Below are answers to general NMBDR questions. Post your questions about the NMBDR in this topic.
What is the NMBDR?
The NMBDR is the sixth route developed by the Backcountry Discovery Routes organization for dual-sport and adventure motorcycle travel. The NMBDR is a south-to-north route across the state of New Mexico covering over 1,200 miles of mostly non-paved track.
The route begins in the farming community of Dell City, Texas and finishes in Antonito, Colorado. Traveling on the best backcountry roads, you will discover New Mexico’s scenic terrain including high-elevation forests, mountains, deserts and canyons. You will experience the unique culture and history of New Mexico’s rural towns, native reservations, historic locations & more. The route also presents spectacular camping opportunities and highlights the state's rich history.
Do I have to camp?
The NMBDR has fewer hotel opportunities than other Backcountry Discovery Routes. Camping on the other hand, is plentiful. Official campgrounds are shown on the front of the map with a small tent icon and many more primitive backcountry camps can be found along the way. Because of the limited beds available in the small towns along the NMBDR, it is recommended that riders make reservations ahead of their arrival. Rooms can be found in Cloudcroft, Ruidoso, Carizozo, Truth or Consequences, Reserve, Grants, Cuba, Abiquiu.
How difficult is the route?
The NMBDR route is designed to be ridden on adventure and dual-sport motorcycles, as well as driven in 4x4 vehicles. There are no single-track style trails on this route. Many of the roads are in remote areas and reach high elevation areas where road maintenance is minimal or non-existent. You can expect to cover sections of road with deep ruts, loose rocks, sand and other challenges. Road conditions change from week to week based on the recent weather. When you see signs that read, “Roads maybe impassable when wet”, use caution, roads become very slick and can be impassable. You may also encounter sections that have trees or branches over the road. Depending on time of year and weather, there may be a few small deep water crossings. Flash floods are frequent during summer storms. Don’t cross flooded washes. Wait until water subsides.
What time of year can I do the NMBDR?
The NMBDR is best in the months of June and September. The route can be done in May, but snowpack in the high mountains may keep you from doing the entire route as mapped. New Mexico experiences summer monsoons in the months of July and August. These heavy rains can keep you from riding the majority of the route due to mud and flash floods. You can also ride the NMBDR far into November, but the days are shorter and you will encounter hunters.
What weather concerns should I have?
New Mexico has fast moving thunder storms during the summer months. These storms usually build in the mountains in the early afternoon and usually contain lightning, hail stones and heavy downpours. These storms can contain heavy winds with blinding dust storms.
Where do I camp?
There are many campgrounds and suitable dry camping locations along the route. The Butler Motorcycle Map for the NMBDR has a tent icon showing campgrounds on the route and many near the route. The NMBDR Butler Map is available at www.touratech-usa.com, www.butlermaps.com and other fine retailers.
How far between gas stops?
There are two sections where the distance is 153 miles. The first section is from Dell City to Weed. Weed usually has gas but occasionally will be out. The second section is from Carrizozo to Truth or Consequences. It too is 153 miles but you will find gas all the time in these two towns. Carrying extra gas is strongly suggested.
Can I build a camp fire?
In most cases camp fires are allowed, but check with local Ranger Stations to determine if campfires are allowed before you build one. Forest fires are a threat during parts of the year and the rules that manage this risk must be followed. Be sure to fully extinguish fires so they are DEAD-OUT. Use water to ensure a fire is fully extinguished and the ground is left cool and wet.
Is there water on the route?
There are a few natural water sources along this route, however, depending on the snow pack, some may not be running. You can find potable water in the towns along the way. It is suggested that plenty of water is carried for personal and cooking use. Here is a video on water filtration filmed in the Oregon Backcountry: http://youtu.be/vqOFZAoZdTU
Why do I need paper maps when I have GPS tracks?
Always bring a complete set of maps for the area you plan to ride. They have good information about roads, water sources, and are an indispensable resource when the GPS doesn't work, or is giving questionable advice. Unplanned events can occur and having paper/synthetic maps of the area can be a life saver. National Forest maps are available at http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/map/state_list.shtml#U and local Ranger Stations. NMBDR Butler Motorcycle Maps are available at www.touratech-usa.com or www.butlermaps.com.
What GPS should I use?
Any GPS unit capable of displaying 15 track logs with a minimum of 500 points each is suitable for use on the NMBDR. Garmin models that work best for this application are: Zumo 665/660, Montana, GPSMap 60, 62, 76, 78 and 276. Other GPS manufacturers may have units that will work. Check the technical specs to determine suitability.
Where can I find the GPS tracks for the NMBDR?
The tracks for the route can be downloaded free of charge online at http://www.ridebdr.com/NMBDR.
What is the ideal bike to use?
Any bike that has a license plate, can run knobby tires, is set-up to carry the gear you plan to bring, and has the fuel range to make the distance between gas stops. Most adventure or dual-sport motorcycles will be suitable for the trip. Choose the bike that you are the most comfortable riding in desert and mountain terrain.
What tires should I use for the NMBDR?
DOT approved knobby tires (such as Continental TKC 80, Mefo Super Explorer, or Dunlop 606 are strongly recommended.
How long does it take to run the NMBDR?
Most people average 150 miles a day on a backcountry motorcycle trip. Plan on doing this route in 8 -10 days depending on how fast you want to travel and how early you want to roll out of camp. There is a lot of history to see on the NMBDR so planning a little extra time is suggested.
Are there any gates on the route?
Yes, there are several gates on the route. The route travels through several ranches where you will find gates open and closed. Please leave the gates as you find them.
What is the highest elevation on the NMBDR?
The highest elevations are reached in section 7, where the Los Pinos River access reaches around 9500ft. The NMBDR never stays up high until you get within 100 miles south of the Colorado border.
How do I get information on current road conditions?
Check the BDR website and this forum for updates on current road conditions. We try to post road closures/changes as we hear about them from riders and agencies. Updates are posted on specific route pages and on the home page. This forum was also deigned for riders to share the most up-to-date date trip information with each other.
Can the Route be done North to South?
Yes, the route can be done North to South.
Is there cell phone coverage on the route?
Much of this route is remote and out of reach for cell phone towers. There will be long sections with no coverage. Your best bet is to talk or text in the towns or on top of mountains. You will be surprised where you get coverage and where you don't. A satellite communication device is a good idea in the backcountry. Phones with Verizon service have more coverage on this route vs AT&T.
What about the Wild Animals?
New Mexico is a habitat to many large animals like the Black Bear, Elk, Wolves and Mountain Lions. Safe food practices while camping are an absolute for your safety and the animals safety. Here is a link to find out more http://www.centerforwildlifeinformation ... mping.html Rattlesnakes are also found throughout the state.
Are BDR routes suitable for a 4x4 vehicle?
For the most part all of BDR routes are doable by 4x4's with adequate tires and clearance. The roads are all public roads and do require a street legal vehicle. One thing to keep in mind, the routes conditions can change dramatically due to rain and flash floods which cause the roads to become difficult or un-passable.
(New Mexico). Released 2016.
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