With Sturgis only being a day and a half away we at AMERiders thought we would offer up some Sturgis Long Distance Riding Tips, Do’s and Don’ts. Whether you are riding to Sturgis for the first time or the 77th time, we all learn from experience- ours or someone else’s. Sometimes it is better if you can learn from someone else’s experience! We asked around and scoured the net and this write up is what we found out for you.
Big Important To Do’s
- Ensure your bike is in the best mechanical shape that it can be in – you don’t want to spend your whole Sturgis trip getting your bike fixed.
- Get all your documents in order: license, registration, proof of insurance and that everything is current. Leave extra copies of registration/ins docs at home. Make sure these are with you and on your bike.
- Put ICE (In Case of Emergency) info (who to contact on your behalf) under ICE in your phone contacts. All medical personnel look for this if you are in need of assistance. Some Phones have an App for this on phones. Make sure this is also up to date.
- Check Laws as You will be crossing multiple state lines: DO know their laws ahead of time! Lane splitting? Right turn on red? Helmet required? And more? This is very important. You do not want multiple fines for anything in multiple states that need to be paid.
- Keep your phone charged. You might have to be creative. Look for food stops where you can plug in (Many Subway sandwich shops have plugs at the tables). A Phone can save your life in an emergency.
- Join a towing service! Break downs happen and there is nothing like being stuck with no one to turn to for help. MTS, AMA, Cross-Country motor club, some insurance companies and some auto clubs have plans that will tow you out of trouble. This is not a matter of just money (the cost of the plan versus the risk of the cost of a later tow), these clubs have contracted with tow companies around the U.S. Skip the insurance and you can spend hours burning up the phone looking for a tow company. Pay a little now or pay a lot later in the form of money and wasted trip time.
- Carry a flat repair kit and know how to use it! The majority of tubeless tires punctures can be repaired in just a few minutes! There is no excuse for not carrying a repair kit, but even more importantly, you should know how to use it. Practice at home on an old tire so you are not trying to figure the process out on the side of the road! While tube-type tires are more of a hassle, once you learn how to patch a tube, it can be done a lot faster than trying to arrange a tow.
These are not only important some of these can save your life and save you lots of money in the long run.
What do I take with me?
So with the list that is above, there are some things other things that you might want to bring with you as well and we will give you some options and tell you why. A tool kit, sunscreen, and rain gear are obvious but just to make sure you don’t have too many bad surprises, here’s another basic list of items for you to consider taking with you:
Rain suit, rain gloves, rain boots
First aid kit
Road map (you won’t have cell coverage everywhere)
Toothpaste and brush
What to pack these in?
What do you pack these in? Well, most of you already know as you take long rides to different places anyway. However, for those that don’t know Let’s give a rundown.
Saddlebag: A Saddlebag, can be used to pack clothes toiletries in, As well as any extra’s you need such as Meds and other important personal items you need while traveling. We have a large selection such as our PVC Motorcycle Saddlebag With Lock that features a zip-off bag with Heavy Duty Velcro Cover and Lock, it’s universally fitting to most bikes. Includes a hard sheet inside the box with 4 pockets, a Heavy Duty Quick Release, is 100% Waterproof. It is UV protected and it will not turn white in extreme heat and will Hold its Shape. These sweet saddlebags have 4 Tie down ribbons on each side for extra security, and also have heat protection on the bottom of the bags. You can also pack your rain gear and other easy to get to items in here as well. If they won’t fit you can Place them in other bags.
Toolbag: A Toolbag Is used for putting your toolkit in, as it can happen to anyone that dreaded breakdown. A loose nut or bolt or something else that calls for a needed tool. Keeping them close at hand is important, that is when a toolbag like this 10″ Motorcycle Tool Bag With Eagle, this sleek toolbag has a large=eagle stitched on the front, and on the back, it features 2 roller buckle straps for easy installation of the tool bag to the motorcycle. This slick looking bag is also waterproof to keep out moisture.
Luggage is necessary when riding for a long distance you may not need many pieces if it is just one of you but when there are two of you, it takes a bit more. We have many Luggage Sets available in a varying number of pieces for you to choose from or to mix and match such as this 6pc Heavy-Duty Waterproof Motorcycle Bag Set This gorgeous set features a windshield bag, sissy bar bag, tool bag, barrel bag, and a pair of 14-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ x 7-5/8″ saddle bags.They are a universal fit for most bikes and have not only chrome studs but quick release buckles as well. We also have other Luggage items that are lockable which are a good thing for Sturgis unless you have someone driving with you in a motorhome that has a spot to lock up your bike. Now that is what we call class.
There are many extra things that you need to bring with you on your long ride to Sturgis such as physical maps cause your phone won’t work everywhere in the mountains. If you have room on your tank, use a magnetic zippered tank bag. Map in the plastic window; inside – a bottle of water, snack bar, beef jerky, tissue, travel-pack of baby wipes (trust us), small flashlight, extra gloves, a kickstand coaster, other personal essentials, can all be right there when needed vs. digging in a bag.
A strong cable jacket lock, plus a strong cable bike lock, and small luggage locks like for suitcase zippers. Using these strategically can help add security and discourage snoopers on the road if you are alone and have to leave your bike unattended for a few minutes going in a restroom etc. Using airline TSA approved luggage locks or carabiner style combination locks on every zipper on every bag, is also a great investment as they are hard to break and get into quickly.
There are many more things but most of all, be careful have fun and take great pictures to show us.
~And as always….
~Live Free Ride Hard~
Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information Sturgis Rally and give you travel tips as well.
And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.