Southwest by Versys

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

  1. notsofasteddie

    notsofasteddie Semi Slow Rider

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    Glad you got to go up Mingus Mountain for a bit. That is a great road.

    Most of your heat is over once you leave Hurricane, at least until you get to Hanksville and then the Hite area and it should cool off there some by Friday. But on the other side of things - they are talking about record setting rain fall (for the date) in eastern Colorado starting Saturday (this weekend into early next week). That will probably spill over into the areas you are going to be in.

    Here's links to the Grand Junction NWS reports in case you want to check it out occasionally over the next few days:
    http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=gjt&product=AFD&issuedby=gjt
    http://www.weather.gov/gjt/

    Ed
    Page, AZ

    Edit - and glad you liked the Cape Royal road!
    #61
  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Jerome was really cool. I highly recommend it for anyone riding in the area.

    Debbi and I spent a couple of nights in Sedona back in 89. It was much less developed back then. It just looked too crowded this time.

    See you Thursday.



    Cape Royal road was fantastic. No better way to see the Grand Canyon if you are on a motorcycle!

    I'll keep an eye on the weather. Forecast looks fine through my time in Moab. After that my plans are flexible.
    #62
  3. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Speaking of Cape Royal road, I took a bazillion pics there so here are a few more.

    The beginning of the road is very curvy but the road surface is a little rough. Then the road surface changes to very smooth.

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    Eventually I got to Cape Royal, parked the bike and went for a little hike to enjoy the view. There were maybe a dozen cars parked there when I got there. It is much, much less crowded here than the South Rim.

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    Still some snow in the distance.

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    Just to prove I was really there.:D

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    Heading back on Cape Royal RD.

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    The curves are fun but don't get too distracted by the scenery.

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    There is no guardrail and it's a long ways down over the side:eekers

    Mo scenery.

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    #63
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  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Next stop was Bright Angel Point which is where most of the tourists go. Of course i hiked out the Bright Angel trail.

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    Lunch with a view!

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    Sort of a selfie.....my feet are in the pic:D

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    Then I headed out of the park and rode to Hurricane where I'll be riding out of the next couple of days.
    #64
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  5. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Great 're so far man!:freaky
    #65
  6. RicH2

    RicH2 Ric H2

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    Hey.....fellow Huntsvillian here....nice trip.....

    I spend my time riding the Smokies. But I've been toying with the idea of trucking a bike as you have out west.
    #66
  7. Fireman1000

    Fireman1000 Long timer

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    Wonderful pictures. I read one of iDave's ride reports recently of the same area. YOu guys are making me want to head west.
    #67
  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I'm back from another day of spectacular riding and scenery. I'll post some pics after dinner



    Thanks for checking in


    I love the Smokies. For pure sport riding they can't be beat but the scenery out here is on a whole different level. Go ahead, head west, you won't be disappointed.



    I read iDave's report as well. It was one of the things that inspired me for this trip. Much of my route from Friday on will be similar to what Dave did.
    #68
  9. Fireman1000

    Fireman1000 Long timer

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    ^ It will be a while for me. The kids are still young, and I can't seem to be away from them for more than a couple days. Heck, I tried doing an overnighter to TWO a few weeks ago, and my 4 year old decided to break his arm. I braved Friday afternoon rush hour traffic in Atlanta to get home to him.
    #69
  10. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    Oh boy, this ought to be good.:freaky

    :lurk
    #70
  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    After dinner I came back to my motel and have been on the phone talking to my wife, my friend who will be joining me tomorrow (Raptorman) and my BIL so I haven't had the chance to work on this report. I'll try to do a little before I hit the sack.

    I decided to start the day by riding to Zion to get some info from the visitor's center concerning hiking the Angels Landing trail which I planned to do Thursday. I found out it will be closed till 1 on Thursday:(: This trail needs to be done in the morning before it gets too hot. What a bummer. I've been looking forward to hiking this for years. I guess I'll just have to make another ride out here soon:evil

    So I rode into Zion to take some pics.

    This was approaching Zion:

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    BTW, I have been using two camera's to take all these pics. I have a waterproof Olympus point and shoot that I hang around my neck by a strap and use to take pics while riding. When I stop I usually pull out my Sony DSC-HX300 "bridge" camera to get those pics.

    This is one of those "on the fly" pics, still approaching Zion from the west.

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    After stopping at the visitor's center I continued on the road through the park. This has to be one of the most scenic roads in the country.

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    More on the fly shots.

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    Does this look like a fun road on a motorcycle?

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    #71
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  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I was originally planning on riding all the way through Zion but traffic was stopped waiting to go through the tunnel so I changed my mind and decided to go with plan "B". Besides, I'll be going through here again on Friday.

    Plan B was to ride up this road that looked real interesting on the map.
    Well.......

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    So I headed North towards Cedar Breaks National Monument.

    I got on to I-15 and saw this sign:huh I thought it was a mistake until I saw another one.

