This is the ride we chose:
One of my favorite quick getaways is what I call my Roosevelt Loop. Basically involves taking 60 to Globe, then taking 188 over and by Roosevelt Lake. Eventually it runs into the "Beeline" or Highway 87 which runs from Mesa to Payson. At this intersection, take a left to go back to Phoenix, or right to Payson. This is a fun run, you can stop at the dam, couple of overlooks. On down the road is Jakes Corner Bar, had some grub there a few years back, wasn't too shabby.
It was around 220 miles total, which worked out nicely. It was a nice day, though a bit chilly once we got out of Phoenix (around 50-55 degrees). Roads were smooth, great scenery, tons of fast sweepers. Thanks for the great suggestion.
The rental company we used was http://www.azsportbikerentals.com
. I rented an SV650, basically because it was the cheapest thing they had. Total cost was around $124. I got the optional insurance, which has a $1000 deductible. My girlfriend rented a Ninja 650R, which was around $150, including a tailbag rental.
Both bikes were mechanically good, but showed some bumps and bruises from previous rentals. They were serviceable bikes, though, and I wouldn't hesitate to rent from the same company again. Besides, they seem to be the only game in town if you don't want to rent a Harley and you don't want to spend $200+.
If anyone has any questions about the rentals or route, please don't hesitate to PM me.
Right now, I'm sitting in the airport, waiting to go back to Cleveland. I think I'd rather be renting bikes again ...