GS riding in Virginia

Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by Threeflys, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. Threeflys

    Threeflys Eternal newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    102
    Location:
    San Diego,CA
    Hello All,
    I live down in Newport News and am looking at getting a new bike, I'm looking at a BMW F650GS or a older 1000 or 1100 GS. I'm wondering what kind of off pavement riding there is to do for a GS rider. I'm down in Newport News but am not opposed to traveling. Just trying to decide what kind of bike to buy, any help would be welcome.
    Thanks,
    Chris
    #1
  2. Steverino

    Steverino Arrogant Horse's Ass #1

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2001
    Oddometer:
    36,677
    Pay attention to the ride reports and east regional forum. We gots good riding for a GS....:evil

    Stick around and check out the ride reports and east forum, you will see we got awsome riding in Va/WVa....:thumb
    #2
  3. Jeff Munn

    Jeff Munn Just along for the ride..

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,715
    Location:
    Petersburg, Virginia
    Chris,
    PM me and we can talk. I live over in Poquoson. Steverino is the sultan of Virginia riding, so listen to what he offers, it is usually a first class road and rarely findable on your own.

    If you haven't found a bike yet, let me know and I'll let you try my 2001 1150GS. Better yet, come on by and we'll drink some hand-crafted brews and swap stories. I may be able to offer some advice, but buy me some beers and I'll tell you whatever you want to hear.....
    #3
  4. bmwguyrs

    bmwguyrs Out riding....

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    105
    Location:
    Hampton, VA
    I'm in Hampton. I don't know of much off road around here, I usually head to the mountains between Charlottesville and Lexington - tons of fire roads up there. I can give you some good info if you're heading that way. I'm up there every other weekend, though not always on the bike.

    I'm contemplating relisting my '99R1100GS for sale if you're interested. Lot's of goodies.

    There are some good looking power line roads near Fort Eustis heading north along the railroad, but I haven't had a chance to see if you can access them.

    Marc
    Hampton
    #4
  5. Threeflys

    Threeflys Eternal newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    102
    Location:
    San Diego,CA
    Jeff,Marc,
    Hey neighbors! We need to get together and go riding sometime! I've found a pretty good group up here on the Peninsula, the American Cruisers chapter 145. They mostly ride cruisers but could care less that I ride a Ninja! It's a great bunch of people that do some really nice ride, all with no club dues!
    I'll pm both of you,
    Chris
    #5
  6. AKGrizzly

    AKGrizzly Which way to the woods?

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    14
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC

    I have a R1150GS 2004 and my wife has the F650GS. By far, the 650 is much more nimble in the dirt than the 1150. And when you do drop it (and you will), picking up the 1150 (or close in wieght the 1100) you will need a little boost of adrenelin. The 650 is a toy in comparison. I've tanken both off road and on-road. Here are my simplistic comparisons.

    650GS - You'll get blown around on the superslab
    1100 series - Quite stable on the superslab

    650GS - Easier in the dirt (if you're really serious about off-roading get the Dakar with much better suspension).
    1100 Series - A Panzer Tank on two wheels. This bike will power through most dry stuff, but you'll need your Wheaties and shed your fear dropping it. In the mud, the 1100 series doesn't like it.

    650GS - Can't carry as much "stuff", but quite capable with a good luggage system. Don't buy the expandable cases that BMW sells. Those are designed to carry office materials, not a lot of camping gear. Get some good aftermarket cases that you won't mind putting a ding or two into em.
    1100 Series - Like a camel. I've loaded up this bike with camping gear, fishing gear and and a few six packs (no saloons out in the woods). I've taken it loaded up some pretty erroaded fire trails. Again...a Panzer tank on two wheels, but avoid the mud. It'll go down on you faster than a French border crossing.

    In summary
    650GS and the 1100 series are both good bikes. If your skill level and "I don't give a damn about dropping the bike nerve" are in good standing, then the 1100 series will get you there if more comfort.

    Goog luck and have fun. :thumb
    #6
  7. Threeflys

    Threeflys Eternal newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    102
    Location:
    San Diego,CA
    AKGrizzly,
    Thanks for the great insight, I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with the 650 even though most of my riding will be on pavement. I just feel more comfortable on it I think. Are you from Alaska? I just moved down from Kodiak two years ago.
    Chris
    #7
  8. Jack90210

    Jack90210 quia ego nominor leo

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    15,779
    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    Hell, I'm right there in it and I don't know of any roads yet, I'll take any suggestions you've got. :nod
    #8
  9. bmwguyrs

    bmwguyrs Out riding....

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    105
    Location:
    Hampton, VA
    In particular, the area from the James River north past Crabtree Falls, there are some great fire roads all over the National Forest. Heck, the state road past my place in Amherst County has two nice river crossings. Although VDOT is threatening to bridge them in 2009.

    Get you're hands on some topographic maps for the area (USGS). It has fire roads and jeep trails all marked well. And you can always pop back up on the Blue Ridge Parkway if you need to get to gas/food.
    #9
  10. bmwguyrs

    bmwguyrs Out riding....

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    105
    Location:
    Hampton, VA
    Oh, and there is nothing more fun than passing some harley's on the parkway, getting ahead, and then diving onto a fire road and disappearing into the woods! Those DR's handle great on the curvy roads, even with street legal knobbies.
    #10
  11. Jack90210

    Jack90210 quia ego nominor leo

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    15,779
    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    I've wondered before about following these trails only to find myself, unwanted, on private property. :doh
    #11
  12. bmwguyrs

    bmwguyrs Out riding....

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    105
    Location:
    Hampton, VA
    I've found private property is well marked, but the fire roads and trails don't typcially hit private property. Haven't had a problem with it yet.
    #12
  13. AKGrizzly

    AKGrizzly Which way to the woods?

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    14
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    No, but I've traveled there four times and loved it. One time in Danali Park, my wife and I were off to summit a small peak when we were charged by a Grizzly sow and her nearly grown cub. Hence, AKGrizzly. They came within four feet of me. Thought I was going to be bear fodda. Much wisky went down that evening. :freaky
    #13