Planning a trip to Laconia Bike Week? One of the largest motorcycle events in America, Laconia is celebrating its 99th anniversary in 2022 and ready to blow you away with 9 action-packed days of races, contests, bike shows, live music, and the famous Gypsy rides and charity rides through gorgeous landscapes.
This complete guide to Laconia Motorcycle Week covers everything you want to know including the Gypsy tours, Laconia Bike Week history, and events.
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Table of Contents
Laconia Bike Week – The World’s Oldest Motorcycle Rally ®
Laconia Motorcycle Week is one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the United States and certainly the oldest. Laconia New Hampshire Bike Week began in 1916 as a motorcycle Gypsy tour, or an organized overnight motorcycle event with rides and activities. Hundreds of riders would gather at Weirs Beach and hold races and hill climbs over a weekend. The New Hampshire Lakes Region was a popular destination at the time with riders coming from Boston, Philadelphia, Montreal, and New York for the scenic rides and weather.
In 1938, the first official Gypsy tour and racing events were sanctioned by the Federation of American Motorcyclists (now the AMA) and the Laconia rally was born.
What started as a few hundred motorcyclists began to grow and the weekend event stretched to an entire week. Before long, Laconia businesses were supporting the rally which drew in thousands during the peak tourist season. You can learn more about the Laconia Bicycle Week history here, complete with photos from its early days.
Laconia bike week attendance has ranged from 375,000 in 2004 to around 200,000 to 300,000 over the last decade. The Laconia motorcycle rally has also changed in other ways. In 1965, a riot between police and motorcycle gangs broke out, bringing national attention to the rally and stricter enforcement of laws. While Laconia is definitely not billed as a family-friendly rally, it’s not the wild and unpredictable event it was in the past.
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When Is Laconia Bike Week?
The Bike Week Laconia event happens over the second and third full weekends of June. The Laconia Bike Week 2022 dates are Saturday, June 11 to Sunday, June 19, 2022.
The 100th anniversary of Laconia Bike Week happens in 2023! The Laconia Motorcycle Week dates for 2023 are June 10 to June 18, 2023.
Where Is Laconia Bike Week?
This New Hampshire motorcycle rally takes place in Laconia, New Hampshire. Laconia, New Hampshire is in the White Mountains in central New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam Lake.
The Boardwalk on Lakeside Avenue in Weirs Beach is the center of the rally and where you will find most entertainment and venues. However, the week-long Laconia bike rally features rides, live music, and meet-ups spreading over the entire region.
Laconia Bike Week Events & Things to Do
Vendors, live music, bikini contests, the famous Laconia hill climb – there’s so much to do all week, you’ll never have a bored moment. Here are some of the highlights you’ll find on the Laconia Bike Week events calendar. Note that the Rally Headquarters will be open every day from 8 am to 9 pm on the Lakeside Avenue Boardwalk!
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Motorcycle Week at NHMS & Laconia Speedway Races
The New Hampshire Motor Speedway is an action-packed destination all week long. Enjoy 9 straight days of on-track and off-track events including:
- Laconia Bike Week demo rides
- Charity rides
- Dozens of races
There are many races that take place at the Laconia race track. There are two major Motorcycle Week Laconia races to catch at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The Loudon NH race, officially called the Loudon Classic Super Bike Races, is the most attended race and held on the second weekend. 2022 is the 99th Annual Loudon Classic on the 1.6 mile full road course. You’ll also want to catch the Vintage Races & American Flat Track Races over the first weekend.
On the first day of the bike rally in New Hampshire, head to the racetrack for the USCRA FIM North American Vintage Championships & Harley vs Indian Wars for high-speed vintage racing!
Check the NHMS schedule to make sure you don’t miss any events.
Live Music & Events at Laconia Saloons
All week, you can hit up the many saloons and biker bars in the area for live music, contests, and events! Here are the top spots for action.
- Sucker Punch Saloon on Lakeside Ave. behind the Tower Hill Tavern will have live music all week.
- High Octane Saloon has daily live music and events. The High Octane Saloon events include the Bike Week Kickoff, the Tattoo Contest, the Hot Legs Contest, and bike shows.
- Tower Hill Tavern hosts live music and special events daily. The tavern has a bi-level music venue with rock, country, and blues. Check the Tower Hill Tavern events calendar for the full lineup!
- Naswa Resort will have daily music starting at 11 am
- Looney Bin Bar & Grill offers live music and pub grub
Bentley’s Saloon Maine and Iron Tails Saloon in Acton, Maine are just 45 miles from Laconia. A popular draw during the New Hampshire bike rally, Iron Tails Saloon hosts the Annual Burnout Competition. Bentley’s will hold the Ride-In Bike Show, and 10th Annual Miss Bentley’s Pin-Up Contest, and other fun events. Both offer live entertainment every day with contests and prizes.
Additional Things to Do During Laconia Motorcycle Week
Still need more to keep your days full? Here’s a host of other events to check out in Laconia and surrounding areas during Bike Week.
- Lake Winnipesaukee cruise. On Monday afternoon, hop aboard the M/S Mount Washington for a cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee for picturesque views and a change of pace.
- Weirs Shuttle Train. The train runs on the first and second weekends between Meredith and Weirs Beach.
- “The Art of the Motorcycle” exhibit. The David Uhl art exhibit offers a raffle with a chance to win commemorative Laconia MC Week prints.
- Northeast Motorsports Museum in Loudon will be open on the weekends from 10 am to 4 pm.
- Makris Lobster & Steak House will host a Street Bike Stunt Show plus live music and promos the first weekend of Laconia Bike Week.
