Mid Atlantic Back roads Discovery Routes

Where have you been riding? Tell us all about your trip. Prove it with pictures! If ya didn't take pictures, it didn't happen...
Forum rules
This is the place for you to post reports about your rides. Remember the mantra: "If you don't post pictures, it didn't happen".
Post Reply
URALNUT60
Comrade Colonel
Comrade Colonel
Posts: 450
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:59 pm

Mid Atlantic Back roads Discovery Routes

Post by URALNUT60 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:16 am

Has anybody rode there ural on the Mid Atlantic discovery routes? Is most of it Ural friendly? I am in central pa. Could ride north or south, please share your expierianced. Thank you

User avatar
Lofty
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 1576
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:17 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Re: Mid Atlantic Back roads Discovery Routes

Post by Lofty » Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:07 pm

URALNUT60 wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:16 am
Has anybody rode there Ural on the Mid Atlantic discovery routes?
Is most of it Ural friendly?

I am in central pa. Could ride north or south, please share your experience. Thank you
I've done a long stretch of the MABDR on my DR650, and a shorter but rougher segment of the same on my Ural. Both rides occurred earlier this year, on the Pennsylvania leg of the MABDR (coincidentally, in the southern and central portion of the state). I did riding in both northern and southern directions.

There are portions of the MABDR that I rode that I definitely wouldn't consider Ural friendly, in terms of long hill climbs and rough forest road terrain. The rigs simply don't have the ground clearance, or especially the gearing, for some of the public "roads" that are anything but.

To be sure, there are plenty of portions of the MABDR, between the individual mapped waypoints, that are indeed an easy ride on the Ural. If you stick to the route, though, there will be some longish segments where even turning around won't solve your problem if you get in too deep. This is because backtracking will be as rough as going forward. I had to keep my wits about me even when the Suzuki's suspension and shorter gearing should have made things easier.

Choose wisely. I'd recommend having a dual sport and at least a bit of off-road riding experience in your back pocket.
Last edited by Lofty on Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Inventory:
2018 Ural Gear Up
2015 Suzuki DR650
1991 Bianchi Osprey
1952 Columbia RX-5 ('87, NOS)

URALNUT60
Comrade Colonel
Comrade Colonel
Posts: 450
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:59 pm

Re: Mid Atlantic Back roads Discovery Routes

Post by URALNUT60 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:03 pm

Thank you for your input Lofty, have you ridden the route below the Pa line towards Damascus?

User avatar
Lofty
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 1576
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:17 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Re: Mid Atlantic Back roads Discovery Routes

Post by Lofty » Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:48 pm

URALNUT60 wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:03 pm
Thank you for your input Lofty, have you ridden the route below the Pa line towards Damascus?
No, I stayed in PA due to my limited time frame for riding. I'd love to do the whole MABDR, but I'd need time to plan for it and I'd personally want a riding partner for company and mutual support as needed. And I'd be on the DR650, for sure.

The intel I had on hand, via ADV Rider, seemed to suggest that but for one truly challenging [and short] segment in VA, the sum of the MABDR (excluding that bit in central PA that I mention, above) is generally big-ADV-bike friendly. I'd wager that this would also translate well for a Ural with 50/50 tires and an experienced rider.
Inventory:
2018 Ural Gear Up
2015 Suzuki DR650
1991 Bianchi Osprey
1952 Columbia RX-5 ('87, NOS)

URALNUT60
Comrade Colonel
Comrade Colonel
Posts: 450
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:59 pm

Re: Mid Atlantic Back roads Discovery Routes

Post by URALNUT60 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:32 am

I was watching video on BDR mt holly to lockhaven, 163 miles, Lofty would you say most of that section Ural friendly? I don't mind detours to friendlier terrain if I have to

User avatar
Happytrails
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 1073
Joined: Tue May 29, 2018 7:35 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Re: Mid Atlantic Back roads Discovery Routes

