Big "V-Rod" Dave Hits Kauai, Hawaii

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BigDave, May 24, 2004.

  1. BigDave

    BigDave Adventure Drummer

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    In April, BigDave Wife & I had the honor of visiting the most wonderful place on earth. Kauai, Hawaii. We were there for 7 days and I could have stayed there 14 more. We took advantage of a "once in a livetime" experience and did about everything you could possibly do in 7 days on that tiny island. Some of you know, Mrs BigDave has some serious health conditions so it was real nice to be able to make the arrangements for her to go and enjoy such a special trip.

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    About 4 days into the trip however, I was itching for a ride. I didn't pack the GS so I had to improvise. I kept seeing these big fat Harleys all over the place and I wondered if anyone rented anything else. I made plenty of calls. No GS's, no Honda's no nothin. Harley was the brand for the rental shops. They said thats what EVERYONE wants to ride, so thats what they have. :huh

    I stopped at one rental place near the hotel. I just had a hangup about riding some bike with some weird footboards on them. I just didn't want to ride a cruiser I am sorry. :evil I then saw the V-Rod. I asked if it was the same price as the other hawgs and the guy said it was the same price. I looked at the bike real close. I asked him if it hauled ass. He told me the engine was made by Porche. I said, "thats it, I'll take it."

    I remember watching the documentary on the Speed Channel about how HD came up with the V-Rod. It was real interesting and I did gain more respect for HD as a result. They really put the bike through a bunch of tests before rolling the bike into production. If there was a Harley to be had by me, it would be that one so I was happy to give it a day ride! :thumb

    I am a firm believer in ATGATT. Being I didn't pack my gear, I had to impovise again. There is a Wal-Mart in town, so shopping I went. I ended up with $3.00 leather work gloves, a plastic poncho, a $16 back pack for my ponch, water, camera and beef jerky. I wore my sweatshirt and my Nike 3/4 high hiking boots. Top that off with the "Ride Free" dickhead helmet from the rental shop. When I asked the guy if he had a helmet for me, he said, "we don't have a helmet law around here." I objected as I told him I had a law against splattering my brains all over the pavement. He handed me a helmet...

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    I think the other riders on the island were amazed at my outfit. Every other rider I saw that day had Shorts, t-shirts and tennis shoes. Oh well :flip.

    So.
    Bright and early on that Thursday, I took off from Lihue. It took me a little while to get used to this thing. Right away I knew it had LOADS of power :ricky. The next thing i learned is that I was going to go deaf. Even a 40 mph. The bike is a naked and between that and my dickhead helmet, the wind noise was horrible. Leave it to me to find fault with this ride within 48 seconds of leaving the rental shop. My plan that day was to leave Lihue to the North and travel along the east side of the island to the North of the island and go as far as the road goes. The road ends up on the NW corner wher the Na Pali coast starts. Anyway, I knew I'd be near the Wal-Mart soon, so I went in and bought some foam plugs. :ear

    Finally, I am off. Within 5 minutes, it was pouring rain. At least when it rains on the island, its not cold. Its rather pleasant other than the fact I couldn't see. So, I pulled over to towel off. This is up the coast near Kapaa.

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    Within minutes, it cleared. I contunued North and I came across a sign that said, "Lighthouse". I couldn't pass that up so off I went.

    The area is now a wildlife refuge and the lighthouse had not been used since 1914.

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    After I spent a wonderfully relaxing hour at the lighthouse, it was onward towrd Hanelei Bay for a stop by the sea.

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    I spent a good while just sitting and thinking and breathing the misty air. It was just wonderful visiting such a beautiful place. I came to the end of the road, so it was time to head back. First order of business was lunch. I stopped in Hanelei for Ahi & chips. Thats right folks, sushi grade tuna fried up with fries. :freaky

    There is not too many roads on the island except near the coast as the mountains are just too rugged. So on my way back, I made sure to take any roads that went back towards the mountains towards the West. I got to see a couple of sights like the waterfalls at Wailua.

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    As much fun as I was having, I was actually ready to get off the Harley. The bike was not real comfortable as I felt like my feet were in front of me and I had to hang on real hard to keep from falling back. If I were on something more comfortable, I would have rode till sundown and went to the east side. All in all it was a very memorable experience seeing the island on a bike and enjoying the day. :thumb


    From other times during the trip, I'd like to share some nice photos...

    Here is coming down out of the clouds as we arrive in Kauai.

