Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
ZAMM Fanatic
Joined
·
2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Four guys, four bikes, two noobs, and the twistiest road in America, Arizona 191 from Clifton to Eager Arizona. Warren announced he would lead and as the only other non-noob, I said I'd sweep. Perhaps we should have spent a few more minutes reviewing hand signals before taking off from Mesa Arizona at 7 a.m. after eating bagels at the Kokodeli...

We haven't made it to Safford before one of the noob's saddlebag lid flops open. I put on my right turn signal, accelerate past the two noobs ....at which point we head into a wide sweeper and Warren goes into "race" mode. The two noobs, of course, immediately accelerate. I fall behind and in the next straightaway pull off to the side. They do likewise, a half mile up. I then roll up and point out the saddlebag problem. Fortunately nothing fell out.

The road out to Safford passes through the Pima Indian reservation, which is pretty barren, and lots of cotton fields. We stop for lunch at Jerrys, sort of an old-time diner with EVERYTHING on the menu. Several obviously intoxicated Indians ask for handouts, and get pretty ugly when we decline.

We roll into Clifton, the mining town associated with one of the world's largest open pit mines. A trio of brand-new locomotives sit on the track next to Main Street. We fuel up and joke with a Deputy about how twisty the road ahead is. "But that's why we CAME here!" Ride Captain Warren decides to detour --- without telling anyone else in the group.


Beliving he's ahead, -- and seeing a solo rider 1/4 - 1/2 mile ahead, I lead the two newbs onward. What is to come next is simply amazing. We head up the hill overlooking the mine, which is simply enormous. Enormous as in "You could see it from space. We go around one switchback after another at 10mph and the mine just keeps opening up, ten, maybe fifteen miles across. As we get higher and higher we see even more of it.

And is this road EVER twisty! Suppsedly there are 426 MAJOR switchbacks and corners between here and Eager, and that doesn't even count the minor curves. Myself and the two noobs ride 30 minutes, by which point if Warren were ahead of us, he would have stopped and waited for us to catch up. So I pull out and they follow. A few minutes later Warren pulls in --- "I was hauling AZZ to catch up with you guys!" he proclaims... "and loving every minute of it" I add!

The weather is perfect, shirt-sleeves, warm at the bottom, cool at the top as we climb 5000' or more in elevation, the asphalt / paving is perfect, and every single corner a chance to lean or hang completely off the bike. Holy smokes, this SMOKES "the Snake!" Aside from a single Western Refining truck coming towards us a little too fast in corner, we have the road essentially to ourselves.

The forest is in tough shape here, damaged by drought and fire. But I"m seeing forests in trouble all over Arizona and southern Colorado, even southern Arkansas. The climate--- it's a changing.

We swap bikes several times, and I get a chance to ride a VTX1800, a HD1200, and a 2015 Street Glide, brand new. And I can't wait to get back on my Concours, which Warren takes for a 100+mph blast in the last 15 miles before Eager, where the road straightens out a bit. Holy smokes, what a ride.

There is simply no other road in North America which compares with AZ191. A solid 65 miles of serious twisties, and another 25 of sweepers. Little or no traffic. Beautiful scenery. I can't say anything more than "RIDE IT!"

We stop in PineTop for dinner, at which point we're all whipped. We've been riding since 5:30 am, some of us, and it's now 6:30. Google maps leads us in circles looking for the Yelp-recommended SALT restaurant, which turns out to be closed. We decide on pizza, and after getting all the bikes parked in a gravel lot, decided to go cross the street to Charlies steak house. by this point tempers are short, I'm tired, could easily drop my bike on gravel.....Warren helps push bikes back out of their spots and we go across the street.

The prime rib was great, great accomodations, and the next day its on to Payson, and then different destinations. After getting underway I discover my radar detector is unplugged, and I need two hands to connect it. I windmill my arm, indicating the other riders should go on, and I'll catch up. As soon as I pull over, so do the noobs..... shoulda spent more time reviewing hand signals. Three seconds later I'm ready to go. The road from Heber to Payson is unbelievable, 4 lanes, and we've got two of them practically to ourselves. Warren and I really open it up in a downhill section. He's scraping the nubs off the end of his pegs. Into Payson for lunch, and THIS time we get the pizza. I hit a thrift store while Warren does a phone interview with a prospective employer. The Noobs split off, Cliff, manager of the Phoenix Rescue Mission for Williams AZ, Paul returning to Phoenix via the BeeLine hwy.

