75th Sturgis Rally. The South Dakota Department Of Transportation Published Traffic Counts.

SturgisRally75thWarning. The numbers published by the South Dakota DOT are those of traffic entering the city of Sturgis and are not of those who have attended the 75th Rally. Numbers can be very different because many people don’t enter Sturgis…afraid of traffic, or because their centers of interest (riding, activities, visiting vendors) are outside the city limits of Sturgis, for example in Deadwood, Rapid City (with a very large concentration of vendors working at Black Hills Harley-Davidson), Spearfish, Keystone, etc… In addition, the South Dakota DOT does traffic counts only for the official dates of the rally, from Monday to Sunday. As a matter of facts, attendance begins a few days before and is continuing a few days after the official rally dates. 

The methodology used to count traffic is based on portable road tube counters recording one vehicle for every 2 axles that hit the road tube. Counters and road tubes are check daily during the week to ensure everything is counting correctly. Data is collected every Monday and Thursday. Taking traffic counts began with the 50th Rally in 1990. Counters were set at 18 locations, 6 of those locations counting traffic entering Sturgis

Daily traffic entering Sturgis for the 2015 Rally.

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Traffic for the 2015 Official Rally Dates was up 30.7% from 2014. 2014 Traffic entering Sturgis at the 8 locations was 390,693. Traffic entering for 2015 at the 8 locations was 510,749.

The 60th Rally in 2000 was the highest traffic entering Sturgis for the 7 official Rally dates with 604,441 total vehicles. 2015 was the highest total traffic entering Sturgis since 2005 when the total was 524,656. Below is a graph showing total traffic entering 1990 – 2015. Monday August 3rd was the highest day for traffic entering Sturgis with a total of 96,409 vehicles. The highest day recorded was during the 60th Rally on August 6th, 2000 with a total of 110,448 vehicles. Below are the historic daily entering totals from 1997 – 2015 (1990 – 1996 are not shown due to missing daily count totals at numerous count locations)

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11 Responses to “75th Sturgis Rally. The South Dakota Department Of Transportation Published Traffic Counts.”


  1. 1 Jeff Nicklus Aug 22nd, 2015 at 11:25 am

    I have attended Sturgis for 27 years and without question, at least in my humble opinion, I have never seen so many people in the Black Hills…..there had to be over a Million people in the area. The number of vehicles in and out of Sturgis doesn’t give a good representation of the overall attendance in my opinion.

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  2. 2 Birddoggie Aug 22nd, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    This was only my second trip into the Black Hills. First in 2011. I agree with Mr. Nicklus, there had to be a million people in the area for sure. Next year, our plan is to head there at the ending dates of the Rally. No offence, but too many crazies for sure!

  3. 3 Patrick Sereno Aug 23rd, 2015 at 5:40 am

    Was there. All what I can see it that it was HUGE! In the crowd I bumped into Cyril on Lazelle Street and got my pic with him. Cool.

  4. 4 SIGFREED Aug 23rd, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Thanks, but, no thanks.

    If you want to see bikes – go to bike night.

    If you want to socialize – go to the local pub.

    If you need to see half-naked women with fake breasts and you need a bike to do it, you have bigger problems, that neither will solve.

    This is no longer a rally – it is a CARNIVAL.

    A rally is about enthusiasts, this is about being seen, or about boasting to others about being seen (there); a poser’s paradise – the (real) enthusiasts are long gone.

    Do ‘gypsy tours’ the way your grandfather did it and as the t-shirt says – “get a real bike you f*cking pussy”.

  5. 5 Jim Aug 23rd, 2015 at 8:39 am

    I’ve attended for 20 years in a row now. I do not believe attendance numbers were any where close to what they are claiming. In my opinion, traffic counts in and out of Sturgis are skewed. How many of those counts are from venders or locals going in and out of the city every day? To me, the whole “attendance numbers” thing is just a marketing ploy.
    If you really want to enjoy the Black Hills, go next year. Crowds will be extremely smaller, regardless of what they want to predict.

    Jim

    PS ALL vendors need to organize and band together against the city of Sturgis. These Vendors get raped financially by the city!!! I think Jeff Nicklus should lead a grassroots rebellion!!! I love you Man and I know you could do it!!! 😉

  6. 6 10377586 Aug 23rd, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Too many people this year for my taste. This was our 12th and if we’d never been before we wouldn’t want to go back. It will be better and hopefully less crowded next year.

  7. 7 Mark Jags Aug 23rd, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Agreed, too many people for me too. We didn’t go for the anniversary thing, just wanted to go. And now we know we’ll never go during an anniversary year. I’ve never witnessed more unsafe riders making bone headed moves than I saw this year. I know everybody’s excited to be there, but with all the added bike traffic in and around the Black Hills, it’s more important than every to be alert and ride safely. I think next time we’ll go a week before the rally.

  8. 8 1550tc Aug 26th, 2015 at 8:43 am

    The best thing about the rally its what ever you want it to be….its such a huge area that if you don’t want crowds there are miles of roads and times of day with not many riders around

    for me it was unreal rally best in 16 years ……..east hills, west hills and southern hills and over in WY gave us lots of riding with few riders on the roads even Hulett wasnt bad to get in and out of

    the old 90 on the way was almost bikeless/carless, nothing wrong riding down an empty highway looking over over at bike packed intersate!

    haters going to hate, moaners going to moan and bitchers going to bitch…..

    There are no gates on the SD borders so if u want come in 2016 come if not stay home ……do you think the guys who go give a lying f–k about you not being there??? F—K NO!!!!

  9. 9 1550tc Aug 26th, 2015 at 8:43 am

    The best thing about the rally its what ever you want it to be….its such a huge area that if you don’t want crowds there are miles of roads and times of day with not many riders around

    for me it was unreal rally best in 16 years ……..east hills, west hills and southern hills and over in WY gave us lots of riding with few riders on the roads even Hulett wasnt bad to get in and out of

    the old 90 on the way was almost bikeless/carless, nothing wrong riding down an empty highway looking over over at bike packed intersate!

    haters going to hate, moaners going to moan and bitchers going to bitch…..

    There are no gates on the SD borders so if u want come in 2016 come if not stay home ……do you think the guys who go give a lying f–k about you not being there??? F—K NO!!!!

  10. 10 Sturgis Pride Aug 27th, 2015 at 10:38 am

    There has never been (nor will there ever be) a million or more than a million people attending the Sturgis Rally. There are not enough hotels, motels, campgrounds and private housing in the region to support a million, or over a million attendees. Simple as that. It’s commonly known in the industry that the “official” rally numbers are inflated for the purposes of publicity and economic development by local, state and federal agencies. Ask the private businesses how many people they think attended the rally. Do you think the top rally bars ordered beer and liquor to support their slice or share of a million customers, LOL?

  11. 11 1550tc Aug 27th, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Sturgis Pride , i think they count the attendees from Jan 1 thru August 15 LOL

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