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vwone 03-29-2008 09:54 PM

One day + a rented R1200RT in Las Vegas!
I had to be in Las Vegas this past week for some training and it worked out where I had one day to do what ever I wanted. I had never been to this part of the country and thought I would take full advantage of it.

First thing first, I called BMW of Las Vegas and rented the R1200RT. I have a BMW F800st that I ride everyday and I can't get enough of it. My first choice ( the F800st) was rented so next on my list was the R1200Rt. The second thing I did, I came here to and did several searches to see where to go. This is my first trip report here and using the tips I found in the forums, this is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy!
Lastly BMW of Las Vegas was great to deal with!!! It took no time pick up and drop off the bike. They were professional and did a couple of things for me that was above and beyond. I would recommend them to anyone and will do business with them again!

Let me fill you in, I stayed near the strip in Vegas and I decided to leave around 5:30 am to get to the Valley of Fire by day break. Leaving Vegas it was still dark and the temp was around 60 degrees. I fired up the boxer, plugged in the GPS and hit the strip. Now riding the strip when there is traffic was not what I would call motorcycle riding, but riding it early in the morning is great. There was little traffic and it gives you a chance to see it with out having to watch for the insane drivers there. As I headed north I left the bright lights of Vegas and before I knew it, I was in the desert. The sun light was just starting to break over the mountains and the fog was just lifting off of the desert floor. What a sight this was!

The R1200Rt was in its element, no buffeting, great wind protection and it was cruising along at 80mph like it was nothing. Since starting to ride a couple of years ago, I thought these big bikes with the huge plastic fairings and enough electronics to fly the space shuttle was a little over the top. Well, I was wrong. First, I didn't understand the meaning of over the top until I saw Las Vegas and second the heated seat, heated grips, cruise control and adjustable windshield paid off big time. As the temps fell into the upper 40's, I found myself adjusting this or that, turning on and off heated portions of the bike and at no time was I cold or uncomfortable IN MY SUMMER GEAR.
The first pic of the day, the entrance to the Valley of Fire.

I really can't explain what this is like to see in person, I was taken back by the colors.

Now here is a tip that I found here and I want to make sure that I pass it along. Once driving through the Vally of fire, you think you are finished. Well that was not the case. There is a visitors center half way through the Valley and it just has a little sign that says something about the visitor center and a couple of more sites. What it should say is" Visitor center next left and BY THE WAY, you haven't seen nothing yet TURN LEFT!" I was so amazed at what I saw, I didn't take not one picture. I couldn't stop riding! So I have left all of you a little surprise/treat if you ever get the chance to go to the Valley of fire.

Leaving the Valley of Fire the temp had risen and the electrics was off. I had lowered the windshield but discovered I liked it up about half way. I made a right into the next leg of the journey, hwy 167. It was around 9 am and I thought I would find a nice little diner to get some breakfast. I also thought I might stop at a gas station somewhere and top off the the bike. Well this is what I saw for the next 2 hours,

For the next two hours, I was by myself taking in all of these great sites this road had to offer. You know you are on a good road when you want to stop to take another picture but don't because you can't take a picture of everything you come to. Then after you pass it, you realize you just made a mistake by not taking that picture.

I also need to mention that hwy167 is rough in places. I would even go so far as to say it was the roughest road I have driven with a 50mph speed limit. However, the R1200Rt took it like a champ! The bike always felt planted and soaked up the major bumps with no issues.

As I was traveling down this great road, I really started to appreciate the R1200Rt. I had found earlier that the bike did really well on the interstate but I noticed it really really liked sweepers. The more south you go the road becomes smoother and the turns tighter. The next thing I know I am near triple digit speeds just sailing through the turns.

Next on the list, Hoover Dam. If you continue south you eventually make it to the Dam. I finally found a gas station just a couple of miles before the dam and grabbed a couple doughnuts and hit the road. I found the road leading to the Dam a little technical. It has some tight turns, traffic and construction. Nothing horrible but you just need to pay attention.

Last leg of the day, Red Rock Canyon. Now this is a good place to end the Day if you rent from BMW of Las Vegas. The dealer ship is only 15~20 miles away and when I returned the bike, there was little to no traffic. It also lets you save the best for the last! I guess the only way I could describe my first thought when I entered the canyon was I couldn't believe what I saw.

This is an overlook you can stop at. These photos don't even come close to what it is like to see this in person. I returned later in the day to take in the views once again and read a couple of chapters in a book I am reading. I had time to kill before my ride to the airport was to meet me and I wanted to take advantage of this. It is a very peaceful place to say the least. Thinking I was the only nut case that would break out a book to read, another rider pulled up at the other end of the over look to do the same thing. I guess I am not the only crazy one.

