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Old 06-10-2010, 06:58 PM   #1
EnderTheX OP
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In search of exciting mountain roads in the OK and AR National Forests!

Hey Guys! I just got back from riding some cool roads in the national forests and mountains of OK and AR! This is my first trip for the year and I am already getting excited to go out again! My F800GS is definitely turning out to be exactly the bike I wanted it to be.

I’ve got a bunch of pictures here and a few maps. I tracked myself through my new SPOT page and my Garmin 276C GPS. I’ll tell you the Garmin is really awesome. This is by far my favorite and most powerful GPS to date. Not only did it record my entire route very closely but it’s helped navigate on the fly, get out of sticky situations and plan future trips.

Since I’ve got the tracks and the SPOT I can tell accurately where each picture was taken. Please send me a PM if you would like a copy of the tracks or more info on any of the pictures!!!


Lets start off with a map of the route, these are my actual tracks for the whole trip.



This is a close-up of the day two riding in the Ozark National Forest.




For this trip I was supposed to go with my buddy Chris (child is his name on this site) who has a KTM 640A but he had family obligations at the last minute. I decided I would go ahead myself since I planned to be completely self-sufficient anyways. While we were planning the trip we practiced up at an off-road park near the Red River on the border of TX and OK. This was definitely helpful to get my confidence up on the bike and get us both in the mood for some tricky trails.

To see a backwards helmet cam video from Chris that shows me riding the F800GS in some tight trails at the off-road park check out this thread:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=583220


Let me introduce you to my ride! This beautiful beast is set to go and ready to haul up to the mountains!


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Old 06-10-2010, 07:07 PM   #2
briangorrell
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Great pics...


I am trying to decide between the R1200GS/ADV, or F800GS... Have you ridden the 1200 as well? What is your main reason for getting the F800GS?

Thanks - looks like fun!

Brian
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:37 PM   #3
EnderTheX OP
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I am very familiar with these types of roads… Gravel, flat, strait, super fast and looong. These are the Texas back-roads, the endless grid of dirt you can find off the highways and in your backyard. Unfortunately many of the interesting roads have been closed or are on private property. I am constantly searching for new roads close to DFW and I’ve probably ridden most of them already.




Here is my GPS, well worth the effort and money to set this baby up. This picture was made to remind me about this road… It dead-ends at my pointed into a completely overgrown wilderness (I guess the lonely people who live on this road only travel in one direction) but it doesn’t seem to be fenced off. So if you have some time and bug spray this might be interesting.




Always a pleasure to find roads like this, less used and not maintained by the county or state. In Texas at least there usually are fences on both sides, where I am heading I




The roads can be quite sublime though, especially when they are just perfect! I know my friend Chris is adverse to traveling long distances cross-country but this is what he is missing!




So I stop at this gas station as I enter into Oklahoma, my gas gauge indicates 20 miles to empty and I knew I shouldn’t tempt fate below this point.

I could have sworn the F800GS is rated for 4.2 gallons of useable fuel!? Either something is going on here or I was truly running on fumes as I pulled up.




I head out into OK and come across a cool bridge.




I try my hand at a couple at speed shots. This is much harder than it looks!!!



Props to the peeps who can perfect these shots!




Getting into some deeper side roads, never know what is around each corner! I think a lot of these have been newly graded to prepare for summer.




Finally! The beginning of the really interesting roads! This is the famous Talemina Scenic Drive (State Highway 88).




From the Google Earth image you can see I stay on this road for a little bit but then take off on an offshoot where there is interesting dirt to be found!

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Old 06-10-2010, 07:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briangorrell
Great pics...


I am trying to decide between the R1200GS/ADV, or F800GS... Have you ridden the 1200 as well? What is your main reason for getting the F800GS?

Thanks - looks like fun!

