Rapid City’s “Rally at Exit 55” becomes a one-stop-shop for motorcycles, new gear and more
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Three days into the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and both the attendees and events are showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
“What is exciting this year is lots of new technology in sound systems, new technology in exhausts, new technology in performance, in suspension,” Black Hills Harley-Davidson C.E.O Al Rieman said. “All aspects of your motorcycle, there are new and exciting products out there.”
However, this year and even in years past, Rieman says people are looking upgrade their speaker systems. Music can be hard to listen to, he explains, due to several factors.
“You are not in an enclosed area, you are driving down the road, the wind is rushing at you, cars and motorcycles are driving past you,” Rieman explains. “So isolating and getting those sounds to the rider takes some technological innovation.
Since 1973, Rockford-Fosgate has specialized in audio-enhancing setup for vehicles, boats and motorcycles. Namesake Jim Fosgate discovered that music and human ears use different sound properties, which can affect how music is heard. Through his research, he created an increased quality in the speakers of motorized vehicles.
And even decades later, the company continues to take into account factors, like weather, to create audible sound systems that utilize woofers and subwoofers to make for an all-around crisp and clear sound.
“That is going to range on what bike you have as well as how big a system you actually want,” Motorcycle Division Regional Sales Manager for Rockford-Fosgate, Greg Cobbs, said. “We offer that 800-watt, four-channel amp with all of our systems, which is capable of running eight speakers off of that one amplifier.”
Riders are also looking to showcase the power of their bikes while keeping in mind fuel usage. Vance and Hines’ FP3 and FP4 Tuners allow riders to wirelessly track stats such as speed and miles to the gallon through an app riders can download on their phone for easy access.
“Typically the exhaust system will give you more horsepower, more torque,” Vance and Hines Sales Director John Potts explained. “And when you make more horsepower and more torque, typically the gas mileage will go down. But with the FP3 and FP4 tuners, you can actually monitor your fuel economy. We have an eco mode in that system just like in newer cars. Now we have an eco mode on the motorcycle through the FP3 and FP4, so you can pay attention.”
The Rally at Exit 55 in Rapid City continues through August 14, with large selections of new and used motorcycles available for purchase right outside of the building. For the store itself, clothing and accessories tend to be some of the popular purchases. And during the rally in particular, people flood in to a Sturgis Rally T-shirt or something special from Black Hills Harley to commemorate their visit. Increased cost of materials and longer wait times for shipped materials to arrive have caused price hikes and more proactive ordering but Al Rieman said they are working accordingly to provide a large selection of goods.
“We are able to get, but we have to be a little smarter, and get ahold of it. Get it sourced earlier in order to get it here in time because it just takes longer to get something from point A to point B then it has ever been done before.”
According to Rieman, three-wheeled motorcycles, or “trikes” as they are called, tend to be the models that Black Hills Harley runs through the most. And even with supply chain issues putting the brakes on production of new motorcycles, they are still able to keep stocked enough to provide a large-enough selection
“We are almost entirely sold out, and sold out early. If we had another 50, 60 trikes we could move them through the sales tent in the course of the next five days. They are just such a popular item it is hard to keep that in stock… But we do have some. We got new motorcycles in this week, and have as good a selection as anybody in the country at this point.”