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Grand Canyon Dual Sport / Adventure Motorcycle Trip, May-2010


This epic trip began on two opposite coasts of the US. On the west coast, Nir and I (Lee) were driving my truck with our 2 bikes toward Last Vegas. And on the east coast, Ron and Bryan were flaying to pick up their bikes from a BMW in AZ and then join us in Vegas.

The plan was to meet in Vegas area and spend the night in a Hotel, and over the next 6 days ride a mix of paved and dirt roads in NV, AZ, and UT. We planed to stay for 2 nights at the Bar 10 Ranch, riding in the area and seeing the Grand Canyon from an off-road motorcycle point of view. Than head to Zion Park, and other off-road worthy parts in the area.

The riders:
Ron from NJ on his new 2009 BMW R1200GS Adventure.

Ron on a 2009 BMW R1200GS Adventure Ron on a 2009 BMW R1200GS Adventure
Bryan from NJ on a rented BMW R1200GS.

Bryan on a BMW R1200GS Bryan on a BMW R1200GS

Lee from CA on a 2005 Kawasaki KLR 650.

Lee on a 2005 Kawasaki KLR 650 Lee on a 2005 Kawasaki KLR 650

Nir from CA on a 2006 Honda XR650L.

Nir on a Honda XR650L Nir on a Honda XR650L


Day 1: (Sunday)

We left the Hacienda Hotel (which is right by the Hoover Dam) at around 8am on Sunday morning heading on an approximately 180 miles ride toward St. George, UT. We started the ride on the scenic RT167 and eventually got on I-15 all to way to St. George.

Grand Canyon Dual Sport Ride Grand Canyon Adventure Motorcycle Ride

At St. George is where the "Ok" part ended, and the cool part started, from St. George we took a well maintained dirt road on a 90 miles ride to Bar 10 Ranch.
It took us about 4 hours to make it all to way to the ranch, the ride a was fairly easy off-road ride with beautiful scenery. To keep the moral up, Nir kept us entertained with his summer-Sault bike stunt, he took a turn too fast and long story short, his bike ended up killing a small tree and standing up-side-down on the handlebars.

Wait for minute mark 1:39.
Honda XR650 Crash

We got to the Bar 10 Ranch at around 5pm just in time for a quick shower and a good Indian (American) Taco dinner.
A little bit about the Bar 10 Ranch, this place is so cool, first it's in the middle of nowhere, 90 miles from the nearest paved road. They have one main lodge with a few dormitory style bedrooms on the second floor, and the kitchen, dining room, and the ranch manager (Ben) room on the first floor. In the back of the building there are individual showers and bathrooms, and a little up the hill there are a number of old-west-style wagons with a bed for 2 inside them.
As we were salting down we got a chance to meet the people that run the place: Garth, Ben, Addie, Chantelle, and Kaden. These people are the nicest people you can meet, very friendly and accommodating.

Dual Sport Adventure KLR650



Day 2: (Monday)

For the second day Ben (ranch manager) offered to take us on a Grand Canyon scenic ride to places that people rarely see. Ben mentioned that a part of the dirt road will be fairly difficult for the big R1200GS so Ron and Bryan decided to rent ATVs instead of riding their bikes up there...Nir and I road our KLR650 and Honda XR650
Ben led us on a 3 hours amazing ride to the cliff edges of the Grand Canyon, the view was really breathtaking. On the way back I clipped the KLR650 break lever or a rock and broke the break lever bracket, so now I had to ride down a steep rockie hill with no rear break...I survived.

Off Road Motorcycle BMW R1200GS

When we got back to the ranch it was fixing time, I had a broken break lever bracket on the KLR650 and Ron had bent his side trunk on the R1200GS. Initially I tried fixing the break bracket with JB Weld, it was a good try but no cigar. Eventually I gave up to Ron and Nir's pressure and let them fabricate a better then new bracket from some farm machine scrap metal. Ron was fixing his side trunk buy banging on the inside and straightening the inward bent metal as much as possible.

Dirt Motorcycle Honda XR650

Later that day while Bryan and I were riding horses, Ron a Nir took the 2 BMW R1200GS for a 7 mile dirt ride to the lip of the Grand Canyon. On the way back, with the sun in their eyes, Nir managed to drop Bryan rented R1200GS and broke one of the side trunks.

