Head to Laconia for the Oldest Motorcycle Rally in the U.S.

April 24, 2017 by FreightCenter Team
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Laconia Motorcycle Week

What started as a few hundred motorcyclists gathering at Weirs Beach in Laconia, New Hampshire in June of 1916, is now known as the World’s Oldest Motorcycle Rally. By 1923, the event became officially recognized by the Federation of American Motorcyclists (now known as the American Motorcyclist Association or AMA) as part of the Gypsy tour. This was a tour where motorcyclists celebrated races and climbed hills the entire weekend – a perfect itinerary for the hilly location of New Hampshire. The event was sanctioned by the AMA until 1960.

Over the years, more and more motorcyclists returned to Laconia earlier and earlier in the week until the rally eventually become an unofficial, but very much so accepted week-long event. Local businesses in the Laconia area became avid supports of Laconia Motorcycle Week due to the amount of business and tourism it brings to the area.

Times of Trouble

All that glitters is not gold though. As fun loving as the event was, there still were times of trouble. In the summer of 1965, a riot broke out between local police and motorcycle gangs, bringing national media attention to Laconia for all the wrong reasons. After the riots, city officials and police began seeing the rally as more of a nuisance than anything else. Because of this, officials began imposing stricter law enforcement and the number of events during the rally began to decline. The rally eventually was shortened to a three-day weekend and saw a steep decline in the number of motorcyclists.

Then, things took a turn for the better in the early 1990s. In an attempt to bring back the tourism that Laconia once brought in, local businesses approached the AMA for their help and support in bringing the rally back to a week-long event. What became of this was the forming of a coalition between the business owners and local motorcycle groups. The coalition then went on to found the Laconia Motorcycle Rally and Race Association which organizes and schedules all the events associated with Laconia Motorcycle Week. Among the groups responsibilities also include promoting the event nationwide and issuing licenses to vendors. Thanks to the perseverance and success of the group, Laconia Motorcycle week is now longer than ever before as it carries on for 9 days full of fun.

A Slice of the Action

From live music, restaurants, adventures, shopping and of course some of the best riding in the entire country, there’s some action for every type of attendee. If you’re an adventure seeker, then say help to New England’s largest aerial obstacle course at Aerial Treetop Adventure. If you’re looking for a bit of r&r when not at the rally, it’s worth checking out Mills Falls, a premiere resort located on Meredith Bay offering quaint and charming Inns. Some might even be looking to hear some live music in their down time and you can do just that at the 8,000-seat Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion.

This year’s rally runs from June 10-18, a prime weather climate in New Hampshire as the average high is 76 degrees Fahrenheit. The rally headquarters located on the Boardwalk of Lakeside Avenue, right on Weirs Beach, open every morning at 8:00 a.m. and officially close on the last day, June 18 at 9:00 p.m.

How Can I Attend?

With all that said, you might be thinking, hey this sounds like something I might actually like to attend. Getting your bike to New Hampshire’s mountain is not just an easy feat though, especially if you’re not in tip top riding shape (and who really is?) A few hours in and you might find that your back starts hurting and you’ll wish you had just shipped your bike there so you could enjoy ride time at the actual event rather than leading up to it. Don’t make that mistake!

FreightCenter is partnered with several motorcycle carriers who are highly experienced in shipping bikes all across the country. Depending on where you’re located in the country, FreightCenter can get your bike to its destination (and back home to you) all for a low cost flat rate.  It doesn’t get much better than that. Trust that FreightCenter works with only the most elite motorcycle carriers who treat each and every bike with the utmost level of care, as if it were one of their own. Start by giving us a call at 800-716-7608 or by getting your free, instant freight quote today and you can be on your way to the 94th annual Laconia Bike Week!


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