Brian
Hi Brian! I too had faced the dilemma of choosing between these great bikes. Several factors weighted in at the time but I chose to explore the more dirt oriented options. I'm not a big guy and the 1200s are huge! Since I do a lot of solo riding I have had to pick up my bike by myself many times. Also, the F800GS has more potential to clear obstacles. Mine is fitted with protective gear as well as suspension upgrades!


Oh yeah, and serviceability in the field was a big one for me too. I carry tons of spare parts for emergencies (it comes into play on this trip). The spokes wheels (21 inch) and chain are big differences from the big 1200s and are features I desire.

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Old 06-10-2010, 07:45 PM   #5
briangorrell
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I understand - love these pics - happy riding!!
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:59 PM   #6
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Up top on the Talemina Scenic Drive! There were tons of motorcyclists and of course the F800GS got lots of attention but I had little time to chat since I had to put some miles under my belt!

Note: You can get a good look at my luggage setup. I’ve got the Giantloop Great Basin bag and the Wolfman waterproof duffel. I am also using the Wolfman Expedition Lite tank bag. I couldn’t be happier with this setup. In a previous trip the soft luggage saved my leg from certain injury in a fall in deep sand. All of these are waterproof as I have proven on almost all of my long distance trips!!




I saw more bikers than cagers on this road. Good for them to be out an about on such a nice day!




One more picture then I’m outta here!!! This is an awesome road though…

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Old 06-10-2010, 08:20 PM   #7
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Now we are getting somewhere! I bet 99% of the people on this road never notice this side road. I had it in the back of my mind the whole week, the first mountain dirt for the trip.






Descending the mountain…




First (and very easy) water crossing of the day! I had heard rumors of slimy river crossings but this one was fine. Beautiful area, beautiful day, what more could you ask for?





I almost ran over these fellas! Who ever heard of fish road hazards!?





Here is where I get to the scenic-side-of-mountain roads I love. The mountains in this region extend for miles and miles as long ridges. The roads ride along the side of them and you usually have a steep slope on both sides. The shoulder on the right side of the track is just as steep as the wall on the left! And trust me, there are places you are almost vertical!





In case you are wondering where I am in the above picture.




Beautiful graded roads in the valley. On this road I stop to check out a party trying to un-stuck a 4 wheeler that is buried past the top of the tires. I offer medical supplies and tools if they need them, they don’t and I go on. (sorry no pics)

I always offer help to people I meet because the karma may help me in my solo travels. I don’t always take things easy and if the shit hits the fan you may need a helping hand.




These roads are fast!!!! They may be no challenge to most dual sport riders but I find them quite exciting especially when I pick the speed up. I find myself riding in 3rd and 4th gear most of the time making good time.



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Old 06-11-2010, 05:24 AM   #8
waltwhitman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnderTheX
Hey Guys! I just got back from riding some cool roads in the national forests and mountains of OK and AR! This is my first trip for the year and I am already getting excited to go out again! My F800GS is definitely turning out to be exactly the bike I wanted it to be.

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Old 06-11-2010, 06:54 PM   #9
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Thanks guys! It means a lot to me because I am always thinking about taking you along on my trips and how to document it!


That night I dug out my spare headlight bulb and began the transplant. Luckily the headlight bulb replacement on the F800GS is so simple and intuitive I didn’t even need any instructions or tools!!




Just remember… Don’t touch the bulb no matter how much you want to!




Woot!




The next morning I inspect my tire situation. These tires are basically brand new! I’ve only done about 500 mile total on them… The Metzler Karoos might have awesome traction and stability but the durability is definitely lacking. Good thing I have a set of Heidenau K60s in the garage waiting for my return!



Oh yeah, I do ride like a bat out of hell though.



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Old 06-11-2010, 07:39 PM   #10
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The next day I spent exploring the Ozark National Forest. I love this forest because there is all type of terrain and lots of cool roads. Here is a sign on the highway leading into the forest.




Then we get on some National Forest Roads…




Does anyone know where these roads go? Most of them are not on the map and almost all of them are closed with these gates. I’m assuming these are fire roads but some of them look really fun!!