Post by Happytrails » Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:25 pm

Watched some footage of the MABDR as I think it passed thru Bald Eagle? Sounds challenging. Parts looks good for Urals but some parts looked like they could be a problem as some roads/trails were real rocky.
-JR

2018 Ural GearUp, Urban Camo
1991 Honda Goldwing SE

"riding is good therapy"

User avatar
Lofty
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 1576
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:17 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Re: Mid Atlantic Back roads Discovery Routes

Post by Lofty » Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:57 pm

URALNUT60 wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:32 am
I was watching video on BDR mt holly to lockhaven, 163 miles, Lofty would you say most of that section Ural friendly? I don't mind detours to friendlier terrain if I have to
If memory serves, there will be a few elevations (long and/or steep climbs) on certain segments that you won't come to until well along on a particular road. Such roads are Ural friendly only to the extent that the rider doesn't have mechanical sympathy for the engine or transmission.

Conincidentally, Waypoint #6, Mt. Holly Springs, was one of my staging areas when meeting another DR650 owner for that particular ride.

Any detours would require a U-turn and fuel-burning rerouting. If that's acceptable, then you'll be riding near and not fully on the MABDR, at least in some places. You'll miss some amazing geography, which is the point of riding the Route itself.

Please reconsider, or purchase a more appropriate motorcycle. It will make the trip more enjoyable, I promise. :thumbsup:
Inventory:
2018 Ural Gear Up
2015 Suzuki DR650
1991 Bianchi Osprey
1952 Columbia RX-5 ('87, NOS)

User avatar
Black_Magic
Comrade
Comrade
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:35 pm
Location: Dayton, Ohio

Re: Mid Atlantic Back roads Discovery Routes

Post by Black_Magic » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:45 pm

This video might have some 'cautionary shots' in it for riding the trail.
Honda Groms from NYC to the TAT start via the MABRDR. A chainsaw would've helped but there's some nasty tracks in the video.
https://youtu.be/iXzEq0Nf7rs
2017 Gear Up - Urban Camo
2:1 High Right side Hindle exhaust.
Kaleb winch mount + Harborfreight wireless winch.
Dog restraints.

2012 Yamha Super Tenere

User avatar
tskorka
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:14 pm
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Re: Mid Atlantic Back roads Discovery Routes

Post by tskorka » Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:22 am

Harrisburg, PA here.

Keep in touch if anyone wants to meetup to ride and explore.

So far I did Carlisle to Waynesboro on my 250 dual sport (before I had the Ural).

Hoping to ride central and northern PA next.

Tracy
Harrisburg, PA

Stable:
2015 Ural cT
2004 Ninja 250 cafe
2012 Yamaha XT 250
2002 Mini Cooper S
2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited JLU

mtrdrms
Comrade General
Comrade General
Posts: 941
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:17 pm
Location: Colebrook, CT.

Re: Mid Atlantic Back roads Discovery Routes

Post by mtrdrms » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:44 pm

I'm over in CT if you ever find yourself out this way.
I would suggest a few beautiful and ural friendly rides such as the trans mass trail and the hampster route through NH. Good stuff.
- Andy

Everyday. No excuses.
2013 Patrol

User avatar
BinDerSmokDat
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 3675
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 2:35 pm
Location: South Jersey NJTP exit 6

Re: Mid Atlantic Back roads Discovery Routes

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:15 pm

As Lofty, LokiBoy and a few others know, this past summer the "exploring" day of the BGR Ural ride in Gettysburg was on part of the BDR route.
UralDude, ReCycled and I went back in August, camped at Pine Grove Furnace and rode MA6: Mt Holly Springs to McVeytown.

This section was mostly gravel and asphalt, a little boring.
Definitely not challenging for a Ural, unless you are an absolute beginner to off-roading.
A car could do it, in fact UralDude knows a guy who did most of the PA section in a Dodge Charger.
Some nice views and steep climbs/descents in some places but too far and few between.

