2021 Idaho Trip. July 22nd-August 7th


Well-Known Member
Sep 13, 2018
We were still trying to kill a little time until the magic 5:00pm rolled around, so we stopped at the outlet of Swiftcurrent Lake to climb around the Rocks and see the Falls.



When we were ready, we mounted the bikes and rode back out along the dusty-road past Lake Sherburne and back to Hwy-89.


We made our way the short distance to the St. Mary Entrance to the Park.


Since it was now 5:30 in the late afternoon, we didn't need an advance-reservation Ticket to ride "Going to the Sun Road".
I bought an Annual NP Pass at the Booth, since I would need it anyway for some other upcoming NP trips.
The Pass got us both in through the Gate.


By this time of the day there wasn't much traffic entering the Park, so we breezed right in.
We stopped in a few places to enjoy the wonderous sights.




Smoke was still an issue, but we made the most of it and took in all this breathtaking beauty!



We explored a small dead-end dirt road that led down to a Trailhead.
It was mainly one of those "I wonder where that leads?" moments.

We eased along and out of the Park on the west side, past Lake McDonald to US Hwy-2 once again.
Riding west, we continued back to Whitefish Lake and back to our Campsite to end the day.
And what glorious day it was, exploring my favorite of all the National Parks!

Here is the "Relive" Video of our route today.
Stay Tuned!


Don in Lodi

Well-Known Member
Founding Member
2012 Site Supporter
2013 Site Supporter
2014 Site Supporter
Feb 1, 2011
Lodi Kalifornia
Smoke was an issue through there on my way to Banff a few years ago. Still stunning, but must be mind blowing when clear. Really sad the loss of so many glaciers there and up north.


Well-Known Member
Sep 13, 2018
Day-14, Wednesday August 4th
477 Miles


The previous evening, over dinner and drinks, we discussed a general plan for the rest of the week and a general direction we would like to end up.
We still wanted to try and avoid the worst of the heat, so we tried to plot a course that would keep us in the higher elevations if we could.

We packed up and loaded some stuff that night, and the rest of it this morning.
We decided to save some time at Camp by not fixing our own breakfast. We would just get some in town when we passed through to fuel-up, as we knew we would have some miles to cover today.

After leaving the State Park and topping up the bikes in town. we stopped at a McDonalds and walked inside.
We placed our orders and then immediately noticed that the dining-room was closed. No inside seating!
This bummed us out a little, but not a big deal. We'll just sit in the shade and eat our breakfast next to the bikes.
While we were sitting on the Curb consuming our fast-food, Ron notices a few drips of Oil under his Vstrom.
After finishing the meal, Ron investigated the source of the leak and found it was coming from the oil-filter.
He grabbed it and it spun easily with just his fingers!
What a stroke of luck that the dining-room was closed and we were forced to eat outside, and chose to sit next to the bikes!
Had we ate inside we probably would have never seen the drips of oil.......... The Road-Karma Gods were still smiling on us!
There just so happened to be a Napa Auto-Parts Store right across the street!
Ron bought a quart of Motorcycle-oil and topped up his machine, (It was only down about a half-quart) and made sure the Filter was good and tight.

Then off we went riding south through Kalispell and then east on Hwy-82.
We rode through Bigfork and I stopped at a little roadside stand to buy some Flathead Cherries before making our way to Hwy-83.

These were super-sweet and delicious!

We ended up just grinding out miles for quite awhile, and having to stop for a lengthy construction delay.
The temps were staying quite mild, and we ended up stopping for a short rest-break at Salmon Lake.



