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Old 11-17-2017, 01:09 PM   #1
MaxGs
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Big Bend Ride - Trip Report & Advice

Iím thinking about going to big bend but Iíve never been. Iím looking for some advice....

1. Thoughts on riding the 1200 GS Adventure versus trailering it... or would you recommend trailering the KTM 500 exc or the DRZ 400

2. Given that iím not interested in camping.... need a room with a bed, shower, etc where should I consider staying?

3. Whatís a good length of time to explore the park? 5 days? Longer?

4. What passes / permits do I need in advance?

5. Is there any particular route youíd recommend for driving or riding from Houston to Big Bend? 600 miles away...

6. What are the must doís in Big Bend?
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Old 11-17-2017, 01:19 PM   #2
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PM Longdraw and Jimrad, they are actually heading back from there now. Colin is the foremost expert regarding the subject. I can give you his cell if you want.
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Old 11-17-2017, 01:21 PM   #3
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Already sent a pm to LongDraw. Hoping to get him to a monday night meet to chat.

Jimrad.... good idea on him as well.
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Old 11-17-2017, 01:29 PM   #4
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If you are going to trailer a bike and stay in a hotel I would take the KTM 500. If you want to ride out there and live off the back of the bike I would take the GS. That's just me though. If I'm not riding 500 miles in one day I would take the fun bike and not the tourer. There is one lodge inside the National Park. It books up quick so make a reservation ahead of time. Outside of the park Terlingua has lots of nice places including houses you can rent. You can see a lot of it in 3 to 5 days. If you are trailering I would take I10 out there because it is a bit quicker. If riding I would take 90 out there. The off road riding in the national park is not challenging at all but the scenery makes it worth it. A GS will take you through there just fine. Had a guy go with us on a Bergman scooter and he never fell or got stuck once.
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Old 11-17-2017, 01:30 PM   #5
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Good deal! Good luck!
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Old 11-17-2017, 02:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandontx View Post
If you are going to trailer a bike and stay in a hotel I would take the KTM 500. If you want to ride out there and live off the back of the bike I would take the GS. That's just me though. If I'm not riding 500 miles in one day I would take the fun bike and not the tourer. There is one lodge inside the National Park. It books up quick so make a reservation ahead of time. Outside of the park Terlingua has lots of nice places including houses you can rent. You can see a lot of it in 3 to 5 days. If you are trailering I would take I10 out there because it is a bit quicker. If riding I would take 90 out there. The off road riding in the national park is not challenging at all but the scenery makes it worth it. A GS will take you through there just fine. Had a guy go with us on a Bergman scooter and he never fell or got stuck once.
Interesting, thank you.

I read Byrdmanís old thread and it has me thinking about riding the GS. Sounds like big bend is very picturesque but the dirt is not very challenging.
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Old 11-17-2017, 03:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxGs View Post
Interesting, thank you.

I read Byrdmanís old thread and it has me thinking about riding the GS. Sounds like big bend is very picturesque but the dirt is not very challenging.
From what I hear there are some gnarlier spots outside of the national park. You would have fun no matter what you decide to do. For me, trips are more about who I'm with than what I'm doing. Was a fun group of guys. We did the big bike camping thing last time and it was amazing. May go back in March with plated dirt bikes and an RV to crash in.
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Old 11-17-2017, 03:50 PM   #8
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That sounds fun max. I have never done big bend either. I wonder if the wing would be fun if I trailered it there. I am not into long distance slabbing get bored going straight espeically for that far. When you think about going?
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Old 11-17-2017, 04:40 PM   #9
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Byrdman and I just returned from Big Bend. We rode 1190/1290 SA's and they were suitable for Maverick and Some of the county gravel roads. They excelled at anything with pavement. They also made the drive back enjoyable.

I would recommend Chisos Mining Co for lodging.

Highly recommend the starlight for dinner.

