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Travelling to Phoenix the third week of April for business meetings. I've decided to stay over, rent a bike and tour the area for a couple of days. A friend of mine from the office is going to join me for the ride. Sedona and Flagstaff seem like logical destinations but I would appreciate any other thoughts/recommendations on where to go and what to see. I plan to pick up the bike on Thursday (19th) morning and have to be back at the airport to fly home by Sunday (22nd) late afternoon. Also appreciate any advice or experience any may have had with local (i.e. Phoenix or Scottsdale) bike rental shops, good or bad. My friend has already lined up a BMW 1300GT through EagleRider in Scottsdale. Anyone have any experience with these folks? One drawback with EagleRider is that they are closed on Sunday's, so he has to return the bike Saturday and pick up a Harley at a different location in Phoenix for the last 24 hours of our ride. I welcome any comments, advice, warnings anyone has to share! BTW, I'm leaning towards the BMW R1200-RT, but could be dissuaded!

Thanks
Dave
 

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If you are not sure that Eagle Rider's hours fit your schedule, try AZ Ride.com, in Scottsdale. We rented BMWs from them two years ago and were very very happy.

If you like world class mountain twisties, be sure to go to eastern Arizona to ride Route 191 (666) through the White Mountains from Clifton to Alpine. The first few miles going north from Clifton is particularly interesting as you climb a narrow spine through the middle of a gigantic open pit copper mine, riding through big mining equipment with the pit dropping thousands of feet on either side. Also, visit Canyon de Chelly in NE AZ, and Monument Valley (actually just over the border in Utah) - pay extra to take a tour with a Navajo guide.

Old route 66 in western AZ is very straight but nostalgic. Grand Canyon, if you haven't been there - and lots more, which I am sure others will tell you about.
 

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If you haven't been, Grand Canyon. Make sure you go to the IMAX movie.

Eastern AZ if you want twisties. Check temps and for snow on the ground before you hit the White Mountains.

Bring winter clothing if you head north or east.

Bob
 

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Dave,
If you are looking to do a little sightseeing on your way to Sedona take a side trip to the west and stop in the town of Jerome. It is an old mining town on a hill, nice ride up, and at the top is the Hotel Jerome and the Asylum restaurant. Lots of History on what a mining town looked like back the 1910 to 1920s. Did I mention it is a steep hill up and through the town. At the top you can see everywhere.
While in Sedona be sure to take a side trip along Red Rock Loop, and if you are there at night go up to the Airport and watch the sun set.
The ride out of Sedona to flagstaff on 89A will be great, tree lined road all the way. Nice twisty road section while going up hill into the Coconino Nation Forest into Flagstaff. Once at the top it is as flat as a pancake if you decide to run the 4 hours to the grand canyon.

My two cents, have a great trip!
 

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rwbloch said:
If you are not sure that Eagle Rider's hours fit your schedule, try AZ Ride.com, in Scottsdale. We rented BMWs from them two years ago and were very very happy.

If you like world class mountain twisties, be sure to go to eastern Arizona to ride Route 191 (666) through the White Mountains from Clifton to Alpine. The first few miles going north from Clifton is particularly interesting as you climb a narrow spine through the middle of a gigantic open pit copper mine, riding through big mining equipment with the pit dropping thousands of feet on either side. Also, visit Canyon de Chelly in NE AZ, and Monument Valley (actually just over the border in Utah) - pay extra to take a tour with a Navajo guide.

Old route 66 in western AZ is very straight but nostalgic. Grand Canyon, if you haven't been there - and lots more, which I am sure others will tell you about.
+1 on AZ Ride, the White Mountains & 191
 

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666 (Devil's Backbone as it used to be known) is A+ for an aggressive ride. If you are looking for a shorter ride a trip through Wickenberg to Prescott is a nice mix of both smooth flat road and twisted switchbacks and a short ride.

There are so many rides to have in Arizona. There is no other state in the contiguous 48 which provides as perfect a combination of road quality and variety as Arizona.

Here is a site that details some ride options: http://www.motorcycleroads.com/Routes/Arizona_78.html

Coyote Honda just got a brand new farkled GL1800 a few months ago that they rent.

Another personal favorite for a medium distance is simply take US 60 out of Phoenix metro, head up through Globe, through the Salt River Canyon to Show Low and then on to 666 or back to PHX through Payson and the rim.
 

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copperstatetour said:
Another personal favorite for a medium distance is simply take US 60 out of Phoenix metro, head up through Globe, through the Salt River Canyon to Show Low and then on to 666 or back to PHX through Payson and the rim.
Drove that last week doing vehicle testing for work. Salt River Canyon was very cool! Usually we run up the Bush Highway to 87 & then on up to Payson/Pine/Strawberry to Flagstaff or Winslow.

If you go towards Globe, turn off at Superior on 177 for short detour to the Ray Mine overlook.

Apache Trail northeast out of phoenix to Roosevelt Lake is pretty cool to.
 

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through wickenburg, up yarnell hill into prescott, over mingus mountain through jerome, on to sedona, up through oak creek canyon into Flagstaff. Flagstaff is at least 7500 elevation so bring some warm gear. From Flagstaff you can head east through the petrified forest and down south to the 191, or up to the grand canyon
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Many thanks for all the great ideas/advice! Exactly what I expected from the members of this forum, you guys are awesome! Now i just need to boil down the options into a three day sprint! I decided to go with AZRide for my rental even though the two R1200GT's they rent were both spoken for the week I'm out there. Just wasn't going to be comfortable on a Harley so I opted for a Yamaha FJR1300. Can't wait to see how it compares to my LT!

Can't wait to report back on my experience. Thanks again everyone!

Dave
 

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I just did #191 from Phoenix. You need to allow yourself one day to get there. An overnight in Safford is a good idea so you are fresh for the next day. #191 has to be on the top ten list for North America for one main reason - it of course has an abundance of curves all the way up the spine to Alpine, but it is virtually traffic free. I rode it up and back (loved it so much) and met a total of 4 vehicles and passed one!

Current conditions are good except for some sand and grit due to the recent snow. It reaches 9200 ft so on a cooler day, a liner would be a good idea.

Jerome is an easy day ride from Phoenix. Make sure to go through Prescott to Wickenburg. The part south of Prescott can get a little congested but not nearly as much as the part south of Jerome.

Hope this helps with your planning.
 

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It sounds like you may not have the time to do 191 in eastern AZ, but if you have the option of extending your time in AZ, as others have said, it is a great and must do ride. If you can, I recommend riding out to Alpine, AZ and spending the night, then in the AM take 180 across into New Mexixo and ride 180 south along the NM/AZ border then across into AZ and up 191. Other rides to consider, especially since you mention Sedona are Oak Creek Canyon and ride to Jerome, both very handy to Sedona. Another ride is 87 to Payson, in fact you can take 87 to and through Payson and take 260 West, just past Strawberry to 89 which will take you into Sedona. Good luck and enjoy.
 

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Hope you can find time to eat at http://pizzeriabianco.com/ one of the best pizza places in the county. Sorry, closed on Sundays. I'm going to PHX on 4/6 for a week of backpacking in the GC and Pizza Bianco is the first stop after landing.
 

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It's a nice ride from Phoenix to Bisbee/Tombstone as well. We did one or 2 trips to Kit Peak as well, many through Wickenburg up the back end to Prescott. Never did 191, I did not think my wife could handle it. I drove it a few times in a car, and once as a passenger I became sick (and I NEVER get sick in cars).
 
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