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Republic of Texas Biker Rally / ROT Rally

Start Date:Jun 7th, 2018
End Date:Jun 10th, 2018
Austin, TX  
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ROT Biker Rally General Info

The 2018 Republic of Texas Rally (ROT Rally) will be the 23rd annual event. ROT is on the 2018 Lightning Customs' Major Biker Rallies List.

We are often asked, “What is going on with ROT Rally?” First, let us say that we want the Republic of Texas Rally to be a large, awesome rally again. As of right now in Texas, the only rally that consistently gets more than 20,000 attendees is the Lone Star Rally in Galveston, which got 400,000 attendees in 2017.

Next, the answer to the above question is “change”. We’ve been going to ROT for over 15 years and there has been a lot of it. Granted there have also been a lot of changes since the early 2000s in the rally-world, motorcycle industry, etc. Hopefully with changes the 2018 Republic of TX Biker Rally will move in a positive direction.

On the good side of things that are similar - the adult-camping party at the Travis Expo Center (official location), which is still a lot of fun. The other things that are FREE and still huge draws are all of the things to do like the riding in the Hill Country, enjoying venues in Austin and the surrounding area, and the Friday night block party in Downtown Austin. Finally, Austin is an awesome place to hold a motorcycle event.

On the not-so-good side of things that are similar - the weather in Austin in June is normally in the mid- to high 90s. At the Expo center, especially near the blacktop, it is even hotter. The price has always been really high - ticket prices have traditionally been around $75 and a beer costs $8. Some good news here is that you can BYOB and you probably want to do it with beer, food, and lots of water.

On the good side of things that have changed - in 2017 they started offering day passes.

On the bad side of things that have changed - the attendance at the Expo Center has dropped from 45,000 to maybe 10,000 in 2017. In 2017, the vast majority of the Rally attendees were there for camping, so the rest of the venue the majority of the 4-day event was often a ghost town. This killed vendors. There were a lot of spaces where vendors didn’t show up, vendors shutting down really early, and a telltale sign of the amount of people on Friday night was even the event merchandise booth was closed before dark.

The steep decline in attendance has come at the expense of what this biker rally has been able to offer. The quality of bands has declined from THE premier acts for biker rallies (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Willie Nelson, and Hank Williams Jr.) down to headlining bands comprised of unknown band members from various groups from the 60s to 90s.

As far as shopping and displays, when the big rigs go, and they have at ROT, it is not a good sign in general. It also means that there are not nearly as many options of things to buy because the big rigs bring an enormous amount of variety of products. The big rig companies also have a lot of money for cool bikes and displays, so without them it is just not the same.

There used to be lots of awesome bikes at the Biker Rally. There has been a decline in the number of builders and also of the notable builders. Without their own booths, displays, and in the bike show, it is has had an impact on the overall experience.

The number, quality, and attendance at ROT’s other events have also dropped.

Now after all of that history of Republic of Texas motorcycle rally, what is going to be different at the 2018 ROT? What might help get this bike rally going again? There is one very notable change for 2018, which isn’t just marketing hype, and that is ZZ Top will be playing!! It does mean that the ticket price will be going up $20 per ticket (from $69 in 2017 to $89 in 2018).

2018 ROT Rally Other Info

-FEES: $89 for tickets and RV and trailer fees can be seen on their site
-2017 ROT Rally / Republic of Texas Biker Rally Information

Above article written by Lightning Customs

-View Our Texas Motorcycle Rallies
Host:Republic of TX Biker Rally

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