Ocala National Forest - dirt roads

Discussion in 'The Sandbox - AKA Flatistan' started by solohvs, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. solohvs

    solohvs somewhere around the bend

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    Hello People.

    My next trip has me traveling from Pennsylvania to Florida to camp and ride the Ocala National Forest - March 2013.

    Does anyone want to comment on what dirt roads my R1200GS can handle?

    I'll have the stock tires for the 1800 miles of concrete and I don't have to mention how difficult this bike is in the SAND (even with knobbies). I've seen riders much better in the dirt than me bury their bikes - not a pleasant option since I'll be traveling on my own for most of the trip.
    I don't want to get stuck and have to walk out.

    Stay off the OHV trails? Or are they passable with a big bike?
    Are most of the dirts roads marked? Or will I need my TOPO GPS?

    Anyone have a FAVORITE destination to suggest or dirt roads I might like?

    How about the best place to eat in Daytona Beach?
    Eat? Daytona? I might as well have started an oil / tire thread!

    Thanks for the help!
    #1
  2. nevermind

    nevermind sLOW Rider

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    There is a bit, just a bit of sand in Ocala. In fact, there is dark sand, light sand, wet sand, dry sand, sneaky sand, deep sand, very deep sand and then very long runs of very deep, very sneaky, very dry sand. :deal

    Quite a variety, in fact! :D

    Look for CADS and the sandfleas ride reports. You can see how much fun they have...
    #2
  3. Hurley959

    Hurley959 Adventurer

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    Any of the roads through the forest that are easily viewable in google maps should be passable on your GS. If you can view it at the '1-mile' zoom setting, you can ride it.

    The bulk of them are primarily hard-packed orange clay with a very thin layer of sand on top. Most see enough use that they don't get nasty, but there are some areas that may require a little caution.

    I'd probably stay away from the road that travels the perimeter of the bombing range as it is a little deeper. Also Pipeline/09 is super hairy on the south side. Like 3rd gear WFO on my 640 hairy.

    One thing to be aware of is that the numbering system you'll see in Google Maps or on Basecamp is incorrect. The FS changed the road names about 5 years ago and none of the mapping companies have picked up on it, so the signs you'll see won't jive with whatever route you plan.

    Hope that helps, let us know if you have any other questions!
    #3
  4. waybill

    waybill wayward

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    What he said. Also, if you're in town the first weekend of bike week you may want to think about the Trans-Fla. GS ride, there are ride-arounds for all the two-track that have sandy sections, keeps to the main roads. Quite doable on a big bike.
    #4
  5. nevermind

    nevermind sLOW Rider

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    Bring some TKC80's or have a shop in Jax put them on for you. Then ride this:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=861583&highlight=ocala

    Read what Kaosrider is saying. If you're up to learning a bunch and making the miles, I wouldn't try to talk you out of this. The guys riding this so far are top notch guys and you will have a great time. You may(/probably) see some/(a bunch) sand. It took me a while to finally understand what sand riding requires, but Wolfgang and Waybill and Kaosrider are very helpful.
    #5
  6. jaydee1445

    jaydee1445 Footpeg Crash Tester

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    high sided into the orange grove
    this has been covered pretty well here
    #6
  7. solohvs

    solohvs somewhere around the bend

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    This sounds like the Florida guys have as many words for sand as the eskimos have words for snow.

    Does the red sand pack down better than the....never mind, I'm going to find out for myself. And I hope it's not a surprise.

    I have an extra set of rims and TKC80, but this is a 90% road trip.
    The last trip out the sand was frozen - but that doesn't count.
    I just don't want to get stupid stuck in sand - whatever the color.

    I miss bike week by seven days... but I'll try to poach a few routes along the way.

    Thanks for the info. I have my FS map out and I'm checking roads now.
    #7
  8. mark1305

    mark1305 Old Enough To Know Better

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    Oddly enough I've ridden several of the intermediate FS roads on my F 650 both with Tourances one year, then TKC 80s the next year (group rides). Never threw it down with the Tourances, but did once on the knobbies. Go figure.

    Whatever tire choice, I like to air down to about 21psi (no rimlocks or I'd go a little lower). I carry a 12V compressor to air back up for highway miles
    #8
  9. solohvs

    solohvs somewhere around the bend

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    I will bring my air pump and let the tire squat down a little.

    Thanks for the info.
    #9
  10. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Do not eat the yellow sand...or the brown sand.:lol3

    Don't leave coolers out in plain sight, or food unattended either. The Ocala NF area is home to many of Yogi's cousins, and they will waste no time in stealing your picnic basket.
    #10
  11. Jack Daniel

    Jack Daniel See Ya At The Swamp

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    You got a free place to camp if you're coming down next weekend :freaky

    We'll be at The Scrub through Monday the 11th
    #11
  12. solohvs

    solohvs somewhere around the bend

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    I'll be down the week before EASTER.
    About March 24th is I get out of town on time.

    The welder still has my side stand - making the footprint bigger.
    But I don't have any extensive mechanical projects holding me back.

    Thanks for the offer.

    Whats a SCRUB?
    #12
  13. mark1305

    mark1305 Old Enough To Know Better

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    Since you asked, "scrub" is a type of habitat/ecosystem found throughout much of the Ocala Natl Forest and other areas in FL and the southest. Think thickets of scrub oak and some palmetto and stuff that looks like hawthorne bush to me. For the answer to The Scrub, click on the linky at the bottom of Jack Daniel's post(s). Cool place and cool folks.
    #13
  14. ny-wolcott

    ny-wolcott Been here awhile

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    check your PMs
    #14
  15. Jack Daniel

    Jack Daniel See Ya At The Swamp

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    Read your post on the Scrub Log this weekend :lol3
    #15
  16. solohvs

    solohvs somewhere around the bend

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    I'll try not to bury the big BMW in the sand.

    I can remember a downhill "dead end" that was gated in Maine.
    It required a very tight U-turn to reverse direction. I pushed and pulled for what seemed like forever with a fully loaded bike.

    So... if you see a big bike stuck deep in the sand it's me and I was not paying attention when the red dirt hardpack gave way to deep sand.

    The TKC80's are looking better all the time!
    Or a shovel?
    #16
  17. ny-wolcott

    ny-wolcott Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    check your PMs again
    #17
  18. ny-wolcott

    ny-wolcott Been here awhile

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    Summer-N. Catskills,NY; Winter-Ocala NF, FL
    and again...
    #18
  19. Dr.Z

    Dr.Z 6Sigma Knuckle Shflr

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    Are you in Ocala Dick?

    When do you head North? :ear
    #19
  20. ny-wolcott

    ny-wolcott Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Yup. Actually just north of Salt Springs

    Get here in early November and leave in early April. 3rd winter we're here.

    Not riding much, 'cause been busy rebuilding this place, and the sand sucks. :D

    Anyone want a good 2003 Kawi Super Sherpa?
    (250cc, 6 speed, air cooled)

    Also spending a lot of time supporting Pat's long distance (horse) endurance and competitive trail riding campaigns. Just this past w/e she did her first 100 mile competitive trail ride and won first in the light weight division, best trail horse, and best horsemanship awards!!!!! might have to build a trophy room.

    Dick
    #20