Arizona Highway 191


Hit up quite a loop this weekend on the FZ...

My buddy (VStrom 650) and I managed to get out of town Friday morning from Tucson for a couple of days of quality riding in the pines of east/central Arizona. I just threw on a set of Pilot Road 3's, and I needed to give them a good scrub. We took Hwy 77 north to Globe, through the Salt River Canyon to Show Low, over to Alpine, and down the infamous Hwy 191.

I hear lots of people talking about Salt River Canyon as a great ride, but honestly, with all of the mini-vans and tour-ons gawking at the scenery, I can't say that it was really that great from a motorcyclist's perspective. Fun, yes, but short, and heavily congested.

After a night in Show Low, we headed out through some beautiful country on Hwy 260. Apart from a few communities where you have to slow down, you can cruise at a pretty brisk pace all the way to Eagar. We took a little detour down 273 which is very scenic, and connected with 261 to get back to 260. Although 261 is a little spur, if you find yourself in the area, don't miss it. Some incredible sweepers with posted 25mph signs and really good surface conditions. Needless to say we 3X'ed the limit, but don't tell anyone...

Made it to Alpine early, around 3PM, and was able to get a well-earned shower and watch as our motel parking lot filled up with riders from all over. It was a happy accident that I had booked a room at the same spot that the guys from South-Eastern Arizona Touring Riders had chosen to bed down. We ate with them Saturday night, and some of us, whose names shall not be mentioned, managed to close the local watering hole (on foot of course). During the course of the night, we were told numerous times how dangerous Hwy 191 could be, and were urged not to ride at all, or at least not going down, or south.

This turned out to be partially true. There are some marked 10mph hairpin turns that sneak up on you and are scary as hell. After you learn your lesson on a few of these, you more or less know what to expect, and mind your manners. Sections of this road are not to be messed with, and the marks left on the pavement from less fortunate riders are there to remind you along your way.

I'm glad I found the time to go ride this amazing stretch. I do wish I had chosen to ride it in the other direction, but I learned a lot about where my weaknesses are. The rest of the trip sort of had the "volume turned down," and was tame by comparison.

Side note: the PR3's are sweet tires. I am impressed with the grip, but am wondering if anyone else has experienced a lot of noise from the front?
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Motorcycle Noooooooooooob
A little late to the party, but... Ain't it great? I did this for the first time last year. Wanted to do it all in a day (from Phoenix area), but the (now) wife didn't like that idea so much, so we met my brother, his wife, and their friends to camp in Greer.

Honestly, I try to keep quiet about it so it doesn't turn into "the dragon" or something like that, overrun with people.

Watch out for wildlife! I rounded one corner only to see two cows staring at me. OK, I guess that's not wild, but I also saw tons of bighorn sheep in the Morenci mine area, and a fox as the elevation gained.

For a fun time, stop at Hannagan Meadow (hope I spelled that right...). Good bunch of people, even if the food isn't that great (it's in BFE, what do you expect?).

Probably wise not to do it alone, like I did... No cell service for the majority of it.