Yesterday, I wrote about motorcycle riding during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Now, let’s focus on gear.
In South Dakota, the weather changes can be radical. In researching the weather before my first trip out there in 2012, I found out that hail is common. As a matter of fact, in 2015, I stopped at Cheyenne Crossing where I was approached by a resident. He asked if I was heading to Custer State Park since he just drove through the worst hail storm he had experienced after living there for more than two decades.
Hail pelting your gas tank will destroy it. That is why I travel with my motorcycle cover. It may take up more space, not much, but I’d rather sacrifice space than have one hundred dents on my tank.
As you get ready to ride a couple of hundred miles for the day, make sure to take a jacket with you. At night it can get cold, and the closer you are to the Black Hills, the colder it gets. I would feel a drastic change riding ten minutes from Spearfish, SD into the Black Hills. At night, the temperatures in the Black Hills will hit fifty degrees.
At times on I-90 at night, the temperate was warm, but then I would ride through pockets of cold air that would last several miles. Try an all-in-one jacket. My sponsor, Oxford Products, provided me with a mesh jacket with a liner inside. If it rained, which is common, I was covered. It also worked well as a way to cover my skin on hot days and also for cool nights.
In this picture, it was windy that day and somewhat cool, thus, I put on a long sleeve and my vest. And as I went further up into the Black Hills, at one point we stopped to put on our jackets and this was during the day.
At Custer State Park, it was cloudy, windy, and rainy. And the day we left, I fought intense winds riding through Badlands National Park. The winds through the Badlands were consistently 30+ mph, and the gusts of wind made riding very difficult.
And don’t forget the sunblock!
In one day like me, you may encounter cold, rain, hail, wind and lots of sun!
Have fun and be safe. Wish I was there. Next year for sure!