Many of the trails that snake through the Rockies can only be described as gnarly. What better environment to explore the capabilities of a 4x4 truck and a group of off-road motorcycles? The expedition was on (last year, we coupled the fourth-generation Toyota 4Runner with Yamaha's WR-series four-stroke dirt bikes and had a lot of fun). This year, we headed to the old-world town of Clark, Colorado, driving the namesake Chevy Colorado, with Honda CRF250X motorcycles in the bed. The team consisted of three riders from Dallas and L.A.
The 2004 Colorado LS Crew Cab is equipped with a 220-horsepower 3.5-liter inline-five, and, in this case, the Z71 off-road suspension, fundamental for this trip. The test vehicle, built in Shreveport, Louisiana, has a retail price of $32,250.
Coming out of Denver, the route's altitude and angle of ascent increased. The Colorado's handling and feel for the road conformed to the winding mountain roads. The ride stayed relatively comfortable for a pickup hauling neither a trailer nor a significant cargo load. Interstate 70 intersects with Route 40, which can take you all the way to Steamboat Springs.
Steamboat is an interesting, touristy town in the midst of high peaks and green slopes. The main strip, Lincoln Avenue, is lined with restaurants and pubs, each bearing a distinctive mountain-heritage theme. Next stop was Action Motorsports, the local Honda dealer setting up the CRF250X off-road bikes. Hondas strapped to the Colorado's cargo bed, we followed the Elk River and made a stop at the uncomplicated log cabin community of Clark.
Off-road, the Colorado gave a credible first impression, demonstrating sound traction on dirt roads and dual-track trails crammed with gullies and scattered rock. In addition, it carried its own weight up the steeper grades. Chrome runningboards added a spark to the picture, at the same time limiting ground clearance outside the frame rails.