Adventuring the Utah Desert by Motorcycle

One of the last things one looks forward to when planning to ride a motorcycle is snow. Yet, as my flight landed in Salt Lake City flurries were falling from the steely April sky, obscuring the mountains that ring Utah’s capital.   I was in the state to spend a few days exploring courtesy of the Utah Office of Tourism and Kawasaki, which was launching their new Versys-X 300 motorcycle. And while temperatures the week before had been in the high 80s, the next few days were different. Here, at 4000 feet above sea level, the snow had turned to a solid squall. It was going to be cold.   Our route would bring us—a group of about a dozen riders and guides—south from dusty Green River across shifting desert topography, over impressive peaks and through a number of Utah’s state and national parks.   But first, the cold. Morning found me stuffing an improbable number of layers beneath my leather jacket and hoping the desert sun would take the bite out of our traveling speed. 34 degrees is pretty frio on a motorcycle.   Our rides were the newest of Kawasaki’s adventure-styled Versys line. With a 296cc twin-cylinder engine, …

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