Registered: Dec 2008
Posted December 11th, 2008 04:45 PM IP
This was sent to us by a recent client who rented the new BMW 800 ST from our Dallas location and had a great ride on some of the best roads in Texas. If you have tips on roads you can't pass up in your area or an area you visited, please reply and let us know.
"First of all, a BIG thanks for cluing me into the Three Sisters. Didn't know about those roads (I'm new here in Texas)Looked up "three sisters texas roads" on the internet and got intrigued. Seemed like a good place for a long weekend ride, so I went.
I started from Southlake just north of DFW airport and took the 377 to 281 to Burnet. Lots of straight roads but with enough curves and hills to keep it interesting, and the occasional tall hill to give a brief, teasing glance at the immensity around me.
Stops at local eateries like Storm's in Lampasas were a highlight of the run. Then I took the Texas Hill Country Trail on the 29 to 2241 to 16 down through Fredricksburg and Kerrville to Bandera. Really nice town squares and courthouses, places I'd like to come back and spend a little time in, and I was just getting rolling into the hills. It's a dream!
Spent the night in Bandera at the River Oaks Inn. Nice place, friendly staff, and when I arrived they had already moved me out of a more expensive room (last available when I booked) just because a smaller one opened up.
Set out for Austin Saturday via the Three Sisters. What a RIDE!
I'm from the SF Bay Area, and these roads rank with anything there. Going over the slot-cut saddles, the steep up-and-downs (five in succession at one place!) and through all of the turns on good pavement was a real treat.
Trying to find another route back led me to a real find, the 1340
along the Guadalupe River into Kerrville. Wow! Great road and
spectacular scenery, and Stonehenge (you have to Google "Stonehenge hill country")? It seemed that anytime I got off the main routes and onto the side roads it just got better. I need a better map with more detail on the country roads before next time.
Another find was getting off 290 to run the parallel SR1 along the Pedernales River through the park past the LBJ Ranch, slower but so spectacular. Just a chance decision (if it's route ONE it must have some significance?) that looked good and turned out to be right.
I ended my day running up 281 from Johnson City (a town with a prosaic name but lots of charm) to Marble Falls to catch the
1431/183/620/2244 into Austin, and couldn't figure out what Austin is. Between the hills and the roads I took, I just got a glimpse of pieces of the city. Intriguing! What goes on in Austin will stay in Austin I'm sure, because really, by the time I rolled in I was bone- tired.
Austin to home on Sunday was going to be a chore because I had to make a deadline (cook a special meal for my daughter who was in town), but the scenery back was good, and I made a real discovery by getting off the 281 onto the 220 at Hico to look for the 51, just to same some time. The 220 is like the 281, but the 51, what a road! The first (although short) part is everything that the Three Sisters are, and is also close to Dallas/FtWorth.
I haven't been able to get my own bike out from CA yet, so I had
rented an F800ST from AdMo-Tours and Sport Ryder in Carrollton (great outfit!) for this trip, and spent Thursday getting used to to it NW of Dallas on some roads suggested by Todd Richmond from the BMW-DFW club. Very smooth and responsive, great quick gearbox, tight in the corners, and enough power that I didn't have to downshift on any of the hills. The only drawback was a REALLY annoying mirror placement, it's set up for a great view of your forearms! I had to keep moving my arms to get a view rearward. Also, the front suspension has a tendency to bottom out quickly (CLANG!).
Other than that, it was a dream ride, much lighter and quicker than my 2000 R1150GS (about 250# lighter with the same 84hp). I'll need to find out what the long-term outlook for belt drives is (I've been a shaft-drive fan, and if you have any input please reply), but there was no vibration or chain hiss, nice! I put 1200 miles on it in four days, and it was comfortable enough for me as a touring bike, even in the wind, as it was a fun bike going through the twisties. I didn't have much luggage and was riding one-up, so I can't speak for it as a loaded touring bike with two-up. I'm going to wait to try the F800GS to see if it's better, but one of these is definitely in my future."
Sent from: Timothy Bever