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Quick question.

I'm riding with a bunch of guys up to Colorado Springs, Colorado from Dallas, Texas. The trip will be the first part of September. As part of this trip, I was thinking about riding up to the top of Pike's Peak. When I brought this up, a couple of folks immediately said that taking a big touring bike up the peak is a bad idea.

I know a fair portion isn't paved, but the roads still looked pretty decent, as long as you take it easy. What do you guys think?

Thanks for the input,
Robert
 

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I've been up the peak a few times, rental cage last time, not on a bike (yet). I'm not sure what it'd look like in Sept.

Its pretty wicked, but I was a little taken back when I saw some road bikes at the top in the parking lot. Mostly GS's and such, but some big road bikes!

I'm sure you could do it but I'd suggest taking that run in a cage first if you have the chance, just to check it out. the roads are great but real steep. Coming down the hill without sliding out the front would be a concern.

Hell, you can always turn around too, I always forget about that option! :histerica

although even turning around can be a challenge on parts of that road with an LT....really though, with a group, long as you don't go over the cliff (no guard rails, etc), dropping the bike isn't a show stopper:)

sure sounds like fun to me!
 

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I would be much more concerned with the trip down than the trip up. As previously stated, managing speed without having the front end wash out on you would be very tricky indeed. it's a steep road.
 

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Old Slow Guy in A Fast Car
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I've been up to the top but not on a bike and would NEVER think about it on a LT. KLR or a GS maybe, as stated the trip up may not be bad but on the way down you have to stop at "Brake Check" stations where if your brakes are too hot you sit till cooled off. Also trying to control a LT on a very steep down hill DIRT road will not be any fun.
 

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If you just want to go up there to see the views you could ride the cog railway to the summit.
 

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The wife and i went on vac.to colo. last yr. I wanted to ride up pikes peak,wife wanted to take the cog railway up first. boy am i glad we did the elev is aprox. 14,200 ft. and if you are not use to it you will get short winded,dizzy and nauseated.it affects some people more than others. i got off the cog railway car walked about 50yds and had to grab hold of the railing and rest. never did ride the bike up after that experience. just something to keep on mind.
 

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Did that 2 years ago on my LT. July 4th weekend. Scary as hell. The roads where all rutted up. By the time I made it up to the top it was snowing, not pretty but I did it!
A much better ride, that's paved all the way is up Mt. Evans, excellect ride and the views...........WOW!
Just my nickels worth! Enjoy the trip!
 

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I have been up both Pike's Peak and Mt. Evans (even higher) on the LT.

No big issue as these are very hard packed gravel roads. The bike handles it real well just remember you are touring (slow and watch out for dips, gulches, pot holes and the loose stuff) and it should be no problem.You need to develop a positive attitude about switchbacks and just drive through them - if you have a pillion talk about this down below as some of these are tight - but with minimal traffic you should have no issues. Several years ago we met a couple on Goldwings with trailers going down - nothing but grins on their faces.

I would ask at the bottom (where you pay at the entrance of Pikes Peak) what the weather is at the top - if they report ice or snow on the road I would think twice (don't go) and but a souvenirs pin !!!

In early September the Aspens are turning colors, this kids are in school - no traffic, the weather at the bottom is marvelous (crisp and clear) and it will be nippy on top.

Stop in at Glen Cove Inn for a cup of Joe and away you go!! :D
 

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Went there 2 yrs ago in August. Weather is unpredictable anytime. I went about half way up and decided to turn around. There were several others in the group the continued up and had a blast, but they got rained, snowed and hailed on in the process.

The roads in the park are busy with tourists in cars and it was generally a pain in the butt dealing with them.

The area is beautiful and there are many other less congested scenic rides you can do.
 

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My wife and i have taken our lt and our old yamaha venture up pikes peek and mount evens a couple of times.We enjoyed them very much.Just take it easy on the gravel part going up and us engine braking on the way down.
Good luck with the weather.
 

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Don't let these old fuddy-duddies talk you out of a great experience based on their own perceived weaknesses. :) If you're comfortable and confident on your LT, then Pike's Peak is an awesome ride. If you're timid and have no experience with dirt/gravel roads, mountains, switchbacks, etc. then you might want to take a pass.

But be warned, the weather can change rapidly up at the top. Here's a copy of my ride report from after the 2004 CCR:

The road up Pike's Peak is like this:



It's paved part way, and dirt/gravel the rest. The non-paved portion of the road was in fine shape and we made good time on the way up, even passing several minivans who were being especially timid. Visions of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb vied with the incredible views as we ascended into the clouds. After the obligatory pictures at the top we went into the gift shop for lunch and souvenirs. While perusing postcards, there was an announcement that the weather had changed and that the ranger was escorting folks back down the hill. We went outside and found this:



Now the LT's power-assisted ABS are arguably the best brakes ever designed for a motorcycle. But when the ground is constantly slick, the power assist is just too much and the ABS just keeps activating which is worse than having no brakes at all. I really wished I could have disabled the ABS like on a GS bike. Instead, I coasted very slowly down in first gear using only engine braking, and waved cars past so I could ride in their tire tracks. I'd wave a car around, then ride in his tire tracks until I couldn't see them anymore, then wave the next car around. After almost an hour and maybe 5 miles, it dried up again like nothing at all had happened.

