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Old 02-08-2018, 01:04 PM   #1
professorkx
 
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New to Texas, need help planning a 3 day ride

We just picked up a KTM 1090 R so we have a bike in Texas while we are town, and have a 3 day weekend coming up, so need help planning a ride. Looking to ride 500-800 miles with a combination of Street and 2 track dirt. We have tens of thousands of miles riding this terrain combination in the Northwest where we live, so looking to expand our adventures.

I ordered racks and soft bags that will be here next week, but all of our camping gear is at home in Washington, so we will need to hit hotels at night. We looked at Arkansas, as it's about 4 hours away, but never been there, so looking for advice. Heck, a GPS track of the loop would be great.

Thanks

Rick
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Old 02-08-2018, 03:47 PM   #2
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Re: New to Texas, need help planning a 3 day ride

Where are you starting from???
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Old 02-08-2018, 04:24 PM   #3
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Re: New to Texas, need help planning a 3 day ride

Look towards Junction, Leaky for both good dirt roads (Hackberry & friends) and good pavement (twisted sisters: 335, 336, 337). Or Big Bend Nat Park or Big Bend Ranch SP.

I've got tracks of all of that, others here will as well. Junction area. One long Big Bend NP ride. State Park.

All I ask for in return is a good review of your 1090!
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Old 02-08-2018, 04:51 PM   #4
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Re: New to Texas, need help planning a 3 day ride

That picture looks like some of the water crossings in Arkansas that I have done. If you had no issues with that, there's not much in Arkansas on the Forest Service or county roads that you won't be able to handle.

I think the best riding in Arkansas is North of I-40 and West of Little Rock. I have often based out of Clarksville, Ar., which is about half way from Little Rock to Fort Smith. Paved roads of note are AR 23, 16, 21, 74, 43, 103, 215, 123, 7, 27, 14, 66, 5, 9, 341, 125 (which becomes 125 in Missouri and is AWESOME). There is a nice ferry ride across Bull Shoals Lake on 125. That area is riddled with dirt roads. You might want to avoid any roads you see on the maps that have a five digit number. Those are most often ATV trails and they can get pretty bad. Clarksville has quite a few nice hotels near the freeway and some older not so nice hotels back in town. The best gas station is on the East end of town at US 64/AR 21. There are nice hotels in Mountain View and Mountain Home as well. Eureka Springs in the far NW corner is cool because of the prevalence of old Victorian architecture. Lots of folks stay in Jasper or Harrison (Both on AR 7).

I'd send you some GPX files, but basically they'd be tracing all the roads you see on the map! There really isn't much bad riding in that corner of the state. Head on up into SW and SCentral Missouri and the same is true. Most of the "dirt" roads will be graded gravel. Unless it is pouring down rain, or just finished doing so, they are not to bad when wet. You could EASILY spend three days riding in the area North of Clarksville.
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:58 AM   #5
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Re: New to Texas, need help planning a 3 day ride

You can always google search "ET450 site:twtex.com" and get the tracks to a good East Texas ride. There is also a 500 and 750 mile version, though the 750 starts pretty far south of the metroplex.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:00 AM   #6
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Re: New to Texas, need help planning a 3 day ride

I thought the river crossing looked like from Urique to Batopies.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:34 AM   #7
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Re: New to Texas, need help planning a 3 day ride

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Originally Posted by Jeff S View Post
Look towards Junction, Leaky for both good dirt roads (Hackberry & friends) and good pavement (twisted sisters: 335, 336, 337). Or Big Bend Nat Park or Big Bend Ranch SP.

I've got tracks of all of that, others here will as well. Junction area. One long Big Bend NP ride. State Park.

All I ask for in return is a good review of your 1090!
1090 review is on the horizon, as I have a ton of folks waiting on that review.

I have a 2013 Triumph 800XC at home, and it's prepped pretty well for real dual sport riding. Suspension is not even close to stock, which is the number one problem with the Triumph's in that age range. So far, here are some thoughts:

1. On the Street, Triumph is like riding a race car, while the KTM is like riding a dirt bike. Both work well, just different.
2. I ride standing when Sandy isn't on the back of the bike, so much so that the guys at Triumph dealer in my area give me hard time about not needing a seat. In the standing position, the Triumph feels flickable, but when you sit down, the Triumph is not near as maneuverable. The KTM is flickable in either standing or sitting position, and I expect this to translate into the KTM being a better bike in the dirt.
3. Transmission is smooth on the KTM, a pleasant surprise.
4. On the KTM, the engine is hard to kill from a dead stop, tells me it will have some grunt down low when I get to the dirt. On the Triumph, I dropped the front sprocket from a 16 to a 14 to save the clutch and pull hard off idle. I also worked with Barnett to identify a clutch that would fit the 800. Stock clutch lasted 4000 miles with the 16 tooth sprocket, I mean it was toast, gone, but the Barnett is going on 20,000 miles, more than 50% in the dirt. If the KTM grunt is as I expect, the stock clutch should be fine.
5. The biggest difference in the 800XC and 1090R is how the weight is placed. On the Triumph, I hate pushing the bike any distance, as the weight is so high that it's very easy to drop, especially pushing in the dirt. However, the KTM is EASY to push around, so pushing backwards while turning around is super simple. I think my wife of just 100 pounds could push the KTM around, it's just effortless. I expect the weight being so low on the KTM is going to make it a dream to ride in the dirt.

