October Ozark Ride - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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October Ozark Ride

Decided to join up with the Missouri Versys group going to Mt. Nebo last weekend. My wife and I decided to ride out to Eureka Springs for lunch on Saturday, where I could join the group.
Started on AR 340 east. Good pavement and lots of sweeping curves. Also lots of houses and retirees so speed must be tempered considerably. Then took MO Hwy. E north. Nice curvy ride through the countryside occasionally ruined by the stench of industrial chicken houses. Same for hwy 90 east. Then took a short jaunt on 37 south which is an unremarkable bit of highway good for getting to Seligman from Washburn. Hwy 112/DD gets back to the curvy scenic stuff, until we get caught behind a tractor mowing the roadside. Not really a safe place to pass, and there's a truck behind the tractor making sure we all stay safe. Fortunately he has a better view than I and he eventually waves us around. I'm in first gear and whack the throttle open to get around as quickly as possible. I am momentarily confused as the bike heads straight towards the truck instead of swerving to pass. I roll off slightly and the front tire skips lightly back onto the pavement so I can complete my pass. First wheelie on the V for me. Then it's Hwy F through Roaring River state park. More good scenery with good pavement and nice curves. Also has a rolling up and down section reminiscent of a roller coaster. Nice ride, reminds me of the 3 sisters in TX. Then its more scenic ride on 86 south to pick up Hwy P/AR 23 into Eureka Springs. We didn't stop for pictures on this bit. Sorry.

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Eureka Springs

Finding a parking spot in Eureka is tough. It is crowded today. There is a 'vette gathering making things even more congested. We find some motorcycle only parking for $3 each. All other parking downtown is full. We are there about an hour ahead of the MO group (see the MO Versys unite thread), so we hit the shops and check out some of the plastic fantastics. Then it's lunch at the Local Flavor Cafe where I meet the group I am joining. Lunch is a bit pricey, and the service is slow. Looks like they are understaffed, and our preggo waitress is struggling to cope with the hormones, rude customers, and high workload. My wife heads back home on her new FZ6R while our 6 strong groups heads for a photo op.

Parking on main st.:
[IMG][/IMG]

Photo op:

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Last edited by potus2012; 10-13-2011 at 10:27 PM.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Plan is to head to Clarksville for the night, and Mt. Nebo tomorrow morning.
We head south on 23 towards the Pig Trail but exit before we get to Arkansas most famous motorcycle road. (Nice, but I think a bit over rated)
The chunk of 23 we ride has some scenery but is mostly just a way to get from ptA to ptB. The 6 of us all have varying ideas of comfortable speed so the group spreads out, mostly into 3 pairs. First exit is 127 in Aurora. Pavement quality begins to degrade and we hit a few unpaved patches. Then the pavement ends altogether. This was not expected. I know there are some that consider the V a good offroad bike, but none of us are of that ilk. We regroup and head back out to 23, this time exiting on 16. There is a somewhat cool metal sculpture of a wheelieing chopper on 23, but there isn't a good place to stop so no one gets a picture. 16 is a better road than 23 was, more turns and better scenery. We stop and regroup again at a little store that is closed where we turn on to 21 south.
[IMG][/IMG]
We follow 21 into Clarksville as daylight starts to fade. At this point the GPS fails us, and we end up scattered throughout Clarksville looking for the hotel. We eventually all meet up again at the Days Inn. Their sign is welcoming the TX ADV riders, and a TX ADV sticker is on the office door. Good sign. The group, however, went through a month ago, and the hotel offers nothing more than a bit of a discount to cater to motorcyclists. The hotel is clean and comfortable and reasonably priced. The continental breakfast is poor, but the restaurant next door is pretty good. I spend some time in the evening talking to the guy in the room next door. He has ridden his WR250 from NY to Oregon, and is on his way back now.
[IMG][/IMG]

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Mt. Magazine

After crunching the numbers, the MO group decides there isn't enough time to ride Nebo and still get back to Branson when they need to. Rats. I'm on my own then. I take the long way. 109 south to 197 west to 22 west at Subiaco. The roads are unremarkable, some more nauseating poultry houses spoiling the ride. Subiaco has a pretty cool looking school campus, Catholic school of some sort? 22 brings me to 309 south, the road to Mt Magazine. There's a switchback or two, but mostly nothing you couldn't safely speed through on a cruiser. The pavement is OK, but not very good. The scenery is good though.
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Mt. Nebo

