Before you come to Sturgis these are the things you need to know about the motorcycle laws in South Dakota beyond the common sense.
Most visitors to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will not need to wear a helmet as helmets are not required for adults on a motorcycle in South Dakota. Helmets are required for all motorcyclists or motorcycle passengers that are a minor under eighteen years of age. Helmets must meet South Dakota DOT regulations.
A form of eye protection is required for all motorcyclists in South Dakota. Riders have two options, they must either wear eye protection such as glasses or goggles, or they must have a windshield of sufficient height to provide eye protection. Tinted sunglasses cannot be worn on a motorcycle after dark.
If you will be riding with a passenger, the motorcycle must have a passenger seat! Riding with a passenger on the rear fender or similar is a misdemeanor offense.
Riding two abreast
Motorcycles are not allowed to ride side-by-side in the same lane, this includes passing in the same lane per SDCL 32-20-9.2!
Lane splitting is not permitted in South Dakota. You will no doubt see riders doing it during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, be sure you aren’t the one that has to pay the fine for a misdemeanor!
If you are carrying a firearm with you on a motorcycle in South Dakota, you must ensure it is appropriately stored. Guns must be completely unloaded (remove the magazine!) and stowed in a case that encloses the entire firearm. You can’t just shove your holster in your saddle bag, you will need a proper gun case! This section does not apply if you have a valid South Dakota Concealed Carry Permit or a permit with appropriate reciprocity.