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I just got back from a 10 day, 4073 mile trip to South Dakota, with a side trip to Wyoming and Montana. I went with 8 friends, who all ride Harleys. One of the others trailered his bike and drove his F150. That was nice, since there was room to put extra stuff. There were 2 bikes on the trailer on the way home.



The following is a list of things that I learned on my trip. They are in no particular order, just the order that they popped into my head...



1. For every Goldwing in Sturgis, there are roughly 100 Harleys. Double or triple that ratio for BMWs.



2. There are alot of Harley dealerships between Cleveland, Ohioand Cody, Wyoming. I know -I got to see all of them. They all sell t-shirts. I don't own any.



3. The 3 girls that work in the HD dealership in Cody, Wy are a riot. The guys I rode with spent a small fortune in there and shipped alot of stuff home. The staff at that shop made my umpteenth visit to an HD shop lots of fun.



4. If you are in Mason City, Iowa and want a Harley, go see Sara Kennedy at Mason City HD. She did her best to convert me. She failed, but made a valiant effort. Also, the sandwich shop across the street is pretty awesome. The techs in that shop are also very cool. They did a nice job getting our 2 new bikes rumbling along again.



5. Of the 9 bikes, 3 had mechanical and/or electrical problems.One was a 2010, and one was a 2011.



6. That shiney chrome rack on the back of an HD tourpack has but one purpose -to bungy your no-name "DOT" helmet to. You would think that anyone that would spend $35 for a t-shirt would spend more than $15 on a helmet.



7. I noticed most of the other guys putting oil in their bikes. Mine took none.



8. A high percentage of HD riders trailer their bikes to the rally. I didn't notice any wings on trailers.



9. All of the other guys were amazed at watching my darkside rear tire corner on ramps.



10. My new Hartco seat is WAAAY more comfortable than the stock seat.



11. My waterproof boots aren't.



12. The "fogproof" stuff I'm using on my glasses isn't.



13. Riding on 2" of hailstones while it's snowing at 11,000 feet in August sucks.



14. Leaving your waterproof, insulated gloves at the rental house before taking the afore-mentioned ride was stupid.



15. Deadwood, SD is a cool little town, but very busy during the rally.



16. Sturgis, SD is crazy busy during the rally. Definitely worth seeing.



17. Riding the Needles Highway in SD and the Beartooth Highway in Wyoming and Montana are both great rides.



18. Yellowstone is awesome.



Sorry for rambling, but I wanted to share my experience. Please don't take the Harley shots personally. I don't want to debate the pros and cons of other brands. They were aimed directly at my buddys. And every word is true...at least from where I'm standing.



It was a great trip. There are plenty of great places to ride out west. If you get the chance, go. We were there for 3 days before we even went to see the rally.
 

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#8: There were a few groups of Goldwings on trailers that passed through Chamberlain, but way less than the 'orange & black' folks.
 

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:claps::claps::claps::waving::ROFL:
 

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i agree with everying you listed good report glad you had a great time

ive been to the mason city iowa hd dealership i know the gal your talkin about she tried to convert me too
 

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Cool list. Big HD town here. I went in once last April, I was bored on a Saturday. I was slightly offended by the dudes comment that my Wing had no soul. I kept my mouth shut, and the visit re-affirmed my dislike for all things HD. I saw many HD trailered out of here for Sturgis and a few Wings. Several were hanging together.
 

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Great report, been there 3 times, 77, 80, 85.I can attest to what your saying, but it's getting too crowded for me now, and too loud. Just not as interested in going back, I guess I'm enjoying married life too much now. Glad you had a good time.:claps::claps::claps:

Gene:action:
 

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Never really had the desire to go to Sturgis during the big event. Been to deadwood in the car before and wouldn't mind taking the bike next year, but NOT anywhere near the time the rally is going on. Maybe if I were going with a group pf people it might be different.:?
 

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I rode out from the east coast twice a while back. Lotsa riders on the road. Mostly big bikes. I'd say HD was the #1 brand. There's prolly more of them around to start with. Saw some real desperados piloting whatever.
And the hail! Sure as [email protected] hails out there... doesn't it?
 

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Cody in MN wrote:
Cool list. Big HD town here. I went in once last April, I was bored on a Saturday. I was slightly offended by the dudes comment that my Wing had no soul. I kept my mouth shut, and the visit re-affirmed my dislike for all things HD. I saw many HD trailered out of here for Sturgis and a few Wings. Several were hanging together.
I was really surprised that I didn't get any of those comments. The fact that I'm 6'10" and my buddys are rather large might have had something to do with that though.
 