We continued on and eventually reached Hwy-200 where we turned east.
Making our way in a general southeasterly direction, we decided to get lunch in Helena.
We had kinda had enough burgers for awhile, and wanted to try and find some good BBQ.
I punched in my Garmin and a few places popped up. One of them was called "Rib Shack".
We have a Rib-Shack in Denver and it's spoken about as having decent Ribs, so we headed off to find it.
We get to the location that Garmin says it is, and all there was at that location was a Funeral-Home!
Both of us decided at about the same time that there ain't no way in hell that we are trying the Ribs at this place!
Off to find #2 on the list, which is called "Bad Betty's BBQ"
We make our way back to the center of town, down a couple side-streets, and found the place.
It looked empty, and we parked the bikes right in front of the place and walked in. There were three young girls inside, who looked like they were cleaning up.
It turns out we walked in just as they were about to close for the day..........Bummer!
Just then one of the Girls with a broom in her hand says : "Go ahead and sit down! Don't worry, we'll serve you."
She must have seen the dejected looks on our faces instantly turn to relieved-happiness as she strolled over to take our order.
Ron ordered a Rib-Basket, I ordered Ribs and Brisket and go to use the bathroom to wash up.

About 30 seconds later the food shows up at the table, and the Girl says "Here's a complimentary dessert (Banana Pudding) for you guys too"
We thanked her and settled in to our BBQ.


The Ribs and the Brisket were excellent. I can't say they are the best I've ever had, but I'd give the Ribs a solid "7" and the Brisket an "8" (out of 10)
We conversed with the Girls while we ate, as they were cleaning up and packing things away.
It was just Ron and I in there with them, and we were having fun with the conversations. It was a very spontaneous afternoon in that place!
We paid for our meals before we were even finished, and tipped them pretty well since they took such good care of us.

What happened next was an absolute Shock!
As we were finishing up the last of our meal, one of the Girls comes over and says "Here's and extra rack of Ribs for you guys to take with you", and she hands us a complete whole Rack of smoked Pork-Ribs all wrapped up for take-out!
Are you kidding me???.................. WTAF just happened????
Ron and I are looking at each other and couldn't believe it. The Road-Karma Gods were REALLY shining on us today!
Not only did we find the BBQ we were after, but were treated like Kings in the process!
I tipped the Girls an extra $20 just for being so good to us.

If you are ever in Helena and looking for some good BBQ, you should definitely check out "Bad Betty's BBQ" on Front St.
They close early some of the days of the week, so check their website. They also operate a Food-Truck on the weekends the Girls were telling us.

We thanked them again and made our way outside to the bikes with our full bellies, and packed away the extra Ribs in one of my cooler-bags on top of my Hard-cases.
A funny note:
While we were riding through town, we spotted the "Rib-Shack" that we originally tried to find. It was a Food-Truck parked in front of a Tire-Shop, not anywhere near where the GPS said it was.
We laughed knowing we made the right choice!

We topped up the bikes with fuel and continued in a southeast direction on Hwy-287/12.
Just after leaving Helena we passed a slowly accelerating Freight-Train that was carrying a whole bunch of Army Tanks, Turrets, Humvees, and other various Military Equipment.


As we approached the next Crossing a couple miles up the road, I told Ron I wanted to get a Video of the Train.
We stopped and I quickly placed my GoPro on one of the Ties at the Crossing, facing down the tracks toward the Train.
It was approaching fairly quickly at this point, so we made sure to stand well clear of the Tracks.
Ron counted 72 Tanks as the Train sped past!

There were 3 "Puller" Engines and a "Pusher/Drag" Engine at the back.
You can see how much the Train flexes the Rails and the Ties as it rides over. You can also see how it disturbs the Ants, and they all start scurrying about.

A little further down the road we rode into Townsend, and turned east on Hwy-12. While riding through town I got stung once again. This time right in the face!
It was a warm part of the day, and I was riding with my face-shield open. Luckily I was wearing a pair of clear safety-glasses to protect my eyes. I barely saw it coming as it hit me in the right cheek.
I'm not sure exactly what it was cause I reached up instinctively and grabbed it and threw it all in one motion.
I pulled over and took my Helmet off, and checked myself over just to make sure nothing more was in there with me. I could feel my cheek itching with a slight bit of pain.

Not much I could really do about it, so we continued on.
We turned south on Hwy-89 and eventually east on Interstate-90
We've been on the road a long time today, and at this point we decided just to push on to one of our favorite Campgrounds at the base of Beartooth Pass.

