Quick Answers Right Here

Experience the Journey: A Quick Reference Guide for the 2018 BMW MOA International Rally in Des Moines, Iowa

  • Brian Hinton, Rally Chair
  • Lee Harrelson, Rally Co-chair
  • Deb Gasque, Rally Co-chair
  • Email the Rally Chairs at 2018rallychairs@bmwmoa.org

WHAT ARE THE DATES OF THE RALLY?       The rally opens Thursday, July 12, at 8 a.m., and ends at noon on Sunday, July 15. Please note that Sunday is primarily a clean-up day. Vendors will not be open, and no activities are planned.
LOCATION       Iowa State Fairgrounds, 3000 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines IA 50317
GPS COORDINATES       41.595673996°, -93.558318107°
HOW DO I REGISTER?       Online rally registration opened on February 1, 2018, at BMWMOA.ORG and is available until the rally ends. Registration forms have been available in BMW Owners News beginning with the March issue and must be received by June 30, 2018, to receive discounted pricing. Online registration discounts end on July 1, 2018. Register early to take advantage of these early registration discounts.
  • MOA Members: $65 before July 1st, $85 after July 1st
  • Non-Members: Guests $85 before July 1st, $105 after July 1st.
  • Children ages 6-15: $10
  • Children ages five and under: No charge
  • Saturday-only Day Passes: $35

WHAT DO I GET FOR MY RALLY FEE?       For your full rally registration fee (excluding children and day passes), you will receive admission to the rally for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, entry into door prize drawings, eligibility for our Grand Prize drawings and the BMW MOA prize bike. Your registration also includes camping fees for the Iowa State Fairground.
WILL PERSONAL CHECKS BE ACCEPTED FOR GATE FEES?       Personal checks, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and cash are accepted.
WHEN IS THE EARLIEST I CAN ARRIVE AT THE RALLY AND SET UP CAMP?       Anyone arriving prior to Thursday, July 12, should be an identified volunteer with a rally committee and will be expected to volunteer for rally set-up duties. Rally set-up is a big effort and the set-up volunteers need an opportunity to get their work done in a timely fashion. Please give these volunteers a chance to get the party ready before your arrival.

The Registration area will be staffed 24/7 from Wednesday at noon through Saturday at 8 pm. Gate security will direct all first-time entrants to the Registration area. Anybody already on-site at noon on Wednesday will be asked to visit the Registration area.

Set-up volunteers will begin arriving on Monday, July 9, and regular rally services including food vendors, restrooms, showers, etc., will be limited until the rally officially opens.

WILL THERE BE DAY PASSES?       Day passes will be available at Rally Registration on Saturday only. Day passes will allow access to the event, but will not include door prize tickets, pin, patch, or rally program. Cost will be $35 per adult or child.
HOW CAN I VOLUNTEER TO HELP OUT?       Email Volunteers Chair Paul Ruffel at rallyvolunteers@bmwmoa.org with questions. You may also contact individual committee chairs from the list posted on the rally section of bmwmoa.org.

Additionally, the Volunteer Booth will be located in the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building and you can sign up to volunteer there. If you arrive on-site early (before Thursday, July 12), you will be expected to volunteer. The rally can't go on without the many volunteers who make it possible.

SHIPPING TO THE RALLY       Packages should be shipped to arrive no earlier than Monday, July 9. Label all packages as follows:
Iowa State Fairgrounds, BMW MOA
3000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50317
PICKING UP ITEMS AT THE RALLY       MOA Receiving will be located in the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building. Your packages will be available for pick up during these hours:
Monday, July 9, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday, July 10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday, July 11, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday, July 12 through Saturday, July 14, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WILL IT BE POSSIBLE TO SHIP ITEMS HOME FROM THE RALLY?       Yes, an on-site shipping service will be available once the rally opens and running through Sunday morning.
WHAT IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY AT HOME AND I NEED TO BE REACHED, OR I NEED ASSISTANCE ON THE WAY TO THE RALLY?       We recommend that you have a Rally Buddy whose phone number you can leave with family at home. If the caller from home can't reach your cell, they should try the number of your Rally Buddy. If on the road, besides your Rally Buddy, we recommend using the BMW MOA Anonymous Book.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND?       We are expecting more than 7,000 to attend the Experience the Journey Rally.
DO I HAVE TO BE A MEMBER OF BMW MOA TO ATTEND?       The BMW MOA rally is a private event open to our members and guests. Rally attendance is contingent on abiding by the rules and policies of the BMW MOA, and at the discretion of the Rally Chairs. We reserve the sole right to deny admission and/or remove persons from the rally grounds based on our discretion.


While MOA members receive a registration discount, non-members may join the MOA online or at the rally registration rate and receive the MOA member discount. A one-year membership is $49 for U.S. residents. Please see the BMW MOA website for the extensive list MOA member benefits which easily off-set the annual membership fee.

