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Author Topic: Scoot'n in the Alabama Heat.  (Read 8221 times)
Expat47
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« Reply #180 on: June 09, 2020, 03:45:42 PM »

Thanks. I see they've got a Kawasaki Vulcan and that's aboiut the same as my Classic was so if I ever get there... :D
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« Reply #181 on: June 10, 2020, 03:58:57 AM »

Steve and I were ready to ride a local loop but Steve needed to take the obligatory tourist photos with his new Vespa.



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We did some more great twisty roads and then stopped at Fontana Dam.




Steve asked if I wanted to ride his Vespa again. He didn't have to twist my arm. We rode 28 back to Deal's Gap. It's about 9 miles of great curves. Steve had replaced the mid sized windshield with a tiny one. I liked it much better. The bigger shield was very noisy as it directed turbulence right at my helmet.

Last time I rode his Vespa I didn't like the steering feel. This time I started to get used to it and liked it much more. Despite being about 60 pounds heavier than the Like, the Vespa has lighter steering. The Vespa is also much roomier and more comfortable. It would be real easy to do 300+ mile days on this scooter. I definitely need to get a Vespa in the future.

We stopped again at DGMR and found a very comfortable shady place to sit and watch the circus.



There are all kinds of people there and all kinds of bikes and cars. It's a cool place to hang out and watch everything.
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klaviator
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« Reply #182 on: June 10, 2020, 04:53:01 AM »

After hanging out it was time to ride some more. We took 129 to 143 stopping at the Sunoco so I could get some gas. While scooters get pretty good gas mileage, they also have small tanks and require more fill ups than most motorcycles.

143 to the Skyway was fun. We were stuck behind a car until the spot where we had to take a right to go to the Skyway. There were some motorcycles stuck behind us and they were probably sorry to be stuck behind a couple of scooters. At the turnoff the car turned left. We turned right, twisted the throttles and smoked the motorcycles in the curves!

Eventually we got stuck behind a truck and the motorcycles caught us. We stopped at the beginning of the Skyway so I could put a light jacket under my mesh jacket. I knew it would be chilly on the Skyway.



We stopped for an early dinner at the Tellicafe. The food was great, especially dessert.



After dinner Steve headed for Home and I headed for the Campground. Steve told me later that he ended up with around 280 miles for the day, by far his longest ride on a scooter. He was impressed with how easy it was to do on the Vespa.
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klaviator
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« Reply #183 on: June 10, 2020, 05:06:36 AM »

When I got back to the campground I was feeling sleepy from the huge meal I had eaten so I laid down for a while in my tent. It was too hot in my tent to be really comfortable. Eventually I got back up but now I felt like eating some ice cream! So I headed to Tellico Plains hoping some place that sold ice cream would still be open. I rode to the Tellico Beach drive in. It's a take out only place right on the Tellico River. I got there about 20 to 8 and they were still open and pretty busy. I got a medium cone which was actually pretty big and found a picnic table by the river to sit down and eat it. Sorry, I didn't get any pics. I did get one after leaving.



I decided to stop at the Cherohala Visitor center to call Debbi because there is no cell phone signal back at the campground. As I pulled into the parking lot I met the local Scooter gang there.



Two Zuma 125s and a Genuine Hooligan (170). I ended up talking with them for a while. Nice and friendly folks, all locals. I invited them to the Maggie Valley ride in August. It would be cool if any of them showed up.

They told me a bit about Tellico Plains and how it was very hard for businesses to survive there. The town is heavily dependant on tourism which is a seasonal business here.

After they left I found a comfortable place to sit and talk to Debbi. Then I got this sunset pic.



It was a nice ride back to the campground.



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Expat47
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« Reply #184 on: June 10, 2020, 05:59:03 AM »

Good pix & story.. thanks.
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klaviator
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« Reply #185 on: June 10, 2020, 05:36:12 PM »

My original plan was to ride for 3 full days but with a change in the weather forecast I decided to leave on Wednesday after a short morning ride. So that meant my trip was almost over.

Luckily there was much more left than I thought. When I got back to the campground I found a group of three riders who had set up camp. I went over and talked to them. They were three co-workers from Florence Alabama who had also come to the mountains to ride. Actually, one guy was from Detroit but said he was stuck in Alabama due to the Corona Virus.

Anyway, I talked to them for quite a while. One of the guys was an experienced rider who is on ADV but he wasn't sure what his user name was. He thought it might be Aprilia Joe but I searched and couldn't find him in the list of inmates. Then there was a young guy and a young woman. All were out of work due to the pandemic. I took some pics the next morning.