We made a quick stop for fuel at Big Timber, and then exited the Interstate at the town of Columbus. We then took the easy ride down Hwy-78 into Red Lodge.
We topped up the bikes with fuel once more, and I picked up some cold adult-beverages in town.
Next we rode the short distance on Hwy-212 to Limber Pine Campground. We were hoping there was a site open as it was getting late in the day, and we didn't really want to try and find another option.
Luckily there was one site left! We claimed it, and I went back to the entrance to pay.
I said HI to the Camp Hosts and made my way back to the site to set-up.



No Campfires allowed due to the burn-bans, but we had our rechargeable LED collapsible lanterns.
It was a nice relaxing night under the stars with some cold drinks.................OH! and another whole Rack of Ribs for dinner!
Thank you Girls!


We ate as much of it as we dared, and when we'd had enough I took the remains away to the dumpster so as not to attract any Bears looking for smoked-meat!
It was a long day in the saddle, and man were we tired!
It's amazing how you can start the day in Montana, ride all day long almost 500 miles, and end the day still in Montana! (just like Texas or Alaska)
We both retired to our tents and fell asleep instantly.

Here is the "Relive" Video of our Route today.
Stay Tuned!

Last edited:

Don in Lodi

Well-Known Member
Founding Member
2012 Site Supporter
2013 Site Supporter
2014 Site Supporter
Feb 1, 2011
Lodi Kalifornia
I've always been amazed that we don't have more train wrecks with rails jumping around like that.


Well-Known Member
Sep 13, 2018
Day-15, Thursday August 5th
456 Miles

Map Day-15.jpg

We knew this was going to be another "High-Mileage" day, so we didn't waste much time getting breakfast going at Camp while we packed up our stuff and loaded the bikes.
We geared-up and hit the road up Beartooth Pass. In my haste to get moving I forgot to turn on the tracker-App, so I missed the first 30-miles over the Pass.

We had the road almost to ourselves! Just a few tourists and some slower-moving two and three wheelers, but we made quick work of those.
Not riding flat-out, but not riding slow either, it was a fun blast!
Just after coming down the other side of the Pass, there was the Construction-Zone. A group of four other Adventure-Bikers were waiting at the front of the Que.


Ron and I chatted and shared stories with them while we waited for the Pilot-Car to arrive.


Beartooth Lake.


Once the traffic cleared coming the opposite direction, it was our turn to creep through the Road-Construction behind the very slow-moving Guide.
Eventually we passed all that and we all turned onto Chief Joseph Highway.
Ron and I quickly passed the other four Riders, and had another blast up and over the Hill.

We got fuel in Cody, and then continued east to the town of Greybull where we stopped for a quick lunch at an A&W Drive-In.
Temps were getting quite warm during the middle part of the day as we continued south and east to Ten Sleep.
I was happy when we climbed into the Bighorns on US Hwy-16. It was nice and cool up there at elevation.

Once we reached Buffalo, it was just more grinding out miles along Interstate-90 on our way towards the Black Hills SD.
It was a Hot slog across Wyoming, but I kept plenty hydrated as we sped along.
I didn't get very many pictures today.

Eventually we exited the Interstate at Moorcroft. We topped up the bikes with fuel once again, and continued on down Hwy-16.
Climbing up into the Black Hills, the temps cooled again as we made our way to Custer.

We pulled into Buffalo Ridge Camp Resort and got a site under a couple trees.



This resort has really nice Shower-Rooms, and a pretty well-stocked General Store.
After setting up our Camp, I got a nice hot shower, bought some firewood and some cold beverages, and settled down for some dinner and a nice relaxing Campfire.




Here's the "Relive" Video of our route today.
Stay Tuned!



Well-Known Member
Sep 13, 2018
Day-16, Friday August 6th
210 Miles


We had planned for two nights at Buffalo Ridge, so we dropped all our luggage and geared-up to get some breakfast in town.
This took us to a little Cafe called "Our Place". It was busy, but we got seated right away and settled-in to order some Grub.

This would also be the last day that Cap'n Ron and I would be riding together on this trip.........The following morning I would head south towards Denver and Home, while Ron would continue his journey east from here.
We wanted to make the most of it, so today would be all about exploring the Black Hills.
Since it was opening-day of the world-famous Sturgis Rally we sorta knew what we were getting into, and we took a mellow "Go with the Flow" attitude towards the day.
Ron picked out some sights and a couple of dirt-roads, and we lazily finished our breakfast then set out to explore.

