Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: East Central Iowa
Do the campground thing, adds to the experience, both times we've been there we slept in a tent 100yds off I90 just outside of town, never noticed the noise after the 1st nite.
Do your riding in the morning, get up 8-ish and go ride till noon or 2pm, by then it will be getting hot. Go back to the campground and nap then go into Sturgis in the evening. This will keep you out of the heat, and you'll get your riding in before the idiots get out of bed. If you intend to go out to the Badlands do it early in the morning before it gets hot and windy. I90 east of Rapid City is one of the windiest places on earth I think, happens every afternoon.
The rest stops along I90 all have their welcome centers fully staffed handing out all kinds of good info and most importantly really good maps of all the major roads.
Take plenty of cash, figure on $100/day per person to be safe. Make sure your credit cards and debit cards won't expire on you during the trip(seen it happen). Call your credit card company and let them know you will be on vacation.
Eat at the regular restaurants, yes, McDonalds is safe, they are less likely to have their prices jacked up. The street vendors are obscenely priced.
Our first stop after setting up camp is the local grocery store for water. There's a grocery store next to the Sturgis community center that has really good specials on all the stuff you'll need for the week.
Practice your low speed parking lot riding skills, you'll need them.