DO I HAVE TO RIDE A BMW MOTORCYCLE TO ATTEND?       While the BMW MOA International Rally is specific to BMW motorcycles, we welcome riders and guests on all marques. All bikes must meet local noise abatement regulations and rally attendance is contingent on abiding by the rules and policies of the BMW MOA and the discretion of the Rally Chairs.
CAN I BRING A GUEST?       As noted above, you can bring a guest and they will be made to feel welcome.
WHEN WILL THE RALLY SITE MAP BE AVAILABLE?       The site map will be made available on the MOA website. If you elect to receive email rally updates when you register, we will email you a copy of the rally site map along with other rally news.
WHERE WILL THE SEMINARS BE LOCATED?       The majority of the seminars will be located in the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building. Please visit the MOA website at bmwmoa.org for a full listing of seminars. Seminars will also be listed in your Rally program.
WHERE WILL THE COMMERCIAL VENDORS BE LOCATED?       Commercial vendors will be located both inside and outside the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building.
WILL WIRELESS SERVICE BE AVAILABLE?       Wireless services for attendees are provided on a best effort basis. Some sites are limited in what can be offered, so if internet access is important for you while attending the rally, please consider an individual solution such as a smart phone data plan. Any wifi available is likely to be unsecured and security is the responsibility of each user/attendee.
WILL CAMPFIRES BE ALLOWED ON THE RALLY SITE?       No. Fires are not allowed on-site.
DO I NEED TO RESERVE A CAMPING SITE?       Individual campsite reservations are not available and there are plenty of grassy and shady areas for tent camping in the designated camping areas. Please do not attempt to reserve space for late arrivals. Chartered Clubs can reserve space by contacting the rally chairs.
DO I NEED TO WORRY ABOUT LEAVING MY GEAR UNATTENDED?       While public access to the Iowa State Fairgrounds will be limited during the rally, normal precautions and common sense should prevail regarding your belongings. The BMW MOA is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
WILL THERE BE A DESIGNATED QUIET CAMPING AREA?       No. The grounds are large enough that no designated area will be identified. First-timers should remember that ear plugs can help make your night restful. We ask all rallygoers to practice common courtesy throughout the rally grounds.
ARE THERE SHOWERS AND FLUSH TOILETS NEAR THE CAMPING AREA?       Showers and port-a-potties will be placed near the camping areas. Additional restroom facilities are available in many of the buildings open during the rally. Please understand that port-a-potties must be located where they can be easily serviced throughout the rally.
IF I DRIVE MY CAR TO THE RALLY, WILL I BE ABLE TO CAMP?       Yes. Early setup volunteers upon arriving at the rally, may drive to their selected camping area and set up camp. Once your car is unloaded, it must be relocated to the designated parking lot just to your left as your come through the Main Entrance.
WILL A SPECIAL MEDICAL NEEDS (SMN) CAMPING AREA WITH ELECTRICITY BE AVAILABLE?       Yes. Specific areas will be marked for SMN Camping Only. Since these spots are for SMN campers, using them may prevent you from camping adjacent to friends.
CAN GENERATORS BE USED IN THE TENT CAMPING AREAS?       No. The use of generators is prohibited in the tent camping areas.
CAN I RESERVE SPACE FOR MY GROUP OR FRIENDS?       No. The MOA Board of Directors Rally policy states that cordoning off camping space for future arrivals is strictly prohibited. Group camping for MOA clubs is available. Contact the Chartered Club Group Camping Chair or Rally Chairs for information.
IS THERE AN RV AREA?       Yes. The Iowa State Fairgrounds boasts 160-acres of gently rolling woodland areas with over 700 sites that have electricity, water and sewer hookups. RV registration will be handled directly through the Iowa State Fairgrounds. For more information regarding RV reservations, contact Shawn Head by phone at (515) 262-3111 extension 203, or via email at shead@iowastatefair.org.
WILL RIDER TRAINING BE AVAILABLE AT THE RALLY?       Yes. Street riding skills and off-road training will be offered. Please check the BMW MOA web site for more details.
WILL THERE BE BMW DEMO RIDES THIS YEAR?       Yes. BMW Motorrad is planning to offer demo rides during the Rally.
WILL THERE BE "FRIENDS OF BILL W" MEETINGS ON-SITE?       Yes. Please refer to your rally program for times and the location.
ARE PETS ALLOWED AT THE RALLY?       Pets are allowed, but we strongly urge you to use common sense when it comes to your pets. You are responsible for noise (barking) and cleaning up after your pet. Pets should not be left unattended and must be on a leash at all times for the pet's own safety. Owners of problem pets will be asked to leave. Only Service Animals will be permitted in the buildings and must be properly identified as such.
CAN I CHANGE MY OIL AND WASH MY BIKE AT THE RALLY?       Yes. A Do-It-Yourself area will be provided.
CAN I BUY NEW TIRES AT THE RALLY?       Yes. There will be vendors selling and mounting tires at the rally site. Additionally, Van Wall Powersports will be accommodating rally attendees with extended service department hours and giving rally attendees priority. (See the end of the FAQ for dealer location information.)
IS THERE A HELMET LAW IN IOWA?       Motorcycle helmets are not required by law in the state of Iowa.
WHAT IS THE RALLY FIREARMS POLICY?       The BMW MOA follows the federal, state, county, and city firearms regulations governing the rally site.
ARE THERE ATMS AT THE FAIRGROUNDS?       Several ATMs will be available at the fairgrounds. Check your rally program for locations.
DOES IOWA HAVE A SALES TAX?       Yes, the sales tax is currently 6 percent.
  • Van Wall Powersports (21 miles south of rally site)
    301 S. Jefferson Way, Indianola IA 50125; (515) 961-6288; vanwallpowersports.com
  • BMW Motorcycles of Iowa City (112 miles east of rally site)
    3 Escort Lane, Iowa City IA 52246; (319) 338-1404; bmwmotorcyclesofiowacity.com
  • BMW Motorcycles of Omaha (150 miles W/SW of rally site)
    6775 S. 118th St., Omaha NE 68137; (402) 861-8488; bmwomaha.com
  • BAK BMW KTM (200 miles W/NW of rally site)
    1900 N US Hwy 75, Sioux City IA 51105; (866) 264-9197 / (712) 258-7900; bakmc.com

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