Those fire roads appear as tiny trails off the sides of the main roads. I wiz by seemingly hundreds of these small trails and inspect a few. This one leads me to a gate and a nice camp site. I log the camp site on my GPS, intending to use this remote site later. I think during the trip I logged about 10 potential camp sites that were semi cleared with fire rings etc. No facilities of course!




Riding up the awesome mountain roads, I take a look back. I feel these ridge roads are helping me prepare for some serious riding when I get to Utah and Colorado!





I come across a small trail leading off the main road. It’s not on the maps but it is noticeable more traveled and right on top of the mountain! I am sure I have seen this in previous ride reports and I take a picture at the bottom before powering up the rocky trail.




At the top I am sure I have seen this in other ride reports. This look-out point is famous and hell of a lot of fun to get to!! There are a couple fire pits and a couple small slabs of concrete (who knows what they were originally?… This is a place I would camp if the conditions were right, definitely could get windy up here!




This is where I am on Google earth (camp 4+). Sorry the image is so poor, I expected better from Google!



So I also uploaded a picture from my MapSource… This should get you there easily if you search for these roads in the picture.


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Old 06-11-2010, 08:03 PM   #11
wswartzwel
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If you are talking about these kind of concrete pillars... That used to be a fire tower, where the forest rangers would spend time looking for forest fires years ago.


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Old 06-11-2010, 08:39 PM   #12
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Neato, it sure felt like a perfect fire tower spot. Now it's just a picnic spot and potential extreme camp site!
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:55 PM   #13
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Back on the road, I continue into uncharted territory. I had received several maps and guidance from native Arkansas adventure riders (thanks guys!) and I had a lot of fun riding those roads in the past year. This time I decided to take fate in my own hands and follow some interesting roads that spider-webbed across the Ozark National Forest.

CO 5211 (FS 1005) starts out nice and fun.




You can tell it’s been raining, this puddle is not that bad. I take a second to judge my line and decide to take the long and strait groove on the left-center of the picture.




Things get more hairy as I continue. It becomes readily apparent that this is not solo noob on giant F800GS territory. If my friend Chris would have been with me I’m sure we would have charged ahead and helped each other over the obstacles. I stopped in the road in an in-opportune place and explored ahead on foot. The further I got the more rugged the terrain. I think you would need a modified truck or a lighter bike to get through this road. I had to turn around…




This is where I am when I have to turn around (3D) Looks like I was about to crest over the hill but when I was in the think of the forest I had no idea of what was ahead.



This is the same shot in the 2D view from my GPS. Oark is in the bottom right of the picture. You can try your luck at this road yourself. If you can make it on a large adventure bike please let me know how you did it and I wish to try again next time!



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Old 06-12-2010, 05:05 PM   #14
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It looks like you found those exciting and beautiful roads! Just what the GS was meant for

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Old 06-13-2010, 07:03 PM   #15
mnormand
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Originally Posted by EnderTheX
You can tell it’s been raining, this puddle is not that bad. I take a second to judge my line and decide to take the long and strait groove on the left-center of the picture.








This is the same shot in the 2D view from my GPS. Oark is in the bottom right of the picture. You can try your luck at this road yourself. If you can make it on a large adventure bike please let me know how you did it and I wish to try again next time!




I'm almost sure that's the same road we did on the SLAP2010 run on Saturday. We were a large group, two KLR650's, and Honda 650 R/L? they made it fine. The road turned into an sharp uphill Vshaped busted up shale trough kinda thing, with a trickle keeping everything wet. Personally I was careful as reasonably possible, didn't want to fall hard on those rocks, and really break something badly. That was pretty new to me too, and a great learning experience. Very glad I was on a smaller WR250R. Our Versys buddy had to turn around early, but he still won the A-effort award up to that point.

Nice report, surely we rode some of the same roads you did. Thoroughly great fun ! Those guys have it lucky living there.
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