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Old 07-03-2013, 07:38 PM   #1
rokklym OP
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A TOUGH ride across South Dakota

They say the adventure starts when things stop going as planned. That point was reached very early in our recent trip across South Dakota. We had initially planned on doing the Trans South Dakota trail and then meet up with the Dakota Dual Sport Riders rally near Deadwood, this plan didn't go well!



We all know how much planning goes into a big trip, from the actual planning to the prep work on the motorcycles and chats with your friends about your upcoming trip. Plans are nice, but often things don't go the way you want, so you just have to roll with it. What we didn't realize is that there were lessons for us waiting out on the road...

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Old 07-03-2013, 07:46 PM   #2
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Looking forward to reading about your experiences!
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:51 PM   #3
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This sounds like fun Chadd,

I heard a new saying..................

"If you don't know where you're going----Any road will take you there".

Maybe that will fit this ride ?????

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Old 07-03-2013, 07:54 PM   #4
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Last year, Collarbone and I did most of the Trans South Dakota Adventure Trail (TSDAT). We had a great trip, some difficulties, but we had a good time.
RR here: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=792581

So this spring my buddy Killswitch Bill surprised us by purchasing a sweet 990R off the ADV Flea Market. Bill wanted to go on a trip with me, but at the time most of my vacation for the year was already spoken for, so I suggested a long weekend doing the TSDAT.

The plan was hatched and a few other riders were invited including inmates "Hipster", Twin Headlight Ernie", "Killswitch Bill" and a couple other friends from the motorcycle industry.

We decided to take off on a Tuesday after work and try to make it as close to Sioux Falls South Dakota as we could. Bill stopped by my place and we took off and picked up Ernie and hopped on I90 and blasted across Minnesota.





After about 280 miles we pulled into Worthington Minnesota and met up with Hipster at the city campground. We got there after dark and were tired and the bugs were terrible, so we called it a night early.

Sunrise in Worthington MN


The other 2 guys were waiting for us in Sioux Falls, so we headed out early to blast out the last hour of freeway and get this show on the road! Pulling off the interstate in Sioux Falls showed us our first issue, my KTM 950ADV had no back brakes. We topped off with gas, had a little breakfast and then took a look at the brakes. It turns out my rear master cylinder was leaking, so I added fluid and blead the brakes. There really wasn't much ealse we could do besides keep topping it off.

We meet the other guys and take off, or so we thought!
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannonshot View Post
Looking forward to reading about your experiences!
It certainly was an experience! Can't wait to hear about your upcoming trip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDogAdventures.com View Post
This sounds like fun Chadd,

I heard a new saying..................

"If you don't know where you're going----Any road will take you there".

Maybe that will fit this ride ?????

BigDog
Yeah, that would fit! We left on a trip and ended up just going for a ride, but that is one of the lessons on the road.

That quote is originally from Alice in Wonderland!

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don't much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
Alice: ...So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:29 PM   #6
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:33 PM   #7
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After we left Sioux Falls, I headed us towards the route, and soon we were on some good dusty gravel.



I was keeping an eye on the GPS and navigating us towards the tracks. We got on the route and found a nice narrow gravel road. Once we hit the stop sign at the end of the road, I was behind a big slow farm truck. I decided now would be a good time to air down the tires and give this guy a head start, of course he pulled into a field about 1/2 mile down the road!

Problem #2. BMW 1150 GS wouldn't start!




The road we were on turned out to be a super busy stretch of road for farm trucks, they had a job to do and didn't need a bunch of motorcycles sitting around in their way, so we knew we had to do something quick.


It was determined that is was probably a dead battery. Phone calls were made with minimal success. One of the farm truck drivers stopped by and told us we should head to the nearest town, Menno South Dakota, and see if someone can help us.

We decided to try to pull start the BMW with my bike, and we got it started a few times, only for it to die a little further down the road. Eventually we got back to pavement and he took off for town.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:02 PM   #8
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After all this hopefully all the bugs are worked out and you guys can enjoy the ride. Ride safe and here's to a better 4th for you!
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:28 AM   #9
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Menno, South Dakota.
Unfortunately, no photos from this quiet farm town. Our group of 6 rolled into town and the hunt was on for someone with a battery that would work in the GS. We had no luck, but a call to "local" dealers found one back in Sioux Falls at our friend Jims shop, Power Brokers. Rob (GS owner) stayed in Menno and Chris (KLR) went back to Sioux Falls to get the battery. Rob insisted that we continue on, and we would meet at the end of the day in Pickstown.

We headed south and got back on the route towards Yankton.


