84th Rally, Aug. 2nd-11th, Begins in

City Of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Attendees Getting Younger
October 27, 2022

City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally attendees getting younger STURGIS, S.D. - Demographic surveys of those attending the 2022 City of  Sturgis Motorcycle Rally show the average age of attendees continues to  fall, but the number of attendees who don’t own a motorcycle has actually  increased. 

Rally organizers say both statistics show the event shifting  demographically. 

“We’re achieving the goal of broadening the appeal of the event to a larger  and younger audience,” Beka Zerbst, Sturgis City Council member and  chair of the city’s Rally & Events Committee, told an audience at the 2022  Post-Rally Summit Tuesday. 

After the 75th Rally in 2015, the number of long-term attendees began to  drop. Then, during the pandemic year in 2020, the Rally was introduced to  a new group of attendees. 

“They have been incredibly loyal and continue to return,” Zerbst said. The largest percentage of rallygoers were from the heartland in markets  which were targeted through the state of South Dakota’s Community  Cooperative Marketing Program. 

Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie said the high gas prices and reduced  attendance from long-distance travelers in the U.S., and global economic  uncertainty reduced international visitation.  

In 2017, 11.5% of visitors to the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally were from  international markets. In 2022, the number of international visitors was  just over 4%. 

The average age of rallygoers continues to fall. In 2015, the average age of  rallygoers was 53.1 years old. In 2022, the average age was 50.8 years old. 

And, interestingly enough, you don’t have to own a motorcycle to attend  the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Since 2015, the number of people  attending the Rally who say they don’t own a motorcycle has jumped from  1% to 12%. 

Although Harley-Davidson is still the predominant brand owned by those  who do own a motorcycle and attend the Rally, other brands are growing  in popularity. Since 2015, the number of people who say they own Polaris  bands has increased from 2.2% to 11.7%. 

Rallygoers were asked how they got to Sturgis and 41.8% said they rode  their motorcycle. That compares to 63.8% in 2015. The number who said  they towed their motorcycle increased from 26.4% in 2015 to 38.4% in  2022.  

Nearly half of those who attend the Rally say they stay in campgrounds  while here. About 14% say they stay in hotels, another 13% stay with  friends and 14% stay in private housing rentals. 

When asked about their interests, 57% of attendees said they enjoy  traveling and 46% said they like camping. Another 38% said they enjoy  fishing and 32% said they like hunting.