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Old 09-20-2013, 10:46 AM   #1
klaviator OP
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Scooting the Ozarks

Finding a vacation that both my wife and I agree on is not easy. We decided to try 9 days in the Ozarks. First we would do the tourist thing in Branson, Mo, then attend a Scooter Rally in Eureka Springs Ar.

A couple of preview pics:



.




And a warning; the locals out here don't mess around. They hang motorcycles they don't like



I would hate to see what they do to scooters!
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:07 AM   #2
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We started by loading up my truck with us, our stuff, our Dog, and my Sport City 250. We drove to the Memphis area where we spent the night with relatives. Then we dropped off our dog and drove to Branson, Mo. We took I-40 to 65 to Branson. the interstate was uneventful but 65 through Arkansas had some serious hills. I was wondering how my 250 would do 2 up on these hills.

This is a ride report so I'll keep the Branson Part brief. We stopped at a Branson "information" center and discovered it was really a time share sales place. Oh well, they offered free tickets to a couple of shows in exchange for attending a sales presentation. The shows were excellent and we didn't buy a time share. Even the presentation was pretty interesting so it was worth it.

On a couple of mornings I got up early and rode around the Branson Area. Although this is a major tourist trap, the roads here are excellent. If only we could get them to tear down the town and leave the roads for us to play on

A few pics of the Branson Area:

Bridge over Lake Taneycomo



Looking North towards Branson



And West towards the Dam that forms Table Rock Lake



A few tourist Pics.

We did a dinner cruise/show on this "cruise ship"



Debbi decided to try Zip Lining.



The shows and cruise where all very entertaining but I never got over the feeling that we were at a geriatric convention. After three days we had enough shows and it was time to move on.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:09 AM   #3
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Watch out for the local scooter trash.... Especially DRZCharlie [AKA Phoot Phoot Scoot]
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:38 AM   #4
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We split up to head to Eureka Springs. Debbi wanted to visit family in Joplin so she drove the truck while I was forced to ride the Scooter to Eureka Springs via back roads

I left early. Got these pics just outside Branson.



Table Rock Lake:



I made it to the rally in time for the meet and greet that kicked off the rally.

Then it was time for some riding. I headed of with a small group headed somewhere in Mo for lunch.

The road just to the west of Eureka Springs was very nice.



.

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Old 09-20-2013, 02:12 PM   #5
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A little background before I continue here. I have a sportbike background and have always loved riding twisty roads. I came to Eureka Springs and the Ozarks about 20 years ago to attend a motorcycle rally. I was riding a Kawasaki, EX500. The motorcycle rally was a complete waste of time. Few of the people actually came to ride. Most of them wanted to do stuff like check out the Bass Pro Shop in Branson

Second, I had heard that there were some great roads in the Ozarks, but I was mostly disappointed with what I found on that trip. I hadn't been back to the area since then. Why come here when there are so many great roads in the Smokies?

This was also my first scooter rally. I really didn't know what to expect. Someone on this forum said this rally was about riding so I thought I'd take a chance and also give the Ozarks another try.

Back to the day's ride. Our ride leader was on a Silverwing. In the group, if my failing memory is correct, was also a Burgman 650, Vespa 250 GTS, Kymco Grand Vista 250 and this neat little motorcycle:



It's a 250cc Mustang.

Before the ride we were told to ride our own ride. No parade formation here. When we got out to where we would be on the same road for awhile, the leader said the faster riders were welcome to speed up and ride ahead.

So far so good.

The group pace on the initial twisties was slower than I would have preferred but certainly not as slow as many cruiser groups I have encountered.

We road to the town of Noel, Mo for lunch. I took up the ride leaders offer to ride up ahead at a faster pace. The road to Noel was somewhat of a roller coaster. Not as twisty as Deals Gap but with a lot of up and down. The road surface was pretty rough. It was a good but not great ride

I didn't take many pics but here's one that shows the road surface.



The cafe where we ate lunch was pretty interesting.

Part of the group. The guy on the left was wearing a Kilt under his mesh pants.



The fire plan:



More signs:



.



More ride pics:



.





It ended up being about a 140 mile ride. The pace was not sportbike fast but still an enjoyable ride and the chance to meet some other scooter enthusiasts.

The jury was still out about the quality of the roads in the area.
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:35 PM   #6
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You were in the pretty parts of Arkansas.

Comparing the roads to Tennessee is a big gap.




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Old 09-20-2013, 02:37 PM   #7
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I had some time before the evenings scooter parade so I went to get gas and decided to check out this place:



An interesting shop full of interesting and actually useful stuff.



And an interesting sign.



I guess he was referring to this place:



I didn't bother to go in but I'm guessing that this Harley "dealer" is like some of the other Harley shops that have opened in popular riding areas which don't actually sell Harleys.
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:49 PM   #8
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Debbi made it to Eureka Springs in time for the evenings event, a police escorted scooter parade through historical Eureka Springs.

Lining up at the hotel.



Normally, I wouldn't be interested in this sort of ride but this was just a short ride through a really neat old town.



The locals seemed amused and waved at us. Not sure how they would have reacted had we been on a bunch of loud piped cruisers or sportbikes.



After the rally we joined a few others for dinner at this place in old Eureka Springs.



the Harley in the pic was not part of our group. I'm sure he was intimidated when our group of scooter trash walked in

The food was good. I had Bangers and Mash, something I don't recall seeing on any menu outside of England.
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:16 PM   #9
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I am in.
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Old 09-21-2013, 04:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joenuclear View Post
N!
Watch out for the local scooter trash.... Especially DRZCharlie [AKA Phoot Phoot Scoot]
Good to have you following along.



Quote:
Originally Posted by TrashCan View Post
You were in the pretty parts of Arkansas.

