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  • Trip Planning - Colorado

    I am in the process of planning a 4 or 5 day trip to Colorado. The routing is mostly done. However, I have a couple of questions about some specific roads out there.

    I will be riding a 1994 Kawasaki Voyager XII. Yes, those that remember, I was riding a little scooter. It grew up! Loaded down for camping it approaches about 800 lbs. It's, obviously, not a dual sport or dirt bike. Given that, there are a few places I would like to see that are only accessable via gravel road. There are also a few stretches I would like to take that are gravel that will cut off some travel time and allow me to go other places. Given that, here are the questions:

    The main road through Ophir, Co. By google maps, this appears to be gravel. It's listed as a County Road which probably means the same. The section in question is a 10 mile stretch between CO 145 and US 550. Would this be too much for a big touring bike? Anyone been this way?

    Here's the other: There's a stretch between Canon City and Westcliffe. About 33 miles long. It's been years since I was in this area and I seem to remember it being all gravel. Reasonably maintained, but loose gravel. Again, I haven't gone down a whole lot of gravel, but taking this route would cutout close to 100 miles of my intended path!

    Ideas? Suggestions? Advice?

    -- JD

  • #2
    Re: Trip Planning - Colorado

    loose gravel with a Kawasaki voyager is a trip (and trick) unto itself as they tend to be a little top heavy but it can be done with careful rideing. I would go out and do a little practiceing some where before the trip just to get the feel of how the bike handles and they decide

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    • #3
      Re: Trip Planning - Colorado

      On the Ophir rd, are you talking about Ophir Pass? That one is a tough dual-sport rd. One of the ones I hope to do someday. But from 145 to Ophir isn't to bad.

      From Westcliffe are you talking about Oak Creek Grade Rd? On my maps it doesn't seem to bad. Not to bad an elevation change, but it does follow a creek, so I'd be afraid of some creek crossings with a bike that big.

      I have ridden Phantom Canyon Rd between Canon City and Cripple Creek. It's also known as CO67. And it would be easily ridden on a big bike. Gravel and 1 lane, but well graded and very pretty ride. Just take it easy.

      Guy
      sigpic

      2003 Suzuki DR 650, The touring model.

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      • #4
        Re: Trip Planning - Colorado

        Greybeard - Thanks for the tip! I've been on some short stretches and it can get a little squirrely, but I have plenty of gravel here in Oklahoma! I had planned on getting into some of the backroads around here and towards Bartlesville for practice this spring before I head out.

        Mr. Guy - Thanks for the road names. I looked up Oak Creek Grade, and this is indeed the road! I drove it once going to Westcliffe about 20 years ago in a cage. From what I can remember I should be able to do this. I don't remember any water crossings. It's well maintained (used to be anyway). There was an old General Store about the half way point. Turns out it's a dinner theater and church now. That's how I figured it's the same road.

        Well, turns out the road to Ophir, is indeed the pass road. Might not be a good idea to try this one on a Voyager. Though I might anyway. If it gets too rough, I can always turn around. I'll play that one by ear.

        Ahhh... Phantom Canyon Road. I know this one well. Though it has been several years since I was there last. The first time I went up it was before there was gambling at Cripple Creek. If I remember, this is the old rail road grade that went from Canon City to Victor and Cripple Creek. There is another road further west out of the north side of Canon City that goes into Cripple Creek directly. It's called Shelf Road, or Shelf Ridge road. This is the old Stage Coach route from Cripple Creek to Canon City. More switchbacks, way narrow, and very steep drop offs. Awesome roads both of them.

        I'll start e-mailing some of the Jeep Tour operators in the Telluride and Silver City area. They should be able to give me some good up to date info about the Ophir pass road. I have relatives in Canon City, so they can fill me in on the Oak Creek Grade.

        Thanks guys!

        -- JD

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        • #5
          Re: Trip Planning - Colorado

          I dug up a couple of pics from Phantom Canyon Rd.





          And 1 from the top of Pikes Peak.



          That was a Yamaha FJR next to mine and there was a couple of Harley Ultra Classics and a hand full of Goldwings up there too. I would guess with a little caution you'd make it too.

          Have fun, Guy
          sigpic

          2003 Suzuki DR 650, The touring model.

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          • #6
            Re: Trip Planning - Colorado

            I found a link with some Ophir Pass pics in it. You'll need to scroll down a ways to get to them. These guys rode from Ouray over the pass to Ophir.

            http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...4&postcount=11

            Guy
            sigpic

            2003 Suzuki DR 650, The touring model.

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            • #7
              Re: Trip Planning - Colorado

              Originally posted by Okie34 View Post
              The main road through Ophir, Co. By google maps, this appears to be gravel. It's listed as a County Road which probably means the same. The section in question is a 10 mile stretch between CO 145 and US 550. Would this be too much for a big touring bike? Anyone been this way?

              Ideas? Suggestions? Advice?

              -- JD
              I was on that road when I did the TAT in 2008 not sure if you would save anytime taking it. I'm sure you could do it on the big bike but it would not be fun.

              Here are a few pics of the road.




              Trailace/ Rick
              “You can tell the size of the man by the size of the things that bother him”
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Re: Trip Planning - Colorado

                Hey Guy, those Ammo Cans are lookin good!
                Steve

                2017 Suzuki DL650A V-Strom 2005 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, 2002 Harley Road King Classic, 1976 Harley Sportster

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                • #9
                  Re: Trip Planning - Colorado

                  Yea, that was my one and only trip with those. LOL I had to dab a foot and hit my ankle on the left one. Thought "damn that hurt", so took them off as soon as I got home. Went to soft bags after that.

                  Guy
                  sigpic

                  2003 Suzuki DR 650, The touring model.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Trip Planning - Colorado

                    Well, did some more research.It's amazing what one can find on youtube! After watching a couple of the videos of folks driving or riding Ophir Pass road, I don't think I'm going to go that route. Some other day maybe and almost certainly a different bike.

                    Thanks for the info guys! I appreciate it!

                    -- JD

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