Colorado east to the Appalachians - advise please

Discussion in 'Americas' started by brian sherriff, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. brian sherriff

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    Next year I am planning a trip to the USA in April / May for about 6 weeks. I will start in Colorado head south through New Mexico, east through Texas, into Arkansas, Tennessee and then make my way to and around the Appalachians. Then return to Colorado. I have done a previous trip covering the West side of the USA, so the focus this time is the mountains in the east and a travel through the south.

    I have been scouring these pages for information and there is lots of great stuff about the famous rides in and around the Appalachians and the Ozarks. I have also read about the Hill Country in Texas, but I am struggling to find information about routes through New Mexico and Texas. Any ideas would be welcome. I favour small roads, lots of curves, I will be in no rush. I enjoy any sort of music, so any information on musical events would be appreciated.

    I chose April / May to avoid the worse of the heat/humidity in the south and hopefully have reasonable weather (no ice or snow) in the Appalachians and perhaps do some camping along the way? Are these realistic assumptions?

    A last question? I intend to buy a bike in Colorado and then sell it there at trip end. Any ideas about what bikes sell easily (and are reliable)? I need the bike sold quickly at the end of the trip. I ride a BMW gs TC here in Europe, but the initial outlay for one of those would be too high and I have no idea what the market would be for an older BMW gs within my price range? I would like to stay under a purchase price of $5000 if possible? The minimum size engine would be 650cc and it does not have to be a dual sport bike.

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. AwDang

    AwDang Long timer

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    Unless you have a specific reason to start and end in CO, it seems kind of out of the way for the trip your describing. The easter mountains and southern plains could be done in nice crescent shape tour from anywhere east of the corn belt.
    April/May is prime tornado season on the plains.
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  3. brian sherriff

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    Thanks for that AwDang. I have a friend in Colorado so starting and ending there. If I have some time at the end of the trip, some time in the Rockies would be nice.
    Do tornado's effect the south?
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  4. AwDang

    AwDang Long timer

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  5. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Google "USA tornado alley", they tend to come up the Mississippi valley but not a reason to guide a trips timing or routes either. Leave it alone as one of life's weather things... The odds that a tornado will "get you" are miniscule overall. Sort of like the notion of not going to the UK cause it rains too much...
    CO as one of my favorite states is a great choice IMO. Much of CO is desert or treeless or high plains. Highest elevations free up in May as you likely know.
    Like you may have already read, NW AR is the best Ozark riding and in MO below US 60 is generally well into the Ozark mtns. The Ozarks extend slightly into OK. They are a bit different than the eastern mtns but similar in curvy mtns and seasonally the same. Highest point in AR is like 2650 feet, while highest in NC/TN/VA is close to 7,000 feet but the riding is great both spots. You can either come across the high plains on 1-70 for speed or do US 36 or US24 for back roads plains or go from Ozarks to Memphis and I-40 fast way to eastern mtns..
    IMO Texas hill country is just OK, not where I'd personally go and yes, I have been there. Texas does have very good roads and some curves. My favorite part of Texas gets little mention- East Texas. In NM the best riding is the NE quadrant and even the NM tourism people say that too. Eastern OK has some good riding but the rest of the state is similar to the TX panhandle or high plains.
    There is VG riding from north GA up through Maine, extends west into PA, parts of OH too. IMO, the best is WV, S VA, E TN, W NC, N GA, and E KY-where I live. The hinge seasons of spring and fall are the best to ride here in the east. Can be rainy but the good with the bad as it truly is a glorious time here when spring busts loose.
    read about the Blue Ridge Parkway from Smoky mtn national park to N VA. , From WV yo into PA, NY and the rest of New England is similar riding to the southern Appalachians and cultural differences but both are fantastic riding. Certain New England states are scenic but also crowded while others are sparsely populated all over like NH.
    You could swing north into Quebec & Ontario then come down from MN back toward CO?
    MC choices- USA has a cruiser crowd and the rest is split. In an urban area like Denver, if priced right they all will sell OK. IMO, a Wee Strom is a good choice main stream bike or a Tenere but you'll get lots of other opinions before this ends. Your inseam matters a bunch since many MC's are tall! I rode several BMW's I really liked and they fit me too, most popular GS bikes are too tall for me. If tall bikes like the KLR fit you that would sell well in CO.
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  6. brian sherriff

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    Thanks the link AwDang, will check it out.
    Kantuckid, many thanks for your suggestions. Tornados are something I did not consider and something to prompt a watch of the weather forecast during the trip! I will check out your travel suggestions and how to link them up, many thanks. As for a bike, I know little about KLR's, they were not for sale in the UK, but singles vibrate (generally) so I would prefer a twin and the V strom could fit the bill. (Do KLR's vibrate?). I ride a 1200gs and my legs are fine for that with the standard seat, so a reasonably tall bike is fine for me.
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  7. brian sherriff

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    That's Florida out then:jack

    "The average tornado only stays on ground for 5 minutes. These figures, reported by the National Climatic Data Center for the period between 1991 and 2010, show the seventeen U.S. states with the highest average number of tornadoes per 10,000 square miles (25,899.9 km2) per year."

