1st Get On! ADV Festival, Sturgis - Trip Report + Preamble of Ramble

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by _lee, Jul 20, 2021 at 7:39 PM.

  1. _lee

    _lee Been here awhile Supporter

    Apr 16, 2008

    This is an account of my trip to Get On! ADV Festival.

    ***Preamble of Ramble***

    To start this story, a few bit of details of myself pertinent to myself.

    I worked at Product Design Center (PDC) at Harley-Davidson on 124th & Capital Drive in Milwaukee back in 2007. I worked in Chassis Systems, which supported all of the platforms by way of all matters to go with the frame/engine such as TWABS (tires, wheels, axles, bearings, spacers), RVI (Rider Vehicle Interface //whatever the rider/pillion would touch), brakes, and etc. I am Mechanical Engineer of MSOE. I worked with Willy G and team of brilliant engineers on a modern Springer front suspension among other exciting projects. Now that, that is out of the way.

    Upon starting there, I promptly bought a KLR650 as one should. Emptying out my savings in the process as I was somewhat fresh out of college. My goals were simple to ride it to edge of civilization to where one couldn't see anything but the natural untouched land, and camp.

    Off the beaten path, as my interest came or so I thought until I was made aware of an entire group of like minded: advrider.com

    Fast forward 10,000 miles plus of crossing the lower 48 focusing on the west first. I made way across the Midwest on the KLR650, mostly north, to camp as the trail ran out of trail, then again a mile or more so. I made way from Seattle to Minneapolis on a Triumph Scrambler heading through Glacier in the process; my pillion at the start, my girlfriend. My pillion after hiking the backcountry of Glacier, my fiancé.




    I made way from San Diego to Minneapolis on 1200GSA by the PCH to ending up Route 66 eastbound until heading north bound to meet a Blizzard come the Midwest. This and that inbetween, mountains, herds of buffalo, hidden brothels outside of Spokane (didn't stop) and good spattering of other stories came many and more miles.


    Off Road from Moab and Colorado Back country.


    Big Bikes, Small Bikes. Insatiable to see the the world two wheels as a time.

    Having had ridden so many thousands of miles on such the diversity of bikes. KLR650, Triumph Scrambler, 1976 R75, KTM450, and R1200GSA. Having blown out my knee in a spill on the 1200GSA carrying too much, attempting to do too much. I decided that I needed a bike to get to the trailhead states away and the mountain top all alike. I am sure the purist will say that the big bikes can handle the single track just fine.

    I will say I am much more comfortable and enjoyable doing highway miles on the 690 than I am having fun riding a big ass bike to the backcountry.

    For a my true ADV bike, I have found for me the best ADV bike; the KTM690.

    Gripping and Ripping, Getting and Going, Camping and check'n out.

    ***Prep of the bike***

    I had additional objectives in the process, which was to workshop/R&D gear for my next trips.
    Baja in November, and Deadhorse, Alaska after that pending borders being open.

    Furthermore, I had spent a good amount of time using the knowledge I have gained during my many miles to dial into the KTM690 to my specific needs. Light weight, carrying capacity, tool needs, ride comfort, and weight positioning.

    I outfitted the KTM690 with a Nomad Rally Tower for wind fatigue, Extra Fuel Tank for range, Extra Extra Fuel for range beyond range, Skid/Crash Bars/disc-guards for the ohh shits, Panniers for lockable gear, and good many dozen other items pertinent to mechanicals of the bike such as fuel pump, clutch slave, etc during lockdown of covid.


    ***ADV Trip 2021 Trip***

    <<Day One>>

    I am a hard working stiff that found out of said event a week or so in advance. Deciding to get on the road a day or so before.

    Having such history with riding, I decided to Iron butt it to the event as best I could around work to try to participate in and if ADV history was happening to made in the process.

    I do apologize if this is long winded, and not germane to the day trip. Turns out, I am loquacious.
    Admins, please delete or reposition as you see fit.

