Woke up at 05:30 this morning and decided to get crackin', pack up and hit the high road. The mosquitoes were out of this world but were no match for the bug spray I was using. But they still won the battle because of sheer numbers. I packed up as fast as possible trying to minimize their presence, but they were like an itch on the bottom of your foot...you have to remove the shoe to get to the itch!
Departed the camping area and headed into Pierre for fuel and a couple bottles of Gatorade..my choice of drink. Came out of the store and was approached by a local Can-Am dealer who was mesmerized by my ride. He was taking pictures with cell phone, but asked if I would stop by his shop so he could take pictures with his digital camera. It was on the way, so I accommodated after breakfast.
Now the reason for Breakdown, Shakedown, it's Busted! I was 56 miles east of Sturgis and I suffered a serious problem with the machine...I blew a drive belt. I heard what sounded like an explosion and assumed it was a tire that blew. I didn't feel any swaying on the ATV, which was a blessing, so I thought it was a trailer tire. Pulled over and check all tires, and as you might imagine, none were blown. I then looked at the shroud that covers the clutch and saw that it had been damaged, which meant that the belt broke.
I had a spare belt, but didn't have a metric expander for the secondary clutch to remove the old belt that was jammed in the belt sprocket and allow me to install the new belt. Two and a half hours later with the help of locals, the new belt was installed, but with an added mechanical problem. Drove to Bel Fouche, which is about 20 miles from Spearfish, because I was told a Can-Am dealer resides in the area.
I must admit that I am staying in a hotel for the evening hoping to find resolution to my mechanical issue in the morning. If I can't do what I think is necessary to resolve the problem, I will continue my trek hoping for the best. As of this evening, I have traveled 1920 miles, and really want to make it back home under my own power.
Will keep you posted!