We take a ride once again with our good friend and contributor Will Drummond, this time in the Rocky Mountains of Western Montana. This was a family trip, as he was joined by his wife and daughter. Grab your adventure helmet as they take us on a ride you won’t forget!
Location: Missoula, Montana – a beautiful town located in Western Montana at the edge of the Rocky Mountains. The Clark Fork River flows through downtown. Rolling pastures leading to the pine tree forest foothills. The foothills rise to towering mountains with slate and granite outcroppings.
We start our ride at Maverick Motorsports located on North Reserve Street in Missoula, MT. I have reserved a Triumph Tiger 800 adventure bike. The day before I stopped by Maverick Motorsports to check if my gear made it, I shipped my riding gear to the shop, from California. It is much easier than taking it on the plane.
This ride was a little different I was riding 2up with my 5-year-old daughter, I shipped her riding gear as well. Brent the owner of Maverick Motorsports welcomes me and makes me feel at home.
Brent says he will add a box on the back of the tiger for my daughter to lean against while we ride. Brent also put knobbies on the bike and put installed off-road foot pegs. Maverick Motorsports and Brent are a class act.
Brent asked what my wife was going to do during the ride which she was going to go hiking. Brent offered to let her rent a side by side my wife declined. Then Brent offered to let my wife use his wife’s plated TTR 125. My wife agreed, like I said before Brent and Maverick Motorsports goes to another level.
The next day we pick up the bikes do some quick paperwork and we are ready to ride. My daughter and myself on the Triumph Tiger 800, my wife on the Yamaha TTR 125. We are heading to Blue Mountain an Off-Highway Vehicle Park just to the South West of Missoula. Making our way down a 2 lane highway heading out of town.
The road winds through pasture land with amazing homes. Making our way to a bridge that crosses over the Clark Fork River. Once across the river the scenery changes to foothill pine Forest the road hugging the edge of the mountain and the river. We see a deer grazing right next to the road, who didn’t seem to care as we rode by.
A few miles down the road we reach the Blue Mountain turn off. The road turns to gravel I stop to shift the Triumph into neutral and put the bike in off-road mode this turns off all the nanny options, no ABS, no Traction control more throttle response.
This unleashes the “Tiger” in the Triumph Tiger. Taking off on the gravel road we wind our way up gaining elevation. Taking in the view. About a quarter mile up there is a Frisbee golf course. Another quarter mile up there are hiking trails. Riding higher up the mountain about a half mile is the first set of motorcycle trails, we decide to pass and see how far the graded road goes.
About a mile up is another set of motorcycle trails. We press on the graded road making it to the top of the first mountain and descend into a valley on the gravel road, the road has a couple of rock sections. Reaching the bottom of the valley the road takes us up another mountain.
I let my wife lead on the TTR to get out of the dust. Flowing up the mountain we reach the top to take some pictures, the day is getting hotter turned out to be the hottest day of the year in Missoula 105*. We decide to head back down to the motorcycle trailheads.
We reach the first trailhead, the trail is a wide single track on the edge of a steep hillside with rolling cross ruts. The tiger and the TTR ride through with ease. Coming up to a fork in the road there is a high trail and a low trail.
We head up the high trail, the trail turns Rocky with football sized sharp loose rocks and rock steps. My wife didn’t have riding boots on so I decided to turn around and take the low trail. We made it down back to the fork and took the lower trail.
The trail wound up and around the edge of the mountain up to its peak. Towards the top, the trail had a loose Rocky banked uphill the tiger didn’t even flinch. My wife cleared it like a pro. At the top of the peak, we found a US Forestry survey marker.
We grabbed a few more pictures and headed down to the next motorcycle trailhead. At the lower motorcycle trailhead, the trails were shaded by tall pine trees. The trails are banked single track made of a dark soil. Taking trail 6.01 it weaves in and out of the pine trees airing off the small whoops and roots. The trail switchbacks down into a valley with a couple of rock steps.
We explore the road at the bottom of the valley the road is a fun 2 track. The day is getting hotter so we decided to head back. Riding back up the trail 6.01. the Triumph Tiger 800 made the uphill easy even riding 2 up with my daughter on the back. My wife made it up on the TTR 125 no problem. We make our way back to the paved road. Winding along the door hill and the river. Then back to Maverick Motorsports.
Missoula Montana is a great place the beauty of the mountains and rivers. Some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. Maverick Motorsports made this trip extra special. I highly recommend renting a bike from Maverick motorsports if you are ever in Missoula. Starting spring of 2019 Maverick Motorsports will offer Roxors and Side by Sides available to rent. I will be coming back as often as possible. Thanks again Brent and Maverick Motorsports.
For all your Adventure gear needs, BTOSports.com will get you set-up for your next ride. From the right helmet to the best adventure gear, don’t forget BTO is ready to make your next adventure a winner. #betheone