Two-Wheel Touring on Missouri 90

category : Scenic Drives
Headed for the Ozarks? Follow the southwest corner of Missouri on state highway 90.

As you leave Noel, Missouri, eastbound on highway 90, you'll quickly get a taste of what's in store. As the road snaps to the right up a hill you'll notice the pavement is smooth. This road isn't made from the crumbling concrete of WPA-era Route 66 or the coarse asphalt just behind you in Oklahoma. It's a well-maintained stretch of asphalt with few blemishes and properly banked curves. Add to this the fact we only saw about 3 cars total in an hour and you have a strong candidate for Ultimate Backroad.

Most of 90 is made up of gently sweeping curves marked between 30mph and 45mph. Twisty enough to be interesting, but not to the point of being tiresome. None of them are the dreaded decreasing radius or off-camber type. Your passenger should appreciate this fact also. You'll snake through rolling hills, weaving between open pasture and limestone foothills. Eventually the countryside becomes less agricultural and more typical of the approaching Ozarks. The towns along the way are small and if any of them are a speed trap I've yet to find it. After Noel there aren't any sizable towns for quite some time.

No matter whether your vehicle has two wheels or four, Missouri's highway 90 is a great drive. It's the sort of highway that defines the Sport Touring motorcycle genre. Nothing that will cause you to fear for your life, just nice twisty highway. It's worth the detour regardless of whether your handlebars are under the headlight or over your head.

~ Rex Brown, places


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