At one point we found some old overgrown two track that wasn't part of the BDR but having been bored to death by gravel roads, we chanced it.
It was nice and took us down the other side of a mountain where we picked up the BDR again.

Lofty what was the most challenging sections you did by Ural?
I'm guessing we don't venture far enough North or South to find them. :(

The new Northeast section from the PA border to Canada is suppose to be more challenging, but routes haven't been released.
Hoping to hear good things about that and plan a more Ural-challenging expedition.

User avatar
BinDerSmokDat
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 3675
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 2:35 pm
Location: South Jersey NJTP exit 6

Re: Mid Atlantic Back roads Discovery Routes

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:32 pm

Happytrails wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:25 pm
Watched some footage of the MABDR as I think it passed thru Bald Eagle? Sounds challenging. Parts looks good for Urals but some parts looked like they could be a problem as some roads/trails were real rocky.
We've done some rides through Bald Eagle on Urals.
Not sure how much of what we did is part of the BDR, as it didn't exist back then.
There are a few places where a Ural can't go.
As Lofty said, long rocky climbs aren't a Ural's friend.
Gearing is too high to crawl up and the runs are too steep/long to overcome with a little momentum.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=21910

User avatar
Lofty
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 1576
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:17 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Re: Mid Atlantic Back roads Discovery Routes

Post by Lofty » Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:38 pm

BinDerSmokDat wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:15 pm
As Lofty, LokiBoy and a few others know, this past summer the "exploring" day of the BGR Ural ride in Gettysburg was on part of the BDR route.

Lofty what was the most challenging sections you did by Ural?
You were with me. :)

As Rich correctly states, our Friday ride during the May 2019 Gettysburg BGR took us in/near Michaux State Forest. Portions of the ride were part of the MABDR. I know this because I did a separate ride, on my Suzuki and including Michaux and the Mt. Holly Springs checkpoint, with a fellow DR650 rider.

As for the quoted exploring day on and near the BDR, there were a few steep inclines, and/or very rocky portions, that required a lot of clutch work on my Ural...mostly because the operators in front of me apparently didn't know they needed to go faster to preserve their own clutches and make it up (or down!) whatever hill we were negotiating at the time. This is when experience matters, and there wasn't any pre-ride briefing to do a temperature check here.

A few in our group struggled mightily with the terrain (and you would have witnessed some of this, Rich, as you were riding sweep that day). One FU in the front slowed or stopped everyone. Rinse and repeat.

At one point, the terrain got the best of one fellow and he rode off trail into the forest. Recall my temperature check comment.

I broke my own rule by not grilling the rider that's recommended a particular route, to determine if he knows what he's getting into. I didn't like being forced to add off-road pin striping to my still-new rig without any foreknowledge. Lesson learned. By the time we were in the middle of things, there was no practical opportunity to turn around.

I continue to recommend a light or medium weight dual sport as the best machine for the MABDR, full stop. There are Ural-friendly portions of it; I've ridden them. If you get in the middle of a Ural-unfriendly stretch, and they are there, you may rue your choice of machine.

Now that you've read this post, you can't claim ignorance. :wink:
Inventory:
2018 Ural Gear Up
2015 Suzuki DR650
1991 Bianchi Osprey
1952 Columbia RX-5 ('87, NOS)

User avatar
sallen
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 731
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:52 am
Location: Wilmington NC

Re: Mid Atlantic Back roads Discovery Routes

Post by sallen » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:25 pm

A group of four from Wilmington will be riding the BDR MA around 4-19 April.
Florence trashed our trip last year
19?? Dnepr MT16

2008 Gear Up / Orange camo
130/45 one shim
drilled slides

2008 Gear Up / Orange camo

A statement I live by.
Panic is a luxury you can afford after it is all over.

User avatar
BinDerSmokDat
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 3675
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 2:35 pm
Location: South Jersey NJTP exit 6

Re: Mid Atlantic Back roads Discovery Routes

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:54 am

The portions of the BDR we rode on the Gettysburg trip and the subsequent trip this summer were not what I would call difficult riding for a Ural based on my meager experience.
I never felt overly challenged, though it did keep me mindful of downhill sections and not overheating the brakes in a few spots.

