This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: The South Dakota Department of Transportation sent a correction for its 2022 counts. There were 497,835 vehicles counted during the 10-day rally.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Fewer than 500,000 vehicles were counted for the 2022 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the South Dakota Department of Transportation said.
The S.D. DOT counts vehicles entering Sturgis at nine locations during the 10-day rally. The city of Sturgis uses the DOT vehicle count, but other means to determine its estimated attendance each year. Those methods include tons of garbage removed from the city, analysis of photographs and others to estimate attendance.
The count is about 28,000 less than in 2021.
The S.D. DOT counted 497,835 vehicles this year. The count was 525,768 in 2021.
The city of Sturgis estimated the 2021 attendance at 555,000.
Although down from 2021, the 2022 total vehicle count is still higher than the five-year average of 492,535.
After a sharp dip from Wednesday, Aug. 10 to Thursday, Aug. 11, the count continued to drop by double digits on days nine and 10.
The one-day count was 44,246, on Friday, Aug. 12, 32,917 on Saturday, Aug. 13, and 20,331, on Sunday, Aug. 14.
The seven-day total for 2022 was 400,341 vehicles compared to 423,273 vehicles in 2021.
The six-day total for 2022 was 354,985 vehicles. The six-day total for 2021 was about 371,038.
The S.D. DOT’s traffic counts indicate the estimated rally attendance will be less than in 2021.
The attendance peaked at 750,000 during the 75th Anniversary in 2015.
The city of Sturgis releases an official estimate for the rally. Last year’s estimated attendance was 555,000.
The vehicle count tends to drop by thousands after the fifth day of the rally. The 75th Anniversary rally in 2015, which drew more than 700,000 bikers, was an exception.
From 2011 through 2022, the highest vehicle count outside of 2015 was in 2012 when 584,611 were counted. The 2011 count was 580,601.
After 2015, the traffic counts trended downward to below 500,000 until 2018 when it hit 505,000 and 525,000 in 2021.