Full Throttle Touring - 150 through the Rocket City

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by klaviator, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,752
    Location:
    Rocket City
    Good seeing you there. You did real well around the course on your big bike. Was that your first Gymkhana?
  2. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    105
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    Yes, first one. I was a little reluctant in attending, but it turned out to be a fun agility exercise on that big pig. I enjoyed the challenge.
    Dirt Road Cowboy and klaviator like this.
  3. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,752
    Location:
    Rocket City
    I have been in Wichita all week so I haven't ridden since Saturday and I'm suffering from PMS. I'll be heading for Tellico Plains tomorrow morning for three days of riding the twisties in that area:ricky:ricky.
  4. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    105
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    Weather looks to be great. Other commitments this weekend are going to give me PMS.......
  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,752
    Location:
    Rocket City
    Why can't those "other commitments" happen when the weather is crappy? I lucked out this weekend with 3 days off and great weather at the same time.:rayof
  6. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,752
    Location:
    Rocket City
    I made it to Tellico Plains set up camp and went for a ride. I rode around 160 miles burning up nearly 2 gallons of liquid dinosaur. Here's a few pics.

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    The traffic was light enough at Deal's Gap that I made a few runs and was able to have fun and not get stuck behind slow traffic that much.

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    I'll be heading out to ride some of my favorites tomorrow:ricky:ricky
    ScooterJon, EZMoney, Heatery and 5 others like this.
  7. Fireman1000

    Fireman1000 Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,791
    Location:
    Gray GA
    Where was the second picture taken?
  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,752
    Location:
    Rocket City
    That was on the road through Joyce Kilmer that goes from the end of the Skyway to 129.
  9. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,752
    Location:
    Rocket City
    I started off my Saturday with a ride over the Cherohala Skyway. This bridge is right near the beginning. I thought it would make a good pic so I practiced my gymkhana skills by whipping a u-turn and stopping to get this:

    [​IMG]

    It was between 8 and 9 am and the skyway was strangely deserted. There were a lot of hunters out because there were many truck parked off the side of the road but virtually no traffic. It was a bit chilly but promised to be a nice day.

    [​IMG]

    This sign is actually about half way through the Skyway at the North Carolina line.

    [​IMG]

    This make the road look really curvy and many riders really love this road but non of the curves are tight. You could set the cruise control at 45 and just turn the bike. I like the Skyway but it wouldn't make my list of 100 best roads.

    [​IMG]

    I thought I would make it all the way through the skyway without seeing a single motorcycle but a few miles form the end there was a KLR coming the other way. It was nice to not get stuck behind any slow traffic. I was planning to get some breakfast in Robbinsville but saw the hot biscuits sign at the Thunder Mountain store so I stopped and got one.

    [​IMG]

    BTW, if you are wondering how the 155cc Smax did the slopes and high elevations of the Skyway, it did just fine. It would go at least 45 on the steepest of the hills and handled the curves just fine.
    EZMoney, Heatery, B10Dave and 2 others like this.
  10. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,246
    Location:
    Spotsylvania, VA
  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,752
    Location:
    Rocket City
    After breakfast I continued on 143 to Robbinsville. I like 143 between the Skyway and Robbinsville better than the Skyway itself. It's a lot twistier:ricky:ricky. I filled up in Robbinsville then rode 129 to 19 and took a left into the Nantahalla Gorge. Now I had to make a decision, Wayah Rd or Winding Stair:hmmmmm Wayah Rd is a fantastic ride as it curves along by the river but Winding Stair is.......... more of an adventure. I do have an ADV sticker on my Smax so I chose more adventure:wings

    This road begins by crossing a narrow bridge.

    [​IMG]

    During the summer many rafters and kayakers can often be seen here but it was a little chilly today. Even in the hottest days of summer this river is always cold.

    [​IMG]

    Oh, oh, they forgot to pave this road:eek7 That's OK, it keeps the rif raf away and holds down the traffic:D

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    There was no traffic on this road except for a few hikers and a lady walking her dogs. This road starts at in the Nantahala Gorge and then winds its way up the extremely steep mountainside.

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    My kind of road. Cliff on one side, drop off on the other, no signs, no guardrails and no double yellow line. It's a miracle I wasn't killed:lol3

    [​IMG]
    norton73, ScooterJon, Heatery and 2 others like this.
  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,752
    Location:
    Rocket City
    Winding Stair turns into a curvy paved road and ends up leading to Wayah Rd, it just bypasses the first section where it runs along the river. It didn't take long to get stuck behind slow moving traffic.

    [​IMG]

    So I rode along riding with my right hand and taking pics with my left.

    [​IMG]

    I think one of the bikes was a new FZ-10. If so Yamaha needs to give this bike some more horsepower.:D

    They pulled off before too long and I was able to resume normal speed.

    One of the switchbacks on Wayah Rd.

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]
  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,752
    Location:
    Rocket City
    After Wayah Rd I headed off for some of my local favorites. These are some of the less well known roads in the area. I seldom see other motorcycles on these roads. They are often not the highest quality of pavement. They often have tighter curves than the much more famous "dragon" but they don't have their names on T shirts or have photographers hanging out taking your picture as you ride by.

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]
  14. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,752
    Location:
    Rocket City
    I stopped in Cashiers for lunch then did some exploring. I had no map or GPS. I had ridden some of these roads before and some were new for me. Needless to say I didn't always know where I was but I was never lost for real long. I found some pretty cool new roads.