    1. Florida: 12.2
    2. Kansas: 11.7
    3. Maryland: 9.9
    4. Illinois: 9.7
    5. Mississippi: 9.2
    6. Iowa: 9.1
    7. Oklahoma: 9
    8. South Carolina: 9
    9. Alabama: 8.6
    10. Louisiana: 8.5
    11. Arkansas: 7.5
    12. Nebraska: 7.4
    13. Missouri: 6.5
    14. North Carolina: 6.4
    15. Tennessee: 6.2
    16. Indiana: 6.1
    17. Texas: 5.9
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  8. AwDang

    AwDang Long timer

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    Don’t tunnel vision on the tornado it’s-self. To get to a tornado requires a heavy stormfront including miles/hours/days of rain, lightening, wind.

    Spring in the area your interested is a time to be weather aware.
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  9. brian sherriff

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    Thanks for that AwDang, I will make sure I am weather aware. :thumb
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  10. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Rt 104 in NM between Tucamcari and Las Vegas, NM is divine. Head up into Taos and then back down to Santa Fe. Stay near the square in Santa Fe for Good eats and shopping.

    Northern AR is good - I've not ridden there, but been in a car and really wished I was on 2 wheels. The Buffalo National River is nice - you can rent a canoe and paddle for the day if you want. Lots of neat hiking around some bluffs and caves, too.

    Northern GA is good also - around Suches.

    441 between Gatlinburg, TN and Cherokee, NC is a nice ride. Again, lots of hiking if you're into it. There's a ton of good stuff in that area, but I don't have first hand knowledge of it. Dragon, Cherohola, etc.

    Southeast Ohio has lots of good riding, into WV as well.

    If you plan on getting north enough in NY or VT I can help as well. The Adirondacks are technically the top of the Appalachian Mountains :)
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  11. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Check the dates campsites open on Blue Ridge Parkway IIRC it's beginning of May at southern end later north.

    If you end up crossing Kansas on pavement (Kansas has alot if unpaved farm roads) KS-4 is the scenic road.. still boring at western side.

    How about keeping the bike for another trip? I had a European rider stop by.. he has been riding in states several years now. 2 weeks here and 3 weeks there.. there will be inmates who will help you to store bike but if not there's storage near airports
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  12. brian sherriff

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    Some great tips there AllSeasonRider, thanks very much. Added to the 'to do' list.
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  13. brian sherriff

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    Thanks for that Cyclopathic. I guess there is no way around some boring pavement between N Mexico and Arkansas?
    I will check camping dates.
    As for keeping the bike for another trip, that's something to consider at the end of the ride. If storage was easy to find and not expensive, that would help me make my mind up. The USA is certainly a great place to ride a bike, I love the space, something we don't have in England.
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  14. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Check TAT also SEAT though it will be muddy so early in season.
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  15. AwDang

    AwDang Long timer

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  16. severely

    severely almost a noob

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    NE New Mexico is very good, crossing the Texas panhandle can get windy at times. I think the Washita Battlefield in western OK is something to see and proceed east to Talemina Skyline Drive near Mena AR. NW AR is a motorcyclists playground then over to Memphis for some dry rub BBQ. Any 2 lane east/west road is good in TN to the Smokies. The return trip can be a little north of this one to catch KY, southern MO/KS and the history around there. Good luck, try not to worry about tornado's too much.
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  17. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    Bikewiswe, maybe something like a vstrom? Inexpensive, fairly bulletproof and you could sell it cheap without losing too much cash. Front range (co springs, Denver) will have more of a selection of bikes than western slope.
    Probably a good chance of snow in April up high.
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  18. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    The tornado list is off in some respects IMO. I've seen other lists over the years that had a different take, state wise, but in the end I'm NOT!!! a weather expert either. I still say weather alert as mentioned above is the smart person, not "weather worry wart" as some people I know who worry their daily affairs over weather.
    Concerns need to be focused on food & shelter not tornados plus where ya going today.
    I say this too much here but it's also true- if you really want to see the USA you must get off the MC. My BIL drove trucks for many years and based on his measure he's seen it all, but given he never walks then or now, I know he never has seen what I have and thats a bunch of stuff you gotta walk to be around. Take the time to get off and walk even a mile or two and you'll be greatly rewarded-if you like the natural world.
    Not to dwell on brand names but I still see the Stroms-650 & 1000 both as a good choice for use & re-sale and lots for sale.
    Given transportations cheap & fast in the USA you can buy in a nearby city easy enough. In my rural area if I waited for the right whatever to come along I'd have been doing without most anything that doesn't come from either the web or a drive, etc..
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  19. brian sherriff

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    Still not sure what bike I will have yet and even with a dual sport I would stay away from mud. Gravel tracks are OK, but mud and sand I stay away from. I am no off road god! Thanks for the info though.
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  20. brian sherriff

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