Southwest by Versys

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by klaviator, May 18, 2015.

  1. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    It's been over 10 years since my last ride out west and I have been itching to go back. Reading ride reports and seeing all the spectacular pictures posted by all of you lucky to ride and /or live out there has just made it worse for me. In less than two weeks I'll be starting a 2 week loop through the Southwest on my Versys 650:wings:happay Yes, I am excited!

    I'm going to start my thread now to cover pre ride planning and then will update every night if possible during my trip.

    My trusty steed for this trip will be my 2012 Versys which I bought new last summer:

    [​IMG]

    In the pic above I had my camping gear on it but I will be moteling it on this trip. I am still working on what I will be bringing on this trip as I am likely to be riding through temperatures from the 30s up to the 90s.

    Here is my tentative schedule:

    Sunday May 31 ----Albuquerque, Nm to Chinle AZ
    Monday Jun 1 ----- Chinle to Marble Canyon Az
    Tuesday Jun 2 -----Marble canyon to North Rim GC to Hurricane Ut
    Wed - Thurs --------Ride area in and around Zion NP - Stay in Hurricane
    Fri Jun 5 ----------- Hurricane to Torrey UT on Hwy12
    Sat Jun 6 ---------- Torrey to Blanding or Monticello UT
    Sun Jun7 -----------Ride to Moab
    Mon Jun 8 ----------Moab area
    Tues Jun 9 --------- Moab to Montrose, Co
    Wed Jun10 --------- Montrose Co ---Black Canyon of the Gunnison
    Thurs Jun 11 ------- Montrose to Taos NM
    Fri Jun 12 ---------- Taos to Albuquerque

    Of course this schedule is subject to change due to weather or any other reason that seems like a good idea to me. I am putting out this schedule well in advance because a few people have expressed interest in meeting me somewhere along the way. Of course I am always glad to have the opportunity to meet other inmates and riding enthusiasts. My old riding partner who appeared in many of my early dual sport ride reports now lives in UT and plans on riding along for a few days in Utah.

    Some thoughts about the schedule above. Most of the distances from one town to the next aren't that long. I am not planning on always taking the shortest route and want to have time to stop and see interesting stuff along the way. I WILL be taking a lot of pictures. On my previous trip out west I only had cheap 35mm camera's and didn't take that many pics.

    This will primarily be a street ride but expect to ride a few dirt roads to include the Moki Dugway and part of the White Rim Trail.
    #1
  2. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    I'll be following your thread. :clap

    It's been a few years since I took a big bike trip out west and I'm thinking since I'm healing from ACL surgery, I'll skip the DS ride in CO this year and do a big bike trip instead.

    I wanted to make one suggestion for a place I think is pretty cool to see at least once. It's the Moki Dugway on Hwy 261 just a little north of Mexican Hat, UT. - http://bluffutah.org/mokey-dugway-muley-point/

    So on your current route on Day 6th from Torrey to Blanding, if you got off hwy 95 and headed south on 261 towards Mexican Hat, you would hit it. I've managed to hit it twice in different years going each direction and it's quite the sight to see.

    Also on that route, you could visit the Valley of the God's which is just south of The Moki Dugway. In fact the Valley of the God's road (FS242) drops you out on 163 where you can head north again back towards Blanding.
    http://www.americansouthwest.net/utah/mexican_hat/valley_of_the_gods.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valley_of_the_Gods
    http://www.utah.com/monumentvalley/ValleyOfTheGods.htm

    I'm not sure what you would miss on 95 between 261 and 191 there and if it's worth the detour for you or not, but may be worth looking into.
    #2
  3. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I was planning on riding the Moki Dugway already but thanks for the info on FS242. I'll probably take your suggestion on that.
    #3
  4. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Cool, I haven't done that Valley of the God's road myself, but if I get out there again, I plan on hitting that. :clap
    #4
  5. SparkyL

    SparkyL Been here awhile

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    Love that part of the U.S.! Curious about the Huntsville to ABQ and back to Huntsville part though. (Or is that just nosy?) Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to ride out there.
    #5
  6. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I'm going to cheat and put my bike in the back of my truck. I'll leave my truck with my BIL in ABQ. If I had a lot more time I'd ride the whole way but I don't so I want to get out and back a quickly as possible without wearing myself, or my tires out.
    #6
  7. Roland44

    Roland44 Been here awhile

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    Sounds good, subscribed!
    #7
  8. TBickell

    TBickell And away we GO !!

