Riding Switzerland in Colorado

Apr 18, 2013 View Comments by

Riding Switzerland in ColoradoBorn in Japan but taking its name from Africa’s south central Sahara, the Yamaha Super Ténéré is the catalyst that is attracting a group of riders to the appropriately nicknamed “Switzerland of America.”

Before I get into the details of the event, I want to emphasize the motorcycle neutral aspect of this free weeklong event from June 24-28, 2013. While the focus of discussion will certainly be centered on the Yamaha Super Ténéré and its capabilities, this is a non-manufacture, rider focused event. The coordinators have assured me that the emphasis is on riding and not on what you ride. Their website already has a confirmed list of registrants from all over North America coming in on all sorts of hardware. There is even a rider making arrangements to get his Super Ténéré over from the U.K. He will no doubt win the unofficial “traveled furthest” award.

Several vendors have stepped up to support the event as well; along with local dealers who will be on hand to offer support (and parts) as you bounce your way across the breathtaking Alpine Loop. Check out Maiden Voyage in the June 2013 issue of RoadRUNNER for some inspiration. There will be planned routes available each day, however, riders are encouraged to meet up and explore any way they see fit.

The ride into and out of Ouray can be just as rewarding as riding around the area itself. The mountains, lakes, twisty paved roads, and abundance of off-road detours add up to some of the country’s most premium riding; whether blasting through the natural rock tunnels of the Million Dollar Highway, or slowly climbing the rock laden trails, there is something for every level of rider. About an hour north of Ouray on asphalt, just outside of Montrose, riders can check out the Black Canyon of Gunnison. For those who like to get their dual sports dirty, but are not necessarily rock climbers, there are nearby ghost towns, such as the would be capital of Colorado, Colorado City, or Animas Forks. For one of the most breathtaking sights Colorado has to offer, head over to Bridal Veil Falls. If you are adventurous, come in from Black Bear Pass, but know your limitations. The road is one-way and one of the most dangerous in the state. For those who want an easier path, you can ride into Telluride’s Box Canyon and simply look up or hike to the top.

With the exception of a special BBQ dinner on Thursday night, attendees are free to hang out around the campfire and swap stories or head into town to enjoy one of the many great restaurants that Ouray has to offer. On occasion I have been known to ride from Denver to Ouray just to enjoy the Jalapeño Encrusted Lamb served up by the St. Elmo Hotel Bon Ton Restaurant. Don’t let the fancy name put you off. Head right downstairs to the basement restaurant and bar for a truly Colorado experience. A word of warning, the lamb is not always available, but their Beef Wellington is a solid substitute.

The coordinators seem to have put together an event that is as neutral as Ouray’s nickname. If you are looking for a rider friendly event with minimal structure and even less attitude, then this event is for you.

For more information about the Super Ténéré, check out RoadRUNNER’s article by Ken Freund with photography by Tom Riles and Brian Nelson.

More information and free registration can be found here.

Do you ride a Super Ténéré? What are your thoughts on the bike? Please share your experience with fellow RoadRUNNERs below.

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About the author

I am an introvert posing as an extrovert. I love travel in all forms, but prefer 2-wheels. I created AdventureHermit as a way to share my adventures and inspire others to find joy through discovery; writing for RoadRUNNER is a dream come true!