Here is the motorcycle damage we had so far:
Lee: broken (but fixed) KLR650 rear break lever bracket.
Nir: broken mirror on the XR650, and broken side trunk on the R1200GS (Bryan's bike).
Bryan: Damaged side trunks on the R1200GS, fixed to attach with zip-ties.
Ron: Damaged one side trunk on the R1200GS Adventure.



Day 3: (Tuesday)

For the 3rd day we planed to leave the Bar 10 Ranch heading north toward Zion National Park in UT, then ride to Page, AZ and spend the night there.
The first part of the ride was 3-4 hours of riding on a fairly well maintained dirt road, the view was nice and at times I found my self doing 70mph (on dirt...on a KLR650). The only "incident" that we had on this part was that Ron hit a patch of sand and tipped his BMW R1200GS, no damage to the bike or the rider.
Along the ride we stopped a couple of times for snacks and "Nir-Made" Turkish coffee.

Grand Canyon off road motorcycle KLR650

As we got into UT, the scenery really changed, it became really scenic with crazy shades of red dirt and rocks, I had to say "wow" every few minutes. We got to Zion National Park and had to wait a little to get in, but the wait was worth it. What I thought was nice scenery before, was nothing compare to the view inside Zion National Park, words can not describe it so I will not try...just see for your self.

AZ dual sport motorcycle adventure

Initially we planed to take Hwy 9 to US-89 to Page, AZ and spend the night there, but somewhere along the way we changed our minds and decided to take ALT-89 instead of US-89...very good move. ALT-89 was probably the most scenic paved road of the whole trip, it stretched trough some canyons and mountain tops and eventually got down into valley with towering cliffs on all sides, and with the sun just setting this was a very nice site to see. We ended up finding a nice motel on ALT-89 and stayed for the night.

Off Road motorcycle trip KLR650



Day 4: (Wednesday)

On the morning of the 4th day Bryan was half hang-over and half dehydrated so we decided to let him stay in the motel room until checkout time (11:00am) and Ron, Nir, and I took a short ride to Glen Canyon. This was a small park with access to the Colorado River, the scenery was very nice and the rangers allowed us to ride our bikes to the shore line. We spent a few minutes there enjoying the morning sun while Nir was taking a quick swim in the freezing Colorado River (I am not going to talk about the effects of cold water on a human male body...and because I am a nice guy, I will not show any photos of that effect).

Glen Canyon Motorcycle Ride KLR650 In the Colorado River

On the way back to the motel to pick-up Ryan, Ron and Nir taunted a group of Harley bikers, while I stayed behind and played with the KLR650 in the red sandy hills.
So we picked Bryan and started the long (not as much fun) ride on a paved highway toward Sedona, AZ. After about 100 miles of riding on pavement we split, Ron and Bryan cept riding on 89 south to Wupatki National Monument, while Nir and I took a "D" tour via un charted off-road trails.

KLR650 and XR650 Dual Sport

So Nir and I are having a blast with the KLR650 and XR650 on these trails, the weather is nice, it's sunny and breezy and everything is fine...so if you are thinking "something bad has to happen", you would be right. We took a short stop to enjoy the view, for whatever reason Nir looked under the bike and the next thing I hear is "My frame is broken". Keep in mind, we are in the middle of nowhere and many miles from any road...so what did we do? we fixed it.
Nir had the idea of attaching his tire irons to the frame where it fractured, luckily I had 4 "U" bolts to hold the iron in place...1.5 hours later we were back in business.

XR650 broken frame

After fixing the broken frame on the Honda XR650 we found our way back to a paved road and started heading to Sedona AZ to meet with Ron and Bryan. We took 89 south, to 17 south, to 89A south, 89A was a very nice ride trough a couple of small parks with great light twisters and nice view.
We got to Sedona at around 6pm, this was my first time there, this is such a beautiful little town, it is surrounded by red cliffs, and it has a nice little down-town area with stores and places to eat, all-in-all a very nice place.

Sedona AZ dual sport ride Sedona AZ motorcycle adventure

Here is the motorcycle damage we had so far:
Lee: broken (but fixed) KLR650 rear break lever bracket.
Nir: broken mirror on the XR650, and broken side trunk on the R1200GS (Bryan's bike), broken but fixed sub-frame.
Bryan: Damaged side trunks on the R1200GS, fixed to attach with zip-ties.
Ron: Damaged one side trunk on the R1200GS Adventure.



Day 5: (Thursday)

Coming soon.


Day 6: (Friday)

Coming soon.



All 1000 photos from the Grand Cannyon Motorcycle Adventure