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Old 04-14-2008, 04:33 PM   #1
Norsman OP
...a GSophile
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Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Danville, VA
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Help me find places to ride (Kirskville, Missouri)

I'll be moving here this summer:

I'll be in school, so my rides will be limited to maybe a Saturday only with exception to an occasional multi-day break here and there. I have a GS and a KLR and would enjoy riding anything from technical single track to backcountry twisties on pavement. I enjoy national and state parks and long walks in flowering meadows... .

Please help me find rides that are within at least a 300 mile radius to this town... I've never lived in the mid west... and am clueless as to what kind of riding there is and where.

Links to ride reports, websites with info, and google map links would be appreciated. Of course, personal guided tours would be ideal... .

Thanks in advance.
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Norsman screwed with this post 04-14-2008 at 04:43 PM
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:03 PM   #2
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I spend quite a bit of time around Kirksville in the winter (quail hunting) there are not a lot of great roads around there. Mostly farm country. I don't know the Iowa roads, but a few in Missouri worth checking out are. Take highway 6 over to 61 then south to Hannibal, MO. Highway 79 south from Hannibal down to Louisiana, MO is pretty nice. (Hilly & twisty along the Mississippi river.)
If you take 6 east towards Edina, take 15 south to Mexico, MO. It's farm country so the views are not spectacular, but the road is fun in places..
One last choice would be highway 136 across the northern boundry of MO. lot's of hills and big sweeping curves.. Once again thru farm country, so no lush forests, lots of beans & corn..
If you want to go down to southern MO there are lots of great roads.
I was told the glaciers stopped about 1/2 way down from north to south. The top 1/2 is pretty flat as a result.
You will meet some great people in Kirksville. Your not too far from Columbia for activities Univ of MO (sports & concerts), and about equal distance from KC or St Louis..
Welcome to Missouri !!
IBA#32778 2008 R1200GSA 2007 G650XChallenge
No man is as good as he ought to be, and few men are as bad as they seem.. (from a early 1900s post card found in Perry, Missouri..)
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:51 AM   #3
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We can meet up in Columbia some weekend and I'll show ya some of my favorite roads.

Lots of good riding up that way.
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Old 04-15-2008, 05:23 AM   #4
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Dubuque, Iowa
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The southern third of MO is motorcycle heaven. Endless two lane twisting roads in lightly populated areas. Plus tons of single track dirt bike riding, but I wouldn't want to take a KLR on some of it.

If you hug the Mississippi river on both sides, you will be rewarded with scenic rolling terrain and quaint little river towns. I have only ridden north of you on the river, but the Iowa, IL, MN, WI sides are all worth checking out, if you have the time. The further north you go, the better.
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:35 AM   #5
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There's some decent pavement around Kirksville. Try Hwy 149 which is west of there, runs north/south.
Actually, head west out of Kirksville on Hwy 6. Just past Novinger turn south on Hwy K. Take K south to Hwy 11. 11 west to Hwy 149. 149 south to US 36. West on 36 just a bit and take 129 south. That first few miles of 129 there are pretty good, then it straightens out some. Near the town of Wien on 129 there are these crazy whoop-de-doo hills that you can get air over on a sportbike
I totalled a mint '89 Honda GB500 on Hwy K in 1997. R.I.P

The 2007 Advrider SLAP rally was held not far from Kirksville. I'm sure there's lots of great gravel roads around there too.

The best riding in MO is south though, as has been said. South of I-70 for sure.
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:35 PM   #6
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Location: Kansas City, MO
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There are a lot of good gravel roads to ride right outside of town in all directions.

If you have a long weekend the Flint Hills in KS is a delight as is SE WI. As mentioned, along the Mississippi has some wonderful areas to ride and see.

You might check out the following web sites.

This is a fun event:
"Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit" Mark Twain

Texas Hill Country Badlands and Black Hills Riding the T.W.A.T Photos
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:25 PM   #7
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Location: Stinkin' County, MO
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I went to school up there 20 or so years ago......actually tried to stay there after college but there were no jobs......spent a lot of time on the backroads finding fishing spots. There are gravel roads all over up there to explore. And since you said 300 mile radius, that is striking distance for the Ozarks including areas around Bixby. Keep an eye on the Missouri Adventure Riders Thread for some upcoming rides this summer. We usually get together once or twice a month to go riding down south in the Ozarks. Maybe if you do a little gravel road scouting for us, we'll head north......

Gateway BMW usually has shop rides which I hear they are going to do more of....They do street and dual sport rides.

Don't forget the Kansas City guys since you are in the middle of Missouri
"If you're going through hell.......Keep going!"

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Old 04-16-2008, 07:41 AM   #8
Norsman OP
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This is all good stuff... thanks for a the info so far!
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Old 04-16-2008, 09:08 AM   #9
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Definitely look at the tread and photos from last years SLAP. many of the county roads are no longer maintained, so good riding is easy to find. Look forward to riding with you.

Originally Posted by wxwax
Yes, but everything you've ever posted in the basement indicates that you're certifiably crazy, so you don't count.

"Another road remains, but it provides no more. It can only take us away"
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:46 PM   #10
Norsman OP
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Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Danville, VA
Oddometer: 2,347
Good Routes so far!

1) 120 miles, 3 hours, Kirskville to Louisiana along the river:

2) 107 miles, 2+ hrs, Kirksville to Mexico:,0.85556&z=10

3) 187 miles 4+ hrs, Kirksville to Tarkio:,3.422241&z=8

4) 61 miles, 1.5 hrs, Kirkville to Wein:,1.711121&z=9

5) 227 miles, 4 + hours, Kirksville to Bixby (through Columbia):,3.422241&z=8

This is looking good and should get me started... lot's of good advice and other links.

Anything else you can suggest?
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:26 PM   #11
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A good map source

Log on to the MoDot site. They have the state highway map and all the county maps in PDF format. I'm in Columbia and would be up for a good ride. I really like the roads to the south.

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