Have you ridden The White Rim Trail Moab?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by hayduke.klr07, Jul 22, 2014.

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Rate the White Rim Trail for Difficulty.

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  1. hayduke.klr07

    hayduke.klr07 Been here awhile

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    If you have been to Moab and have ridden The White Rim Trail on a 650 or larger, tell me how hard you think it is. Think about the whole ride, not just the hardest or easiest parts. This rating would be in relation to anything else you have ridden anywhere on your 650+.

    On a scale of one to six, one being a straight forward gravel road and six being the gnarliest thing you think you could ride on your 650+ tell me your rating by participating in this poll.
    #1
  2. rob1313

    rob1313 Still learning

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    Rode it on a stock 08 KLR 650 with stock tires. Not all that hard at all. Beautiful and worthwhile.
    #2
  3. rgiroux

    rgiroux Invisible Man

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    3 of us on GS's and one on a 950 KTM


    <IFRAME height=360 src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pn58WNKtzcQ?rel=0" frameBorder=0 width=640 allowfullscreen></IFRAME>


    about 10 hrs to do it all. all fun!
    #3
  4. kennyh

    kennyh Been here awhile

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    what a great ride it is. I've done it a couple times, once on a loaded super enduro and once on a 450. Not particularly technical IF the weather doesn't turn sour. I imagine the dirt would pack up on you if it was muddy. Sand in some spots that can be tricky if it is too dry. Take plenty of water and be prepared for it to take longer than you think due to photo ops and such.

    Started around on one of the trips at about 3pm. Wasn't the smartest move as about 3 hours of it was after dark. Made the trail hard to follow but what a sky!

    from last year.

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer

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    A buddy and I did it this June. I was riding an old 640 LC4 and my buddy on a 690 LC4. Maybe a 2.5 on your scale. There are a few rocky climbs and a short stream crossing when we rode it. Beautiful country. Bring lots of water because it's hot and there's not much shade. Well worth the trip. Air down but not too much because the rocks are sharp.

    If you get down south as far as Bluff, be sure and stop by Comb Ridge Coffee. Best espresso in Utah and the blue corn pancakes are great any time of day.
    #5
  6. Goss

    Goss LC8 Adventurer

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    The only difficult thing about the WRT on a bigger bike is the sand. Learn to navigate that with some confidence and it will be enjoyable.

    My ride was my KTM 950S.
    #6
  7. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Been here awhile

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    I did it on a 525, and I would rate it a 1.
    If I had been on the KLR I would still rate it a 1, but I would go a little bit slower to avoid breaking my wheels on things.


    You didn't break the speed limit, did you?
    #7
  8. Rodzilla

    Rodzilla Little short for a Stormtrooper

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    This is key.

    It is also a difficult one to answer. I've ridden Moab and the greater Moab area for 20+ years now, usually 2-3 times each Spring and Fall (and even a one day trip from Denver in the winter, 12 hours driving, 5 hours riding) Although my ride of choice is my KTM 453 as opposed to the big bike.

    The thing about the area and whether you'll find the trail easy or hard has a lot to do with your experience level and your confidence with the following:

    1. Sand: There is quite a bit of it, and even people that have ridden for years and are very confident otherwise can have issues if you don't have sand riding experience.

    2. Momentum: This is uber important in the Moab area. While less of a problem on WR, much of the area has a lot of sand/rock/sand transitions and a lot of ledges. 95% of the time a little "mo" will carry you right up/over most of the challenges of the region, even on a big bike. But so many riders never have the experience of this type of terrain, and there can be a mental hurdle to get over. See minute 2:11 in the video above. From experience, trusting your equipment and rolling down spots like that is key, but it's easier said than done when your brain is saying "NO!" (and when your riding a $15k bike :)

    3. Heat/stamina: I don't consider WR to be a difficult trail, it is as much about WHERE you are riding as opposed to what you are riding. But in Moab, it is so dry and can be so hot, people coming from lower elevations with more humidity, it can really take it's toll. Riding 100+ miles along a trail with sand/rocks etc.... in 85+ degree heat with 15% humidity can up the challenge.
    #8
  9. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    Guess I can't vote, but here's my $0.02 as I have ridden it on my KLX300. Wish I had a bigger bike. 650 would be perfect. Mostly for the length, but also lots of easy stretches between the few difficult ones. My KTM 950 would probably make it a 4, but I haven't done that yet.
    #9
  10. farmerstu

    farmerstu Been here awhile

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    did you understand the op question?
    or are you being a smart ass and insinuating that you are such a great rider that anything less then straight up mt. Everest is just too easy for you?

