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After taking a 30 year hiatus from adventure riding, I purchased a 2013 R1200gs a few months ago and am now planning a ride to Montana and the bad lands of the Dakota's from Georgia next year. Things and prices have changed a lot in 30 years, so any advice will be appreciated.
 

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After taking a 30 year hiatus from adventure riding, I purchased a 2013 R1200gs a few months ago and am now planning a ride to Montana and the bad lands of the Dakota's from Georgia next year. Things and prices have changed a lot in 30 years, so any advice will be appreciated.
Welcome back. I also took a long hiatus from motorcycles and jumped back in about 9 years ago. I've spent the last several years "making up for lost time." Good on ya for jumping to a long trip. In my opinion, the Badlands is way better than Yellowstone for riding and an awesome area.

The main thing I think that's changed in the last 30 years is the quality and availability of heated gear. That's a game changer. Tires are a lot better too - more traction, more predictable at the limit, and more tread life. Better riding gear overall - way more durable and protective.

Good luck!
 

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I'm back after 20 years with an 2007 GSA I bought in July.

Unfortunately texting and distracted driving are worse, so driving defensively is as important as ever.

My first big trip was labor day, 1700 miles in 4 1/2 days to the Michigan UP. Glad it wasn't longer as the final 500 mile day was plenty for me. Certainly learned what gear worked for me and what didn't!
 

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Welcome back to the fold!

First thing, get your ergonomics set up right for your body and style of riding. Most have issues with the stock saddle, some need risers, etc. And like Krons said, drivers these days are a lot less situationally aware than back in the day, almost like cars are considered some sort of mobile entertainment center. Be careful, take refresher training, practice what they teach you as it applies to the bike you now have. Your last bike probably didn't have linked brakes and ABS. And you might want to consider auxiliary lights front and rear (Clearwater, Denali, Skene etc) to make yourself more visible. Put together a small tool kit to take on the road: basic tools, tire plugs and pump, etc.

Like Graybeard, I enjoyed the Badlands much more than Yellowstone and its throngs of oblivious tourists. Iron Mountain and Needles Highway just to the west of Badlands are nice rides, especially early before traffic picks up. Of course everyone has heard about Beartooth Pass, but on the way there Highways 14, ALT 14 and 16 over the Bighorns are not to be missed.

Pete
 

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Here's my ride report from a few years ago when I was on my K1600GT:

https://www.k1600forum.com/forum/bmw-k1600-ride-reports/32129-annapolis-glacier-back.html

We did some of the same route that Glenfiddich mentioned. That was an great ride through the Big Horns - not to be missed - and of course the Chief Joseph and Beartooth over to Red Lodge Montana. We came back a different way than we went through Big Sky, Yellowstone, the Rockies down into Santa Fe and home.
 

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After taking a 30 year hiatus from adventure riding, I purchased a 2013 R1200gs a few months ago and am now planning a ride to Montana and the bad lands of the Dakota's from Georgia next year. Things and prices have changed a lot in 30 years, so any advice will be appreciated.
First you must consider yourself a NEW rider, I am not sure how much you rode prior to that but you should consider taking rider courses until you have figured out how to ride on the bike you have and how you body has likely changed over the years. Reaction times, flexibility, etc are not what they once were 30 years ago - we all age. Think about what sports and things you did 30 years ago, bet you are not the same shape and can't hit the ball as you could back when; long or short distance motorcycle riding is no different. BTW I have been a regular rider since the 1960's and I still take courses and practice on empty lots all the time; this summer I did my summer get away and 10K miles later I still realize every day I am not 20 anymore.

Save your money and forget all the gadgets and farkles for you and your bike, concentrate on you. Get the best gear you can afford; helmet, gloves, boots, jackets and pants. For the ride you are planning, better spend some time on several shorter trips shaking out all your gear and figure out what works for you and what doesn't work for you before you embark on the big one - probably there are potential aches and pains you didn't even think you have that you will encounter on a long trip.

