I think you are more than ready, it will be an excellent adventure.
If you plan on moteling it there, my experience has been to get an early start, put in your miles and get off the road early to grab a room. Traveling East to West, the time zone is in your favor for early starts anyways. Coming home sucks for the same reason (come to think of it, it sucks for other reasons).
And I will pass along the best advice that I ever read on this forum...as you head out into the middle of no where...don't ever pass up the chance to gas up. Yes, even if it's 2 gallons. You will never regret having enough fuel.
Have fun on your bike and your trip. You'll have a blast at the rally.
The only thing I ever had stolen at a rally was my soul when Kbasa took my picture!
Given your time constraints, I understand your need to ride the slab most of the way. And besides, once you hit the Ohio border there is nothing to see till you get to the Black Hills/Badlands area of South Dakota anyway so you might as well be on the slab.
My plan-in-progress is to burn Interstate to the Badlands and then do the secondary roads through there and the Black Hills and on to Gillette.
If you are motelling it and only camping at the rally, you could ship your camping gear there ahead of time and ship it back home Sunday morning. The last few years the club has had a UPS facility on site and I would think they would do it again this year.
being on the road early works out fine for me. i am so used to being up early (4am) for work that i had planned on being out the door and on the road between 6-6:30 each day. i have learned that if i put in 75-100 miles before breakfest i can then ride latter into the afternoon before i need to stop for lunch, hence i stop latter for supper which means i can do some long days without much of a problem. getting gas when it is available instead of waiting and hoping to find another station has always been my rule.
all this talk of this trip has me wanting to set up my camping gear in the living room, or at the very least going out to the garage and pack the bike just for fun.
NYTM, if you are going to be camping at the rally, but motelling it along the way out and back another alternative is to ship your camping gear to the Rally site via UPS. There will be a UPS store on site as a vendor that will enable you to ship your camping gear back home....along with all those goodies you bought from all the vendors at the rally.
Ride fast safely
shipping all the stuff i buy back home via UPS is a great idea. in fact i think i will ship my towels/face cloths out/back so they don't take up what little precious room i have. i will keep my camping gear on the bike with me in case i find a place on the way out/back to camp.
I've seen at rallies where your neighbors would zip up your tent if the weather turned nasty.
F.O.G.Rider, Rounder #6,
BMWRA Wisconsin Region Rep
Once, when I was out riding during the day, a huge storm blew my tent down, and made the inside a sodden mess. But the time I got back my friends had set the tent back up, dried the sleeping bag and wet clothes, and had everything else laying out in the sun to dry.
Nothing beats rally buddies, especially if they are Broccoli Riders!
Live fully. Laugh deeply. Love widely.
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And, I might add, if you're not careful, you just might get "Voni'd," as she shows
the "secret handshake."
F.O.G.Rider, Rounder #6,
BMWRA Wisconsin Region Rep
I shipped my tent and gear up to the Burlington rally (all 200 miles away). Lisa and I rolled in on a Friday night and the darn thing was all set up - and we just needed to find it. Your mileage may vary.
I used to own a "little F650GS Dakar" and it was BIG fun. A buddy rode his from Massachusetts to Prudhoe Bay and did the AK portion two up with his wife and camping gear!
Sure a K12LT might be a little better on slab but don't sell your 650 short. Enjoy the 65mpg.
Don't worry about your gear. As others have said you can ship you camping gear.
For the ride out I would suggest you consider staying at KOA campgrounds along the way. Many have small cabins that you can reserve for the same or less than a super 8. For the money If feel safer at the KOA and don't have to worry about being disturbed by the crack dealing in the parking lot.
The 650 will work just fine. I've just returned from a 15K km trip to Cenral America.
A few notes:
Reduce the rear sprocket tooth count if your route is all paved, to bring the revs down. I think it is Touratech that has a 45t sprocket (stock 49t)
The bike will carry the load, no problem. Keep the heavy stuff down low.
I found the stock seat uncomfortable (it slopes down to the front, and soon it feels like you're sitting on the (faux) tank) and used a Corbin canyon seat - its hard but correctly shaped, and gets you butt further back on the bike.
The accessory outlet is in a bad spot. I located mine just behind the triple clamp, ahead of the battery, in the central plastic cover. I also added a lighter socket.
Dump the stupid steel rear number plate holder - before it gets devoured by the back tire.
The Tourance are good tires and wear well. Make sure your wheels are balanced.
Enjoy the ride!
"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most" Mark Twain