An Epic ‘XKursion to the Badlands’

 

The best rides are those you’ll never forget.

While that might sound like trite fortune cookie rhetoric, it definitely holds weight. What makes a ride truly unforgettable depends on whom you ask. Breathtaking scenery, idyllic weather, and being immersed in motorcycle culture with riders from all walks of life can be a few essential ingredients. And #THEXKURSION into Badlands National Park was the perfect recipe for a memorable experience.

Earlier this year we met with longtime Kuryakyn brand ambassador Adam Sandoval from ScootinAmerica. After spit-balling ideas to introduce our new XKursion and Momentum luggage to the riding community, the blueprint for #thexkursion was born.

“After seeing these bags working their way through product development, I knew we had something truly unique and couldn’t wait to share them with the riding community as quickly as possible,” said Undria Davis, Kuryakyn creative marketing manager. “As a design and engineering team, we rode with these bags and fell in love, but hearing that from the company who ‘watched them grow-up’ is one thing. Hearing it from those on the road everyday, utilizing the bags we’ve designed and living lives others aspire to live, is quite another.”

From left: Matt Cook, Kuryakyn soft goods designer; Michelle Jamison (@bandanasbymichelle); Adam Sandoval & Scooter (@adam_sandoval_rides); Adam’s girlfriend, Ashley; John Galvin, Kuryakyn communication content specialist; Gevin Fax (@sapasioux); Tana Roller (@a.quest.called.tribe); Jean Bolinger & Cricket (@cricket_the_bostonterrier), Jake Vest (@jake.vest), Sharry Billings (@sistermother13), and Melanie Star (@badassstar)

The purpose of #THEXKURSION is to recruit a variety of riders to run our luggage, then bring everyone together for a group ride and campout in various national and state parks across the U.S. Put down miles together all day, then get direct rider-to-rider feedback on the gear’s performance. Incredibly valuable information we can leverage toward future product development and marketing concepts.

Adam and his dog Scooter have spent more than two years on the road logging over 100,000 miles using the Kuryakyn Pet Palace and Xkursion luggage. They’ve visited 700 H-D dealerships, and donated over $300,000 to the U.S. military. Along the way he’s amassed a devoted following, and has provided our team with vital feedback on the bags he uses.

Adam Sandoval of ScootinAmerica and @adam_sandoval_rides

“More and more brands are relying on digital influencers to help with decision-making,” said Sandoval. “It’s our job to keep our opinions genuine and real. People count on that daily. I’m loving the new look of Kuryakyn. Their luggage is designed with function for the road, but still looks great on my bike. One of the best things I’ve noticed is their customer support. They not only care about the quality of their product, but also the service they deliver with it. That makes it easy for me to put my name behind this brand and recommend it to riders worldwide.”

Together with Adam, we reached out to riders from varying backgrounds and locations that all share a free-spirited passion for pulling back the throttle. After a few weeks of use, we met in Sturgis and set out to explore the Badlands Loop, take in spectacular vistas and establish a level of camaraderie that comes standard in the biker community.

Tana Roller, founding member of @a.quest.called.tribe

Tana Roller: “For me, riding is pure passion with enough adrenaline to keep me wild and feeling alive. It’s freedom from the norm. It’s radical self-expression. It’s from here to Zen and everything in-between. But road life isn’t always as easy and free as it looks. You have to be prepared for all the elements Mother Nature has to offer. You want your aesthetic tight, yet you also want to show off enough of your own personality to attract your triBE. Biking is sexy. Smart design is sexy, and Kuryakyn’s new luggage showcases sexy designs, timeless style, and pure functionality.”

The Badlands National Park should be on every biker’s bucket list. The Mars-like landscape of mystifying layered rock formations, towering spires and enigmatic beauty will move your soul. We got up close and personal with bighorn sheep, deer and other wildlife before riding off into an amazing sunset. Then spent the night under the stars around a campfire sharing road tales and cold ones before retiring to our teepees and tents.

“The purpose of the Badlands ride was to indulge in the culture and create a rider-to-rider relationship that most designers can only hope for,” said Matt Cook, Kuryakyn soft goods designer. “I learned about the necessities of each rider, along with the visual preferences of what they want to put on their bikes and be seen riding with. I also witnessed how they’ve adapted our products to suit their individual lifestyle. I honestly don’t believe I could have gotten such thorough feedback any other way, and am stoked to put this feedback in motion on future luggage designs.”

We’re already making plans for future “XKursions” to other notable national and state parks. Until then, check out some of the amazing pictures from our inaugural ride by searching for “#thexkursion” on Instagram and Facebook.

Kuryakyn XKursion Badlands

Leach Misch, published moto journalist, health coach and avid Indian Motorcycle enthusiast

Leah Misch: “It was reviving to share roads through the Badlands with other hardcore motorcycle enthusiasts. Even better are the memories we shared; a beautiful sunset, laughs, and campfire stories about traveling this great country. After losing a bag on my cross-country tour, I can say I’m truly impressed with the durability of Kuryakyn’s XKursion line. I even personalized my (XB Dispatch) backpack with a patch of the U.S., which I’m excited to finish coloring in as I work toward my goal of riding in each of the Lower 48 States.”

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