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Arizona Motorcycle Rides

Follow the Rivers: Tracing the Headwaters of the Colorado River

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Having just retired from a wildfire management position with the Forest Service the previous year, and thus off the hook for working fire pre-suppression all summer long, I took the opportunity to ride up into the high Rockies in June, following the great rivers—the Colorado and its tributaries—all the way to their origin. Departing from Albuquerque, New Mexico, I rode ...

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Southwestern Motorcycle Adventure: Las Vegas to Denver

Riding the Unaweep-Tebeguache Scenic Byway where we later dodged a herd of elk.

Wild temperature swings of up to 60 degrees in a single day, remote campgrounds and a plan—or at least six versions of it, because you know, a guy needs options! Welcome to adventure motorcycling. Not for the faint of heart, but full of sights and experiences that will burn into your memory. My friends Chris Shepherd and John Carlson share ...

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Overland Adventure to the Overland Expo

Schnebly Hill Road is not for the faint of heart or those with limited experience with big bikes off-road. It does, however, offer some of the best views of Sedona. Because of this, it can be crowded with tourists in Jeeps, so it’s best to take it slow and easy, and take plenty of breaks for water and photos!

There was a time not too long ago when I looked at riders on massive “adventure” bikes, loaded down with what appeared to be roughly a ton of hard luggage (usually covered in stickers), camping chairs, sleeping bags and enough bolt-on crash protection to mount three sets of auxiliary lights, and I just…didn’t…get it. My idea of riding off-road was ...

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Riding a Quasi-Antique Classic in Arizona and New Mexico

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Ancient Native American shadows and echoes are scattered across central and northeast Arizona. Cruising this region, Carol, my wife, and I are exploring the remains of the ancient pueblos and cliff dwellings. The Anasazi, Sinagua and Ancestral Puebloans settled here, prospered and disappeared, leaving only hints of their existence. To maintain the historical ambiance of the journey, we are riding ...

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The Grand Canyon—Rim-to-Rim on Two Wheels

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It would be one of the world’s greatest loop rides…except for that big crevasse that gets in the way. You’ll just have to settle for a fantastic ride that comes up about 12 miles short of a full circle. Yes, those 12 miles that are impassible on a motorcycle are what make the ride so spectac­ular. A rim-to-rim trek around ...

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Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route (AZBDR) DVD and Map Review

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A couple of years ago, with two friends, I completed Route 5 of the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route (ORBDR), a 750-mile, north-south mostly off-road route from California to Washington through the central and eastern part of the state. The ORBDR is managed by the Oregon Off-Highway Vehicle Association (OOHVA), which sells paper maps of the various ORBDR routes. I bought ...

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Exploring Historic Southern Arizona on a Honda CB500X

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There is something about the Old West that appeals to romantics—myself included. Shoot-outs on Main Street, brothels with beautiful ladies, stagecoaches rushing along and keeping the highwaymen at bay…all depicted in famous films, many with John Wayne and Gary Cooper. The truth was a little less charming—few face-to-face shootouts, as a shot in the back was a safer option. And ...

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Southern California Motorcycle Rides: Escape to Arizona

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[This Escape to Arizona Southern California Motorcycle Ride was originally published in the August 2011 issue of Rider magazine] photography by Chris Wykoff Living in the lower left corner of California has good points for motorcyclists. Our moderate weather allows a year-long riding season. With that warm and dry benefit, however, comes the issue of our claustrophobic geography. South is ...

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Arizona Motorcycle Roads: Oatman, Kingman and Prescott

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story and photography by Alan Paulsen Let’s be honest. The reason many motorcyclists are drawn to the old gold-mining town of Oatman located on historic U.S. Route 66 in Western Arizona, besides the authentic Western atmosphere and wonderful Arizona motorcycle roads, is the saloons and the absence of a helmet law. Not the smartest of combinations, considering around the next ...

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