Here a couple of tourist asked if they could take a picture with the bike? I thought it was funny that here in the middle of all of this they wanted to take their picture with a motorcycle. They seemed like they was getting a kick out of it, so I snapped a picture of them.
Lastly I took several unusual pictures of the R1200Rt and I liked this one.
This trip was ~270 miles. I started around 5:30am and I had hit the mileage limit of 250 miles around 2 pm. Not having a good feel of time, I didn't take the tour of the dam and I did not stop at every little place on the side of the road. I could have easily spent more time exploring and taking in what was offered here. Normally when I travel on my bike, I am alone and I always meet people along the way. With that comes stories to tell and experiences to share, but while traveling in this area I met no one. Actually I was by myself most of the time. The roads and attraction were for the most part empty. I don't know if it was the time of year or just that day, but I had most of this all to myself. If someone would have told me a year ago that I would be renting a BMW motorcycle in Las Vegas and traveling to see these places, I wouldn't have ever believed them. This was an experience that I will never forget, Dean.

trent 03-29-2008 10:18 PM

Cool writeup. Way to use your extra time. I wouldn't have thought to rent a bike but next time I will.

Yellow Iron 03-30-2008 04:27 AM

WOW :norton

I went to a wedding in Las Vegas (not mine) I thought it was going to be stupid on the top of a mountain. It was at Valley of Fire State park and cool as anything.

I would love to get back there on a bike your trip is what I had in mind:clap

CaptainMorgan 03-30-2008 05:01 AM

what do they charge to rent an RT for a day?

GB 03-30-2008 05:38 AM

Excellent ride, report and pics!! Thanks for sharing your fabulous day with us :thumb

Norhasken 03-30-2008 06:57 AM

Nice report! The water level at Lake Mead looks low.

Hi_Fi_Guy 03-30-2008 09:22 AM


Originally Posted by Norhasken
Nice report! The water level at Lake Mead looks low.

It is, Lake Mead could run dry by 2021, study warns

Ladybug0048 03-30-2008 09:39 AM

Terrific Ride Report
Excellent job with the ride report :clap

Even though I've been to Nevada a few times and in that general area I have never been through the Valley of Fire. Now, because of your report, it's on my list of things to do.

Thank you for sharing your ride and giving me another goal.

one2many 03-30-2008 12:16 PM

Thanks for your ride report. I lived in Vegas for five years and it was a blast riding those roads nearly every weekend. It brings back some good times for sure.

vwone 03-30-2008 04:34 PM

Hi all, I am glad you have enjoyed the report. I now have a new respect for all of the reports here and what it takes to put one together.

To rent a bike from BMW of Las Vegas was ~$200.00. There is a couple of variables and you have to pay per mile if you go over 250 miles in a day (I think it is 250). It was easy to rent the bike form them. I changed the pickup date/time at the last second and they supplied me with a tank bag for the bike to hold my navigator III. Lastly when I returned,they asked how I liked the bike and how the ride was and where I went? I bet what they really wanted to know is how is our bike? Never the less, it was nice for them to ask and I really enjoyed talking with those guys.

Let me know if I can answer anything else, Dean
Dean's BMW F800st website,

2500hd4x 03-30-2008 04:54 PM

My wife and I are headed to Vegas this Thursday for our anniversary/graduation present for her....Its our first time in Vegas (or out west for that matter). Friday is my "Fun Day" to do what I want. I was sitting here plotting a route to Death Valley National Park after realizing the Grand Canyon was way too far off to hit on a one day trip from Vegas and looking up motorcycle rentals in Vegas. Now I am inspired to follow your lead and borrow your route. Nice write up and beautiful pictures!! The Valley of Fire looks like a great ride...Thanks! :D

humvee 03-30-2008 05:34 PM

I might be in Vegas in June. Do you have the GPS route you took...or can you provide highway numbers?

kootenay kid 03-30-2008 06:15 PM

I'm going May 1st and will probably try this out. Did they supply helmets and other gear?

gixxerjasen 03-31-2008 05:26 AM

Great writeup. I have some nearly identical pictures from Red Rock Canyon. Sadly, my tour was't on a bike but hurried along on a tour bus. I won't do that again. That sounds reasonable for the rental, did it include insurance? I'll definately hit them up next time we head out that way as I don't gamble much so the strip has lost some of it's lustre in the three trips I've made out there. Valley of Fire is definately on my list. :clap

Chanderjeet 03-31-2008 05:33 AM

I like the hoover dam. Pretty impressive work of construction those guys are doing building up that new bridge there. The pics look good, it must have been a day well spent. :thumb

Thanks for sharing.

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