Ethanol Welcomed at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Cindy Zimmerman

Ethanol was welcomed with open arms at last week’s 69th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota where the Renewable Fuels Association partnered with the popular Buffalo Chip Campground and the Buffalo Chip Gazette to promote the use of ethanol blended fuels as a way to fight dependence on foreign oil.

Robert White RFA SturgisRFA’s Robert White – an avid motorcycle enthusiast – wanted to personally thank the folks with Sturgis for the hospitality:

When I was looking for a way to reach out to small engine and motorcycle enthusiasts about ethanol, you were there. You were there to provide the perfect angle and approach to reach more than 500,000 consumers. You even provided a bonus, which was all of these individuals also own a car, truck or both.

You, along with the Legendary Buffalo Chip, allowed us to teach fellow riders about ethanol and provided a venue to hand out more than 5,000 ethanol koozies, 1,000 ethanol t-shirts and 10,000 information cards about the benefits of using a homegrown fuel. The key points being that it is a domestic product, it is cleaner-burning and it is made from renewable sources. We also had 25 static displays, which encouraged riders to, “Ride Safe, Fuel Right.” You also provided a backdrop to launch a Sturgis Photo Contest at, where riders can win $1,000 for submitting their favorite rally photo. Each night, concert goers were able to see ethanol information on the jumbotrons during such acts as Toby Keith and Aerosmith.

You taught me many things too. That no matter what motorcycle brand my fellow riders call their own, they all have pride that runs more than skin deep. That all understand American heritage and ingenuity are a part of riding and most understand that’s also a part of ethanol. That your guests will talk to us about ethanol with an open mind and share their thoughts. That having a renewable fuel that is available today and can safely be used in their motorcycles is important. That almost all riders attending the rally used ethanol fuel, as I personally checked with the local stations and it was all they were selling.

I also want to thank you for teaching me a few other things… that One Eyed Jacks is not just a playing card, that the Buffalo Chip is a campground, not just fertilizer. That people of all shapes and sizes, all backgrounds and cultures, come to Sturgis each year. That most clothing is optional, but sunscreen is not. That a monkey can rock, and a saloon can run full throttle. That Steven Tyler should slow his roll, Toby Keith is a true patriot and Cheech & Chong are still up in smoke. That the Legends Ride is truly becoming just that, a legend. That two feet down at a stop sign is the law, and the baffles better be in those pipes!

So, thank you, Sturgis. It will be a long year without you, but I will see you again. We continue the education on both sides… And remember, Choose Ethanol!

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