the lives lost and offer condolences to the family and friends left behind.

2022 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Stats Report | American Rider (4)

Not all crashes that came out of the rally were fatal. The total number of injury crashes sustained during the 10-day rally added up to 50, and non-injury crashes came in slightly less at 45. These numbers are less than 2021, which saw 62 injury crashes and 50 non-injury crashes.

What goes on at a rally this size is oftentimes unpredictable, so it’s never a bad idea to keep in mind that anything can happen to anyone. While the fewer crashes might correlate to the estimated lesser attendance at the 2022 rally, it’s uplifting to know that this edition of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was just a bit safer for all involved. Keep your head on your shoulders, your wits about you, and the rubber side down.

2022 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Stats Report | American Rider (2024)


What are the statistics for Sturgis 2022? ›

2022 Sturgis Rally Recap
ItemSturgisDistrict Total
Non-Injury Crashes1945
Injury Crashes3450
Fatal Crashes13
# of Fatalities13
9 more rows

How many fatalities in Sturgis this year? ›

South Dakota Highway Patrol 2023 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Tally– Final Numbers
ItemSturgisRapid City District
Non-Injury Accidents1126
Injury Accidents1536
Fatal Accidents30
# of Fatalities30
9 more rows
Aug 14, 2023

How many bikers attend Sturgis in 2022? ›


What percentage of bikes at Sturgis are Harleys? ›

Rally data gathered by a team from Texas A & M University said that 66% of all 2022 rally attendees owned a Harley-Davidson. That's compared to 82% in 2021.

What is the average age of Sturgis attendees? ›

A 2022 rally survey showed the average age of attendees was 50.8 years old compared with 53.5 years old in 2017. Those riders continue to pack significant purchasing power as well, according to the latest survey.

What is the average attendance at Sturgis Rally? ›

Sturgis. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is not just a biker rally but a regional celebration. It draws over 500,000 people on average to the small town of Sturgis each year. The event makes the town the fourth largest city in the state and has grown to be more than a two-week event.

What is the largest motorcycle rally in the United States? ›

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is sponsored by Harley-Davidson, and it's one of the biggest rallies in the world. It's held annually in Sturgis, South Dakota and the Black Hills region, and the event takes place over 10 days.

How much does it cost to go to Sturgis Bike Week? ›

HOW MUCH DOES STURGIS MOTORCYCLE RALLY COST? The rally is free to attend. The city charges vendors a fee for their booths and activities, but there are no entrance fees. Nearly all the events are free to attend, including some of the largest concerts of the year.

How many motorcyclists are in Sturgis? ›

Today, the South Dakota Department of Transportation estimates that 500,000 or more people attend the seven-day event in Sturgis, making it one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the world.

What state has the most motorcycle riders? ›

From Alaska to Florida, the United States is home to nearly 8.8 million registered motorcycles. California leads the nation in total ownership, while Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas round out the top five states.

Is Sturgis bigger than Daytona Bike Week? ›

Daytona Bike Week is on the same level as Sturgis when it comes to a large and long standing gathering for bikers. The week-long celebration has been a running tradition for over 80 years. It originated in 1937, but back then it was simply a motorcycle race with a sand and road course.

What is Sturgis biggest biker bar? ›

The Full Throttle Saloon is located in Sturgis, South Dakota and is known as the world's largest biker bar. The original Full Throttle was located on 27 acres of land purchased in 1999 by Michael Ballard.

What is the demographic for the Sturgis Rally? ›

Deb Holland, director of Communications for the City of Sturgis, shared that 2023 rally attendees aged 25-44 rose to 29%, people 45-64 increased from 25% in 2022 to 29%, and attendees over 65 decreased to 18%. Holland noted that it was good to see an increase in younger demographics in attendance.

How many people were at the 50th Sturgis Rally? ›

The Black Hills Classic's 50th anniversary in 1990—just a year after Pappy's death—marked a new turning point. Attendance hit 400,000, and it officially became South Dakota's largest tourist event.

How many people go to Daytona Bike Week? ›

Every year, roughly 500,000 people come down to the 10-day extravaganza that is Daytona Bike Week! The annual event features the world-renowned Daytona 200 Bike Race, bike shows, Supercross racing, free music, vendors, and more!

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