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The young guy had an interesting Hammock setup that didn't need any trees.



The older guy, Joe had a number of bikes including a Benelli TNT135. I have had a chance to sit on and research that little bike and it seem like a real fun bike. More recently The Virginian bought one of these too. If I had more room in my garage and budget I'd love to have on as well. He bought it from a dealer in Florence. I told him about the Maggie Valley ride in August and he said he was coming and bringing the TNT135.

So it was real interesting talking to these three. They were planning on riding the day and heading home on Thursday. I wanted to get in a short ride before coming back and packing up so I headed off to ride one of my favorite local roads.

This road is perfect for a smaller bike. It used to be rough in spots but was re-paved in the last few years and is mostly pretty smooth now. There was no traffic so I could have fun. I did take some pics.



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I followed the road until it turned into gravel then turned around.



The road is only about a lane and a half wide so no centerline.



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I was getting hungry so I stopped at the gas station in Tellico where I had eaten lunch on Monday. This place really caters to motorcyclists. They have motorcycle parking spots and some nice outdoor seating.




Unfortunately when I went inside to order the lady at the counter told me that a large group of around 20 riders had come in and cleaned them out of breakfast food.

So I went to plan B and got a sausage biscuit at Hardees. Then I rode back toward the campground. When I got to the turnoff to the campground I still felt like riding so I rode down 39 several miles.



It's a pretty nice curvy road but when I got to some road construction I turned around.

When I got back the dew had all dried off the grass so I could pack up my tent without having to worry about drying it out and repacking after I got home.

On the way home I stopped at a couple of Kawasaki dealers checking out new bikes.







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« Reply #186 on: June 10, 2020, 05:46:07 PM »

Looks like a great trip.  I cannot wait to retire and hit the roads for long trips again.
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« Reply #187 on: June 10, 2020, 06:23:20 PM »

Great trip!
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Expat47
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« Reply #188 on: June 10, 2020, 07:29:48 PM »

+1
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klaviator
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« Reply #189 on: June 10, 2020, 11:02:57 PM »

I went out to catch the sunset last evening. I took 24 pics. Here's the ones I liked the best.



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A big jet took of from HSV as I was leaving and I managed to stop and get it in a pic. I'm pretty sure it was a 747.


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CathyN
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« Reply #190 on: June 11, 2020, 12:23:08 AM »

Great trip!

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« Reply #191 on: June 12, 2020, 05:14:54 PM »

Great trip! Awesome pics.

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klaviator
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« Reply #192 on: June 15, 2020, 05:22:03 AM »

We've been having some great riding weather in Alabama.  Not too hot and low humidity, very unusual for this time of year.  I posted up a ride for Saturday and we ended up with 13 riders on 12 motorcycles.  Unfortunately no scooters.

AL65:



Over the shoulder shots.



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We stopped in Lynchburg.  It was before 10 so the town was still pretty deserted.



We had lunch at the Old Delina Country Stor.



The Fried chocolate pie with ice cream was good!



One last pic.

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Expat47
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« Reply #193 on: June 15, 2020, 06:32:50 AM »

Nice tame ride!

I don't ride on the weekends over here, it gets a bit hectic.
Here's a batch of AK550s that were out yesterday.  https://youtu.be/N9GWAlw58JA
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klaviator
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« Reply #194 on: June 15, 2020, 01:58:44 PM »

Nice tame ride!

I don't ride on the weekends over here, it gets a bit hectic.
Here's a batch of AK550s that were out yesterday.  https://youtu.be/N9GWAlw58JA

Cool video.  Too bad the AK550 and a lot of other scooters aren't available here.  You also won't see a bunch of guys on sport scooters wearing leathers here.
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« Reply #195 on: June 15, 2020, 09:24:42 PM »

Sure is different from the group riding protocols and training we adhere to locally with the Southern Cruisers Riding Club we ride with here in MidWest ON Canada (i.e. always staggered formation when group riding; no passing each other while in group formation; occupy only one lane on a two lane road -- bikes staggered in each of the two tire tracks; use mechanical and hand signals; no lane splitting by law; etc.).  Don't know if I could or would want to get used to the style of riding that was in the video.  Looked like some nice roads though ... we sure don't have any of those near us!  I agree with Klaviator ... those AK550's sure look sweet.
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Expat47
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« Reply #196 on: June 15, 2020, 09:58:21 PM »

