South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 18 Old May 31st, 2008, 10:21 pm Thread Starter
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South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

We are leaving in a few days for a round trip from Ohio to South Dakota. We will pass through other states, of course, but SD is our focus. We'd like to visit Deadwood, Mt. Rushmore, Sturgis (15 minutes), and the Crazy Horse Memorial, and then jog over to Wyoming to see Devil's Tower, plus numerous things along the way in SD.

The SD tourism folks sent us some nice material, including a motorcycle-specific pamphlet and map. This map lists several "scenic byways" and "great rides", in all parts of the state. Some of those are a short ride through Badlands Natl. Park, from Wall to Interior, and back to I-90; a loop ride in the area of Mt. Rushmore (Keystone-Hill City-Custer-Wind Cave); a very long ride from Pickstown in the very southern part of SD to Pierre and farther north; the Needles Highway.

My concern is if any of the routes in the Badlands area (or elsewhere) are high altitude, narrow, unpaved, no shoulder, no-guardrail, stomach-in-your-mouth rides -- like the road to the top of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. That is not something we are comfortable doing, in a car or on a bike. Scenic or not, we want to avoid those.

In addition to the above concern, I have the usual list of questions for those of you who know the state and its rides:

1. Any general tips, words of wisdom, etc. for this trip?
2. Are there other must-see items in the state of South Dakota?
3. BMW's web site says there is one BMW m/c dealer in SD - in Sturgis. Are there any others in the state, or other shops where we can stop in for service, repairs, or to visit?
4. Why isn't South Dakota listed in any of the regional forums on this web site? It's not in the Mountain, Midwest, or other forums.

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #2 of 18 Old May 31st, 2008, 11:07 pm
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
We are leaving in a few days for a round trip from Ohio to South Dakota. We will pass through other states, of course, but SD is our focus. We'd like to visit Deadwood, Mt. Rushmore, Sturgis (15 minutes), and the Crazy Horse Memorial, and then jog over to Wyoming to see Devil's Tower, plus numerous things along the way in SD.

The SD tourism folks sent us some nice material, including a motorcycle-specific pamphlet and map. This map lists several "scenic byways" and "great rides", in all parts of the state. Some of those are a short ride through Badlands Natl. Park, from Wall to Interior, and back to I-90; a loop ride in the area of Mt. Rushmore (Keystone-Hill City-Custer-Wind Cave); a very long ride from Pickstown in the very southern part of SD to Pierre and farther north; the Needles Highway.

My concern is if any of the routes in the Badlands area (or elsewhere) are high altitude, narrow, unpaved, no shoulder, no-guardrail, stomach-in-your-mouth rides -- like the road to the top of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. That is not something we are comfortable doing, in a car or on a bike. Scenic or not, we want to avoid those.

In addition to the above concern, I have the usual list of questions for those of you who know the state and its rides:

1. Any general tips, words of wisdom, etc. for this trip?
2. Are there other must-see items in the state of South Dakota?
3. BMW's web site says there is one BMW m/c dealer in SD - in Sturgis. Are there any others in the state, or other shops where we can stop in for service, repairs, or to visit?
4. Why isn't South Dakota listed in any of the regional forums on this web site? It's not in the Mountain, Midwest, or other forums.

Howard,

I'm sure that others will jump in with what / where it is that they enjoyed so I'll stay with the general stuff.

1. This time of year the nights can get into the 30's in some areas and stay quite cool till mid morning so make sure you carry the liners to your gear.

2. The one that gets missed is Vanocker Canyon. Add Boulder Canyon and Spearfish Canyon and you have an enjoyable ride.

3. Yep, that's the only one. Always have had good parts service from them. Next closest is in Ft Collins? Co. , or Sioux City Iowa on the other end of the state.

4. I think we have the option of attaching ourselves to any of the others!
I seem to remember a time that Rand McNally? published a road atlas and South Dakota wasn't in it. Maybe we/re still outcasts????

As far as your concern about the altitudes...........I can't think of any area in this state that gets above the tree line. Don't think that will be an issue.

Good Luck and ride safe!!

Duane

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post #3 of 18 Old May 31st, 2008, 11:44 pm
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dman
As far as your concern about the altitudes...........I can't think of any area in this state that gets above the tree line. Don't think that will be an issue.
Not a lot of trees in the Badlands or the Buffalo Grass . There isn't much in the way of challenging roads there either .

Devil's Tower is only 60 miles from Spearfish.


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post #4 of 18 Old Jun 1st, 2008, 7:00 am
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

Try and do the Badlands In the morning or late afternoon. The shadows make the whole view go kinda 3D and it is much more dramatic.The roads are mostly prairie and wander around stuff and not over or thru.Don't miss Needles highway and Iron Mountain Road near Mt. Rushmore.Custer state park and Wind cave are also worth going to.

Jeff Bokusky

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post #5 of 18 Old Jun 1st, 2008, 5:59 pm
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

Be sure and try out hiway 16A.
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post #6 of 18 Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 5:02 pm
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

Stop and say hell to my mother who lives just off of Hwy 19 near Parker.

B D R
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post #7 of 18 Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 5:10 pm
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

Having done this trip many times from Calif and now from WA I can tell you it will be a beautiful trip with lots of great scenery..Have a big GB card in the digital camera!

