Beyond EPIC 5 – Ozark Motorcycle Rally

Twisty adventure in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas

May 26-29, 2017

Beyond epic? A few years back I was perusing a motorcycle magazine when I came across a ride report about central Texas.  The guy who wrote the story had flown into Austin to meet up with his son who lived there.  The man rented a Harley and he and his son, who owned a cruiser, rode 20 miles west of Austin to Mansfield Dam.  Upon reaching Mansfield Dam and snapping a few pictures, the writer declared their ride to be “already epic”.  Wow!  Already epic after just 20 miles of urban, paved, road riding? I didn’t realize how little it takes for a ride to reach epic proportions.

 

If 20 miles of urban highway riding is epic, then a four day rally in the Ozark Mountain of northwest Arkansas surely qualifies as Beyond EPIC!  After all, it is hundreds of miles to get there from Texas and we will ride hundreds of miles during the rally.  Hmmm, maybe even “Beyond EPIC” is an inadequate description.  Well, no matter, that’s what we are calling it.

 

So, load up the bike and let’s hit the road for the annual Beyond Epic rally in Clarksville, AR.  I can’t promise a magazine will write an article about our rally but we’re going to have an adventure they would surely call Beyond EPIC.

 

What is it? A dual sport adventure rally in the Ozark mountains of northwest Arkansas open to all riders.

 

The Plan: Arrive on Friday evening at the Sunset Inn, Clarksville, AR.  Ride all day Saturday and Sunday.  Head home on Monday.

 

If two full days of riding aren’t enough for you, don’t despair – it’s not enough for a lot of us.  Some riders arrive a day or two early in order to get in some extra riding.  Feel free to do likewise.

 

Ride HQ:

Sunset Inn
Interstate 40, exit 55
2600 West Main Street
Clarksville, AR
479-754-8555

 

Riders Meeting: Saturday and Sunday mornings, 8 a.m., Sunset Inn parking lot.

 

Sleeping: The Sunset Inn is where we will meet each morning for the riders meeting.  There is a Hampton Inn and a Holiday Inn Express nearby in case the Sunset Inn is full.

 

What should you ride? Your street legal motorcycle.  The paved roads in the area are to die for.  The dual sport riding is also excellent.  So, whether your ride paved, dirt, or both, this rally is for you.

 

Note – Most of the dirt roads in the national forest require your vehicle to be street legal.  However there is some stuff you can legally ride on your non-street legal dirt bike (or atv).  If you don’t have a street legal bike and want to attend the rally then there is some stuff for you to ride but you will have to trailer your bike to the designated riding areas.

 

Where should you ride? Your decision.  There are more twisty paved roads in northwest Arkansas than you can ride in a month.  The paved road riding here is so good riders come from all over just to ride the area.  Grab a map and have a look for yourself – twisty roads are everywhere.  Or you can buy a copy of the Ozark Adventure ride guide.  It includes multiple pavement only routes designed to direct you to some of the best riding in the area.  And just in case you didn’t already know, dual sport bikes excel on these kinds of roads.

 

This area is also home of Ozark National Forest with at least a thousand miles of dirt roads just waiting to be explored.  Many, many dual sport riders love the riding here, including us.  The Ozark Adventure ride guide includes 7 proven dual sport routes, maps of the forest service roads, and GPX files of the routes available for download.

 

Note – the dirt roads in the Ozark National Forest tend to be better suited to dual sport bikes (650cc and smaller) than the big adventure bikes (like the GS800, 1200, Tiger, Strom, etc) due to the scarcity of class 2 roads.  The dirt roads in the forest tend to be class 1 and class 3.  If you have a big adventure bike you are very welcome to attend the rally, just be aware of the limited amount of good class 2 dirt riding.  On the other hand, your big adventure bike is custom made for the fantastic and abundant paved riding in the Ozarks.

 

Is there an organized ride I can join each day?  This is a self-guided ride.  We all come to ride but the event does not include a daily organized ride/route that everyone follows.  Instead, riders self-organize into small teams and then head out each day to ride whatever that team wants to ride.  Finding a team to ride with is easy – just ask around.  Also, the morning riders meeting is a great opportunity to locate a group to ride with.

 

I don’t know anyone. New to Texas/Oklahoma/Arkansas dual sport adventure riding and haven’t met any other adventure riders yet? That’s okay – we are a friendly bunch of guys. Come ride with us.

 

Who is in charge? This is a non-leader rally, which means there isn’t one person in charge of running the event. There is no registration  or cost to attend. Just show up and ride.

 

See you there.