- Best of the Bikers Pool Championships at the Pit Road Lounge in Concord. Qualifying games Monday to Thursday at 7 pm to play in the tournament on Friday at 6 pm.
- Gunstock Amateur Hill Club @ Gunstock Mountain Resort. The event runs from 9 am to 5 pm on Wednesday, June 15 with $20 admission and free for kids. BYOB with food and beverage options available.
- Inaugural Ride-In Bike Show @ the Gunstock Hill Climb
- 99th Rally Anniversary Celebration @ Naswa Resort at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, June 15
- Laconia Fireworks Show at 10pm on Wednesday, June 15 at Weirs Beach
- Slow Race & MC Rodeo @ the Historic Train Station in downtown Laconia on Thursday, June 16
- Antique Motorcycle Show @ Mystic Meadows on June 16
- Custom Bike Show @ the Historic Train Station on June 16
- City of Laconia Bike Show @ Opechee Park (June 17 @ 8 am) features motorcycle rodeo games, skill contests, vendors, a swap meet, and a bike blessing
- Belknap County Nursing Home Welcomes Motorcycle Week (June 17 @ 11 am to 2 pm) and invites riders to ride by, beep, and wave at residents
- Farewell Party @ Makris Lobster & Steak House in Concord (June 19 @ 10 am – 6 pm)
Campgrounds Near Laconia NH & Accommodations (Hotels, Motels, etc)
The Lakes Region and Weirs Beach area offer hundreds of options for accommodations including the Naswa Resort, Gunstock Inn, Sun Valley Cottages, and Cozy Inn and Cottages. The Naswa Resort is the official hotel of Laconia Bike Week and located in Weirs Beach so you can step right out and into the action every morning.
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Many attendees stay farther out to save money. Motels, Airbnb cabins, and private rentals can cost anywhere from $250 to $500 per night in Laconia, but you’ll find lower rates, greater availability, and gorgeous scenery a bit farther out of town. The Seacoast of New Hampshire is stunning, and the White Mountains New Hampshire area is home to the best motorcycle rides.
There are many Laconia campgrounds to choose from too! If you want to stay close to the action, Pine Hollow Campground in Weirs Beach is the place to be. Make sure you book well in advance as the campground always fills up. One of the most popular Laconia, NH campgrounds is the New Hampshire Motor Speedway which is affordable and less than 20 miles away from Weirs Beach. The speedway has many Laconia camping options including premium campsites with full hook-ups and dry campsites.
Best Laconia Motorcycle Week Rides
The highlight of Bike Week in New Hampshire is the daily rides that leave from the Rally Headquarters. Spend the week exploring the White Mountains New Hampshire area, the lakes, the Great North Woods, and the beautiful Seacoast of New Hampshire.
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Here are the best New Hampshire motorcycle rides and gypsy tours you won’t want to miss.
- Annual Peter Makris Memorial Ride to NHMS (June 11 @ 8 am) is a New Hampshire police escorted ride around Lake Winnipesaukee followed by lunch and entertainment
- Mae-West Memorial Ride (June 13 @ 8 am) to benefit local animal shelters
- “Life of Ridetime” ride (June 13 @ 9 am) benefits families of fallen first responders
- Ride to the Racetrack charity ride (June 14 @ 8 am) benefits the NH Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities
- Gypsy Tour to Bentley’s Saloon (June 14 @ 10:30 am) is escorted by Bentley. This 70 mile scenic motorcycle ride heads to Bentley’s Saloon in Arundel, ME.
- Laconia Hill Climb Expo up Tower Street (June 14 @ 10:30 am) is one of the most popular Laconia Motorcycle Week events.
- Covered Bridge Gypsy Tour (June 15 @ 10:30 am) is a 170-mile guided motorcycle tour that includes six covered bridges and a stop for lunch.
- Motorcycle Lights Parade (June 15 @ 8 pm) meets at Laconia City Hall for a ride to Lakeside Ave.
- 29th Annual POW/MIA Motorcycle Ride (June 16 @ 5 pm) meets at Winnipesaukee Crossing. It’s the 34th year of the Meredith POW/MIA Awareness Vigil in Hesky Park. Known as the “Ride to the Rock,” the Annual POW/MIA Motorcycle Ride is completed by more than 2,000 motorcyclists.
- Annual “The Jesus Ride” (June 18 @ 11 am) meets at the Gilford Lowe’s parking lot for a bike blessing led by Pastor Russ
- Ride to the Sky is an iconic Laconia guided motorcycle ride that starts at the Laconia Harley-Davidson in Meredith. Head to the base of Mt. Washington then continue on as you like.
Along with these Laconia Gypsy rides, you’ll find plenty of scenic rides to enjoy on your own or with a group. The 30-mile Kancamagus Highway stretch of road winds its way through the White Mountains from Conway to Lincoln for pristine scenery. One of the most iconic New Hampshire rides is the ride to Mt. Washington. Make sure you don’t miss it, especially as part of the Gypsy Ride to the Sky. Be sure you bring a sweater and be prepared for snow on the top!
As action-packed as the Laconia NH Bike Week can be, plan to spend some time exploring the winding New Hampshire roads to explore lakes, waterfalls, rolling hills, and dramatic mountain landscapes!
Planning for your upcoming Laconia trip? Let Federal Motorcycle Transport help with dependable motorcycle shipping services! Our one-way or roundtrip motorcycle transport services save you from a long ride to the event so you and your bike are ready for 9 days of rides, parties, and races. Request a free motorcycle shipping quote today to get started and rest easy knowing your bike will be safeguarded every mile of the trip.