Arizona and area Must Ride Roads - GSXR.com
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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Arizona and area Must Ride Roads

Hey Everyone. Myself and a buddy are trekking down to Arizona from Saskatchewan early February and I'm wondering if there are any highly recommended roads to ride, or areas to avoid? We're open to going into California or New Mexico...Mexico...doesn't matter really. Its the cold dead of winter here and we're itching to go for a ride... Any advice or experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!!
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 04:58 AM
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89a between Prescott and Cottonwood is great.
191(666) between Alpine and Clifton has got to be one of the worlds great rides. If you only ride one road, make it this one. You can circle back up to Alpine through New Mexico on 180 which is another great stretch of road.

I try to avoid Phoenix at all costs. Sedona is also overrated IMO.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input! I have a list started. Its -35c here this morning which is -31f... Kind of chilly, so thinking of riding down south is a warm feeling...lol.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 05:40 AM
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I love Arizona. Make sure to stop in Jerome. Dragoon on the way to Tombstone is one of the most bizarre landscapes I've ever seen.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Red. I looked those roads up on Google Maps. I'm quite excited to give those a rip. Not much for sweepers here in the prairies, let alone twisties.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 11:42 PM
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The roads RedMist mentioned are great. Sedona is beautiful, but not really any good for riding. Worth stopping if you have time.

89A is good from Flagstaff South all the way into Yarnell. Yarnell hill is one of my favorites. I used to go up and down the hill.

191 (666-devils hwy) is great.

AZ-88 (tortilla flat) is always good, just keep an eye on road conditions. Winter rains wash dirt on the road sometimes.

AZ-87 (beeline) between Phoenix and Payson has some good parts. Weekends will have more traffic.

Mt. Lemmon down in Tucson is good.



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Last edited by MadeInAmerica; 01-12-2017 at 06:14 AM.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks MIA! I'll add them to our list. Is there much for snow up in the mountains of Arizona for February?
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 05:29 AM
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I hadn't considered snow as we go in April. Even in April, it's damn chilly at higher elevations. The road through the Apache reservation on the way to Alpine in February might be a problem as they get snow up there. It's up around 8,000 ft. I highly recommend heated gear.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 06:27 AM
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Yes, there is a possibility of snow. Make sure you do some weather checking. They do a pretty good job of keeping the roads clear after winter storms though.

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Last edited by MadeInAmerica; 01-13-2017 at 06:30 AM.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Hey Red, seeing you're from Ontario, I assume you must trailer down when you do in april? Where do you leave your vehicle? Our plans have changed now from going to my buddies families place as he is no longer going. My father in law is going with me now, and I'm unsure where to leave the truck... Any Suggestions?
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 05:04 AM
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Hey Red, seeing you're from Ontario, I assume you must trailer down when you do in april? Where do you leave your vehicle? Our plans have changed now from going to my buddies families place as he is no longer going. My father in law is going with me now, and I'm unsure where to leave the truck... Any Suggestions?
My dad lives in Vegas. He has 2 bikes. I leave the GSXR at home and fly down, then we ride into Arizona. We've done California as well, but I prefer Arizona. I'd like to ride Utah, but it's a bit cold up there in the spring. If I was trailering I would find a central spot for a hotel and do big loops.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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That's cool. Sounds like i may have some connections in Phoenix, friends of a friend, that I can leave the truck with. We're hoping to avoid hotels to save cost if the weather is decent enough for tenting.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 05:21 AM
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That's cool. Sounds like i may have some connections in Phoenix, friends of a friend, that I can leave the truck with. We're hoping to avoid hotels to save cost if the weather is decent enough for tenting.
You can definitely tent it. Gets pretty cool at night in the desert.
Here is half the route for this years ride.

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 06:40 AM
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That's cool. Sounds like i may have some connections in Phoenix, friends of a friend, that I can leave the truck with. We're hoping to avoid hotels to save cost if the weather is decent enough for tenting.
Where do you plan on tent camping? It gets pretty damn cold up North in February. Below freezing temps at night. Maybe you are used to it, but you wouldn't find me in a tent.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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My Father in Law has tented often, more than I. We're taking the camping gear more as a "in case its nice" option, but cheap hotels will be more welcome if they're available. I've scraped ice off the inside of a tent once and it sucked lol.

looks like a nice route Red!
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 05:22 AM
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The roads RedMist mentioned are great. Sedona is beautiful, but not really any good for riding. Worth stopping if you have time.

89A is good from Flagstaff South all the way into Yarnell. Yarnell hill is one of my favorites. I used to go up and down the hill.

191 (666-devils hwy) is great.

AZ-88 (tortilla flat) is always good, just keep an eye on road conditions. Winter rains wash dirt on the road sometimes.

AZ-87 (beeline) between Phoenix and Payson has some good parts. Weekends will have more traffic.

Mt. Lemmon down in Tucson is good.



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I just Google Earthed Tortilla flat and it shows it unpaved. Is it paved all the way through?

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 06:14 AM
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I just Google Earthed Tortilla flat and it shows it unpaved. Is it paved all the way through?
It is paved all the way to Tortilla Flat, but once you get a little ways past it turns into a gravel road. Good place to ride to and get lunch.

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 10:30 AM
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It is paved all the way to Tortilla Flat, but once you get a little ways past it turns into a gravel road. Good place to ride to and get lunch.

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Damn. I was hoping to go through to Roosevelt. I so wish that road was paved. I guess 188 it is.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Morning boys! We're getting excited to leave now...lol. We have a place in Maricopa to store the truck. My Father in Law's old boss has a place down there. We were welcome to stay there and use it as home base as well but we want to tour around. Bikes are all ready, new tires, fluids, heated gear wiring all installed and tested. Its going to be a great time!!
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Evening Fellas... The trip has been done and it was a great success. What an amazing adventure. We rode 2800kms in 4 1/2 days. Covered most of what there is to see in south eastern Arizona and put a few miles on in south western New Mexico. All in all, it was awesome and I can't wait to do it again another year. We did ride some chilly days where the temps were hovering around freezing and there was lots of snow in the mountains. Only a couple patches of snow/ice on the roads, a couple rock slides, and a lot of loose sand in places for some pucker factor. I'll try to get some pics uploaded...
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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 05:41 PM
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Glad you had a good time!

I used to live in Tucson- Grad School

I was going to suggest Mt Lemmon- NE of Tucson,
and Gates Pass- W of Tucson.

Also around Tombstone and Bisbee are some good roads also.
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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Todd!! We rode some around Tombstone and Bisbee. I quite like Old Bisbee. I'm a big fan of the old brick and cement architecture. Seeing the various mines was awesome as well. We rode the 191/Coronado trail from Clifton to Alpine, then completed the loop into Springerville and down the Salt River Canyon into Globe. We also rode from Silver City NM to Hillsborough NM, then up into the Gila Cliff Dwellings and back to Silver City. The last day we went from Silver City north in NM and crossed into Alpine and rode down the Salt River Canyon again into Globe, through Florence, and back into Maricopa where our truck was. All in all, it was an awesome vacation. My Father in Law hasn't seen twisties like that in his life, let alone ride them on his motorcycle. He was quite impressed!!
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