The Laconia Motorcycle Week is one of the biggest bike rallies in the world. Over-delivering on its name, the event lasts for 9 days. It held a record attendance in 2004, where 375,000 bikers joined in on the action. Laconia takes claim to being America’s Original Riding Rally. Laconia reigns down on the global scale of all motorcycle rallies at a whooping 89 years old!
The Laconia Motorcycle rally, or Laconia Bike Week was inaugurated in June 1923. It has rich history even before its debut. It all started with a Motorcycle event called the “Gypsy Tour”, old school slang for what we now refer too as a rally. The event was appropriately named because of the distance the bikers were travelling, accompanied by their sleeping bags, tents and the fires they would light along their way. Just like the real Hollywood Gypsies.
It was established when most bikers from the Loudon Motorcycle Rally would pass through Laconia, which led them to form an American motorcycle group known as the “American Motorcyclists Association”
Like most rallies, Laconia Bike Week was not without riots. In 1965, a fight broke out between motorcycle gangs and police. The riot that followed drew the attention of national media. Stricter rules were established after that, limiting the motorcycle event to just three days. Attendance continued to decline until in the 1990s, in an move to pull tourism back into Laconia. The Laconia Motorcycle Week was brought back to life with a more organized week long event headed by the Laconia Motorcycle Rally and Race Association. They were also charged with getting the whole nation to join the fun.
For 8 decades, the Laconia Motorcycle Rally runs hundreds of races and different events all stuffed into 9 days. The motorcycle rally attracts motorcyclists and non-motorcyclists alike from all walks of life. 89 years later the rally is still reached by over 100,000 motorcycles. 2013 marks Laconia Motorcycle Week / Laconia Bike Week’s 90th Anniversary!