Once we got below the storm, the rest of the ride down was fine. We stopped at the lower gift shop to finish our shopping, where several folks commented about those crazy folks on the motorcycle. All I could think was that I'd still rather be on the bike, even in those conditions, than to be stuck in a cage for the whole trip.

If you can understand that, then go for it. If you can't, then perhaps you shouldn't be riding up the big, scary hill. ;)

It was a challenging ride but those are the ones you remember, and how you get those great desktop pics for your computer, like this one:

 

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rldavidson2 said:
Quick question.

I'm riding with a bunch of guys up to Colorado Springs, Colorado from Dallas, Texas. The trip will be the first part of September. As part of this trip, I was thinking about riding up to the top of Pike's Peak. When I brought this up, a couple of folks immediately said that taking a big touring bike up the peak is a bad idea.

I know a fair portion isn't paved, but the roads still looked pretty decent, as long as you take it easy. What do you guys think?

Thanks for the input,
Robert
My wife and I rode up Pike's Peak on my Voyager XII back in 1988. I was much younger then, but I'd take the LT up in a heart beat. The only problem I had was getting behind an old guy in a car who was getting spooked near the top and decided to drive about 5 MPH. I was doing s-turns and slipping the clutch a bit until I finally got past him.

The Voyager wouldn't idle at the top without holding the throttle about 1/8 open, but it still had plenty of power. Coming down was easy as I rarely had to use the brakes given the engine braking available in 1st and 2nd gears. The cars were stinking and some had smoking brakes and I rarely had to touch my brakes.

As long as you aren't spooked by switchbacks and lack of guard rails, it is a piece of cake!
 

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cfell said:
How much uphill dirt riding have you done with street tires?

Go out to a levee and practice... yeah, it can be done... sure....

BTW, you do have the MedAir coverage, right?
Good grief. Have you ever ridden up Pike's Peak? It doesn't sound like it. I have and it is no big deal for a competent motorcyclist.
 

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I also plan to do pikes peak this sept. We did mt. washington last oct. and had fun doing it! We were lucky and had good weather.
I hope we do not see snow as I am taking the girlfriend and I know she will be sacred just from the road!
Pikes peaks road looks wider than mt. washington but more dirt. I have 1/2 mile dirt driveway with a small stream at the end, so I have so experience with dirt.
 

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Really not an issue, I have never been up it on my LT (yet), but I had my GW up there several times, I used to drive up Pikes and Evans every time I went through...IF you are a bit concerned, Mt. Evans is paved all the way to the top and is a much more scenic ride (IMHO).

An earlier poster was concerned about brakes heating up...Sign of an inexperienced rider, use your engine, you will get a rhythm going and you will be disappointed when you get to the bottom.

Happy climbing!
 

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rldavidson2 said:
Quick question.

I'm riding with a bunch of guys up to Colorado Springs, Colorado from Dallas, Texas. The trip will be the first part of September. As part of this trip, I was thinking about riding up to the top of Pike's Peak. When I brought this up, a couple of folks immediately said that taking a big touring bike up the peak is a bad idea.

I know a fair portion isn't paved, but the roads still looked pretty decent, as long as you take it easy. What do you guys think?

Thanks for the input,
Robert
Near the Peak, be sure to see "Garden of the Gods", we really loved it! Hotel rooms were very afforadable too!
 

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I have ridden Pikes Peak many times, the last couple of times on the LT. It is typically no big deal as the dirt/gravel is usually very hard packed and I consider myself just an average rider. Last summer it was a bit loose in places but still OK. Having said that, it is your decision to make. If you get a butt pucker when you have to ride100 yards on a dirt and gravel drive way, then it is not for you. Also the brake check station on the way down is a non event for bikes and as I recall it is paved by that time or just after any way. They have always waved me on. The weather is the big thing as it can be nasty at the top. Just check at the toll booth.

I will throw in a second on Mt. Evans vs. Pikes Peak. Evans is a paved road, albeit crappy in a few places above 12,000 ft, a little higher than Pikes Peak and usually not as crowded. Same spectacular views. Just not as famous.
 

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I received some great advise from a ranger who had worked the peak for many years. He said to be at the gate when it opens at 8am. There are storms on the top in the afternoon almost everyday. Of course I didn't meet him until after we were 1/4 mile from the top when the hail hit. That turned the road to ice for the trip down. That ride down required me to pull the seat out of the crack routine when I got to the lodge part way down. My S.O. rode down with a ranger in a suburban. He wouldn't let her ride with me. They sent the flatbed tow truck up after the 4 bikes sitting on the side of the road that the riders didn't want to ride down. They also rode with the ranger. So if you get in a spot where you don't feel safe you can wait for the ranger and they will help you out.
 
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