This was a journey of firsts. I had never done a long dual-sport ride and Adan had not done a BDR. We started planning for this trip weeks prior to our departure. We hoped that we had not forgotten anything. We were excited to start our journey. Here is the ride report from this wonderful adventure.
Loaded up and ready to go!
May 5, 2022 – A day of thought and preparation. I was all packed and we loaded the 390 Adventure onto the trailer. I double checked my packing lists and hoped that I had not forgotten anything. To be honest I was starting to feel a little nervous. I am new to the off-road game and I was afraid I had gotten myself in to deep, by taking on the New Mexico BackCountry Discovery Route. I had utilized the tools provided on the Ridebdr site to prepare. This is a great resource and I encourage everyone, to support this great cause. It was too late to back out now. I went to sleep with visions of dirt roads and mountains in my head. I slept well.
This would be the cleanest the KTM would be for the next 2 weeks.
May 6, 2022 – South bound and ready to roll! I loaded up the trailer and was on the road to Dallas by 6am. I would take the short 5 hour drive, as it would help with the long drive tomorrow to Carlsbad NM. It is an easy drive from Arkansas and I was at Rob’s house around 1pm. We spend the evening talking about the trip and watching BDR videos. It was a nice way to prepare for the journey ahead of us.
The KTM all loaded up and ready for some adventure.
May 7, 2022 – Carlsbad here we come! Damn it is hot! I met up with Adan and and we transferred the trailer over to his truck. He had loaded up his BMW 301GS the evening before at Plano Kawasaki. Thanks to Jason for helping him out. The following morning we met up with the crew and had a quick breakfast before rolling over to Plano Kawasaki to pick up one last thing for the trip. We were on the road around 9:30am. It is a boring drive across west Texas, but riding together we had a lot of time to reflect on our upcoming journey. Adan is turning 50 this year and his goal was to ride a BDR before he reached that milestone of life.
We made it to Carlsbad without issue and unloaded the machines. We took in a quick New Mexico dinner and relaxed for the rest of the evening. The temps were hot and the wind was blowing significantly from the east.
The ridgeline did well on this trip
May 8, 2022 – First day off the beaten path! We decided the night before, that we would do the first part of the BDR today. We would ride up to Guadalupe Rim, then head over to Mayhill NM for a late lunch, before slabbing back to Carlsbad. This would be a good test run for the bikes. The wind was really blowing when we left and it stayed that way most of the day. The temps were very warm as well. There was no chance of rain. We stopped in Queen before hitting the Guadalupe Rim.
Queen did not have any fuel
The rim road was wash boarded out in a number of places. It was a very rough ride for the most part. The views were very nice and we rode most of the day without seeing another human being. This day of riding made us realize how “out in the middle of no where” we would be for the next 7 days. We stopped and had lunch In Mayhill NM. Adan pushed the little GS on the brink of fuel starvation, but we filled it up to avoid disaster. That is a bit dramatic. haha! We had extra fuel on each bike, so running out of fuel, was not going to happen.
Mayhill New Mexico
Still had a mile to go – No Worries!
This was a great primer for the rest of the trip. We got back to Carlsbad with the temps in the upper 90’s. We took a quick shower and grabbed a quick dinner. I was taking full advantage of being in New Mexico and was not going to miss a meal where NM food was available. As the saying goes “if you know… then you know”
Adan enjoying the view
Adan digging the Rim Road
The route via BDR map
A grand view
May 9, 2022 – First section of the BDR. Today we tackled the last part of section #1 of the NMBDR. It was a great mix of forest roads, twisty tarmac and some rocky sections. It was a beautiful day for a ride. We took our time and enjoyed the cooler temps. Being higher in altitude was nice as the rest of New Mexico seemed to be in a heat wave. We finished the first section in Ruidoso NM.
Just finished the 1st section of dirt on this fine NM day.
Beautiful day in NM
Calico Peak Vista
It was late in the afternoon and we thought that we had taken on all of the hard parts for the day. We were mistaken. We hit a rough, rocky up hill section heading into the hotel and spent the next hour working our way to the end of this short section. It was a very challenging hour.
Just one more section – should be easy right??
We arrived at the Arrowhead motel in Ruidoso, exhausted and ready to sleep. One thing we were realizing was the fact that this dual-sport riding was tiring. It had been a good day. A long day and a rewarding day. We were excited to see what tomorrow would bring.
Arrowhead Motel in Ruidoso NM
May 10, 2022 – Sand Sucks! This day would turn out to be the most challenging day of the trip. It started out beautifully as we awoke to cooler temps and a sunrise that only the NM Southwest can provide. We ran into town for breakfast at Zocca coffee. The breakfast burrito did not disappoint. The morning ride was one of my favorites for the trip. Forest roads, with picturesque scenery appeared for mile after mile. This is what the person who invented the NMBDR must have had in mind when doing the route. It was amazing!
A beautiful morning
sunshine and dirt roads
Just another day of riding!
To top off the great morning, we ran into Meerkat ADV on the trail . He was doing the BDR from North to south. This dude is a true adventure rider and way out of my league in terms of off-road talent. If you do not follow him on YouTube you are missing out.
a quick chat with Meerkat ADV
After this great start to the day we were headed to the section that had me worried the most. This would be the sand stretch that would last 30-40 miles. It was getting hot and I had never ridden in sand. This was going to be fun.
I should have know the moment we hit the sand that I was in trouble. It took us a good hour or so to go 10 miles. The sand was 2-4″ deep with sections more in the range of 4-6″.
I finally ejected off the bike around the 11 mile mark. It did not hurt, but I felt totally defeated. We were 25% of the way and I was exhausted and not having much fun what so ever. The scenery was non existent and to be honest, I was so focused on not busting my ass that I did not see much of the landscape. I think I would have been better off with knobbies on the KTM for this stretch. The TKC Rocks were not up to the test. To be honest , I was not up for the test, I am sure the bike and the tires were not the issue. My LOT (Lack of Talent) off-road was the true culprit. We decided to go back and take the long way round. This was not a bad choice. We stopped by a few tourist places to have a little ice cream and take in the true beauty of this part of New Mexico.
Our first stop was Pistachioland. Adan had visited as a child and we thought it was a good place to stop and take in some of the ice cream. It was so hot outside and the ice cream made it bearable. What a cool place.