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Old 07-28-2013, 09:29 AM   #1
Prettyboy OP
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Joined: Oct 2012
Location: Philly
Oddometer: 572
Bayou Bound: or "You're doing what on that little 250?"

A few months back, I got a motorcycle because I couldn't afford a car. That said, after riding it a fair bit, and through some torrential downpours, I was hooked. I wouldn't give it up if someone bought me a car (which my parents offered to help do after one of our friends got in a bad accident on his bike).

So, that provides the bike: Sophia my 2011 TU250x.

Now on to the destination. That one is a little more complicated. I am a (sort of) professional singer and actor, and I got the opportunity to go down to Louisiana to performa new musical/opera on this:

A 30 meter tallship named Amara Zee.

Now, I don't actually know what the show is going to look or sound like, but past productions by this company have looked like this.

So, it will certainly be exciting.

At first, they offered to fly me down to New Orleans, and then we would arrange transportation to the actual location, but then I had an idea. A tour. I was going to, on a shoestring budget, take a week to ride down from Philadelphia to the bayou.

After a few iterations, I settled on a route. I will be first going for a week to stay with my parents (and gather up the gear that I have left there, and then head out to the mountains, and stop a to visit family on the way.

View Larger Map

So, the plan is to ride Sophia down to MD, then after gearing up and visiting home, head out to Skyline drive and camp a night. Visit more family in NC, then go out to the BRP for another night and some good riding (and apparently amazing biscuits and gravy. We don't get that up here in Philly, which is really sad. I can't wait.) More family down in Marietta, GA, some Tentspacing in Alabama and then down to Lafitte, Louisiana.

I'll give a shakedown post in about a week, when I am home with all my gear. Before then, any recommendations, for either the trip or the report are welcome.

Prettyboy screwed with this post 07-28-2013 at 10:33 AM
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:39 AM   #2
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Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Northern NY
Oddometer: 107
I've got a thing for small bike touring.. if you haven't looked at it, take a look at this thread:

That said: Subscribed!
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:32 AM   #3
Prettyboy OP
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Location: Philly
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Originally Posted by jontow View Post
I've got a thing for small bike touring.. if you haven't looked at it, take a look at this thread:

That said: Subscribed!

Love that thread, it's one of my subscribed threads and I've managed to read every post. That's my main argument against the people telling me I can't do this on a 250.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:47 AM   #4
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: n.o. la.
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welcome to my backyard from a fellow trying to be actor. I think you will enjoy it here
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:35 AM   #5
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Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Greater Hampton Roads, VA
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Loved my CBR250R and still wish I kept it, but with three other bikes and 24 hours in a day it didn't get the attention it deserved. Did some week long touring on it, but never got around to camping with it. That said, I'm contemplating getting a Honda Grom and tricking it out for stunting and other hooliganism that I often subjected my poor CBR to :P

As for trip tips. Miiiight want to look into a fly screen or windscreen if you can find one cheap, but I'd put it low priority since you're on a tight budget and will probably be sticking to prime and secondary roads. It'd help with multi-day wind fatigue on a totally naked standard bike like the TU.

I'd also suggest skipping Skyline Drive since you're planning on the Blue Ridge Parkway, unless it happens to be on your bucket list or you have a national parks pass. It'll save you some cash ($10 fee, I think), is identical to the BRP in terms of views and scenery, and tends to have bigger crowds. Heck, at the end of Skyline you can pretty much cross the road and start the BRP and not know the difference if it weren't for signage.

Other than that, the usual stuff: stay hydrated, stay alert, and enjoy the trip.

Oh, and if you're looking to save some cash and I noticed you're camping, try I've had decent success there finding low cost or free camp locations without having to actually stealth camp.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:47 AM   #6
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Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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Yeps - Sounds like fun! I always liked the TU250x. Should be a great bike for the trip. I've completed some camping/touring trips on my small displacement bikes (CBR125R, CBR250R, WR250R) and provided some descriptive reports that you may find useful. Here is the latest one, that includes links to the previous ones.

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Old 08-01-2013, 07:53 AM   #7
Joined: Nov 2012
Location: Spring,Tx.
Oddometer: 31
I'm IN!

I'll be reading, I've had my Tu250x for 3months& can't get enough of it. After riding full faring sport bikes for several years i'm suprised at how little wind affects me. Might be the big flat headlight is deflecting it away from rider.
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:52 AM   #8
Joined: May 2012
Location: Roanoke, VA
Oddometer: 5
You asked for tips so here's a few. I rode a 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R from Lubbock TX to Roanoke VA in Aug of 2010 to visit my parents. Left right after lunch on a Monday and arrived for lunch the following Friday. Trip was 1500 miles and I was in no hurry.