Our first stop was Stockade Lake, just east of Custer.



The lake was full, and just barely trickling over the Spillway.




Next we rode 16A around through Custer State Park and then Iron Mountain road through all the Tunnels and "Pigtail" Bridges.
We made a quick stop at Lakota Lake along the way.




Well-Known Member
Sep 13, 2018
It was all about the relaxed pace today.
Not much we could do about it anyway, at least while we were on pavement.

We made a stop to get some shots of Mt Rushmore.




Then we made our way towards Hill-City, where they were getting ready for the Streets to be filled with Motorcycles.



It was like this in pretty-much all the towns throughout the Black Hills. Custer, Keystone, Hill-City, Deadwood, Sturgis, etc........ Everywhere we went.

Next we turned up China Gulch Rd, which turns into Nugget Gulch Rd.
It was dirt, and we had the place mostly to ourselves...................except for some local wildlife.



We "eased" on past, and tried not to affect the marbling of the Rib-eyes too much. Haha!


The road became narrower and more rocky as we made our way to Edelweiss Mountain Rd, but we handled it with relative ease.


We eventually ended up in Silver City. There didn't appear to be anything going on, but it is slightly remote.
The paved road leading out of town was an absolute blast!
There was nobody on it, and we tore it up as fast as we dared!
We turned north on US Hwy-385 and cruised lazily to the historic town of Lead.


Well-Known Member
Sep 13, 2018
We pulled in to the Homestake Mine Visitor Center parking-lot just as a fast-moving thunderstorm was rolling through.
Ron and I ducked under a Tent that they were just setting up with a Music-Stage.
We sat and waited for the rain and lightning to pass, and chatted briefly with a couple of the workers.


The "Open Cut" part of the Mine is somewhere around 1,000 feet deep!


This display peaked my curiosity.
It was once part of a huge Water-Tank that was installed deep underground for the purpose of studying neutrino particles.



A "Compressed-Air" Locomotive once used in the Mine.


I briefly popped into the Museum while we were waiting for the last of the rain to pass.


This display really caught my eye.
I didn't know what it was at first. Once I found out, I was absolutely astonished!


It's a Model of the network of Mine-Shafts beneath the Town of Lead.
The "Open Cut" part of the Mine is pictured at the top, and reflected in a mirror on the ceiling.
The Shafts and Tunnels go down over 8,000 feet deep!

Mine Shafts.jpg


Well-Known Member
Sep 13, 2018
After the storm passed we got some fuel in town and then wanted some lunch.
We decided to just get something quick at Subway to make it easy.
When we pulled in, there were two other Riders on dual-sport bikes who were gearing up to leave. We chatted with them for a few minutes and then went inside to eat.

Next we rolled through Deadwood. It was really busy.
I didn't get any pictures, but got some video riding down old Main Street with all the bikes lined up down both sides of the Street.
This was sort-of a preview of things to come as we headed east from there to Sturgis.

Normally we would have stayed away from the Black Hills during this time, but it was the end of our trip together so we figured we would just embrace the event and satisfy our curiosity as to what all the madness was about.
It was "Opening Day" after all................How bad could it be??

This went on for three whole Blocks, plus every side-street and all the connecting streets. Basically the whole Town was being taken over by Motorcycles of every sort.


We rolled through the most crowded part of town to check out all the Bikes.
Now I would say that "Cruiser" type Bikes outnumbered the rest by a factor of about 99-to-1, but just by sheer volume of Bikes there were loads of ADV-bikes and Sport-bikes among others.
I actually saw quite a few Super-Teneres, so I know some of Y'all were there too!

After checking out downtown Sturgis, we decided to ride out to the "Full Throttle Saloon" to experience some of that madness.



We actually lucked-out and found parking right up front!


Who's red S10 is that?



We wandered in to check out the Music and some amazing machinery on display.



Lots of Beer on tap!
Two halves of a giant Bull-Gear adorn both sides of the Bar.