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    This bridge goes from nowhere to nowhere. I'm not sure why they built it:scratch

    [​IMG]
    norton73, ScooterJon, Heatery and 2 others like this.
  15. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,752
    Location:
    Rocket City
    My plan was to stop in Robbinsville for dinner and then catch the sunset on the Skyway. It was getting too late for that so I stopped at Subway and picked up a sandwich. I figured I could eat dinner on the Skyway while watching the sunset.

    I picked this spot a little before the State line.

    [​IMG]

    Gourmet dining.

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .



    So I took a bazillion pics. I won't bore you with all of them, I'll just bore you with a few.

    [​IMG]

    The moon was even out.

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    I probably should have found a further down the road because it was a pretty long ride in the dark to get back to Tellico. It was also my longest ride so far on the Smax. 311 miles for the day.
  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,752
    Location:
    Rocket City
    My normal routine when I am in that area is to meet TrashCan at the overlook on 129 as he and a bunch of locals ride to Deal's Gap for breakfast. He said he'd be at the overlook around 7:30. Since it would be about an hour ride and I would need to stop for gas and i wanted to get some sunrise pics, I planned on getting on the road at 6. That would be 0500 Alabama (central) time.:eek7 So I set my alarm for 5:30 but ended up waking up at 5. I still didn't get on the road until 6. I got gas about 15 miles down the road. This thing is a real gas hog, I think I needed over a gallon:D

    My route was 315 to 39, left on 68, right on 411, right on 72 to 129 where I stopped at the intersection to take this pic.

    [​IMG]


    The sun was just rising as I rode 129 along the lake. I was hoping to get some good sunrise pics over the lake but the angles and timing was off. I got to the overlook around 7:20 but Trashcan was already there. He also woken up early and left ahead of the rest of the riders.

    [​IMG]

    It was now light enough to be able to see the road well so we took off. There was no traffic so we had a clean run to Deal's Gap. The Smax is a blast to ride on this road. I may not be able to keep up with a fast sportbike rider but it's fast enough to be entertaining. Power is surprisingly good for a 155cc motor, the brakes are good and the steering super light. The biggest thing keeping the speed down is cornering clearance although I didn't scrape anything. From pics the photogs on the road took, I was pretty close to touching down the centerstand.

    When we pulled in to the parking lot we had it to ourselves. Another rider pulled in a minute or two later.

    [​IMG]

    A few minutes later the rest of the Sunday morning crew showed up.

    We ate breakfast then hung out for a while. Deal's gap is an interesting place to hang out. Hang out for any length of time and you will see all kinds of bikes and meet people from all over the country and some other countries. One guy from New Orleans who was there for the first time commented that this place was like a museum.

    One bike that caught my eye was one you won't see ever day.

    [​IMG]

    250cc, 2 stroke V-twin, kick start only. Looks like it would be a blast on this road.

    [​IMG]

    I walked across the street to the Killboy place and went up the steps to a platform that overlooks the area. Nice view. Good place to use my zoom.

    [​IMG]

    There was another platform higher up so I climbed up to check it out. This would be a nice place for a nap. I never knew it was here.

    [​IMG]
  17. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,752
    Location:
    Rocket City
    The weather was perfect and I was enjoying hanging out, looking at all the bikes and talking to people. I talked to a few Grom riders who were having a blast. We even got to witness a "Busa Down" Busa Down?? There is a story about that. Some time back there was a Hayabusa rally going on in the area and some of them where hanging out at the Deal's Gap resort. Some one came and reported that one of the riders had crashed so one of the guys got up and started yelling "Busa Down, Busa Down" So now every bike crash is called "Busa Down"

    On this morning it was someone just dropping their bike on the road just outside the parking lot. This seems to happen a lot here. So someone said "Busa down" and I say a big cruiser or touring bike laying on it's crash bars but didn't have enough time to get a pic before it was picked up. As "Busa Downs" go, this one was pretty tame.

    Way to soon it was time to head for home. There was a fair amount of traffic being a Sunday afternoon and I was expecting a boring ride but it turned out to not be that bad. I did get stuck behind some slow moving bikes so I turned around a rode back a few curves one time and just pulled over a couple of other times as I kept catching them. It did give me the chance to get this pic:

    [​IMG]

    This next pic was taken about a mile from the dragon but I'll bet over 99% of the people who come by here have never come down to this spot.

    [​IMG]

    At the intersection of 129 and 72 I saw an old CB125 so I stopped to get a pick. The CB125 was once my dream bike but I preferred the earlier models with the front disc brake.

    [​IMG]

    Then I rode back to the campground and loaded up my camping gear and bike and headed home. I stopped for gas along the way and filled up my scooter first. 110 miles and 1.1 gallons of gas. Even without a calculator I can tell you that's 100MPG. That's my best so far. I guess this scooter just likes twisty mountain roads:ricky:ricky:ricky
  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,752
    Location:
    Rocket City
    I made several passes through Deal's Gap and there were many photographers out so I had a lot of pics to choose from. After looking over the pics taken by Killboy and US129 photographers I picked this one from US129 photos to buy.

    [​IMG]
  19. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,605
    Location:
    jaw ja




    that's what i'm talking about
    klaviator likes this.
  20. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,752
    Location:
    Rocket City
    I stopped by Midway Cycles yesterday to order a new tire for the Smax. Around 2600 miles and it's worn out. I replaced the rear at 1950 miles. It seems they are putting real junk on as OEM tires as all of my recent new bikes have had OEM tires that just didn't last. The ones on the Smax were the worst.....or maybe it's just the massive 14+ horsepower was too much for the tires?

    Anyway, $48.88 for a new tire isn't too bad:D

    I'm planning on heading down to Barber on Saturday for Vintage Fest. Hopefully I'll see some of you down there.
    EZMoney, Heatery and Dirt Road Cowboy like this.