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    On the second day, we visited the Fern Grotto via boat ride up the river..

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    Later in that day we visited Waimea Canyon. This was one spectacular site!

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    The next day we visited the far western portion of the island. The last 4-5 miles were kind of rough, but it was a rental car so no big deal. :evil This is Polihalo State Park. Only about 4 other people were over here.

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    We stayed at the Hyatt Regency at Poipu beach. What a wonderful place! The food each day was out of this world. Kauai has an ordinance that prohibits building over six stories. The resort has like 500 rooms so it is spread out and takes up about a half mile of beach front.

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    This is right near the hotel near sunrise.

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    Just a pretty shot down the road from the hotel. I commented at the time that there seemed to be a thousand shades of green on the island.

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    One of our special outings was a dinner cruise up the Na Pali coast. This cruise gives you a view of the west coast of the island that you can only get to by boat or helicopter. There is no roads or trails for that matter on the 14 mile stretch of the west coast of Kauai.

    Here is the view from the boat as we left Port Allen.

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    The boat was a large sailboat with a strong motor. About 30 guests on the boat. Most everyone on the boat stayed put in their seats. I spent most of the time near the front of the boat on the rail. The breeze and the spray from the sea was so refreshing. I could really get into the ocean and sailing. Maybe one day... :wink:

    As we went up the coast, you soon see why there is no roads over here. The mountains go all the way from sea level to over 4000 feet just off the coast. These views left me speachless.

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    On our way back, we were honored to see 2 pods of grey whales. The Captain said it was really too late in the season. He said he does this trip every day of the year, and if he is lucky, he see whales 2 times a year. He had never seen this many whales in one trip. One pod had a male, female and one baby. The other had mom & dad and at least two babies.

    My lame digital camera was too slow to get the big splashes from the adults. The whales gave us a show! The all were very close to the boat and decided to make some waves of their own.

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    On our last day, we visited a place that was recomended to us by a local. It proved to be the most remote and wonderful place we visited. We once again tested out our rental car as we had to travel a few miles of rough dirt. The area is just East of Poipu. Most tourist don't go down there as the road scares them away. I just pretended the minivan was a dual-sport and off we went.

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    BigDave wife got to get go down to the edge of the water in our own little cove. She really liked this area, as did I. For someone in her condition, it was very moving seeing her enjoy herself so much and enjoy the most beautiful area we were visiting. After hanging out with her for awhile, I decided to go explore and take some pics. As I ventured out onto the point, the scenery became more spectacular with every step.

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    As the clouds rolled in, we started to gather our things. It was the last day on the island. Visiting this area was very special to us. We then really understood why the locals have so much pride in their island. The island sucks all the stress out of you and really makes you appreciate the more important things. It brings to mind fact you should make the most of every living momment. At least that what it did for us. :D

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    #1
  2. Wayne Weber

    Wayne Weber why are we stopping?

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    Dave,

    Absolutely beautiful photos! what a vacation, like you said, once in a lifetime for many people. I loved the lighting in the photos from the sea.:thumb

    Primo post!

    and my condolences, I rented a Harley once too:puke1 . But any bike is better than no bike:D , I like all of them at least a little:dunno .
    #2
  3. ronend1

    ronend1 Been here awhile

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    Loved the pics and the report - apart from a future plan to cross the USA and new zeland on a bike - you've just added another destination - thanks :nod
    #3
  4. pierce

    pierce Aven'Tourer

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    I was just on Kauai in April with my family. the one road we found that would have been fun on a 'real' bike was the road up Waimea Canyon towads Kokee State Park....

    Rather than the Hyatt Regency, we stayed next door at the Kiahuna Plantation, where we had a very nice, very large 2 bedroom condo for $300/day, about 50 yards from Kiahuna Beach... (we needed 2BR, we had our kids with us).
    #4
  5. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    Excellent report. :thumb Thanks for the great photo's and the reminder that time is too precious to waste worrying about trivial things. It is a tribute to Hawai that a Harley couldn't even ruin the scenery. :D
    #5
  6. fish

    fish Banned

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    Nice report and beautiful pics, BigDave. A couple of nits tho...the engine is made by HDI, not Porsche. It was codeveloped with Porsche (actually based on the VR1000), but it's built in Kansas City, MO.
    #6
  7. pierce

    pierce Aven'Tourer

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    indeed. what I heard was that Porsche helped with the head and port design, saving Harley a year or more of trial-n-error engineering.
    #7
  8. GregInBoulder

    GregInBoulder Jerry rules. Get over it.