Well-Known Member
Sep 13, 2018
We wandered out back to take in more of the Facility.


The full-gauntlet of Atire was all over the map.................

This guy WAS wearing more protection than most I suppose.

As well as the Machinery on hand............




The Burnout-Cave/Skull



In addition to all kinds of Motor-driven things on display, this place had quite an impressive collection of Heavy Metal-working and Industrial equipment scattered all over the premises.

And the "Keg-Room!

A few Sport-Bikes on hand as well.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Sep 13, 2018
Next we headed over to make a lap of the "Buffalo Chip"
In addition to a large area for RV and camping space, they have a Garage on site, a Store, Restaurant, and lots of Vendors selling all sorts of stuff.
Their Concert-Stage had some big-name acts listed for this year's lineup.



By this time we'd had our fill of the Sturgis "Lifestyle".
Although we didn't quite "Blend-In" with the majority, I have to say that everyone we encountered seemed friendly and mostly polite.
Everyone just acted like they were there to enjoy the event and have a good time
Nobody shunned us, and at no time did I feel "Out of Place". I think the majority of the people there were just happy to be riding with bikes, hanging out with bikes, or just being around bikes in general.
This isn't really my "Scene", but I can't say that I disliked the experience at all...............................

We headed back to Interstate-90 and the sky was looking quite gloomy in the direction we needed to go back to Custer.
By the time we were halfway to Rapid City the wind was howling quite strongly sideways to the road. We got a little rained-on but nothing too bad.
We exited the Interstate and started up over the hill on Hwy-16. The clouds were extremely dark and there was lightning ahead of us.
Normally we would have seeked shelter, but the radar showed the storm moving fast directly towards us and we would pass through it rather quickly.
Off we went toward the angry horizon!

It was cold, windy, and wet for the short time we rode over the hill. By the time we started down the other side the storm had passed overhead.
Riding back through Hill City and south to Custer was pretty uneventful.

Back at Buffalo Ridge the skies had cleared. I changed into some dry clothes and settled in to a relaxing evening with some dinner, some whiskey, and a nice warm Campfire.


Here's the "Relive" Video of our route today.
Stay Tuned!



Well-Known Member
Sep 13, 2018
Day-17, Saturday August 7th
362 Miles


Today would be a bittersweet Day.
At the end of the day, I would be Home to see my Family. On the other hand, Ron and I would go our separate ways and this epic Trip would be coming to an end for me..........

I woke up early. Ron was still sleeping so I sat and enjoyed some coffee while I watched the Sun rise over my trusty machine.
I just sat quietly, contemplating what this journey had given me, and what lay ahead for me on this final day............


This would be the final time I would have to pack up Camp on this trip.


Once we got all our gear loaded on the bikes, we decided to head into town and have a sit-down Breakfast one last time together at "Our Place".


We lingered for a bit after finishing our Breakfast, delaying the inevitable parting of ways..............
Ron and I had shared a lot during this amazing time of riding together, as we always do. For me, this trip would rank up there as one of the best ever. I did not want it to end!
Eventually though we said our goodbyes, fueled up the bikes, and headed off in different directions.
This made me a bit sad.

I paused for one last picture in Custer.
A very appropriate "Black Hills" themed Bison-Art Statue (these are scattered around the town of Custer, each with a different theme)


I pointed my Super Tenere in the direction of Home, and silently urged her to take care of me on this last leg of the Adventure, as she had done so relentlessly all of the previous days without missing a beat.

I rode south on US Hwy-385, and would turn onto Hwy-89 and then Hwy-18 as I made my way in a general southwesterly direction.
As I rode along I passed countless motorcycles heading the opposite direction. Thousands of them making the distance to the Black Hills for the Sturgis Rally.
I sort-of played a game to pass the time, trying to see how many of them I could get to wave as they sped by. I think I got about half of them :)
There were also many hundreds of Trucks pulling RV's, Toy-Haulers, and enclosed-Trailers toward the Black Hills, no doubt carrying many-many more Motorcycles to the event.

Eventually the traffic heading the other direction thinned out, and the Highway became empty once again.


