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Well, myself and 3 of my friends just completed the Arkansas leg of the trans-America trail. Unfortunately I don't have any of the pictures yet, maybe I'll post a few later. I ride an 05 R1200GS, the others rode a Lifan 250 Dirt/Street (I think its a 250), an MZ 125, and believe it or not a Lifan 125 street scooter (which made the entre trail less the first 30 miles or so because of a broken belt which happened on the street). Granted, the scooter was completely shot by the end of the trail.

We started the trail on the east side of Arkansas, right on the border in a town called Helena. Although I didn't navigate, I do remember the first road/trail was called Little Rock Rd. The terrain on the first trail pretty well defined the entire trip.....gravel/dirt roads. At least the first 200 miles or so was all farm roads and cotton fields. The gravel got pretty deep in some spots, which proved difficult for me on my GS with stock tires (not recommended for this trail), but the other guys running the more aggressive tread handled it fine. There was also an incident with the first muddy spot we came to which I will save for the crash section of this forum :). There were shady spots from time-to-time that held lots of nice, slick mud. I had to creep through those sections, walking the bike. Luckily, most of the trail was dry.

The first half was fairly uneventful. Not a whole lot to see, except of course for cotton fields.

Day 2 was much better. The trail in the Ozarks was really nice. Very nice scenery with the leaves changing an all. The trail tops out at around 2000 feet elevation (i think, could be more) which provides a few very nice views down into some of the foothill towns of the Ozarks. We ran into the only fairly difficult part of the trail on this day. Mainly only difficult for the FJ Cruiser we had following. It was just a short section of large rocks. It wasn't terribly difficult, even for me having to navigate the GS through it.

We did the trail in 2 days - about 14 hours of riding total. Mostly on the second day (10 hours). I enjoyed the trip, but there were a few things I certainly would do different if given the chance: #1: Don't do this on stock tires. #2: travel west-to-east. #3: Planned to do it in 3 days, maybe 4. We didn't really get to take in a whole lot of scenery because of our time crunch.

Overall, I would recommend the trail. The section in the Ozarks is worth it. Just be prepared to look at pretty much nothing all the way through the east side of Arkansas.
 

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Thanks for the report

I'm planning on taking the trans america trail from Western Arkansas to the continental divide and I've been trying to decide what to do about tires. Some are recommending the Metzler Karoo tires which have more aggressive tread than the Dual sport Michelins which came on the bike.

I'm planning on taking running on the highways on the return trip. But sounds like I need to go will the rougher tread to handle the mud.
 

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tires

If you are travelling mostly highway, the stock tires would be fine I think. To really hook up in the mud and make a difference, your talking about some really aggressive tires - they'd probably be worn to nothing by the end of your trip :) Good Luck!
 
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