Most of that road is along the coast south of Athens heading toward Cape Sounion & I've ridden it many times. There's a "back road that comes back into town across the peninsula and up the middle. Good roads there too.
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klaviator
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« Reply #197 on: June 15, 2020, 10:02:33 PM »

Sure is different from the group riding protocols and training we adhere to locally with the Southern Cruisers Riding Club we ride with here in MidWest ON Canada (i.e. always staggered formation when group riding; no passing each other while in group formation; occupy only one lane on a two lane road -- bikes staggered in each of the two tire tracks; use mechanical and hand signals; no lane splitting by law; etc.).  Don't know if I could or would want to get used to the style of riding that was in the video.  Looked like some nice roads though ... we sure don't have any of those near us!  I agree with Klaviator ... those AK550's sure look sweet.

I think I could get used to and enjoy the riding style shown in the video's.  I think many of the riders I ride with would enjoy it as well. 

The riding protocols you describe might be fine on the roads you ride but I would never use them on the roads I normally ride.  My rules are "ride your own ride" and we'll re group at turns.  This allows the faster riders to have fun without the slow riders riding over their heads trying to keep up.  Keep in mind that I often ride some of the twistiest paved roads in the world.  We do sometimes use the staggered formation while riding through towns but we try to minimize riding in cities or towns.
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klaviator
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« Reply #198 on: June 19, 2020, 07:22:49 PM »

Haven't done much scoot'n the last few days.  That doesn't mean I haven't been riding.



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EZMark
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« Reply #199 on: June 20, 2020, 04:08:55 AM »

I thought that was Steve's KLR.
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klaviator
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« Reply #200 on: June 20, 2020, 01:57:40 PM »

I thought that was Steve's KLR.

Nope, Brand new 2020 KLX250.  I picked it up on Tuesday.
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EZMark
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« Reply #201 on: June 21, 2020, 02:22:02 AM »

 
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EZMark
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« Reply #202 on: June 21, 2020, 02:23:42 AM »

A local dealer has the digital camo 250 on sale, but I wouldn't have one unless it was green.
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klaviator
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« Reply #203 on: June 21, 2020, 03:08:02 AM »

A local dealer has the digital camo 250 on sale, but I wouldn't have one unless it was green.

I agree.  There are plenty of cammo ones out there but the green ones are much harder to find.  Besides being ugly, the cammo one costs 200 bucks more.
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« Reply #204 on: June 21, 2020, 04:28:53 PM »

Sure is different from the group riding protocols and training we adhere to locally with the Southern Cruisers Riding Club we ride with here in MidWest ON Canada (i.e. always staggered formation when group riding; no passing each other while in group formation; occupy only one lane on a two lane road -- bikes staggered in each of the two tire tracks; use mechanical and hand signals; no lane splitting by law; etc.).  Don't know if I could or would want to get used to the style of riding that was in the video.  Looked like some nice roads though ... we sure don't have any of those near us!  I agree with Klaviator ... those AK550's sure look sweet.

I think I could get used to and enjoy the riding style shown in the video's.  I think many of the riders I ride with would enjoy it as well. 

The riding protocols you describe might be fine on the roads you ride but I would never use them on the roads I normally ride.  My rules are "ride your own ride" and we'll re group at turns.  This allows the faster riders to have fun without the slow riders riding over their heads trying to keep up.  Keep in mind that I often ride some of the twistiest paved roads in the world.  We do sometimes use the staggered formation while riding through towns but we try to minimize riding in cities or towns.

Yup ... you are right.  Your wide open roads with miles and miles without stops or cross roads do lend themselves much better to a "ride your own ride" approach.  Our roads are pretty flat, straight, boring with a grid like layout.  Lots of other vehicular traffic with a stop or intersection every kilometre or so and plenty of farm entrances to keep an eye open for.  I find it so liberating to ride with y'all say through your National Forests and go for miles and extended periods of time without seeing another person or cross road/entrance way. Such a different and fun change for us.
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klaviator
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« Reply #205 on: June 22, 2020, 03:52:02 AM »

The summer heat finally arrived but we went for a ride anyway on Saturday up into Tennessee.



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klaviator
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« Reply #206 on: June 22, 2020, 03:56:04 AM »

I was giving my scooters a break again and riding my Versys.



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Expat47
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« Reply #207 on: June 22, 2020, 06:34:17 AM »

Good stuff. Thanks for the ridealong.
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« Reply #208 on: June 22, 2020, 06:47:26 PM »

The pictures of the KLX250 make my ass hurt!  Nice trip, I need more padding. 
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