The "I Love my TW200" Loess Hills Ride Report

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by jamajo, May 31, 2010.

  1. jamajo

    jamajo third wheel

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    230
    Location:
    Nebraska
    This is my first ride report, and my TW’s first trip out of Nebraska. Just an afternoon of dirt riding, but I hope you enjoy it!

    I’ve been wanting to ride my TW on something besides the straight gravel roads around here, so I talked Mason into taking me to the Loess Hills in Iowa. The Loess Hills are beautiful, rolling hills in western Iowa near the Missouri River. They are a unique formation caused by glaciers (wikipedia has a great page on it, if you’re interested in the details). Mostly what they are to me is a place with a few hills and curves in the roads, something that’s in short supply in our neck of the plains.

    So, we loaded up the TW200 and Mason’s KTM 525EXC and headed out.

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    Pisgah, Iowa, in the middle of the Loess Hills area north of Missouri Valley, seemed like a good place to start from. We unloaded the bikes in the City Park and headed to the diner for a quick lunch.

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    Obligatory food photo:

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    tuna and noodles - it was their special, which to us meant "quick" so we could get to riding.

    Stopped at the Loess Hills Visitor Center for some maps and then headed north out of Pisgah. Didn’t really have a plan for the ride, just trying to find something interesting to ride. What we found first was a scenic overlook at Preparation Canyon State Park.

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    So far, we’d been mostly riding on some gravel roads, big gnarly gravel that wasn’t much fun to ride. We live on a road like that, so didn’t need to drive 100 miles to do that.

    But when we saw the "Minimum Maintenance Road" sign, it was a no-brainer to turn there (should have taken a picture of the sign - I’ll get it next time).
    This is Olive Ave looking back after we’d ridden down it. I tried to stop at the top and take a picture, but the TW wasn’t willing to wait for me to do that.

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    These minimum maintenance roads are dirt, or more like dust or silt. It can be kind of deep and loose in places. It was dry this day, luckily.

    Another shot from down in the bottom of one of the roads (can’t remember which one this was). How these trees hold on in this stuff is amazing to me.

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    We stopped often for water breaks because it was hot and windy.

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    These were taken on the western edge of the hills, looking towards the Missouri River and Nebraska.

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    Little Sioux Scout Ranch where there was a devastating tornado in 2008 that killed four scouts. Looks like lots of rebuilding has been done, and just recently re-opened from what the locals told us.

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    Just some trees.

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    Another tree clinging to the side of these dusty, silty hills. There is almost no substance to the dirt here.

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    Me and my TW. I love this bike. I had an ‘87 many years ago, sold it and then missed it, so bought this one a few years ago. It will go through anything and makes me look like I know what I’m doing!

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    This is Kelsey Ave. It goes down just as steep on the other side. And then up again. And then back down again. And, then - well, you get the idea.

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    This is Mason taking the TW up first, just to make sure it would make it up the hill. No Problem!

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    He brought it back down and I rode it up and over. This road had a lot of what I referred to as "floofy" dirt, but the TW just rode right through it!

    Another picture from somewhere inside Kelsey Ave.

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    This is Hillside Ave - picture doesn’t do it justice. This road was pretty rough, but the TW just plugged along totally unfazed by ruts, limbs, deep floofy dirt, whatever. I love this bike (did I say that already?). There was a big, rutted downhill at the end of what you can see in this picture.

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    I had a great time, and the TW made it so easy for me to take on everything we came across.

    Mason was a good sport, because me and my TW are not real fast.

    He did say (about his KTM) "This bike isn’t made for this kind of riding."

    Me: "what’s it made for?"

    Him: "going fast"
    :lol3

    There are tons more roads that we didn’t get to, so we’ll be going back. Lots of steep hills, some curves, and great views.

    And the funny thing is we didn’t see another dirt bike all day, which surprised us because it’s so much more fun than the flat, straight gravel roads of most of the surrounding countryside.

    So if you’re ever in western Iowa ...

    umm, wait a minute ... maybe we should keep this little secret to ourselves ...

    Never mind, it was a terrible place to ride, you don’t want to go there.
    #1
  2. Warren

    Warren Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    135
    Location:
    Alpine, California
    Awesome! Great pictures.

    Glad you're enjoying the little TW! :rofl
    #2
  3. flyrodder

    flyrodder Donny, please.