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    I lived over there for almost 13 years, home base Oahu but was on Kauai at least once a month. You did it right and the pics bear that out. Hawaii is a great place and Kauai has a special charm. Hope the charming Mrs. got some of that energy to take home.
    #8
  9. pilot

    pilot Slacker Moderator Super Moderator

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    Exelent report! :thumb
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  10. scumshine

    scumshine Hershey bar & a brick

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    Daymn, what a great place to visit, maybe thats what heaven is like...thanks for sharing!
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  11. ilmostro

    ilmostro Under Da Sea

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    Daymn, Big Dave. I was in there about a month agao (also at the Hyatt) and in Maui and rented a HD on both islands. I have been putting off doing a ride report and now you go and do this. :): You're shaming me into getting off my ass here.

    Truly a beautiful island. I'm happy the 2 of you had the opportunity to share it together :thumb
    #11
  12. PaleRider

    PaleRider gelande/strasse

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    Great Ride Report - Pale, Mrs. Pale and the little Pales were in Maui in January. For obvious reasons, we didn't moto. What a great way to see the Island! Thanks for posting your report - I can relate to your comment about wanting to stay longer - we can't wait to get back. - P

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    #12
  13. Jeff620RXC

    Jeff620RXC Been here awhile

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    Awesome Pics!
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  14. Road Rash

    Road Rash Infamous

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    GREAT pic's. I was on Maui last year and rented a V-Rod, not bad for a Harley :puke1 I liked it better when I found out that the "hard core" Harley dudes don't think of it as a "real" Harley because it's water cooled :rofl In 2001 I rented a new Dyna Wide Glide and took it off road :poser I didn't to good on it but it was fun watching the locals laugh at me and thinking about what the rental guy would think if he saw me :lol3 Yeah the helmet thing....I think I was the only one on the Island that had a helmet on :nod
    #14
  15. arroyoshark

    arroyoshark Needing some space

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    Beautiful pics there BDave!! Sounds like you and the spousel unit enjoyed yourself.

    H-D should buy those pics of the V-rod-by-the-sea for their sales brochures. It would probably sell more bikes!! :thumb
    #15
  16. AFekete

    AFekete Long timer

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    Very nice pictures...

    My wife would really love to go there as well. She is a real beach person and I'm sure these shots would push her over the edge.

    What a great trip!

    thanks,
    Andrew
    #16
  17. Steverino

    Steverino Arrogant Horse's Ass #1

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    I got one question about system cases for that thing....

    Nice pics
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  18. Relapse

    Relapse Adventurer

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    I was fortunate enough to live there from '92 to 96'. I went over "for six months" to help rebuilding after hurricane Iniki and couldn't bear to leave. It is indeed a beautiful place where life is as it should be. There is some great energy ( or Mana) on that Island, glad you and the Mrs had the opportuniy to experience it. I've spent time on each island and Kauai is special. :thumb
    #18
  19. Wes Weber

    Wes Weber Been here awhile

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    Excellent report! Janet and I instantly became very reminiscent about our trip 6 years ago. We went together before we got married because she lived in Montana and I lived in Colorado, so up to that point we hadn't spent more than a weekend together. We needed to spend a couple weeks together in "neutral" territory. So what better place than Hawaii? We ended up on Maui and rented a DR350. Teeny Tiny bike for 2 people, but it worked fine. I rode part of the way with my legs over the tank so Janet could stretch!

    The best road was definitely the Road to Hana. 32 miles, 600 corners. I kid you not. We hope to make it to Kauai some time.

    Thanks for sharing your great trip and reminding us of ours.

    Here's Janet navigating us through the rain forest:
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    And our favorite stop on the road to Hana. Magical.
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    #19
  20. apeirce

    apeirce So I was following Andrew

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    Cool report, thanks for bringing back memories.

    Did the Hawaii/Harley rental thing last year when I went to Maui for my bros wedding. Left the wife and kids at home so got a bike for the four days I was there.

    Got a big loud FatBoy. God knows why people love them other than the torque. I planned on riding there so was totally ATGATT. The only one on the island with full gear on.

    Did the road Hana which was beautiful and amazing. Also sweltering with my New England biased gear. Still rather sweat than bleed.

    Also rode up to Haleakala Volcano which was amazing. 40 miles to go up 10,000 feet from sea level to the top. More switchbacks than anyone could count. On the top it is like being on Mars with very little vegetation.
    #20