309 runs into 10 east that takes me to 27 north towards Dardanelle. Nothing worth noting, just a-b again. then I catch 155 that dead ends in Mt. Nebo State Park. There are warning signs that trailers over 20' are prohibited. Promising, though for a while the road is straight and boring. Then it starts going up and getting curvy. The pavement again is Ok, not great. I stop for a picture or two as the climb gets interesting:
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]

One of the gentler turns:
[IMG][/IMG]

The switchbacks here are no joke. Forget 20' trailers, a 12 footer is probably too much. The pavement through the curves is scarred and torn up where cagers have been dragging all sorts of hard parts. Apparently someone dragged too much of his oil pan as one corner is totally covered in oil. I can't see, much less ride, a smooth line through these. It's more like climbing a wall than a turning road. I go slow. I set up the inside turns from out on the center double yellow then crank it over for an abrupt 90 degree turn so I can climb the "road" (wall) straight up. Now completely perpindicular to the road, I crank it over 90 degrees again to point it back in the right direction prior to crossing the double yellow at the top of the turn. I don't know how you're supposed to ride something like this. I'd like to say I said "wow!" out loud when I saw the first switchback, but the word was more like "*#@$!" This road would challenge goats. Switchbacks on the Dragon are rediculously tame compared to this. Nevertheless, I make it safely to the top.

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Mt. Nebo pt2

The view from up top is great. Pictures don't do it justice.
[IMG][/IMG]
[/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
[/IMG]

I stop at the visitor center/store for a bit and ran into a trio from Texas riding 3 of BMW's more sporting models. We talk for a bit, and the woman in the group admits she was a bit spooked coming up and is apprehensive about riding back down. I then hear what has to be the WORST riding advice I have ever heard. One of her riding pals tells her to remember what he said and "ignore the yellow lines." I am stunned. I warn them that traffic is picking up quite a bit. He says there's just no other way. Yikes! I never expected to see riders so lacking in knowledge and skills on such bikes so far from their home. I expect at least one of them will end up as somebody's hood ornament. I wait a while before heading down, and keep it on my side of the yellow lines.

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2011, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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A view of the nuke plant in Russellville:[IMG][/IMG]

I go back down 155 and pick up 7 north. Another road I haven't ridden. From what I've heard it is scenic and winding, perfect for cruisers. What I heard was accurate. The leaves are starting to turn, making for pretty views. the pavement is in good shape. The ride however, is not exactly what I'm looking for. I know there are better roads than this in the area. I exit at 374 east to pick up 123. 374 is a good road. Decent pavement and curvy enough to use more than just the center of the tires. Watch out for local idiots though. 2 kids riding 4 wheelers on the road slow me down. One pulls over to let me by. The other decides he wants to race and weaves across the lane with his throttle pinned. It takes a bit to find a safe place to pass this moron, and then I drive the mirrors for a bit checking to make sure he hasn't flipped and killed himself. Two turns later and he's out of my mirrors and off of my mind. I head south on 123, back in the direction I came from. The ride is fantastic. Smooth pavement, nice switchbacks, esses, sweepers, and best of all no traffic. I see some other bikers, but no one is in front of me slowing me down, and no one is catching me from behind. There are no cross streets or houses. This is a fantastic road. They call it the Arkansas Dragon, and it is every bit as good if not more so. It really needs a better name, as the name sort of implies it isn't as good as what NC has to offer. I'd put this road up against any in the country.

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-15-2011, 01:15 PM
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Could this be you?

This past Sunday afternoon between Jasper and Ponca. My first face to face "V sighting". We rode Nebo the next day. It is definitely a road that has to be ridden to fully appreciate.... I'll post a bit of video of it in the next few days.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-15-2011, 03:26 PM
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Love the pics and report. I'm headed in that direction Tuesday for a week or so. Didn't have a route till I saw this thread. Thanks!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haydenkd View Post
Could this be you?
This past Sunday afternoon between Jasper and Ponca. My first face to face "V sighting". We rode Nebo the next day. It is definitely a road that has to be ridden to fully appreciate.... I'll post a bit of video of it in the next few days.
Yep, that was me. Interesting distortion from your camera. Makes it look like I'm a fat guy (yep, I'm blaming it on the camera. You don't know me...) on a chopper V.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moechester View Post
Love the pics and report. I'm headed in that direction Tuesday for a week or so. Didn't have a route till I saw this thread. Thanks!
I should check the forum more often, hope you enjoyed your trip. 259 in OK has a really good section around the Talimena byway, which is itself a nice scenic ride. Might be worth it to include on your trips to and from TX.

Look forward to future posts on y'alls rides.

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


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