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As I've mentioned in a few posts already I rode up to Spearfish SD to Chris' Campground to meet up with the gang from ST owners forum. I left home at 6:20am Wednesday and rode all the way through to the campground in one shot with only a few stops for gas and lunch. 657 miles and 13 hours later (took my time at some of the stops and along to way) pulled into the camp. I forgot about the time zone change so it felt later than the clock showed. That was the longest I've gone in one shot on any bike at any time. I've gone about 450 miles on my GL1500 one way but this was better. I was still good to keep going farther, but it would be dark soon and needed to get set up.

I started out on I-80 west and crossed the Missouri River right away. Then I took a diagonal route NW through Nebraska. State highways are usually 65 mph in NE and SD and sometimes 70 mph so that part wasn't so slow really. I don't like Interstate unless I have to so this was much nicer. Most of the time there was little or no other traffic on the road. :)

First gas stop was at just over 210 miles with 30+ miles left in the tank. Next stop was 186 miles and then the third just over 200 miles. Was able to average near 48 mpg at 65 mph and lower at 70.

I finally climbed on I-90 at Kadoka SD. Just before getting there I passed through a really neat valley/canyon showing off some very interesting rock formations common in the Bad Lands. Took a photo on the way out since I missed the photo op on the way in (which would have been better but didn't want to turn back).

I-90 is now 80 mph so tried that for a time and decided I liked 75 mph better. Most of the other traffic was not really going any faster so I was able to do what I wanted the rest of the way. There was one section of construction on I-90 where one lane was closed and really fresh asphalt was being laid down. That was really getting to my eyes and my right eye was tearing so bad I couldn't see from that side... the side closest to the work being done! My left eye was starting to get bad also. No place to stop or pull over. Good thing the speed limit was down to 55 mph. I kept a real good distance from cages in front of me and there was really no one getting too close behind either (in Iowa that would never happen. What's wrong with idiots here in my home state?!). I kept my visor cracked open to get more air flow and that helped but only a little until I pulled away from the work and then was able to see again.

Pulled into the camp grounds, checked in and set up my tent. Then headed to Walmart for a gallon jug of water for cooking with. I usually cook my own very simple breakfast (oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins) and dinner (Quinoa (rice substitute) or Orzo (pasta) with chicken, shrimp, or tuna fish) and I stop somewhere while riding around during the day for lunch with the group.

There was LOTS of interest from others there the whole time I was there. Most have never looked at the CTX1300 in person and were really interested. Almost all (mostly ST1300 riders) thought they liked it much better than they thought they would and I let a few sit on it. They all thought it was very comfortable... comparing their stock and custom seats on the ST.

Thursday I wanted to ride over to Devils Tower. I've been in this area before but never made it there yet. A few others wanted to tag along so we made a group of 4 riders and headed out. The maps showed it to be 56 miles away but I had planned a route to triple that. Headed out south through Spearfish canyon. A VERY nice ride through a deep wooded canyon. Speed limit signs said 35 but we were going 50 most of the way. Curves kept us there. Sometimes ended up behind a cage going slower but they usually pulled over at a pull over spot to look at the canyon or turned off some place. Then headed SW on 85 into Wyoming, another curvy road but with lots of longer views and vistas mixed in with wooded valleys. Then headed NW on 585, 14, and 24 to Devils Tower. Loved the views and lots of wonderful sweeps on this part. After a stop at the gate to the Tower we continued on 24 to Hulett for lunch.

After lunch we continued East on 24 and right out of town ran on a patch of road with LOTS of tar snakes. Felt the front and back slip around a bit on those so slowed down. Later found out the others in our group were having the same trouble on their ST1300s in that section. Then it was clear for the rest of the ride into SD (hwy 34) and then back on 85 south to the campground again. 166 miles on the loop. A very enjoyable mid-day ride. :smiley-happy0034:

Friday I was feeling like vegetating at camp all day so I stayed back with a few others to "watch the stuff" while two other groups of riders travelled down to Keystone, needles highway, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse monument and a few other places. Was a very good few days with almost all sun. A few times there was the threat of rain but it all past south of us.

I broke camp on Saturday thinking it would be good to split the trip home. I planned to stop 2/3 of the way home (about 435 miles) in Norfolk NE. I had scoped out the city park/camp grounds on the way up so knew that was a nice little place to stop. Price was very reasonable too.

For some reason, don't know why, I was having a really hard time being comfortable on the way home. The seat was fine, but I was feeling restless. Maybe I just didn't want to go home just yet. :350x700px-LL-66dd6d I did get some Anti-Monkey B*tt powder per other recommendations from a great many riders I've known who ride LD. That worked wonders on the way up and was still working well on the way back. But still...
On the final leg on Sunday I stopped a few times to reapply the powder and that did help a lot.

All my photos are on my Flickr album HERE with captions. I don't do really well at taking many pictures but try to get some on these trips for a record and reminder of the fun I've had. Total miles ended up only 1530.0 miles. I now have over 11785 miles on the bike. My front tire is getting close to the wear bars and may go another 1000 miles, but the rear tire is doing really well and I'm expecting another 4000 miles at least. :D



 

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Bob. a really good write-up on a good ride, interesting to hear about locations that we rarely hear abut in America here in Australia.

I am curious about your tire wear it seems like great mileage if they are the original tires? and are they the Bridestones or Dunlops?

Jim
 

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Yep, original tires that came on the bike. Dunlops. I usually seem to get more miles than many riders I ride with or read about. Other than the Gold Wing group I used to belong to. I ride very conservatively. My GL1500 was regularly getting 21000+ miles on both front and rear tires ('Stones and Dunlops). My Burgman 650 would get just over 12000 miles on a set (don't recall stock brand but second set were Pirelli). My ST1100 went over 16000 miles per pair (Avon and 'Stones).
 
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