I raced expert level in the National Hare and Hound, ISDE and 24 hour events until I was 52 and switched to dual sport, and I'm pretty picky about how my bike works in the dirt and on the street. As a result, it will take a few miles to get the suspension dialed in, as well as determine other additions. I'm already looking hard at the high front fender and removing the low fender, as rocks tend to get between the front tire and low fender, and those dang low fenders are expensive to replace.

I have also ordered two Airhawk seat cushions, as it's already clear we will need more cushion on those 400-500 mile day rides. We have had these on bikes for 10 years, and once you get the air adjusted, really improves the comfort level.

The KTM already has a stabilizer, but I had to build a custom mount for a Scotts on my Triump right after I got the bike. In fact, I had a Scotts on my Triumph before anyone was producing a mount for the 800XC, so shared my mount design with lots of folks who built their own. I will be interested in seeing how well the KTM stabilizer works. I suspect I will have to change to higher weight oil for increased resistance to control off road deflection...we will see.

More to come...
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:41 AM   #8
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Re: New to Texas, need help planning a 3 day ride

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Originally Posted by Tourmeister View Post
That picture looks like some of the water crossings in Arkansas that I have done. If you had no issues with that, there's not much in Arkansas on the Forest Service or county roads that you won't be able to handle.

I think the best riding in Arkansas is North of I-40 and West of Little Rock. I have often based out of Clarksville, Ar., which is about half way from Little Rock to Fort Smith. Paved roads of note are AR 23, 16, 21, 74, 43, 103, 215, 123, 7, 27, 14, 66, 5, 9, 341, 125 (which becomes 125 in Missouri and is AWESOME). There is a nice ferry ride across Bull Shoals Lake on 125. That area is riddled with dirt roads. You might want to avoid any roads you see on the maps that have a five digit number. Those are most often ATV trails and they can get pretty bad. Clarksville has quite a few nice hotels near the freeway and some older not so nice hotels back in town. The best gas station is on the East end of town at US 64/AR 21. There are nice hotels in Mountain View and Mountain Home as well. Eureka Springs in the far NW corner is cool because of the prevalence of old Victorian architecture. Lots of folks stay in Jasper or Harrison (Both on AR 7).

I'd send you some GPX files, but basically they'd be tracing all the roads you see on the map! There really isn't much bad riding in that corner of the state. Head on up into SW and SCentral Missouri and the same is true. Most of the "dirt" roads will be graded gravel. Unless it is pouring down rain, or just finished doing so, they are not to bad when wet. You could EASILY spend three days riding in the area North of Clarksville.
Great information, thanks.

The picture was at the end of a 14 hour dirt ride through the northern Idaho mountains, and we rode down this creek at the very end for almost 4 hours. Sandy got off to take pictures, but she was on the back of the bike when not taking picture. It was also pouring down rain, so those rocks were SLIPPERY...only dropped the 800 one time, and it was a handful to pick up in the middle of the creek. Sometimes it's nice be almost 6'5" tall.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:42 AM   #9
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Re: New to Texas, need help planning a 3 day ride

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Where are you starting from???
Grapevine Texas
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Old 02-20-2018, 07:49 PM   #10
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Re: New to Texas, need help planning a 3 day ride

Quote:
Originally Posted by professorkx View Post
We just picked up a KTM 1090 R so we have a bike in Texas while we are town, and have a 3 day weekend coming up, so need help planning a ride. Looking to ride 500-800 miles with a combination of Street and 2 track dirt. We have tens of thousands of miles riding this terrain combination in the Northwest where we live, so looking to expand our adventures.

I ordered racks and soft bags that will be here next week, but all of our camping gear is at home in Washington, so we will need to hit hotels at night. We looked at Arkansas, as it's about 4 hours away, but never been there, so looking for advice. Heck, a GPS track of the loop would be great.

Thanks

Rick

When I first moved here I was trying to get the same information. But in reality you really don’t need any track. Anywhere you go in Ouachita area, you can just hit awesome rodes. Whenever you see some dirt, make a turn and see where the road takes you. Those some of the best rides I had. You find some unexpected things.
Just try to find Shady Lake in Ouachita area and everything there is awesome for riding.
But I think you probably have similar stuff in Washington. I would suggest you ride down to Austin. And then go wherever trough hill country. Just hit some small county roads. Make your way southwest, towards big bend, and spend a weekend in big bend. That’s gonna be something completely different from anything you seen in Washington. Crazy nice twisties like twisted sisters on your ride over there. And than some awesome off roading in big bend. You can do I hiking in the canyon, rafting, or just ride your bike around. 4-5 days should be plenty for a trip like that. Also douable in less.
If you want any pictures from big bend, shoot me a message. I have plenty.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:18 AM   #11
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Re: New to Texas, need help planning a 3 day ride

Check our site www.dualsportdispatch.com for a host of GPS tracks in TX, OK, and AR. We put on the last organized ETX450 in 2010 with a chase trailer and what-not. Others are to be credited for creating the initial route.

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