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    I live in Phoenix area and most of what you are doing is a mere 150 miles away. Marble Canyon going up Hwy 89a to Jacob Lake is great. The road down to the North Rim is also great with some big sweepers. It can be taken at a brisk pace. I think the North rim is more spectacular than South and far less tour buses as it is a bit harder to get too. Heading over to Monument valley is a little boring until you get there. North to Mexican Hat is Ok. The fun starts when you head west on Hwy 95 through Hite and on up to Hanksville. That is a very fast road with great turns and reasonably great pavement. There were a lot of tar snakes on the top half that are bothersome. Try to hit that on early on a weekday to avoid the usual campers, boats etc going to Lake Powell. The rode from Hanksville to Torrey is in my top 10. Great level turns not to tight but they might test the pegs. The only problem is the scenery at that point coming into Capitol Reef NP is so incredible it's hard not to look:eek1.. Torrey to Bryce on hwy 12 is also incredible. If you have any fear if heights that "hogback" section of that road is a tester. I do and that is why I am not attempting 261 out if Mexican Hat..I'm a big fan of guard rails between me and a 1000 ft drop! That whole area might be some of the best in the country. Only problem is looks of summer RV and tour bus traffic. Enjoy...
    #8
  9. Raptorman

    Raptorman Adventurer

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    Looking forward to riding a few more twisties with you old buddy. Glad I won't have to drive out with you like we did during our 2005 Moab trip. It's been a few years since I've been thru the red rocks of southern Utah. The last time unfortunately was in a car. This time will be wayyyyy more fun on my "classic" 2004 V-Strom 650. See you in June. :clap
    #9
  10. TrashCan

    TrashCan Scary Jerry

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    Sounds like a great trip, Win.

    Have fun.:clap
    #10
  11. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

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    I will be watchin this close, I am a fellow 'Vers rider.

    Say, who's tank bag is that/manufacturer?

    It's a smart fit.. Oh, I love the bumblebee scheme. Sweet :1drink
    #11
  12. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Enjoy! Southwest by Versys is a good plan. I'd chase you around a bit, but I'll be in Europe looking at castles. :D

    Wishing you good weather and no deer jumping out at dusk. Rubber side down, my friend. Looking forward to the pics. :thumb
    #12
  13. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    Also wishing you the best klaviator, should be a goody!

    Make sure you make that 10-12 mile eastbound route out of Boulder, it's the paved portion of the Burr Trail, you'll have no regrets!
    #13
  14. Radmandan

    Radmandan n00b

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    As a fellow Versys rider (2011) I am glad to see another vee out there on ADV rider. I am taking a trip to Nova Scotia and PEI in Sept. Looking forward to your ride reports and pictures! Why did you decide not to camp?
    #14
  15. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for checking in.



    Thanks for the info. I have ridden some of these roads before but it's been a long time.



    Looking forward to riding with you again. If you have any suggestions go ahead and post them up.
    #15
  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I plan on having fun. See you at the Sunday morning breakfast sometime later this year.



    Thanks for checking in. The tank bag is a Nelson Rigg CL 1045 adventure slim. It fit pretty good but isn't real big. I went with a conventional tank bag because I'm not comfortable with a bunch of powerful magnets being near my phone & camera. It is a bit of a hassle taking it off and on compared to a magnetic bag.




    Enjoy Europe. Maybe next time I come out our paths will cross. Your ride report has been one of my inspirations for this trip.
    #16
  17. MN_Smurf

    MN_Smurf Capt_Confusion

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    My Versys and a friend's KLR at the north rim campground in Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP in 2011....

    [​IMG]

    Have a good trip, I'll be following this one.
    #17
    Macho Man2 likes this.
  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for the info. I'll look into that.



    I considered camping but decided it would just be more convenient and comfortable to stay in motels. I am not a real experienced camper. I started camping off my bikes about 4 years ago. Before that I only camped if I was taking the truck with bike and camping gear in the back. It was ride reports on ADV that inspired me to try moto-camping. At this point I'm still working on getting the right gear to make it work. I finally picked up a decent compact sleeping bag last weekend. I still need a tent I can trust in really wet weather.

    I was originally thinking of camping at least part of the time but decided my camping gear would take up too much of my available luggage space. I will be camping on some shorter trips later this year.
    #18
  19. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    I am in!
    #19
  20. Bicyclist

    Bicyclist Been here awhile

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    When you get out that way, consider stopping in at a City Market grocery store and get a loyalty card. It'll save you a little money at their gas station. I got back from Moab a week ago. While there, I got most of my dinners from the City Market; saved some money.

    If you're going to ride some of the White Rim Trail, I'd suggest the Shafer Switchback end. The ride out to Musselman Arch will get you a look at some of the most scenic part of the trail and it's much friendlier to a street bike than the other end of the trail.

    edit: I found the Latitude 40 maps to be really useful. You can find them everywhere in Moab or order them from www.latitude40maps.com.
    #20