Motorcycles, tattoos and leather: Thousands pack Muskegon for 2023 Rebel Road, Bike Time

MUSKEGON, MI — The motorcycles are rumbling and the beers are flowing along Western Avenue for this year’s Rebel Road and Muskegon Bike Time rallies.

As far as the eyes could see, thousands of motorcycles representing various makes and models revved their engines at Bike Time’s Hot Rod Harley-Davidson to along Rebel Road’s W. Western Avenue event location.

Rebel Road kicked off its festivities Wednesday, July 19, and Muskegon Bike Time started Thursday, July 20. Both rallies run through Sunday, July 23.

The annual rallies are packed with campground options, live music, scenic rides, stunt shows, a public cannabis use area, local comfort food options, beer tents, biker merchandise vendors and much more.

Related: Western Avenue in downtown Muskegon closes for Rebel Road, Bike Time motorcycle events

Grand Rapids locals Lynn and Scott Grinwis said this was their second time attending the annual event. Although they cycled along Western Avenue with their electric bicycles, the couple were excited to see the motorcycles with the loud engines rumble through.

“We really are cycle people, but we thought to come down here and still check it out,” said Lynne Grinwis. “We’ve rented a cottage on the beach two summers in a row just to be back here on the lakeshore.”

Attendees from across the state flocked to the two rallies for five days of all things biker related, from checking out custom bike shows to seeing some rock and roll tribute bands perform.

Caprice Parker told MLive/Muskegon Chronicle she got her whole family into riding, touting the experience as great family bonding. She said she rides a High Boost 1300, one of the fastest bikes out there.

“Me, my son and daughter all ride together,” Parker said. “I’ve been riding for over 20 years with Rough Riders Motorcycle Club, and I come out here every year. It’s a wonderful thing because when you are walking down, you meet new people and then the next year, you look for them. It’s just great and a big community party.”

Brandon Keane, who was crowned “King” in 2021 at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for his custom motorcycle build, said he travels from Traverse City every year on his 1984 Evo Motor Harley Davidson for the annual Muskegon event.

“It’s a chopper that I built from the ground up,” Keane told MLive. “I come down to this every year. Looking forward to lots of riding.”

Related: Rebel Road, Bike Time motorcycle rallies to hit downtown Muskegon. See their schedules.

The West Michigan community showed out to celebrate the annual event. People stopped to check out custom bikes, take pictures and grow friendships.

Motorcyclists and biker enthusiasts could be seen at every restaurant along Western Avenue grabbing a refreshing drink in Muskegon’s Social District or a quick bite to eat.

Newer spots like The Early Owl, Socibowl and She’s Divine Cuisine saw an uptick in patrons since the opening day of Rebel Road on Wednesday.

“We love fresh faces,” said Jenn Jordan, general manager of Socibowl. “That’s a huge deal for us. We have the patio and bar set up and that’s been doing super well because people just want to walk and see Muskegon, and we love that. Even just people walking in to get a Social District drink is good exposure for us.”

Bikers and attendees looking to check out some cool engines and detailing will have plenty to see. Both rallies have several events scheduled for Saturday and they conclude Sunday.

“I look forward to this every year,” said Joell Boek, a Norton Shores resident. “I mean, look at all these motorcycles. It’s a great event.”

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