Oatman, AZ is one of those towns that motorcycle riders always seem to talk about, particularly if you live in the southwestern United States.
There really isn't anything special about Oatman that makes it conducive for the motorcycle lifestyle, except that the original Route 66 runs through it. While the road is pretty tight and twisty, and offers some great views of the Black Mountains, it's a very rough ride, narrow, full of burro crossings and slow moving vehicles.
But I've had countless riders ask me if I've been to Oatman, and yes actually, but it was years ago and I was driving my pickup truck. I hadn't been there on my bike, and nor have I come from the east along the twistiest stretch of the 66.
I can't imagine 50 years ago when big Buick Skylarks and Cadillac Fleetwoods made these 15 MPH hairpin turns with 10% grades. Even riding on motorcycles, there doesn't seem to be much room. The bumps and potholes on these roads, along with sand and gravel, magnified the luggage weight on our bikes as Sash and I rode carefully along.
Within the town, Oatman is just like any other old west-themed tourist trap. It's filled with souvenir shops, mine tours, and gunfight shows.
It's really the wild burros that make it unique, however. There's probably 20 of them there when Sash and I rolled in. A few of the vendors sell burro food which keeps them coming back. As such, the main drag is cluttered with burro poop. For the most part, they're friendly, passive, and let you pet them. Even the baby burros are getting in on the action.
Just as we got into town, a group of Germans on rented Harleys pulled up. There was probably 20 of them, all on brand new, shiny bikes. The tour guide spoke in German and explained the significance of Oatman. The group was focused on tracing the original Route 66.
We didn't spend the night in Oatman. We moved on and reached our hotel in Las Vegas.
Photos from Oatman...