Rallies have been a part of motorcycle culture for over a century, with Laconia, New Hampshire hosting the first event in 1916. Today, there are literally motorcycle events every month all across the country, including Laconia Motorcycle Week—the one that started them all—which was recently held in June. Looking forward as you make your ride plans for the fall, make sure to add these four motorcycle rallies to your hit list.
Honorable Mention: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Aug. 6-15, 2021 |Sturgis, South Dakota | The Most Well Known
Having just concluded this past week, Sturgis doesn’t exactly happen in the fall, but it’s the largest and most well-known rally in the United States. This year was the 81st anniversary of the event, and they expected over 350,000 bikers to come for the celebration. During the 10-day rally, there’s everything you could hope for: historic rides, a number of different bike races, a whole concert series, and endless vendors.
The opening ceremony started at noon on Aug. 6, kicking off with the Budweiser Clydesdales and a parade. Live music also started that night and kickstands went up at 9 a.m. on Aug. 7 for the first sponsored ride of the event. If you couldn’t make Sturgis this year, you should certainly add it to your schedule for 2022.
Sept. 3-5, 2021 | Durango, Colorado | The Can’t Miss Location
The Four Corners Motorcycle Rally mostly takes place in Durango, Colorado, but the town is located less than 100 miles from where Colorado meets the borders of New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah, giving the rally its name. This is a family-friendly event and there’s plenty to do both at the rally and in the surrounding area.
Within about a four-hour riding distance, there’s Canyonlands National Park in Utah, Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona, and Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico. This gives riders and their passengers lots to see and do over the long Labor Day weekend. If you’d rather stick close to town, there will also be plenty of activity in Durango. The event includes a vendor village, plenty of good food, demo rides from manufacturers like Harley and Indian, a stunt team show, and lots of live music.
If you’re feeling competitive while you’re there, this rally also hosts the Hooligan Dirt Dash, which is a dirt track race open to any racers on street-legal and purpose-built machines. But, be aware: this is an outlaw-style event, which means it’s self-governed by the riders and there are very few rules, giving it a rowdy and fun grassroots vibe.
Sept. 22-25, 2021 | Fayetteville, Arkansas| The Best Nonprofit
The name of this event alone makes it worth checking out. Who doesn’t like all three of those things? On top of that, this event is actually a 501c3 nonprofit that has donated over $3 million to local charities benefiting women, children, and the underserved members of the Northwest Arkansas community.
You may also see this rally called the Rumble in the Ozarks, which makes sense since Fayetteville is located at the base of the Ozark Mountains. This is a great location because it gives riders the chance to enjoy some really beautiful scenery right as the fall colors are hitting the mountains. All of the rides at this event are road rides and there are 14 officially planned by the event. You’ll also be within riding distance of a few state parks and the famous Pig Trail if you want to check those out.
In addition to the rides, there will be plenty of music and lots of food, making this rally worth the trip. Plus, this is another family-friendly event so you can bring the kids along, if you want.
Sept. 27-Oct. 3, 2021 | Myrtle Beach, South Carolina | The Classic Bike Week
The majority of big name bike weeks happen in the spring, and the main Myrtle Beach Bike Week is in fact scheduled for early May. However, for riders who are looking for that traditional bike week experience in the fall, heading back to Myrtle Beach in late September might not be a bad plan.
While the spring event is slightly larger, the fall MBBW rally has grown in popularity and now attracts over 25,000 riders to the Grand Strand. Both events are riding events, meaning that bikers come to not only take advantage of the events and vendors set up along the Grand Strand, but also to take daycations up and down the North and South Carolina coasts.
If you want to head south, we recommend taking I-17 towards Murrells Inlet and Charleston. You’ll pass through a bunch of seaside towns and, if you want to make a pit stop before heading into downtown Charleston, you can swing by Francis Marion National Forest. It only adds about 30 minutes to the ride and offers a number of motorcycle trails plus rifle ranges.
If you go the opposite direction, Calabash, North Carolina is known for its great seafood restaurants and Wilmington is home to the Battleship North Carolina, an authentically restored World War II battleship that’s open for tours.
Nov. 4-6, 2021 | Lakeland, Florida | The Tastiest Rally
This definitely isn’t your traditional motorcycle rally but, honestly, what’s not to like about a chili cookoff combined with a bike show? Bikes are the only ride allowed on the grounds during the three-day event. If you plan to come by car or camper, there is parking close by, but not on the actual grounds. Riders can stay on the premises, but you have to be prepared to tent camp, so keep that in mind when making your travel plans.
The chili cook-off, of course, is the main event and starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. There’s also a slow ride competition, tons of vendors, and live bands throughout the weekend.
Conclusion: You honestly can’t go wrong with any of the rallies on this list. Even if you can’t hit them all this year, each deserves a spot on your bucket list. In fact, we’ve put together a list of Bucket List Biker Rallies happening in 2021 and 2022. And if you’re looking for a new ride to take to the rallies, check out CycleTrader.com for the largest selection of new and used motorcycles across the country.