The five days, of which two were travel, were a whirlwind tour of another world — one where motorcycles outnumber cars and biker culture rules. It was also an amazing place to ride, with something for everybody even if you don’t ride the American cruisers that make up 99% of the population of this event.
An entire weekend of RideApart focused on my coverage of this event.
Sturgis: The Wild West Of Motorcycling is a general overview of the event. There are bikes, but there is also a lot of partying, concerts, and women not wearing a whole lot.
Places To See And Places To Ride At Sturgis describes, well, places to see and ride in the area. This was my primary purpose in going to Sturgis in the first place, or at least the part I was personally most interested in. I apologize to those of you who despise the slideshow format, but this was the best way to present the information.
Weekend WTF: Cheap Beer, Bikers Welcome is a rant about the widespread proliferation of drinking and riding. Nearly every town I rode through had at least one place, sometimes several, advertising cheap or even free beer for bikers to entice them into their establishments, then send them back out on the road after drinking. Not cool, or safe.
RideApart Review: 2019 Indian Springfield Dark Horse is all about the motorcycle that Indian graciously loaned me while I was there. It was the right tool for the right job. I personally like cruisers, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and the looks of this one. While I’d prefer a better handling bike for the twisties, the Springfield is actually sportier than the equivalent Harley Road King or Street Glide. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no FTR 1200 S. I know that for a fact because I got a…
Quick Ride On The 2019 Indian FTR 1200 S. Everyone’s been fawning over this completely different kind of Indian, and I got to take one around the standard demo ride loop. Sadly there wasn’t anywhere on that loop for me to really test its handling or overall performance, but I got enough of an impression to REALLY like what Indian has done here. This is a legit naked sportbike with an American twist, its torquey V-twin. This is the type of bike that will keep American motorcycle manufacturers alive, if they know what’s good for them.
I also brought my video gear with me to shoot videos as well. It started out well, but between controller issues, charging issues, and memory card issues, I got almost no video starting halfway through my second day. I salvaged together a pretty good video of day 1, my trip to Badlands National Park.
On day 2 I grouped several places into one ride: Mount Rushmore, Iron Mountain Road, Custer State Park (specifically the Wildlife Loop), and Needles Highway. Mount Rushmore isn’t a particularly interesting video, since the mountain just sort of sits there. Iron Mountain Road was awesome, but partway through my technology failed, leaving me without the helmet camera for the best riding of the entire trip. I improvised with photos, which I’d need for the RideApart coverage, but I ended up narrating the rest of the journey from there.
Tech fails aside, it was an amazing trip. I wish I’d had more time to check everything out, but I think I got a good idea of what it’s all about. If I ever return to the area, I’d like to go sometime not during bike week. That way the roads will be far less congested, and I’ll be able to enjoy them that much more. Huge thanks to South Dakota Tourism for sending me, the Sturgis Buffalo Chip for putting me up in the center of everything (and the great concerts), and Indian Motorcycle for loaning me the bike!