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Discussion Starter #1
This is a heads up and invite to anyone wanting to go.
Also, posting up my intended plan.
Plan - leave Shreveport Louisiana at 4AM Sept 28 to attempt the BB1500 .
Destination : Barstow, Cali 1,537 miles

That is the first day and a half of my 10 days out. Then I'll head up to Moab and spend the rest of the trip exploring Utah. Should be in Moab on the 30th.
I'm not experienced in off roading but will do a lot of gravel once up there. I want to do the Moki Dugway.

This is my once a year "big trip" I manage to do.
This will be longest distance I've done one on this small of a bike. I'm on a 2015 650 XT. It is set up for long distance and I have no doubt as it can do it. I'll have soft bags by then.
Anyone interested is welcome to meet up.
 

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Wow! Keep us posted...I'm looking forward to the ride report. :)
 

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You should get bonus IBR points for doing it on a stock seat!
 

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Hola, I've done several 1000 mile days on the 650. No sweat! Barstow is no paradise and you will probably be glad to leave. Utah is wunnerful. Coming from Barstool you can start at the bottom of the state at St George and take back roads that will lead to several Nat'l Parks and scenic stuff. Being a canyon land place there are not many direct routes to the Moki Dugway. Just tons of beautiful countryside to cover getting there.
On the bottom of the state is Coral Pink Sand Dunes St Park. That was interesting.
Have a good safe ride!
 

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Lots of fun stuff around Utah. Paved scenic byways, enormous dirt road networks, national parks, state parks, etc.

Some paved roads: Scenic-Byways - General, More Here, Scenic Byways - Southern
Some dirt: Paiute-Trail, Arapeen-Trail

(I'm pretty sure that both the Paiute and Arapeen trails allow dispersed primitive camping pretty much everywhere. Double check public vs private where you plan to go.

Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks, Zion's, Canyonlands, Arches, Monument Valley... Bring a National Parks Pass (or buy one at the first gate you come to).

Not sure how far north you plan to get... I haven't been down to the Central Utah area this season yet, but based on news reports portions of the Nebo Loop were burned in a forest fire last fall, then the heavy spring run-off took out some of the road.

I've been on the Paiute Trail (westbound out of Richfield, UT), but our trip was cut short because the summit was covered with snow. Absent the snow, the roads we encountered were easily passable with DL1000's, the 650 should do well. One word of caution about the fine powder dirt in Southern Utah.... It sucks! Every bit as bad as sand. You'll learn to recognize it quickly. Oh, and if it gets wet it turns to "grease" very quickly.

I haven't explored large chunks of the Arapeen Trail (mostly because it has hundreds of miles of interconnected dirt roads spanning the majority of the mountains in the state. But as kids we were all over the areas near Scofield Reservoir and Skyline Drive on dirt bikes. Most of those roads should also be passable via V-Strom.

Onion Creek near Moab (Northeast on SR-128) was also pretty cool stuff. We started on the east side of the mountains (east of Moab) and rode over the mountains and came down on Onion Creek from above, but you could take the easy/short route and drive up from the Onion Creek campground then turn around at the top and drive back down for a double dose.
 

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I'm guessing you will be taking Interstate 40 through northern Arizona on the way to Barstow. If so, and time permits, you might want to check a few places along historic route 66. Winslow, of course, for the "standing on the corner" photo op, and Williams is another nice spot, with a 50 mile side trip north to the Grand Canyon.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks for the links notacop!
I have an AirHawk and sheep skin that works well over the stock seat.
My first trip out west was to the north rim and some primitive camping in the KaibabNF .
I choose Barstow because of mileage from my house.... Not wanting any two lanes at night when I want to put in some mileage. Barstow is right on the right road for me! Pretty simple ride I-20 to Hwy 287 out of Houston, catch I-40 in Amarillo all the way!
 

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Nebo loop is open and not that damaged.

Rode through there a couple of weeks ago. You can see areas that have been burned and some of the camping areas are still closed for repair but the paved scenic byway is completely open and in good condition.
 

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I want to do the Moki Dugway.
The Moki Dugway is fantastic. You might also look into Burr Trail Rd. between Bullfrog, UT and Boulder, UT. It's mostly hard-packed dirt/gravel until you get fairly close to Boulder, where it's paved. It offers some amazing landscapes and vistas. There are a set of switchbacks around the mid-way point that rival the Moki Dugway.

Another very worthwhile stop along Burr Trail is a slot canyon about 11 miles east of Boulder. It's easy to miss, but definitely worth a quick stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
As the trip is inching up on me, plans have changed. I'm meeting up with a friend in Amarillo and going to Pikes Peak. Then, make our way south into Utah. His bike is not off road worthy so I'll be having to split up...and he doesn't mind.... and meet at an as yet un-designated rendevous.
I really want to spend some time far away from city lights!
Star gazing....
 

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I decided to the NE this trip and of course the Hurricane is headed that way now.....may be a slight delay. Mounting tires and changing fluids now.

So where are ya? on the road??
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So where are ya? on the road??
Trip begins Sept 27 at 10 Pm. I'll ride through the night to get to Amarillo and continue up to meet my friend in Colorado Springs on the 28th.

As with most of these trips, one has to go with the flow or you won't have a good time.

Like last time I rode with my friend, he had a NC700X and could do gravel. Now he has a Triumph Trophy (which is road all the way). So, go with the flow. That said, it would be great if someone met up that has a gravel worthy bike so we could camp in some wilderness!
 

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Nice! I was just headed out for a long trip from Florida to California but am stuck here in Florida waiting this storm out.
I was a desert rat for 25 years and miss it intensely right now, jealous!
Enjoy and keep it rubber side down!
 

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"I really want to spend some time far away from city lights! "

Seeing the night sky without city light contamination is really a treat. Had that pleasure in South Dakota a few years ago.
Koa in the middle of nowhere and no city glow on the horizon.
 

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Moki Dugway is very mild, mostly paved semi-offroad track. I rode it last May and you could easily drive the route in a Prius. While you're there, be sure to take in Gooseneck SP and Mexican Hat. If you're headed south, ride thru Monument Valley--a short and worthwhile out-n-back. More adventurous is Shafer Switchbacks in Canyonlands NP near the visitor center. You can ride down and back up, or if you feel adventurous, continue on the back route to Moab on 142 along the Colorado River to 279 to civilization. Some great overlooks along the way. More rugged and some gravel/sandy sections, but I did it on a Versys with 90:10 tires. You'll need to have a skid plate or be cautious of bottoming out on some of the rocky sections, and should prolly have at least some off-road experience to do the lower section to Moab. If the ferry is running--check because it wasn't running earlier this summer--it's a fun trip taking 276 from Halls Crossing to Bullfrog on the upper reaches of Lake Powell. Nice campground on the south side of the lake near the ferry departure point.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have managed to take off a little earlier than originally planned. I will leave Wed the 25 at 8:30 pm.
I'll ride through the night to get across that big speed bump most call Texas.
I may stay in a place called Sugar Rite Canyon. I stayed there over night about 20 years ago . It was nice...and empty.
It's right before you get to Raton Pass .
Put new Shinko 705's on last week and changed the oil today.
I also checked the air filter.....what a pia!
I'm ready...clean, beautiful oil!
 

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