Some time in late-June, I had bought myself a Concert-Ticket for a Show at the end of August at Fiddlers Green Amphitheatre in Denver.
ZZ-Top was coming to town, and I didn't want to miss it!

Well, at some point during this Trip a friend that I work with sent me a text, informing me that Dusty Hill had passed-away :(

I couldn't help but stop at this sign to pay a small tribute to Him along my way.
I hear "They got a lotta nice Girls there........"
R.I.P. Magnificent Bearded-One!


I continued on, and a short distance down the road I pulled into the Rest-Area at Meriden Wyoming.
I needed to use the restroom, but as I was walking up to the building a "Biker"-looking fellow stopped me and pointed to a picnic-table nearby underneath a shade-structure.
He informed me that they were offering cold-drinks and snacks to travelers, free of charge.
I looked over at the table, thanked him for the offer, and went inside to use the bathroom.

I already had plenty of water in my Camelbak, inside my tank-bag. I also had plenty of snacks with me, so I didn't really need anything from them.
Before heading back to my bike, I decided to wander over there anyway after I was done inside.

There were a couple of older Ladies sitting near the Table, as well as a couple of additional older Gentlemen wearing various Military-Veteran hats and vests.
One Lady informed me that everything is free, and to help myself to any snacks or drinks.................Donations were appreciated, but not required.
They had all sorts of bags of chips, granola bars, meat-sticks, and candy-bars as well as coolers full of energy-drinks, water, and soda-pop.
I emptied my pocket of my riding-pants, and donated whatever cash I had on me into the donation-box (which was probably around $20) and grabbed a slim-jim and a bottle of water.
I sat down next to them to cool-off in the shade while chatting with each of them about all manner of things, mostly travel.
"Where was I coming from?", "Where was I headed?", "What kind of Motorcycle are you riding?" were the subjects that popped up first.
They were all riders also, and each of us shared different stories we had experienced on various trips. They informed me that they always set up at that rest-area on the weekend before Sturgis Rally, and the weekend after, to help out Riders traveling to and from the Black Hills.

It was a welcome break to sit in the shade and sip on a cold water during the heat of the day, but honestly I enjoyed just sitting and sharing stories with them the most.
I thanked them for their Military service, and thanked them for being out here along the Highway helping out road-weary motorists.
As I was about to leave, the fellow that originally stopped me as I arrived asks me "Would you like us to Bless your motorcycle? It's something we enjoy doing for fellow Bikers"
I'm not a religious person, but I paused for a second and said "Sure". It couldn't hurt.

He gathered up everyone and we all walked over to my Super Tenere.
They all surrounded the bike and each person put a hand on her, as they said a Blessing-Prayer. They asked if there was anything I wished for them to pray for myself?
I said "Honestly, I already have everything I could have ever wished for............ I have a good Job, a loving Family, food on the table, a roof over my head, and the ability to take trips like this every year with Best-Friends. I couldn't possibly need for anything else!"
Something DID pop into my head right at that moment though...............I asked them if they would pray for all the people that were affected by the Wildfires and fighting the Wildfires, and for their recovery.
In that moment I figured if anyone needed praying-for, it was them.
They also prayed for my safe return to Home on the last of my journey. As they finished up I shook each of their hands as I thanked them.
One of them handed me a Sticker for the Bike, and a Coin to carry with me, and said if I ever needed anything to give them a call. They have Chapters all over the Country.




Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2016
Joshua TX
Which reminds me of the 80 year old, 5' tall, great grandma that works out with me (she benches 125lbs). She has been praying for me daily, for years. Her favorite prayer is that all things that would harm me, bounce off. A couple of years ago, I bounced off of a Chevy truck, and didn't go down. I guess it works.


Well-Known Member
Sep 13, 2018
The mid-day break gave me some renewed energy, and it was an easy ride to Interstate-25.
I headed south through Cheyenne and before long I was at the Colorado Border.


I messaged my Wife and two boys to let them know where I was, and continued south on the Interstate.
Traffic got quite heavy around Fort Collins, as it always does, and was like that the rest of the way in to Denver.
No problems whatsoever as I navigated my way back Home.