Take 90 west to 385 to come in the east side of the park. Since I tour and go to NP's a lot, I just buy the season pass.
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:47 PM   #10
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Can you guys come to the monday night NW meet for a trip review? Iíll buy.
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Old 11-19-2017, 08:50 PM   #11
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Take the ktm 500. Colin will give you the rundown on lodging , routes, etc.. here are some videos from our trip... it was a blast.






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Old 11-20-2017, 01:14 AM   #12
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Outstanding! Thank you. I’ll check these out!
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Old 11-20-2017, 09:37 AM   #13
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We were there last Tuesday through yesterday.

1. Thoughts on riding the 1200 GS Adventure versus trailering it... or would you recommend trailering the KTM 500 exc or the DRZ 400
John took his 500Exc and it was perfect..

2. Given that i’m not interested in camping.... need a room with a bed, shower, etc where should I consider staying?
Outside the park, Maverick RV Ranch Resort (we stayed here at their RV Park).. or inside the park at Chisos Mountain Lodge (closer to the attractions and rides in the park)... both have rooms for rent

3. What’s a good length of time to explore the park? 5 days? Longer? 5 days is good

4. What passes / permits do I need in advance? we have an annual park pass for the park, also get your OHV sticker if you are riding offroad.. there is an entrance fee for the park (I think $20), but it's good for 7 days (our America The Beautiful Annual Pass covered this cost)

5. Is there any particular route you’d recommend for driving or riding from Houston to Big Bend? 600 miles away...
Take IH10 all the way .. unless you area staying in the park, then take IH10 to 90..

6. What are the must do’s in Big Bend?
Chisos, Santa Elena, River Road (51 miles dirt from Castolon Visitor Center to Rio Grand Visitor Ctr), Black Gap, Hikes near Rio Grande Visitor Center (we hopped int he Hot Springs after riding and hiking here, it was nice),Starlight Theatre (for food) was delicious, and so was the restaurant at the Maverick RV Ranch

Have fun! Bring lots of water and there are no campfires allowed in the national park
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Old 11-20-2017, 09:46 AM   #14
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Very nice response. Thank you. I was all set on riding the bmw there... now I’m on the fence again.
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Old 11-20-2017, 09:52 AM   #15
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I wish we could have brought the street bike but we were hauling the camper and two dirt bikes.. because honestly, the roads are AWESOME for street riding, but you can't enjoy some of the dirt roads on street or touring bikes (the are too heavy, especially for the terrain on Old Ore Road and Black Gap). If you have the option to bring both, do so and you'll have a blast.
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Old 11-20-2017, 09:55 AM   #16
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The bmw I am referring to is the GS Adventure. It handles gravel and light dirt but its a lot more work then the ktm. single track on the Adventure is not possible with my riding skills.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Very nice response. Thank you. I was all set on riding the bmw there... now Iím on the fence again.
If you've never been I would ride the GS out there. You can cover more ground and see more of the park and surrounding areas on the GS. Then after you've done a sight seeing trip maybe go back on a dirt bike to ride the parts you enjoyed most.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:07 AM   #18
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I want to take my SuperAdventure out there some day if I can ever find the time as my weekends seem to be full of minibike/TMGP these days and the weeknights spent getting ready for those! Maybe after the kids go off to college in the next 3-5 years! lol
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:08 AM   #19
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Max, I still think it'd be too heavy for those trails. Some of River Road is doable, but some areas on that 51 mi stretch are pretty deep for the heavier bike. There wasn't much single track but the steep loose rock climbs and descents on Old Ore Road and Black Gap would be difficult on it as well.

Also, if you are bringing the KTM, bring a spare air filter. We went through some sections that felt and looked like talc powder.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:44 AM   #20
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All very good and interesting information. Brandonís proposal of the GS on the first trip and then back on the ktm seems like a good idea too. Iím kind of interested in a longer gs ride. I enjoyed the two week trip to colorado on the gs. There is something about having nothing but your bike and what you can carry on it.

Decisions, decisions.
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