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    So I'm cruising along at or below the 80 MPH speed limit and saw another sign and decided to do a little detour.

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    And what a detour it was.

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    #72
  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    The road into Kolob Canyons is only 5 miles long but has an incredible amount of spectacular views. I think I stopped at least a dozen times to take pics.

    A couple more.

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    Then I got back on I-15 to Cedar City where I got off, got gas and lunch. Gas here was cheaper than in Hurricane but still over $3 a gallon. I was glad I was getting 50 MPG instead of 8-10 like many of the RVs I was seeing everywhere.

    From Cedar City I headed east on SR14. This was another great road but the temperature quickly dropped with the elevation and I had to stop and put on all the clothes I brought along including my rain pants and jacket. I wasn't expecting this.

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    There was still snow on the ground up here.

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    #73
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  14. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    klaviator,

    It's a shame Kolob Terrance Rd was not accessible, it's a great ride, one of my favorites in the area.

    Kolob Canyons is a wonderful find that is hardly visited, nice alternative. If you're still in the area, although a late tip, Brian Head Peak is well worth a look, and in the same neighborhood is Cedar Breaks N.M.

    Pushin' continued great travels to ya klav!
    #74
  15. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I guess I'll have to come back to hike Angels landing AND ride Kolob Terrace rd.

    I did get a look at Brian Head Peak.

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    I have more pics from this area but I have places to go so I'll post more later.

    It's later so here are more pics from that day.

    Brians Head Ski area.

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    Then I turned around and rode towards Panguich Lake. There were big areas of volcanic rock.

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    The Lake.

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    Then I turned back around. I saw I sign to SR14 and decided to try that road. I don't know the name of the road but it was a pretty nice curvy road with nice scenery.

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    Then it was back on 14 heading west.

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    #75
  16. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts. Supporter

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    Enjoying your RR. I've been visiting northern AZ for almost 40 years...it is sad to see what has happened to Sedona.
    #76
  17. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    I can't tell you how badly I wish I was out riding right now instead of working. thank you for the vicarious travels. by the way how are you liking that bike so far? I have a friend interested in getting one.
    #77
  18. Kawi-Mike

    Kawi-Mike Been here awhile

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    I am also interested in knowing how you like the bike. I have a KLR 650 and would really like to have the Versus as well. Thanks for the report. Great pictures!!!
    #78
  19. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Just got back to the motel. Didn't do much today except go far a short walk to have some lunch. Pics to follow.


    It was such a cool place 25+ years ago.



    I can't tell you how glad I am to be out riding instead of working:wings




    I like the Versys. The stock seat sucks and it's a little cramped for legroom for a tall guy like me but I'm using an Airhawk with an additional piece of foam underneath to solve that issue. Still planning on getting an aftermarket seat. The bike handles great and is a blast to ride. As a long distance touring bike it's not the best bike out there but it sure beats a KLR. I also have a KLR. Of course the KLR is much better off the pavement but the Versys is OK for some occasional dirt road riding. I was originally looking at several other bikes as well including the V-strom 650 but the price I got on the Versys made the decision for me. I got it for $4899 and under $5500 OTD. That was last year for a left over but new 2012 model. I think a V-strom 650 would be a better touring bike but the Versys is a better sport bike.
    #79
  20. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I jumped on the bike this morning and rode 23 miles to the Zion Visitor center. I stashed my riding gear on the bike and rode the shuttle into Zion Canyon. Angels Landing, which I have been looking forward to hiking for years was closed to they could remove waste from the restrooms part of the way up. They were doing it by helicopter. The Hidden canyon trail was closed for construction. That left a bunch of easy trails designed for old people or the hike to Observation Point which was a little intimidating for an old guy like me. The trail guide said 8 miles, 2148 feet of elevation change, and 6 hours to hike it. I figured I'd give it a try. I could always turn around if it got too tough.

    This is the first part of the trail.

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    I was breathing pretty hard and hoped it wouldn't stay like this.

    The views were spectacular and I took a bazillion pics but I won't post them all and they really don't do the actual view any justice.

    The trail did level out briefly.

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    And continued up.....and up.....and up.

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    The views were simply amazing. In the next pic you can see Angel's landing well below near the center of the pic.

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    Just to prove I was there.

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    Lunch. Not exactly gourmet but you couldn't beat the view.

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    Got a pic of the Helicopter hauling waste from the Angel's Landing trail. It's a little below the middle of the pic.

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    Another view looking down at the trail.

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    Going back down.

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    It's not a good trail if you are afraid of heights.

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    There was couple from Switzerland that also hiked the trail at the same time and we crossed paths and we had the chance to talk a few times.

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    So, I made it but I was really starting to hurt the last couple of miles going down. I'm glad I did this hike. It was far and away the most spectacular hike of my life. I'll have to come back some day and hike to Angels Landing and see how it compares.
    #80