We got to Yankton and we had several options. First, we were now about 2-3 hours behind schedule for what was going to be a long day. From Yankton there are two options on the route, one is the more scenic and technical Nebraska side that you can see from last years ride report, and an option to keep it all in South Dakota on the north side of the Missouri River.

Since it was hot and late, we opted for the easy side.


The Dakota side did have some nice scenery though!



Photo by Twin Headlight Ernie

Twin Headlight Ernie and his BMW R100GS


Killswitch Bill and his 990R

Photo by T.H.E.

Me on my Ninefiddy

Photo by T.H.E.


Photo by Killswitch Bill

Hipster and his 990


Strange tree!




Hipster and I were going at a pretty good clip, so we stopped and waited for Bill and Ernie to catch up.

Bill informs us that his bike isn't running right. It was running and we weren't too far from our destination, so we kept on.


Bill stops and tells us that he barely had enough power to pull this hill! Luckily, we were close to pavement and made it safely to the gas station in Pickstown to fuel up and figure out what to do with Bills bike.



Also, I had received a call from the guys in Menno, the GS was up and running and they were on their way to meet up with us. They met a cool local that had a GS, and if he would have known we needed a battery, he would have sold Rob his!

Photo by Chris
This was the start of the next lesson on the trip, the kindness of strangers
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rokklym screwed with this post 07-04-2013 at 07:44 AM
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:57 AM   #10
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Hipster is certain that the problem with Bills bike is the fuel filter. A text message to the previous owner tells him that the filter has never been serviced, so its a good possibility. We decided to set up camp and think about our options.



Fort Randall Recreation area, nice campground!


We head back into town for some supper and a 12 pack for camp. Bill finds a KTM dealer in Sioux City Iowa and decides that he going to take off early in the morning and ride there to see if they can figure out the problem with his bike. He really didn't want to get even further away and run into more serious issues, I can't say I blame him!

Sunset above the Fort Randall dam
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:44 AM   #11
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:18 PM   #12
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Morning comes and Bill heads out towards Sioux Falls to see if he can get his bike running right. The rest of us gas up and head out on the route. A few miles of pavement and we are back on the gravel, it feels good to be back on the actual route! After topping off our tanks in the town of Bonesteel, we head out on some of the more scenic sections of the route. Hipster and I talked about the GPS file and his was showing some roads that mine wasn't since he was running the route and I was running tracks. I told him he better lead for a while and he got us on some great roads that I would have passed by.











This area is one of my favorites!



Photo by Twin Headlight Ernie (T.H.E.)

Me

Photo by T.H.E.




Photo by T.H.E.



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Old 07-04-2013, 04:39 PM   #13
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We head into some massive ranches and free range cattle were common.




We come across these amazing horses that were running around this huge ranch. Ernie tried being the horse whisperer.



Photo by T.H.E.



From here it was a short ride to Kennebec for gas.
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:15 PM   #14
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Northwest of Kennebec, the route gets remote. It is a long ways to anything, in fact I think its 100+ miles to the next gas, which is the first town you go through after Kennebec.





Now here is where the trip takes a turn for the worse. We got off these gravel roads and onto a dirt road. The road was in pretty bad shape, it appeared that a lot of machinery had gone through there recently and tore it up pretty bad. I was riding sweep after taking the above photo and following the 1150GS. We had come down a hill and were about to go up another when the front tire of the GS ahead of me dug into the soft soil and literally flipped the bike forward! Rob, the rider was slammed onto his back at 30+mph and the bike flipped and landed on the tail section. I was close, and had to get on the brakes to avoid it, and even my front tire got into that soft stuff.





Rob was pretty messed up, had the wind knocked out of him and was in a lot of pain. I helped him the best I could and eventually he was able to get back on his feet. The others were over the hill when the crash happened, so it was just us. THe bike was too heavy for me to pick up, so it was just a waiting game until the other riders showed up.

After the other guys showed up, we had to figure out how to get him and the bike out. He was in too much pain to ride on the back of a bike, so he decided to walk about a mile out to the gravel road. His bike was banged up pretty good, the rear rack was broken off, and the front fairing framework was bent so bad that the forks wouldn't turn. We eventually got all the bikes out and I noticed a ranch a ways down the road. I rode down there and that is where we met a great guy that worked at the ranch. Once I told him that someone was hurt, he nearly jumped off the tractor he was on to come help. I told him to hang tight and we would figure out what our plan was. Rob said he would walk to the ranch and ask for a ride to the hospital. The rancher was happy to help, and took Rob about 40 miles to the nearest hospital and let him store the bike.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:37 PM   #15
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More KLR pics please...
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