According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 19 states and the District of Columbia require all motorcyclists to wear helmets.
South Dakota is not one of them.
And all of the riders we talked to on Sunday, whether they wore helmets or not, told us it should stay that way.
Thirty-two-year rider Geoff Fossen called it an issue of "personal freedom."
"It's their choice, their head," said Jim Arends of Sioux Falls.
"It should be just your preference," added Milford, Neb., rider A.J. Ajarre
That's the general feeling we got from bikers rolling through the streets of Sturgis the day before the Rally was set to begin, including those wearing helmets.
"Been in an accident," said Sheila Arends, also of Sioux Falls. "Had the helmet on, and could have had a different outcome" without it. She added it's "totally up to you. I choose to wear one."
That's a trend law enforcement says is on the rise.
"Back in 1990 when I first started here, said Meade County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Tom Wilts, "you didn't see an awful lot of it," referring to helmet use.
Except with those who had to wear one in a state they'd come through, he said.
And even though he agreed with the bikers we talked to that there shouldn't be a helmet law, he said the safety movement is picking up speed.
"They are getting educated, you know, that wearing a helmet does make a difference," Wilts said.
How much of a difference?
"Even at 30 miles an hour," he went on, "falling off a motorcycle, they say, compares to dropping an egg from six feet on concrete."
"I thought if I go down, my head is going to be saved," said Minnesota biker Bernice Weston, who wears a helmet every time she rides, but still considers it her personal choice.
"That's the first thing that's going to get hurt, your head, you know," Ajarre said.
But some say realizing the risks is enough.
"There's a lot of safety to be thought of any time you start one up," said Fossen. "You should know that."
"It's your life, you know," added Wilts, "and accidents happen."
Wilts also said there needs to be more education on how to be safe around other riders and drivers.
It's easy to get distracted by the scenery, so he said people in cars and on bikes need to work together to stay out of each others' blind spots and focus on the road.