STURGIS, S.D. - The 2004 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally "had the feel of the biggest one I've worked," said Police Chief Jim Bush, a veteran of more than 20 rallies.
This year's edition ended Sunday.
It's hard to gauge the size of the rally because the crowd isn't confined to just the downtown area, he said.
"It goes all the way out east to the Buffalo Chip (campground), west to Hulett (Wyo.) and south to Custer. There are more vendors on and people walking Lazelle Street, so they're not just on Main Street anymore," Bush said.
He said he thinks Sturgis could hold 60,000 to 80,000 bikers at any one time.
"As far as the city of Sturgis, we felt it was a very successful rally for us," said Lisa Weyer, rally director. She said she thinks more than 500,000 people attended the 2004 event.
Ron Merwin, Meade County sheriff, also said he thought the crowd was bigger. "But they were well behaved and we didn't have any major issues. Traffic was heavy but everyone kept their cool and we didn't have any real road rage."