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peterbilt wrote:
i agree with everying you listed good report glad you had a great time

ive been to the mason city iowa hd dealership i know the gal your talkin about she tried to convert me too
....she's good. If I ever decide to buy a Harley, I'm taking a road trip.
 

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silvertramp wrote:
I rode out from the east coast twice a while back. Lotsa riders on the road. Mostly big bikes. I'd say HD was the #1 brand. There's prolly more of them around to start with. Saw some real desperados piloting whatever.
And the hail! Sure as [email protected] hails out there... doesn't it?
We get our share oflousy weather here, but holy crap! I had the pleasure of leading all 9 bikes over the Beartooth Highway. It started hailing and raining, not a big problem. I came around a corner and there was 2" of hail on the road. Couldn't do much but suck it up. There was no place to stop without worrying about getting hit. The 2 BMWs in front of me had made it through, so on we went. The heavy accumulation only lasted for 400 yards or so. The other bikes fell into the footprint of my C/T and we inched through it. Did I mention that it snowed on us in August?
 

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I have been through South Dakota but never had any desire to go to Sturgis. I get pretty offended when strangers start putting down the bike I'm riding. Its always some loud mouth with a group.
 

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I have been to Sturgis once, on a Japanese cruiser. Some pretty wild stuff goes on there, but I've heard Daytona Bike Week is worse.

You have to realize that Sturgis is and has always been pretty much an HD event, though I don't know why so many have to trailer their bikes there, especially if they are real Harleys. Now if you are talking about Harley clone choppers, you'd have to be crazy to ride one of those more than 20 miles. They are all for show only.

I have nothing against HD, and in fact love the bikes. That does not apply to all HD riders however, especially those with an attitude that any other brand is junk. But on the other hand, how many Goldwing and other Japanese bike riders go around putting down Harleys? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
 

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Sturgis wasn't always a Harley event. You just have to go back far enough.

I rode my Commando there from Wisconsin in 1974. No windshield, no saddlebags. Just a knapsack, a tent, a sleeping bag, and a change of clothes. The crowd that year was estimated to be near 10,000 people. Triumph, BSA, Honda, Bmw, MotoGuzzi, Yamaha, Mustang etc. We camped in Sturgis Park, right down town. Drank in the bars in Sturgisand Deadwood. There were nocasinoes and no gambling machines in every corner of every store.

Life was good!

I guess that I'm officially an old fart.
 

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Nice List.
Every time I think about going to Sturgis I see some bike show on TV while the group is at Sturgis and I realize that I don't really need to go.
Doesn't mean I don't want to visit SD, just not during Sturgis events.
 

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Guess I am an old fuddyduddy. What Tomusa said kind of goes for me too.
Was near sturgis in 08. Out in the middle of nowhere a couple passed me like I was sitting still.:shock: Both had to have been at or near the ton mark. Saw a LOT of other extremely foolish things going on and that was ONE WEEK BEFORE the event!! If that is what you are going to do fine, but as long as you are NOT AROUND me doing it.
I am not a gregarious person by any means and have always avoided very large crowds. Sturgis is not for me....however I am glad you had a great time on your
trip.
David
 

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Ifeel sorry for 3 guys i saw on there way to sturgis all wearing just boots jeans and a tee . i was driving home from work and it rained like id never seen before . I had to pull off the road as i couldn't see a thing it was like when you go through a car wash . Well it eased off some the rain so i got going again then a few miles it started again well in front of me where 3 guys on there bikes and an RV which was with them they where past being wet .I got home 3 miles down the road and it was bone dry i bet there still trying to dry out
 

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Cody in MN wrote:
Cool list. Big HD town here. I went in once last April, I was bored on a Saturday. I was slightly offended by the dudes comment that my Wing had no soul.

I had to laugh at that soul line. It is one that is overused at any Moto Guzzi, Harley, or Ural gathering.

I once listened to a 20 year old ramble on and on and on about his two year old Sportster's "soul".

Finally, one of thoseold Harley guyswearing a jacket that looked like it hadn't been off his shoulders since 1950 and a beard that would make Billy Gibbons envious, leaned over to me and said, "A soul iswhat a motorcycle gets when you can't think of one good reason for owning it."



He immediately becamea good friend. :action:
 

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In the mid nineties while on our way to the west coast, it so happened that it was the week before bike week in Sturgis. My friend said to watch for the change when we got to Chamberlain. Before (East of) Chamberlain we saw bikes on trailers. Once we got to Chamberlain we saw empty trailers and unladen bikes " Being ridden to Sturgis". The girl friends and wives would be driving the truck or camper pulling the empty trailers.

Braggin rights are braggin rights.

One of my favorite T-shirts, "I rode my bike to trailer week"
 
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