I thoroughly enjoy being on the road, but there is always a draw beckoning me back to my Family.
As I make the turn into my Driveway and pull up to the garage-door, I click the run-switch to "Stop" and turn the ignition-key off.
What was the mechanical noise of the engine, and the sound of the wind in my helmet for the past 17-days is now silent.............

A feeling of relief comes over me when I arrive safely back Home, and a sense of accomplishment for both myself and the machine.
Job Well Done!


And just like that....................It's over!

Here is the "Relive" Video of my last day's Route!
Thank You to everyone for sticking with me till the end!

Total Mileage covered during the 17-day Adventure, according to the Super-Tenere was 5163-Miles.
That averages to around 303-Miles per day. Some days were a lot more than that, while others were considerably less.
With this bike, those miles come easy! But you guys already know that....................


One thing that is interesting to me, and felt it's worth mentioning, is the comparison in fuel mileage between our two bikes. (I'll get to that in a minute)
The whole time we were riding together on this trip, we had synced our fuel-stops to match each other. Each time we would fill our tanks we would compare how many gallons it took to top them back up to the same level.
The results were kinda surprising to me.............

Knowing that we had both traveled the exact same distance, at roughly the exact same speed, through the exact same conditions and terrain, we could remove those variables from the equation.
We both were carrying roughly the same amount of luggage, in almost the exact same configuration. He never weighed his, but for the sake of comparison we'll call the luggage equal.

Now for the variables:
I outweigh Ron by about 50-lbs, so we'll start there.
The Bikes:
Ron's 2013 Suzuki Vstrom 650
My 2014 Yamaha Super Tenere 1200
Both of us running the exact same Tires, and wheel-sizes.
Right off the bat, his bike is 100-lbs lighter than mine and slightly smaller but not by much.
For this comparison we'll agree that whether we were riding "Unloaded" or "Fully-Loaded", his Rider/Bike combination was always 150-lbs lighter than mine.
Mine has almost DOUBLE the engine size of his, not quite double the Horsepower but definitely double the Torque output of his.

Now the surprising part was that during the whole trip, through all the different riding we did, our fuel usage was almost equal! Averaging somewhere right around 50 mpg or just under.
Sometimes his bike would have a slight edge in mileage, other times mine would.
If we were "Unloaded" and riding dirt-roads and forest-roads at a slower pace, his Vstrom would have a slight advantage.
If we were "Unloaded" and Hooning the bikes in the twisties all day, both bikes would run about equal on fuel used.
When we were Fully-Loaded and just riding easy on the backroads getting to another destination, both bikes would run about equal.
When we were Fully-Loaded and riding at higher speeds, like on the Interstate or 70+ mph riding, then my bike had the advantage.

His bike holds a full gallon less fuel than mine however.
There were a couple times that he was genuinely concerned about his fuel-range on certain days. I never was! I always knew I had at least an additional gallon in reserve.

I'm pretty sure having twice the Torque probably played the most part in equaling out our fuel usage.
My bike had an easier time. His would be using more gears and more throttle to go the same speeds.
It's just how it worked out.

I can guarantee we both had just as much fun though!


Well-Known Member
Jan 29, 2016
Rib lake wi
I really enjoyed the entire thread ! Been to Buffalo Chip about 8 times and it’s always interesting but I’ve never been there since they rebuilt it and really enjoyed the nice tour you gave us.


Active Member
Jul 8, 2019
Okanagan Valley, Canada.
Thanks for sharing, i enjoyed your adventure, it almost felt like i was there.
As a side note, being i wasn't there, too me it looks like more then the majority of these cruiser's at Sturgis and the life style is driven by a dying breed.
FAT old farts? Its a dying life style as these dudes are getting older and the younger generation have no interest in the "biker" look.
I think time will slowly change that where ADV and sport bikes will be more common in such places as long as the community is willing to adjust.
I could be wrong, but in my neighborhood ADV bike popularity is getting very strong and though HD cruiser are not going away and are a majority today. ADV motorcycles are being snatched up very quickly.
Just a thought.


Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2016
Joshua TX
Maybe up there. Down here . . . . still H-Ds everywhere. With an occasional stray 'Wing.