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Winter Behind Handlebars

January 4, 2012, 10:02 PM by Austin Hoffman

Winter Behind Handlebars
SIOUX FALLS, SD - It may be winter in KELOLAND, but it hasn't kept motorcycle lovers off the road.

In fact there have been few days where enthusiasts haven't been able to get behind their handlebars.

Roger Butler put more than 22,000 miles on his motorcycle last year. It's usually cooped up in storage by now, but this isn't your usual winter.

"You know if you can get out two, three, four times a week that's really good this time of year. Or even once or twice a week," Roger Butler said.

Other than a few days, he says he's been able to use two wheels instead of four most of the time. Fellow rider Christy Nelson has been riding since she was 18. While we won't tell you how long ago that was, she does say these last few months have been great.

"This year though has been the nicest, you can go out and don't have to worry about the snow or the temps that you need electric gear," Nelson said.

"As a rider it just shortens the winter time up big time," Butler said.

Butler also works at J And L Harley in Sioux Falls where co-owner Jim Entenmen also loves the warm weather.

"This year it has been just absolutely fantastic. November and December have been a motorcycle enthusiast's dream months, they really have been, it’s been a great year this year," Entenmen said.

He also says it’s been great for business.

"Overall sales for the month of December, I think were running about 20 percent ahead on motorcycle sales. And our used bikes sales, we’re almost running 100 percent of where we were last year," Entenmen said.

He says they also had the best retail day in the history of their store.

"Almost every day we've got a rider riding in on his motorcycle. Our storage numbers are down because people are keeping their motorcycles out this year," Entenmen said.

But it's something he's really not complaining about. And it's great news for riders, especially when a costly bike usually just sits around all winter.

"Well it does make ya a lot happier since you're paying insurance on it 12 months out of the year. You don't get a break in those three or four months you don't ride. So it has been really nice that if it is a nice Saturday or Sunday, you can still go out and ride a few miles, even just to do errands in town," Nelson said.

Of course living in South Dakota, we all know this weather won't last forever. But if you plan on getting as much time as possible on two wheels, the longer it lasts, the better.

"As we go forward of course we're dreaming for more of those nice days, but you know, well take every day as we get it," Entenmen said.

“I don't mind a white Christmas, but then my wish would always be for it to melt right away. This year we had a brown Christmas so as long as I can keep riding I'll be happy," Butler said.

But even when the snow starts to fly, they've already had more nice days than they can ask for.

"As you can tell, I’m smiling," Butler said.

Entenmen does urge safe riding if you plan on getting on a bike this winter. Even though the weather is nice, it is South Dakota, and as we all know, road conditions can change very quickly.

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