Motorcycles Become “Donorcycles” At Rallies, Study Shows

BOSTON – There’s now proof that the term “donorcycle” has validity. Results of a study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital released Monday reveal “the number of organ donations and organ transplants goes up markedly during large motorcycle rallies.”

The research examined areas where the seven largest motorcycle rallies were held in the United States between 2005 and 2021, including Sturgis, SD (pictured above) and Daytona Beach, FL.

Data showed there were 21 percent more organ donors per day, on average, and 26 percent more transplant recipients per day, on average, during these events when compared to the days before and after the rallies.

“The spikes in organ donations and transplantations that we found in our analysis are disturbing, even if not entirely surprising, because they signal a systemic failure to avoid preventable deaths, which is a tragedy,” said study first author David Cron, HMS clinical fellow in surgery at Mass General. “There is a clear need for better safety protocols around such events.”

Major motorcycle rallies routinely attract as many as 500,000 riders and are often staged in rural or small-town locations that lack in the infrastructure to accommodate large crowds.

The results of the study were published Monday in “JAMA Internal Medicine.”

Photo courtesy of city of Sturgis, SD

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Since 2010, RIDE-CT & RIDE-NewEngland has been reporting about motorcycling in New England and portions of New York.

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