Wild and Crazy Photos From the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2023
Bring on the night. Sunset over Sturgis, South Dakota. (Michael Lichter/)
One word still epitomizes motorcycling in America, even for those who’ve never ridden.
Like it or not, Sturgis is shorthand for freedom, anarchy, and opportunism in motorcycle culture. Not a fan? So much the better for the 458,161 (or so) people who came to Sturgis in 2023. Keep judging, they’ll keep coming.
Riders come to Sturgis to celebrate life on two wheels, past and present. It’s a good thing they do. People put food on the table and pay mortgages with the income earned from a week and a half of biker hedonism. It’s a celebration of freedom in multiple ways. It’s a showcase for the spiritual, logistical, and economic power of our country. And of course, it’s a good time.
It’s OK if Sturgis isn’t your thing. It’s not supposed to be everybody’s thing. Common sense and best practices guide most things in life. But America is partially built on luck, chance, and productive anarchy. For a weekend or two a year, these principles rule the 3,483 square miles of Meade County.
Enjoy the pictures photographer Michael Lichter captured this year.
Jose Torres (@blue1932vl) shows off his roping skills in front of his 1934 Knucklehead during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. (Michael Lichter/)
Run-what-you-brung, tires sold separately. The 8th Annual Free Baker Drivetrain drags at the Sturgis Dragstrip. (Michael Lichter/)
Ladies to the front, as they say. Jody Perewitz gets a squeeze from friend Paul Wideman of Bare Knuckle Choppers. (Michael Lichter/)
Ready for an Italian tuneup. Bob McKay (@bobkzcustomkult) getting ready to ride up Vanocker Canyon to the Nemo Guest Ranch during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. (Michael Lichter/)
Scotty Busch (@scottybuschhd) riding Vanocker Canyon on his 1948 Panhead with sidecar. (Michael Lichter/)
Meanwhile, in Deadwood, South Dakota, Main Street’s motorcycle-only parking fills up. (Michael Lichter/)
Minibikes, big fun. Cycle Source–hosted minibike barrel racing at the Iron Horse Saloon. (Michael Lichter/)
You’re sinking my battleship, man! Danger Dan Hardick (@DangerDanimal) attacks Pat Patterson’s (@LedSledCustoms) dinghy at Pat’s Sportster Showdown in Deadwood, South Dakota. (Michael Lichter/)
Jeff Quilty leading the @strikingviking74 ride along Spearfish Canyon with Darren McKeag (@mckeagart) and Paul Wideman (@bareknuckleperformance). (Michael Lichter/)
Still life with rider and steed. Camping at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip campground during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. (Michael Lichter/)
As 2023 Miss Buffalo Chip Poster Model, ambassador and model Em Powered (@__em.powered__) adds to the craziness at the Chip. (Michael Lichter/)
Next stop, night fun. Riding Main Street at dusk during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. (Michael Lichter/)