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ROT Rally - Republic of Texas Biker Rally

Start Date:Jun 7th, 2018
End Date:Jun 10th, 2018
Address:7311 Decker Lane
Austin, TX   78724
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ROT Biker Rally General Info

The 2018 Republic of Texas Rally, a.k.a. ROT Rally, will be the 23rd annual event and it 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 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 “what has changed?” 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 in 2018, the Republic of Texas Biker Rally will move in a positive direction.

On the good side of things that are similar to what went on 15 years ago at ROT- the adult-camping party at the Travis Expo Center (official location), which is still a lot of fun. Austin is an awesome place to hold a motorcycle rally. The other things going on during the ROT Biker Rally, which are FREE and are 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.

On the not so good side of things with ROT that are similar to what went on in the early 2000s; 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 for ROT Rally tickets with prices 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 the Republic of TX Rally started offering day passes.

On the bad side of things that have changed at ROT - the attendance at the Expo Center has dropped from 45,000 to maybe 10,000 in 2017. Last year, the vast majority of the ROT 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 and vendors shutting down really early. A telltale sign of the amount of people on Friday night was even the event merchandise booth for Republic of Texas Rally gear was closed before dark.

The steep decline in ROT attendance has come at the expense of what this motorcycle 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 means that there isn’t nearly the amount of products to check out. Big rigs bring a lot of merchandise, so without them, there isn’t nearly the selection. The big rig companies also have a lot of money for cool bikes and displays, so without them it is just not the same. Finally, when big rigs stop going, so do a lot of vendors and especially the higher-end vendors as it is a signal of the decline of a rally.

There used to also 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 of the ROT Rally.

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 Republic of Texas Biker Rally Other Info

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

Above article written by Lightning Customs

-View Our Texas Motorcycle Rallies
Host:Travis County Expo Center

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