I grew up right next to the BRP and learned to drive on it. It's gorgeous and I think you will love the ride especially on your 250.

Taken around Blacksburg

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate.... I stopped about every hour to stretch my legs ( I am 6'1) and I made sure to down at least 1 bottle of water or gatorade at each stop. The heat is killer in the south at this time of year so drink water often and lots of it. Also keep some snacks handy. I kept bananas, trail mix and those Natures Own health bars on me as I rode. Oh, watch out for deer especially on the BRP.

Enjoy the ride! I'm in
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:55 AM   #9
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Packing and bike prep

Edited 8/11 in the evening, because I got anxious, and did another shakedown of my gear.

Packing for a trip on a small motorcycle makes me realize one thing: I have entirely too much stuff.

Taking everything but the kitchen sink in this photo.

Shelter and sleeping.

I'm very proud of this part of my gear. Thermarest 3/4 pad, off brand tarp, Lafuma 1k extreme sleeping bag and old REI bivy.

Food and prep.

A luxury.

Whisperlite Internationale.

This is a great little stove and I've had it for years. I normally burn white gas in it, but it will burn regular unleaded no problem (gonna start that this trip.)


Not bringing a lot of food, since I'll be staying with family a fair bit. Mostly snacks and coffee.

Tools and stuff.

These normally live in my saddlebags, to supplement the toolkit under the side cover.

Here are the electronics.

Indestructible cell phone, 2m handy I might ditch tomorrow morning, Kindle Touch 3g, Macbook, assorted chargers for various and sundry.

Random bike stuff, of course.

Spare helmet for passengers down in Louisiana, cover. My keffiyeh, which is really nice, and very useful.

Walmart has great drybags.


This one is my nemesis. Because I'm going down to Louisiana for a couple months, I want to have a decent amount of normal clothes so I don't look like a hobo. As such, this is terrible. Also, extra layers for the trip back north in the fall.

And here it all is stuffed into random bags. There's toiletries and some other stuff in there too that didn't really merit it's own picture.

I call my diminutive passenger Peter.

That's everything, including a passenger helmet loaded up onto Sophia, who I have now declared to be a touring bike. Since my last update, I have gotten (and broken in) Shinko 712s, and added a Givi a210 windscreen. This, in combination with the 16 tooth front sprocket I already changed out, makes cruising very comfortable at anywhere between 45 and 65 mph. Also, I still got 85mpg on the way down from Philadelphia to MD.

Tomorrow morning I head out to VA to do some camping most of the way down Skyline Drive.

Prettyboy screwed with this post 08-11-2013 at 05:52 PM
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Old 08-11-2013, 03:19 PM   #10
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Location: Philly
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Last mod

Well, I had one last modification to the bike before it was all ready. I figured that a 12v outlet would be really helpful.

It was actually a really simple build.
1) Remove side cover. I assumed I would need to take the seat off, but it was unnecessary.

b. Disconnect battery. (just a Phillips screwdriver, for those playing along at home).

III: Because my 12v socket already had an inline fuse, I just hooked it straight up to the battery.

Δ I mounted the socket with zip-ties and a blob of epoxy putty to keep it from sliding around too much.

E - More little cable ties to keep the cables neat.

And here's the end result. Now I can use that GPS in my tankbag without worrying too much about running out of juice. Hopefully it doesn't melt.
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:00 PM   #11
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: Chandler arizona
Oddometer: 251
I'm in!! Looks like fun all of your stuff went on the bike well. I might have to steal your 12v outlet idea...
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:25 AM   #12
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Location: Northern Virginia
Oddometer: 625

Just did my first longish day ride on the TUX including all of Skyline Drive. Nothing wrong with the road, but if you want to save the $10 toll (assuming you haven't travelled this section already) you can take a trip through the Shenandoah Valley to the west then take US 250 up to the start of the BRP in Rockfish Gap. Or you can go east of the mountains and head through Charlottesville. A lot of options in that part of the Commonwealth!
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:11 AM   #13
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Southern New Jersey
Oddometer: 6,831
Way to go!
It should be a really fun trip.
One way to travel lighter is to stay at campgrounds like KOA.
They have a store, laundry, pool, showers, electric.
You can travel really light that way, without any food or cooking supplies.

I used to hit one every other day or so, to do laundry, shower and use the pool.
I also have no problem skipping a meal or two.

Skyline drive is a slow road, but nice, the BRP is more interesting and faster.

Its great you are doing the trip, it gets harder as you get older, job, house, spouse....
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:42 AM   #14
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:43 AM   #15
Joined: May 2011
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cool RR, i think i might just subscribe!
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