Please be aware that there is extreme weather conditions and high winds that can and do come on rather quickly.

Speeding is not a problem as there is so much open area, especially when on the SuperSlab 90.

Have fun!

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post #8 of 18 Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 7:06 pm
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

Cheep coffee & donuts @ Wall Drug. It's a "happening" - don't pass it up, Howard.

- Bob

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post #9 of 18 Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 7:55 pm
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

Hey Howard PM or give me a call if you get a chance! Carol and I are going to the same place later this month. Is Lisa going with you?

Glad to here you got the bike back! hows it running?

Glen
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post #10 of 18 Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 10:32 pm Thread Starter
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

uh.... I just got home tonight with the bike. How did you know?
(Maybe you assumed this trip was going to be on the bike, which it is, but I never mentioned that. You must be psychic.)

anyway... call me tomorrow. You have my cell #. Thanks. I'll post later about the bike. New clutch... new SHOCKS... OMG what a sweet ride!

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #11 of 18 Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 6:25 pm
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

Hey Howard

You know me, I just "assume" and hope I don't make an "ass of u and me"

My phone has died, but I just ordered a new one online so I will give you a call fisrt thing next week. Glad to here you are still smiling on the LT.

So does that mean you did'nt pick up the GARMIN you were drooling over at the open house? I still need your input on the RKA bag, I still have yet to pull the trigger on that, RKA or CEE BAILEYS? but I need something before the next trip.

Glen
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post #12 of 18 Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 6:42 pm Thread Starter
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by glenhinegardner
...So does that mean you did'nt pick up the GARMIN you were drooling over at the open house? I still need your input on the RKA bag, I still have yet to pull the trigger on that, RKA or CEE BAILEYS? but I need something before the next trip.

Glen
I like the RKA bag a lot. The standard bag is about the same size inside as the Chicane LT bag that so many LT riders use, but with the electrical connections inside it opens up many more opportunities. The In Charge version of the bag has less space, but power is in the bag.

I have my cell phone inside the bag, to start with. The RKA's map pocket is larger, although still too small for 8.5x11 paper, for example. The GPS takes care of that! RKA's "In Charge" version of their bags gives you a Powerlet bulkhead with a RAM mount, from which you can do almost anything. That's where I'll put the GPS.

I did get a Garmin Zumo 550. It goes on the bike tonight (yeah I know, we're not supposed to start a trip with a new farkle but I've been using it in the car for the past week).

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #13 of 18 Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 6:47 pm Thread Starter
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunny
Stop and say hell to my mother who lives just off of Hwy 19 near Parker.
What happens when I stop by and say "Hi, Mrs. Gunny. Your son says to tell you 'hell' "!

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #14 of 18 Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 6:48 pm Thread Starter
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by usmctpdog
Having done this trip many times from Calif and now from WA I can tell you it will be a beautiful trip with lots of great scenery..Have a big GB card in the digital camera!

Please be aware that there is extreme weather conditions and high winds that can and do come on rather quickly.

Speeding is not a problem as there is so much open area, especially when on the SuperSlab 90.

Have fun!
Thanks for the advice. I'll send any Performance Awards your way for reimbursement!

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #15 of 18 Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 8:28 pm
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

Have a great trip Howard. Judy and I stayed at a little hotel called Mile Hi, in Custer. Made a great home base for all the activities you mentioned, especially for the laser show at Crazy Horse and thus a short night ride through all the deer. The hotel is nothin fancy but we could park the bike right at the front door of the cottage style rooms.

Also, the lodge at the Badlands National Park was really cool too. They too have small cottage type lodging that was a good overnighter. Usually lots of riders there.

Lastly, be really prepared for high, sustained winds with major truck gusts in construction zones, if any, on I-90. Just be sure Lisa knows of this eventuality. Judy made it fine. However it was dry for us, be cautious if wet.

Glad you're in love with your ride again.

Have a blast and take tons of pics.

John

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post #16 of 18 Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 8:37 pm Thread Starter
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

Thanks, John.

Lisa and I have done a couple of 2-4 day trips on the LT. This is our first "big" trip. 11 or 12 days (depends on when we return) on the road, hopefully seeing different things every day. The key to this trip is flexibility: no set agenda, no timetable... no reservations. (I hope that part works out; we are early in the tourist season... I hope)

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #17 of 18 Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 9:13 pm
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

Go to Mt. Rushmore before Crazyhorse. We did it the other way and it makes Rushmore look really small.

We camped right by Crazyhorse and could see the laser show from there.

We saw Crazyhorse two years ago and they were halting process for a little while. My brother said maybe when we get married and have kids they will have it all done.

Neil '00 K1200LT '08 KLR
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post #18 of 18 Old Jun 4th, 2008, 4:59 pm
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Re: South Dakota: Advice & Tips Needed

We have had an unusually wet May (nearly 10" of rain) and it looks like June will be wet also. Our normal annual precipitation is about 15", thus, we are way above normal. Bring GOOD raingear and warm clothing and you should be fine.

Pass on the ride from Pickstown to North of Pierre. There is really nothing very scenic in SD other than the Black Hills area.

If you wish, PM me with your arrival/departure dates; I may be available as a tour guide for a day or two, weather (and time) permitting.
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