Divided roughly in half by the Missouri River, South Dakota’s two geographically-unique regions provide for two distinct riding experiences. Some of the best motorcycle roads in the Great Plains region of the US are found throughout the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota, and the scenery of the state is certainly some of the most stunning in the country!
South Dakota’s size alone makes it a bit of a challenge to fully experience via motorcycle (unless you have weeks and weeks to do so). If you’re taking a trip through the state, we’re guessing that you want to make the most out of it. Take out the guesswork and let us help you to experience the best motorcycle routes in South Dakota. The REVER App is free to use and makes riding a state’s best motorcycle roads as simple and browsing routes and selecting what looks best to you. Then just gas up and go! Create new routes, log your rides and share with friends all within the app. Want even more planning and tracking tools at your disposal? Upgrade your account to REVER Pro for features like turn-by-turn + voice navigation, 3D animated route exploration, weather radar + alerts, and much more. Learn about everything that REVER and REVER Pro can offer you when it comes to planning and logging your next motorcycle ride or trip.
South Dakota’s geographical variety means that there are a number of conditions and situations that you should be prepared for when riding the state. Despite the state’s name, South Dakota occupies a very northerly position within the United States. This means very cold winters that are generally unsuitable for riding motorcycles, unless you’re highly adapted to low temperatures and thoroughly outfitted with heated and highly insulative gear. Summer is an ideal season for riding South Dakota, as cool mornings/evenings and warm afternoons provide excellent conditions for exploring the state on two wheels. Although much of the state’s best riding regions have a semi-arid climate, late spring and early summer bring rainfall that should not be overlooked when planning your ride or trip. Always check the weather forecast ahead of the time and pack some wet weather gear if there is any chance of precipitation.
Home to the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, South Dakota has a lot to offer visiting motorcyclists. If you’re visiting during the 10-day rally, you’ll find yourself among the roughly 500,000 riders that do so every year! And if you find yourself in the state during a different time of year, there’s still plenty to see and do in the city of Sturgis. The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame houses an impressive collection of vintage motorcycles as well as an archive that preserves and communicates the history of the city’s annual motorcycle rally which has taken place every year for the better part of a century. Sturgis is situated on the eastern edge of the Black Hills National Forest, where you can explore over one-million acres of unspoiled forest, mountains and rock formations on motorcycle and on foot. Black Hills National Forest is a prime location for motorcycle camping, which is one of the best ways to experience the outdoors via motorcycle. If you have yet to get your first motocamping trip under your belt, we have a few tips that will help you to make sure it goes off without a hitch. Other destinations in South Dakota include the iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Badlands National Park and it’s extraordinarily unique geological features + scenery, and Custer State Park, where you can swim in one of the park’s pristine lakes surrounded by impressive rock formations.
This figure-eight loop out of Sturgis heads south along Vanocker Canyon Road, then Norris Peak Road, along Rapid Creek then along the 44 toward Rapid City. Don't miss Skyline Dr. before heading west along 231 and South Canyon Road then toward Nemo, then toward Deadwood before returning to Sturgis.
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This Counterclockwise loop heads south out of Cheyenne Crossing, through Buckhorn. Four Corners and then heads east on Deerfield Road, past Deerfield Lake, then north up the Tigerville Mystic Rd. to Mystic, then through Rockford, Dumont and back to Cheyenne Crossing.
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This loop starts in Spearfish and heads south on ALT 14 along Spearfish Creek, to Cheyenne Crossing then back north to Deadwood, and onto the 85 before returning to Spearfish.
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O'Neil Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 2.037m (6,683ft) above the sea level, located in the Black Hills National Forest, in South Dakota, USA. The road over the pass is asphalted. It’s called Canam Highway, and is part of the U.S. Route 85.
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This loop heads west out of Rapid City on the 44 toward Silver City and Pactola Reservoir before heading south on 385 to Sheridan Lake Road, Old State Highway 40 then up the 16 to Rapid City, but don't miss Skyline Dr. on the way back into town.
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