Comparing the roads to Tennessee is a big gap.


Hi Jerry

As for Comparing the roads to Tennessee, stay tuned.




Quote:
Originally Posted by PharaohScoots View Post
I am in.
Nice meeting and riding with you at the rally. I'll be getting to the ride we were on next.
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Old 09-21-2013, 07:28 AM   #11
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Before continuing on, I just realized I forgot to give any information on this scooter rally. The official name of the rally was Sixth Annual Scooting the Ozarks Rally. A seventh Annual is planned for next year but the date has not been set yet. This rally has it's own website and forum. The link for that is Here: http://scoottheozarks.proboards.com/
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:00 AM   #12
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The main event for the second day of the rally was a fairly long ride. OK, 240 miles isn't really that long but it would be almost all on twisty back roads and it was forecast to be pretty hot. Between the heat and the distance, it would be too long for Debbi on the back of the Aprilia. She was fine with me going riding while she checked out Eureka Springs.

I liked the way they organized this ride. They split it up into four groups to keep the group size under 10 bikes. Then they split up according to speed. The first group would be for the fast (relatively speaking ) riders, then getting slower going back to the 4rth and slowest group. They asked for volunteers for the fast group and got a total of 7 including me. The ride leader was on a Burgman 400. We also had another Burgman 400, 3 Burgman 650s, and a Helix.

The name of this ride was the Flippin - Peels ferry ride. We would take back roads to Flippin, Ar for lunch, then ride to Peels ferry to cross a lake, then more back roads around Branson and back to the start.

So off we went. The leader set a good pace, about 55-60 on the straights and a minimum of slowing down in the curves

We rode for a while then took a break in the middle of nowhere.



The roads where good but not great.



We had lunch in Flippin then headed towards Peels ferry. The roads to Peels ferry were pretty good but we got stuck behind a truck for quite a while and the roads were too curvy to make passing the truck safe.

Peels ferry.



We got on the Ferry and had wait for a few minutes. A couple of cruiser riders showed up while we waited. I'm sure they were intimidated by all us tough looking scooter riders but they were brave enough to board the ferry with us

A couple of pics on the ferry.



.



After the ferry we rode North of Branson then headed torwards Eureka Springs. We rode some pretty nice twisty roads but in many cases the road surface was questionable. There was some brand new asphalt on some of the roads and I'm not sure how good the traction on it was. there was also some rain in the area resulting in some wet roads.

We made it back to Eureka Springs in the late afternoon. Total mileage was around 240 miles. I calculated my Gas mileage right around 75MPG the Aprilia did really well on this ride. I had no problems keeping up with mostly larger scooters and my butt was not sore at the end of the day. And I enjoyed the ride

Can't ask for much more than that.

I would have liked to get more pics of this ride but after the ferry it looked like rain (and it did rain) so I didn't have my camera hanging from my neck like I usually do.
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Old 09-21-2013, 11:13 AM   #13
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Nice ride report. Looks like you had some good scooting. I wish we would see more scooter riders doing ride reports...it helps folks to understand the capabilities of our machines and it's also cool to see where people are riding.

Nice job...
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:32 PM   #14
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After the long ride, the next thing on the agenda was a fish fry at the motel. It was good and included with fees for the rally. Sorry, no food pics. I have never gotten in the habit of taking pics of my food. Then, afterwards was Karaoke. I had never attempted this before but Debbi talked me into trying it. We decided to sing a duet. The song was John Denver's "take me home twisty roads". OK, we changed the words a little to suit the occasion. How did we do? Just be glad you weren't there to hear it

There were some other people there with the actual ability to carry a tune so it turned out to be an enjoyable evening. I didn't get any pics of this event either.

Then we turned in for the night. The plan for the day was to ride a Poker run.
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Old 09-21-2013, 05:38 PM   #15
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After several days of hot weather, the temperatures were very comfortable for the day of the poker run. Debbi and I took off alone but ended falling in with a small group. The route for this route headed south and then east to Jasper. I took some pics on the way.

The first stop of the poker run.



Some pics from above.



The group we had been riding with was 4 maxi scooters, and one big guy on a little Honda PCX. I talked to him later and he said he had to twist the throttle pretty hard and push it in the curves to stay with the bigger scooters but he was able to keep up despite only having 150cc.

They took off without since we had walked to the top of this cliff. Then another group rode by without stopping. I got a pic of this Kymco Like 200i (actually 163cc) riding by.



More pics of the ride heading towards Jasper.



Both the roads and the scenery were better than what I had seen the first 2 days of the rally.



We stopped in the town of Jasper and ate lunch.



We ate at the Ozark Cafe.



Then we decided to check out the town before continuing the ride.

As usual, Debbi managed to find some shops selling junk.



It was a pretty neat town. I'm not that interested by the shopping but love scenic little towns surrounded by mountains and great roads.



This town was a very popular stop for all kinds of riders.



Someone told me that there was an impressive view a few miles to the South. It wasn't on the poker run route but we decided it was worth a small detour.



This sign explains the view.



Then we backtracked to Jasper and continued the Poker run route. One of the stops was at a gas station/store.

Here's Debbi drinking a Coke out of a real glass bottle.



Then it was back to Eureka Springs. Riding 2 up on these steep hilly roads dropped the Aprilia's mileage to 70 MPG! I was surprised that we only encountered one hill that significantly dropped our speed.

Afterwards week walked a bit around the town near out motel. It's pretty obvious that the area is really popular with motorcycle riders. There was a Biker only motel and many other businesses catering to "bikers" This motel is a good example.



Bikers are not the only people attracted to Eureka Springs. There was some sort of old car rally in town.



Interesting contrast between new and old.

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