One of my neighbors got himself a new, left-over '09 where I got mine, and asked if I'd take him to ride some dirt. His background - recently, a Goldwing; and far-distant-past... dirt on various bikes, and included a Triumph TR6.
Bill showed up at my place Saturday at 9:45, and I went over a few pointers I feel are necessary for dirt, standing on the 'pegs, use of brakes, stuff like that.
A Canadian friend had told me about riding the "Dripping Springs Road" (connects Hwy 77 north of Winkelman to Globe, while skirting the Dripping Springs Mountains, then the old stage-coach road joining Globe to Florence) when he rode the GDR (Great Divide Ride), and called it one of the best roads he'd ridden. Last Tuesday I set out with another friend on a KLR to try the road from the Globe end, but by the time we found our way onto it, it was getting too late, so after about 10 miles of dirt we turned around and went home.
So, Saturday was clear and sunny when we headed south through Florence to the 'Florence-Kelvin Hwy' connecting Hwy 79 to 177, and a bit more than 15 miles of it dirt, reasonably well graded
! Stopped after the dirt to get a big
from Bill, then turned south onto 177. After Winkelman, a left turn to 77 and about 10 miles of pavement had us turning onto the Dripping Springs Road, snaking west then north. Pretty country!
At the 12 mile mark, our third gate, but THIS one said "NO TRESPASSING", so we had to retrace our path without getting to Globe, but enjoyed the road and our Versys'!
Back through Winkelman with a stop to fill our gas tanks. We were chatting about returning via the dirt 'Florence-Kelvin Hwy' when I noticed a Beemer pulling out, headed north on 177, and told Bill that it was an F 650GS (the 800cc twin) like one I'd tested but figured the V a better ride, better buy
so we pulled out north behind him. I let the BMW open up the lead because lots of LEOs patrol here, and got a HUGE surprise when the BMW turned left onto the 'Florence-Kelvin'.
Bill had been doing a GREAT job sticking with me so far, so I figured I'd see what kind of a rider the Beemer guy was, and got up on my pegs and started closing on him.
Pretty soon we were only about 50 to 100 feet back, and I could see him watching his mirrors and making the occasional 'bobble' in the corners, and NEVER up on the pegs.
I considered passing him, but didn't want to put Bill in a possibly bad situation by doing that, so continued 'dogging' the BMW.
Believe it or not, but our 3 bike 'train' passed a Harley at about the mid-point, he doing maybe 20 mph while we were in the 45 to 55 range
. The dirt ended and the F 650 accelerated, but our Vs passed him as we waved. Later, just before 79 I started to pull to the shoulder motioning the BMW over hoping to just shoot the sh*t, but he passed me and continued towards Mesa.
When we took off our helmets at my place, Bill and I agreed we'd just had ONE HELLUVA ride, and getting dirty was worth it!
BTW, the pics are from the Dripping Springs Rd.