STURGIS, S.D.– Whether you are heading for the Black Hills, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally or anywhere else this summer, you'll want to make sure you and your bike are ready to go with these important tips.

Keeping your bike up-to-speed

As with any vehicle or object that has not been in use for a while, make sure to go check through every part of the bike and check that they are in working order.

"We always say to make sure your tire pressure is right," Cara Oviatt with Indian Motorcycles of Sturgis said. "Always check that. And make sure your battery is on a tender throughout the winter so it is ready to ride this season."

According to the company, many of their bikes' tire pressure levels fall in the 36 to 41 psi range for both front and rear tires. In general, the average range tends to be around 28 to 30 psi.

However, the best thing is to consult a motorcycle's manual or the placard on the frame for the manufacturer-specific number. Furthermore, Progressive Insurance has also created a checklist featuring key points to check over on a motorcycle to make sure things are running correctly.

Aside from checking tires, here are some of the other points the company says are worth looking over:

  • Check your engine
  • Check your battery
  • Charge your electronics
  • Pack protective gear
  • Plan for navigation

Watching the weather

In the Black Hills area, weather can be very unpredictable. And according to Oviatt, watching the weather is very important in particular as Mother Nature can have quite a few surprises in store.

"We can get super, super hot weather here during the rally, or it can be a hail storm," she explained. "Thunderstorms come through every night, it seems like. So just make sure you pack for all types of weather."

Packing accordingly

And with the weather's unpredictability, make sure to pack any essentials you know you will need, and even some extra items just to be on the safe side. Even extra pairs of socks can go a long way, another employee at Indian Motorcycles of Sturgis said.

For Oviatt, she recommends packing for the weather.

"You are going to want your warm weather gear, your cold weather gear, and then your mid-temperature gear," she added. "And you are going to want a nice nylon jacket, maybe some rain gear, also a good helmet - maybe a full face and a half helmet as well."

Multimedia Journalist

Christina Holiday is a Northern California native, and is a firm believer in learning something new every day. Christina enjoys exploring the cultural and natural history of the Black Hills. She also loves exploring culinary adventures and is always looking for a new restaurant to try.