What type of bike should I ride?
Any dual purpose motorcycle of 450cc to 1200cc will be suitable. A limited number of sections will be a challenge on bikes with more than one hole.
All bikes must be street legal, have a valid license plate, and have travel permits and passes from Black Hills National Forest and Custer State Park.
Bike gearing should allow sustained highway speeds of 60 mph.
Bikes need a range of 205 miles or you should carry extra gas.
Recommended tires would be 70/30 slanted toward off-road dirt.
If you are riding a bike with two or more holes you need to be a highly skilled rider.
What type of terrain will we be riding?
Riding includes lots of two-track trails with a mix of dirt and rocks. Many county gravel roads are included, which vary from poor quality to high speed gravel. The paved roads on the route are some very special road riding. If terrain is wet some sections will become VERY difficult.
You will find a compact pair of binoculars a valuable tool. Riders should be of intermediate skill level.
This route is not recommended as your first adventure/dual-sport ride.
Will I have cell service throughout the loop?
Extended portions of DakAL are extremely remote with few services. Cell coverage is available on only about 1/3 of the route. If you are riding alone, a SPOT device or similar is recommended.
What is the elevation?
Elevation will vary from 2820’ to 7179’.
You will visit Bear Mountain which the highest point you can ride a motorcycle between the Rocky Mountains and the Alps of Europe.
What is the best time of year to ride?
Best riding dates are May 15th – November 1st. There are some seasonal road closures between December 15 and May 15.
Conditions on the ground may require rerouting which can be accomplish by studying your maps and having a sense of adventure.
Wet conditions can make significant portions of the DakAL a challenge to ride. Be prepared to change your adventure as ground conditions dictate.
What's the weather like?
What wildlife may I encounter?
You will see a large variety of wildlife.
Probable sightings include: Bighorn sheep, mountain goats, prairie dogs, buffalo, elk, bald and golden eagles, wide variety of ducks and geese, turkeys, antelope, whitetail deer, mule deer, marmots, coyotes, wild horses, burros, fox, badger, raccoons, sharptail grouse, and pheasants.
*Do not approach buffalo! Stay on your bike with the engine running if buffalo are within 50 yards. Buffalo can accelerate as fast you can up to 23 mph.
Lucky sightings include: Mountain lions, moose, and bears.
Rare sightings include elephants and giraffes.