Warren and I decide to try the back road from Payson to Camp Verde, and get yet another treat. Fresh asphalt, perfectly paved, nearly no traffic, and we make a very high speed run out to Camp Verde. This road is fantastic! How come nobody ever told us about it! If I were going to try and sell motorcycles I would simply set up a shop at either end of this road and allow noobs to take test rides. Just wonderful sweepers, uphill, downhill, just enough passing zones, and few if any driveways.

We planned to take 89A for one more set of twisties, but it's 3pm, I'm beat, and insist we take 17 and get home.

Well, 17 from Flagstaff to Phoenix is like the Indy 500. The SLOWEST vehicles are doing 80mph. We fall in behind an Nissan 3500, similar to a Sprinter van, and a white Accord doing 85-100 mph and the wolfpack maintains that speed for 40+ miles. Un-phucking-believable. Eventually we pull out at Rock Springs for pie. I'm just not used to doing 90+mph for more than a few seconds at a time, much less IN TRAFFIC. The "pack" never slows down, never hesitates, not an AHP in site. Burn a lot of gas riding 90-100mph!

Jeez, it's a wonder they don't get 50 car pile-ups with people driving those sorts of speeds. Ahh well.

Well, that's the ride report.
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
20,026 Posts
Must not been windy. Phoenix sucks when it is. You are lucky with the AHP. I've got all my tickets in Arizona. They love out of state plates!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
Wow that does sound like awesome road/ride!! And to sample a variety of bikes doing it, must have make the trip extra interesting. But it sounds like the bikes were (bigger) cruisers,, not the best tools for that job, eh?

No pics? :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,336 Posts
Sounds fascinating! l would love to come down and join you on one of those rides sometime :)

BTW, l have to know...what do you mean by "sweepers"? Big sweeping turns?
 

·
ZAMM Fanatic
Joined
·
2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
..what do you mean by "sweepers"? Big sweeping turns?
Yep. A curve you can take at a fairly high speed.

I just bought a 2nd home in a retirement community down in Phoenix with lots of room for you or any other MF inmates who want to do some winter riding on a budget

moving in mid-Dec; golf cart races every 2nd Friday followed by happy hour
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,336 Posts
How far is Phoenix from Tucson? Our dog's trainer lives in Tucson and l can see us going there at some point. Halle is a service dog and needs refreshers to keep her grounded from time to time.
 

·
ZAMM Fanatic
Joined
·
2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Phoenix to Tucson really depends on traffic and where in Phoenix you leave from. I'll be in Sun City, so figure 2 1/2 hours minimum
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,342 Posts
I'm just curious, you had new riders with you, why were to running so hard?

One of the accidents we got called out to was a group of sport bikes, one left the road at a very high speed and straight into a Oak tree. The highway patrol figured out that the rider that died was a new rider attempting to keep up with more seasoned riders.
 

·
ZAMM Fanatic
Joined
·
2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I'm just curious, you had new riders with you, why were to running so hard? .
Thin the herd a little bit???

If you'll re-read the story carefully you'll realize the newbs we're not with Warren and I in any of the high speed sections except one where we simply left them behind to ride at their own pace.

But you raise a very good point; noobs need to be explicitly TOLD to ride at their own pace... ALWAYS.
 

·
ZAMM Fanatic
Joined
·
2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Route takes you through one of the largest open pit copper mines
in the world. As you climb you keep seeing more and more
of it until your jaw is hanging open.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
699 Posts
I am thinking about riding this on Friday. I rode it last year from Eagar down to Clifton. I want to ride it the other direction this time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
699 Posts
Bet it'd be fun on a small sportbike.......
500-650 cc.....
Ninja 636..Yes-Yes-Yes.
.
.
.
.
.
It is a lot of fun on any bike. It is too much fun for some people. When I rode it last year, there was a couple on matching Harleys that had roared by me in the early stages. I saw them some miles up the road at an overlook. The woman of the pair was bent over vigorously losing her lunch.mi figured she had been too aggressive and about lost on one of the curves. Gotta ride your own ride. One another section, I came around a hairpin to find a sport-bike totally in my lane coming the other way. It was clear he had cornered too hot and could hold his line. I waved at him, but he didn't wave back.
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
20,026 Posts
There's a flaw in your statement. You do not have to scrap metal to quickly take a curve.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top