    I have not been there , but a couple of stream crossing and lots of sand certainly ranks it more difficult that a good gravel road. as does having to avoid things that could break a wheel.

    OP asked a serious question,from people who have been there. He deserves a honest answer.
    #10
  11. Skidmarkart

    Skidmarkart Dirty Middle Age Man

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    It's not bad, I drove it in April, and was surprised by how good the condition of the road was. Admittedly it was early in the season, but I did pretty much wish I was on my DR650 pretty much the entire time.

    That said, there are some deep sand sections in the washes that would not be too fun (at least for someone if my experience), and some rocky "scrambles" ( I say scrambles only because I ride on pavement 95% of the time) but it is really not bad at all. Even with my fairly limited off road experience, I felt like I could ride the trail without fear (and hope to do so, sometime in the not too distant future).

    Enjoy the ride, it really is an incredible place.
    #11
  12. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Been here awhile

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    I kind of want to now.

    I forgot about the sand. I still forget about stream crossings, but if someone says it's there, it's there.

    I'll add that on an 800XC with dirt tires I would call it a 2, and a 3 with the stock tires. And if it was raining hard I would probably turn around and go home no matter what I was riding.

    "Not just the easiest or hardest parts"
    Of the 110 or so miles, most of it is smooth, two track dirt road. The hardest part I remember is the climb up and down Hogback hill, and when I got to the top there were pick ups and cars carrying gear for a troop of boy scouts on a bicycle ride.

    The scenery was memorable. The difficulty was not. This is my opinion.
    #12
  13. farmerstu

    farmerstu Been here awhile

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    o.k.
    but i consider a good gravel road. ( a 1 in the op scale) easily passable with any motorcycle without any special tires or equipment. be it a full dress harley or goldwing or stock KLR.
    #13
  14. KustomizingKid

    KustomizingKid Been here awhile

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    It was very easy... Did it in 3.5 hours on an Xr650r by myself. There are a few climbs and tight turns. That said I did it right after spending a month in Mexico... And in the Sierra Madres or Baja it would be called the White Rim Road and a guy would be driving a fully loaded semi down it.
    #14
  15. MTrider16

    MTrider16 Ridin' in MT

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    4.

    I've riden it twice, once with a F800GS and once on a CRF250X. The sand was challenging on the F8, and I was glad I did it clockwise. The rocks get to be annoying on the big bike. On the whole it was okay and very doable. Take water with you. The next day we packed up and road over to Zion, so having the bigger bike was nice.

    The 250 wasn't very comfortable for that long of a ride.
    #15
  16. NJjeff

    NJjeff Long timer

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    Very enjoyable ride. Not at all difficult, but the sights are amazing.

    Somewhere around 1/2 way I stopped and talked to a guy in a brand new pickup. He was eager to get off. I think it rattled the truck more than he expected.
    #16
  17. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I rode it in 2005 on a new KLR650 with stock tires. I was (and ain't now) a real experienced dirt rider. I found it challenging and was pretty tired by the end. However, it was a great ride, one that I will never forget. I spent a week riding the area with friends and thought the whole area was awesome. If you are a dual sport rider, Moab is something you want to do at least once in your life.

    Not the WRT but nearby:

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. Dogfarm

    Dogfarm Been here awhile

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    I rode it last May on my 690r. The group I was with were on KLRs. We didn't see too much sand, just one short run. It was amazing scenery. Not too hard, but I would recommend decent tires.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #18
  19. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer

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    Water crossing would be more accurate. Where we ran into water this spring was a low sandy stretch where the Green River was up above the trail by a little over a foot and maybe 20' wide. It may not be there at lower water levels.

    Edit: the water of unknown depth, deep sand, and a bit of a ledge on the far side made it a "I wonder how this is gonna turn out?" affair but gas it and go for it was all it took to get through.
    #19
  20. GrizGirl

    GrizGirl Long timer

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    The difficulty of any trail is subjective due to experience level. The WRT for my fiance who grew up riding motorcycles is a 1 (like Rob1313, he can ride almost anything and make it look easy, no matter the bike or the tires). For someone like me with a lot less experience on a bigger bike it would be a 3 or 4. The 4 would come in during the really dry seasons when the sand becomes deep and more like silt than sand. The 3 would be in normal conditions where you have some sand, some rocks, but a lot of distance to cover.

    On a little bike, like my 350, it is more of a 2 for someone with my experience level, with some elements pushing to a low 3 just due to stamina required and a few sections that can cause problems for a less experienced rider.

    There are others with less experience than I have who have had bad crashes on parts of the WRT and have had to be evacuated and say they will never try it again.

    So, as you can see, it really is all about experience and skill level.
    #20