But it's not just about size and history. Several smaller, newer rallies have created their own following over the years, and in some cases are even starting to compete with the larger rallies.
The Little Sturgis Rally & Races for Charity, which takes place in Little Sturgis, Ky., in mid-July, promises "the biggest biker party in Kentucky." While this adults-only rally has much support from the tiny local community (it's a town of approximately 2,000), it's still coming into its own. But any event that prides itself on dirt drags and pudding wrestling matches probably won't take too long to become well-known.
The Laughlin River Run, in Laughlin, Nev., is quite popular and much talked-about. Taking place at the end of April since 1983, this southern Nevada rally services much of the southwest. Between the weather and wide-open roads, the Nevada entertainment and the big-name bands coming through the town, it's no surprise.
Biketoberfest, in Daytona Beach, Fla., takes place, as its name might suggest, in mid-October every year. While a sometimes contentious relationship with city management can make for a sticky official situation, riders coming into the area are always happy to help the local economy by holding some events outside of Daytona Beach itself. The festival's Biker Bash on the Beach, Main Street Rally, Motorcycle Expo and Rajun Cajun Fest are legendary, and the sights and nearby sounds -- the Space Center, Sea World and Walt Disney World, to name a few -- ensure that Biketoberfest isn't going anywhere.
The Republic of Texas Biker Rally, held in and around Austin on the first weekend after Memorial Day, is known for being laid back in classic Austin style. While officially the rally runs from Thursday to Saturday, Texas welcomes its 40,000 registered riders (and around 150,000 unregistered street-party guests) with a Biker's Breakfast the Wednesday prior and a Sunday night post-rally concert. There's also the traditional Big Texas Chop-Off Biker Buildoff, the highly popular Biker Street Party on Congress Avenue, and the Guinness World Record-breaking (in 2006, but still a sight to behold) motorcycle parade to the state capital.