    My actual story starts with tossing my camping gear, tools, and a set of off bike clothes in a bag or two on the bike. Given the area and routes, I opted for my dirt riding gear for my 600 mile trek to Sturgis.

    I worked a full day on Thursday opening day, and decided to get on the road after work to ride as far as I could towards Sturgis until I couldn't go no more. With traffic out of the cities, this was about 8 hours to when I made it to Kimble, SD at around 9:30PM.

    I got whatever lodging I could given the exit, the fatigue, and twilight. After pulling the tank bag, and my camp bag into motel as there wasn't a camp site I could make it to. I walked over to the local watering hole made for truckers, trollops, and scofflaws just like your lonesome traveler.

    I was given a proper meal for what they had still available: A beer, A shot, and Basket of Fried Food.


    After a warm belly, I walked back to trucker motel to adjourn for the evening, as I had another solid day ahead of me to get to Sturgis on my steed, the 690. It is a probably good time to tell you that I named my motorcycle Hee'Yeah.

    <<Day Two>>

    Fresh and early, I made for loading up Hee'Yeah to hit the ole dusty trail with eyes set on Sturgis Buffalo Chip camp site.

    This day I was painfully made aware of the effects of higher speed fuel economy, and the effects of headwind on the range of the bike could make. As I found out the hard way that 160 miles range of tank#1 would be 110 with the headwind and similar degradation of range on each subsequent tank.

    Many many sun beaten highway miles making mile after mile enroute to Sturgis. I came to sudden fright when I realized 40 or so miles outside of Wall South Dakota that I ran out of fuel to which was on reserves.

    I ended drafting semitrucks to reduce use of fuel, and literally coasted into Wall on fumes. My cardo bold was playing the Rolling Stones 'You can't always get what you need.' as I rolled down hill into the gas station.


    After another several hours additional riding, I made it to the campsite mid day not knowing what to expect. There were sparse folks outside of crew at the site as this was day two and everyone was out riding. I got checked in, and spoke with the Revzilla crew about the operations/setup of the event.

    There were 250 riders, and I was told that the longest Iron butt rider was from Florida. Harley, BMW, and a spattering of other vendors were there peddling and hosting.

    I set up camp and got situated.


    Having ridden the miles from Minneapolis from after work the day before, and the morning/afternoon of. I decided to check out the vendors, and lay of the land. I rode to the front to park the bike, and have an explore of the grounds.

    As riders came back from their rides and parked, I found that this crowd was the same like minded folks as myself. Didn't matter who you were, or if you knew anyone. A simple "how was your ride?" "is this your ride?" was just enough to make for a conversation organic as if you already knew each other.

    The bike variety was 45%, 45%, and 10%.

    KLR650/African-Twin/V-strom/Tigers; 45%
    GSA of all sizes; 45%
    Smaller ADV bikes such as my KTM690; 10%

    There were four KTM690s there, and one such rider had damn near the same setup; @papamoose

    I demoed the Harley Pan-American, and surveyed the other vendors. The Harley bike is another report in unto itself.

    The event, I found on day two, was mostly compromised of individuals on their lonesome coming together. This made for great a community, and conversation.

    During socializing on Friday evening, I met @V2Two and his riding buddies of the day.

    After some bullshitting about this and that the end of day announcements commenced.

    Each person I spoke with had a wealth of stories of different origin and experience. I found all to warm, friendly, and of a backstory that made for good conversation.

    Friday night Events, Saturday Riding, and shenanigans to continue in the next posting(S).

    PS. I am engineer who is bad at writing and doesn't edit his work.
    I think faster than I type and don't look back.
    V2Two, Geschift, SPop75 and 7 others like this.
  2. JeepDawg

    JeepDawg Long timer Supporter

    May 3, 2014
    Famous Potatoes
    Excellent ride report friend.
    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the pan America.
  3. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem Supporter

    Jul 20, 2007
    jaw ja
    yelp :stupid