If we use a scale of 1-5 I'd classify as follows...

5- Parts of Moab where a COB-built Predator excels and most of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails (what most would consider impassable or "nuh-uh, not me")
4- Parts of Moab that most stock Urals (mods help) and an experienced rider can do, some of the "easier" feeder trails to the Hatfield-McCoy Trails
3- Rocky and/or muddy trails in PA, Bald Eagle, Sproul, easy parts around Bloody Skillet, easier parts of Moab with a stock bike and minimal off-road experience, etc.
2- The "fun" trails in the NJ Pines, the very steepest parts of MABDR Section 6 and steep unimproved gravel and dirt roads off of the Skyline Drive and in Washington-Jefferson National Forest.
1- MABDR Section 6-7 and most unpaved roads (usually flat or mild grade) in state and National Parks.

Most of the difficulty in the above ratings stem from elevation/grade.
And most of that is the climbing not the descent.
With the exception of some very long, steep downhill switchbacks in Moab and Hatfield-McCoy, Urals generally don't have an issue with getting down things.
You will be at a high pucker factor at times and will have to rely on engine braking (Yes it will rev and sound like you want to upshift. Don't.) but you will be fine.

We rode VERY little of Hatfield-McCoy, mostly just the access trails to the REAL trails.
It is just too steep and impassable.
You see a section and think "I could do that" but then it bottoms out in a valley with 1000' climb up a rocky off-camber slope covered in slick greasy mud.
The Ural lacks the gearing to crawl up and you'll never get the momentum to fly up.
The same for most of the rated Jeep trails in Moab, they just aren't passable with a Ural.
You won't be riding them. You will be winching them. Until you break something and need to get back down.

I don't consider trails that provide pinstriping "difficult" because I've given up on my bikes appearance long ago.
Their souvenirs, not scratches. :P
Though I do agree that one should have a heads-up if trails will be that tight, some folks want to keep their rigs shiny and that's OK too.

The only time a tight trail is a challenge is when you can't maneuver to pick a line or avoid an off-camber section.
Or the "trail" has devolved into a ditch or narrow canyon and the bike wheels are on one wall and the sidecar wheel is on another and there is 2' of ground clearance under the bike. That is fun, until it widens and one side of the bike slides down.
Obviously we had none of that on the BDR.

I think the biggest factor is personal comfort/experience with the rig.
Case in point the section where Lofty mentions someone going off the "trail."
It was a hard packed rocky/gravel road easily wide enough for a full-sized truck with room to spare.
Kind of like washboard, where the bike is skimming the tops of the rocks if you are at the right speed.
This also means not a ton of traction for steering as the front wheel is skimming over rocks instead of in constant contact with the ground.
That person was DEFINITELY not comfortable on their rig, as demonstrated by slow road speeds on pavement and then being out of their element on forest roads.
From the skid marks and their description, they hit a rock in the middle of the road, over-corrected, possibly grabbed too much front brake and launched the bike into the ditch on the side of the road.
I was at the back and bored. My GF was almost dozing off in the hack out of boredom and warm afternoon weather.
I wouldn't have even given that rock a second thought, it would have jerked the bike and I would have let it, easing off the throttle and correcting course as the bike settled down on it's suspension.
And even that incident was no biggy just pull the bike back onto the road and keep going.

Now there may be other parts of the MABDR in PA that are more challenging for a Ural and parts of Section 6 might be a higher pucker factor on 2 wheels rather than 3, but I'd confidently recommend Section 6 to anyone in a Ural who has ridden on forest roads, and has basic off-road experience. From talking to two guys on full-sized KTMs who we met up with from MD, I suspect that Sheperdstown to section 6 or 7 is totally doable on a Ural.

Post Reply