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,343
    Location:
    Southern Bohemian Alps
    :clap :clap :clap :clap :clap

    Great stuff! Guess I'm going to have to ride over there sometime. The trusty TW sounds like it did very well (almost as well as the rider).
    #3
  4. Suzuki Phil

    Suzuki Phil Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    698
    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    Have you heard of Timber Ridge? When I lived in Omaha back in the late 70's/80's we used to ride there. I think it was near Castana, IA (don't remember for sure). Besides the cornfield behind our house and the river (Missouri) it was the only place to ride. At the time it seemed huge for a 14 year old to ride.

    SP
    #4
  5. Perry B

    Perry B Perry B

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    135
    Location:
    Orange County California
    I loved my TW also,,,,,
    Maybe I should not have sold it......
    #5
  6. jamajo

    jamajo third wheel

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    230
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Mason says he's heard of it, and that it's really nice. We'll have to see what we can find out about it. Thanks for the suggestion.
    #6
  7. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    105,757
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    Thanks for the look at the Loess Hills.
    #7
  8. MetalBender

    MetalBender Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    645
    I'd have to agree that there is alot of great roads for DS' around Pisgah. You do know that the Old Home Filler Up and Keep On Truckin' Cafe you ate at is a bit famous right? The original sign is still out front. And the tenderlions are the best I've had. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4EUrTTPnKQ
    After stopping in a dozen times or so we found this out.
    #8
  9. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,512
    Location:
    the 'Ha
    I'm surprised Kjharn and I didn't cross paths with you; we were hitting the same roads on Saturday. Glad you had a good ride.
    #9
  10. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Imbecile

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,793
    Location:
    Vigo
    Cool! Looks like fun!
    #10
  11. 46moo

    46moo Now with 2 cylinders

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    New Ulm, MN
    Never thought of describing a road that way, but that does fit!


    :clap
    #11
  12. roguesteelheader

    roguesteelheader Thumperhumper

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Southern Oregon USA
    Great report and fine pic's. These little guys are fun.
    #12
  13. jamajo

    jamajo third wheel

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    230
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Thanks for the comments! It was a lot of fun. I can hardly wait to go back!
    #13
  14. Buffalo Bill

    Buffalo Bill kickthetire.litethefire

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    997
    Location:
    North Idaho
    That looked like great fun.....Thanks for the RR:clap

    ..........Tell Mason, he should have been riding a KLR....:lol3
    #14
  15. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Imbecile

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,793
    Location:
    Vigo
    I guess Loess is more? :lol3
    #15
  16. zoid

    zoid Dirty Old Hippie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,393
    Location:
    Where the N stands for Nowledge
    I enjoyed your ride report. My wife has one of those little t-dubs also and has been jonesing for something more than the gravel roads around here. She did good on it down in the Ozarks, so I'll have to get her over there sometime.
    #16
  17. jtemple

    jtemple Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    574
    Location:
    Papillion, Nebraska
    Excellent! I'm new to DS riding (as a matter of fact, my bike hasn't delivered yet) from the world of sportbike riding and this is right in my old sportbike stomping grounds! This is just the kind of thing I was looking for - offroad places semi-nearby.

    If anyone wants to PM me some more locations around Omaha, feel free. I'm up for anything.
    #17
  18. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,512
    Location:
    the 'Ha
    Jesse, holler when you get your 630 rolling and I'll take you on a Loess tour.
    #18
  19. RudyS2MT

    RudyS2MT Rudy in MT

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    362
    Location:
    Helena, MT; mountains and dirt roads all around...
    While I still really love my F650 Dakar my 2005 TW is still way too much fun to ride to ignor it! I love how one can ride and enjoy the scenery and not have to worry much about the trail!

    And in the bad stuff I'd much rather be on my lighter, cheaper TW! A nice option in this area of Montana!


    Thanks again for the photos!



    Rudy in Montana
    #19
  20. Ratman

    Ratman Lucky Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,235
    Location:
    Baja is good
    Jamalo says........
    >Me and my TW. I love this bike. I had an ‘87 many years ago, sold it and then missed it, so bought this one a few years ago. It will go through anything and makes me look like I know what I’m doing!

    Thanks for the report, Jamalo. I loved my TW when I had it.....but in the dirt I could only ride it about half as far as I can ride my DR350. It was just suspended to stiff for me. I was a 200 lb geezer, at the time, so the harsh spring was hard on my body.
    I replaced the stock rear spring with a lighter one off an XR250. If I had it to do over, I might even look for a lighter spring. Anyway it made the ride better....keep that in mind as you ride on.

    Oh and I was able to put a 3 gallon tank on the bike. I don't know what the tank was.......but I do remember I had to take some of the front of the seat off to accommodate the larger tank.

    The bike was near perfect after that. :clap

    I didn't mean to HJ your nice report. :cry
    #20