The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota is the largest motorcycle rally in America. A Mecca, so to speak, for motorcyclists in America, Canada, South American countries and even some having to cross oceans to attend. The event celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2015 and by all accounts it was an epic party. While this year is not an anniversary year the event is already gearing up, August 8th – 14th, and people are heading to the small town in mass. For those coming from western states, Idaho Falls tends to be a junction city on their trip east.
A quick look at a map shows that most western states like Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah have natural routes that take riders right through Idaho Falls. And if there is one thing motorcyclists of all walks have in common it is the desire for a good ride so with the Tetons, Yellowstone and Jackson nearby along with Island Park close at hand Idaho Falls makes for a fantastic junction for even non-Sturgis related riding. Last year the temporary population of Idaho Falls seemed to swell as the number of bikers came into town on their way to South Dakota and there is a reasonable expectation of the same this year.
Anyone living in or around Idaho Falls knows that with the close proximity to some of the nation’s greatest natural wonders comes tourist and those seeking permanent residency where they can regularly enjoy said wonders. The diversity of interests of those living in this area is huge and any attempt to list even half would be more than difficult. Motorcycling is among those interests though and has found a stronghold here in our fine town. Facebook is dizzy with groups for different riders based in this area giving them opportunities to network, plan rides, and share routes. Idaho Falls also has many business that focus on motorcycles or cater to motorcyclist like Bonneville County Choppers. A locally owned shop, BCC specializes in American V-twin and custom motorcycles. Action Motorsports, Bill’s Cycle Shop, and of course our very own Harley-Davidson dealership Chester’s Grand Teton Harley-Davidson also bring riders in by the droves and support the permanent rider population.
Beyond the bikes and the riders themselves Idaho Falls includes businesses that support the riders in other ways. Interested in a custom paint job for that prized bike in your garage? Creative Custom Motorcycle Paint has been in business for 30 years and in the same local shop on Woodruff Ave for 26 years. Maintaining a 4.8 stars out of 5 rating on their Facebook page reviews the shop has established itself as a top shelf paint shop. Every rider lives and dies by their leathers and so each rider invest big money into custom leather items from riding coats to bags. A local Idaho Falls original is Weld Burn motorcycle masks. Weld Burn is the brain child of a local artist “Zombie Jake” and each mask is handmade one at a time by him in his one man operation. Designed to complement your existing gear and/or themed with your custom tooled design and colors to match your bike Weld Burn takes pride in every step of the mask making process. Adding a riding mask to your gear is a great way to further enjoy the ride to Sturgis 2016.
Idaho Falls is a beautiful place, anyone living here knows that, and this August we will again get to share that with riders on their way to Sturgis. But our motorcycling legacy is more than just providing a gas stop and that influence is growing as new business open their doors and others expand. Watch for Idaho Falls to garnish more and more exposure as our citizen’s bring more to the proverbial motorcycling table.