Once you get your head and sea legs working right, then spend $$ on the gadgets, toys and such to add to the bike; then get out and take your long adventure trip. My experience has always been all the extras are a waste of money in the long run, they don't make you a better or safer rider, and the most fun trips are those that are the simplest. Just buy and use what works for you, not what other people say you should buy.

Stay safe and enjoy.
 

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Can you pick it up? Motels or camping? Time of year? Asphalt or off road? All of that is important for any meaningful advice. Look at ADVrider.com and seek info there as well as here.

Look for relevant ride reports. Surf ride reports in general. There are lots of geriatrics riding solo cross country (myself included and you can look up my reports--on advrider I am JayElDee).

How's your health? Any conditions that need constant and close monitoring, eg insulin dependent diabetes, renal disease...imo these preclude long distance adventures.

Get many miles in beforehand as a shakedown both for you and the bike. If you'e in Ga, Deals and environs is not that far, (re)cut your teeth there.
Good gear is important and as important is familiarity with your bike, basic service performed by yourself is invaluable--unless you are ham fisted and break things you touch. Absent that, don't be afraid to do at least basic service.

If you're in that area, consider avoiding Yellowstone unless you enjoy stop and go 35mph speed limit. Must sees in that area include Custer State Park, Mt Rushmore (ride past) Devils Tower, Little BigHorn, the Bighorn Range. On the way back swing down to Flaming Gorge, Arches and Canyonlands. Going to the Sky in Glacier is rarely open, but you might fit it is if the timing is right. That would mean you'd be sweltering in the SE though--and Texas if you go that way.
Backroads and smelling the roses is as important or mare than ticking off boxes. Interstate ONLY IF YOU REALLY have to make tracks. They are Never option one unless forced by external factors.
Personally I thought the Badlands were pretty, but not as good as the other things I mentioned.

What would be your planned route out and back?

Lots of advice and info online and most of it's good and relevant.

keep posting!
 

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I picked up again back in '17 after almost 40 years off. Started with a Harley Road Glide and now have a 1250 GSA and a FJR, also. Do a lot of riding; practice your slow game in parking lots; pick up your bike from a drop or get a recovery jack (Dirtnapper, etc.); get your butt in shape or you'll probably spend lots of hundreds looking for the perfect seat, which you may or may not find. AAA membership and a credit card (or two) and you'll be good to go.
 

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Lifting the bike

I recommend learning and practicing to lift the bike yourself. If you can't then maybe it is not the right bike for you, or fall with friends nearby after they stop laughing let them help you. The "dirt napper" contraption seems to me to be too much, too big and bulky, and really unwarranted. Unless I am a long way from an anchor point, a long rope or webbing would be my go to tool, not that I have needed to take that option. Just me I guess but being at beyond Medicare qualified age I can lift all my bikes, loaded, in pretty much every situation. PRACTICE not BRAWN.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great information Gentleman and much thanks for the sage advise. My route will have some fixed contract points but will mainly be based on " oh look, the world's largest ball of twine!" or some other such squirrel moment. When I said I had taken a break, I meant adventure riding or long distance riding. Little hard to take off a lot of time when you are raising a pack of beloved stair-stepping rug rats. Still rode various bikes, from xr 250 to kawa 1600's up until 2014 when I had a widow maker heart attack. Having recovered and gotten the last daughter through college, I am once again free (with the wife's permission) to once again ramble the roads for my own selfish reasons. Sooooo... That being said, all travel/gear/places to ride will be greatly appreciated and gladly taken. Thanks in advance for All.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Watching a lot of Mototrek videos and have been practicing falling off the bike at slow speed and using different lift techniques to find out which works best for me. The1200 is a top heavy pig if I ever road one. And as previously mentioned I am not 20 or even 40 any more so it is back to the gym for some strength training in the legs and back. Old age snuck up on me.
 

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Badlands

Eastern Montana is where I grew up and learned to ride motorcycle on the family farm. It is beautiful country if you ask me. I'll be riding through eastern Montana mid august of 2020 on my way to he north end of the CDT and will head south on the CDT.
 
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