1936

  • Clarence “Pappy” Hoel purchases Indian Motorcycle franchise in Sturgis
  • The Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club was formed.

1938

  • The first Black Hills Motor Classic was held in Sturgis on August 14th. A race of 9 participants and a small audience began the tradition we know as The Sturgis Rally.

1942 and 1943

  • Rally did not take place due to WW II gas rationing.

1949

  • Sturgis Main Street is first blocked off for an awards ceremony.

1961

  • Jackpine Gypsies introduce the Hill Climb and Motocross races.

1963

  • Classic expands to a 3-day event.

1964

  • One block of Main Street is closed for motorcycle parking only during the Classic.

1965

  • The Classic expands to a 5-day event
  • Estimated Attendance for the 25th Rally: 2,500

1974

  • The first vendor sets up in the Sturgis Auditorium.

1975

  • The Classic becomes a 7-day event.

1979

  • The City of Sturgis begins licensing vendors (9 vendors licensed).

1981

  • Estimated Attendance for the 41st Classic: 30,000

1983

  • City Park is closed to camping due to fire outbreaks.

1988

  • 117 vendors licensed in the City of Sturgis.

1989

  • “Pappy” Hoel passes away at the age of 85.

1990

  • Estimated Attendance for the 50th Classic: 400,000
  • Number of Vendors: 243
  • Four blocks of Main Street closed for motorcycle parking only.

1992

  • The Black Hills Motor Classic renamed the Sturgis Rally and Races.

1999

  • Estimated Attendance for the 59th Rally: 325,000

2000

  • Estimated Attendance for the 60th Rally: 625,000
  • Number of vendors: 943

2003

  • The official name of event changed to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
  • Estimated Attendance for the 63rd Rally: 450,000
  • Number of vendors: 848
2005
  • 65th Anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

2015

  • 75th Anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally