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

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    I rode down to The Barber Motorsports park today for the Vintage Festival. I rode my Majesty which easily handled the 2 hour trip of mostly highway riding. Buying a ticket at the gate was super easy and took about one minute. I parked the bike, stashed all my riding gear under the seat or in the tail trunk and headed to the Vendors section. It took less than a minute to run into my old friend Mike:

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    So we talked a few minutes and I headed off to check out the Kymco booth. Kymco has two new models that i think will do really well and I would love to have in my garage.......too bad my garage is already over full:2cry

    It didn't take long to find the Kymco display.

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    The two new models I wanted to check out were the Spade and the Like 150i.

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    The Spade on the left is a competitor for the Grom and Z125. It has a 4 valve 150cc FI engine with a claimed 12 HP and 5 speed tranny. If I was looking for a Grom sized bike I'd give this serious consideration.

    On the left is the new Like 150i. It also has a 4 valve 150cc FI engine with 13.5 HP and a CVT. If I hadn't recently bought my Smax I'd be looking at this. It's $2599 and has disc brakes with ABS front and rear.

    It's a little cramped for someone tall like me but then so is my Smax.

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    It has a glove box with power outlet.

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    Big underseat storage.

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    And I think it looks good.

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    They also had a pretty tricked out Spade. Check out the Ohlins shocks!

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    zookster, Phipsd, ScooterJon and 3 others like this.
  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    After the Kymco booth I wandered around some. It was overcast and the threat of incoming bad weather from Hurricane Nate kept the crowds smaller than normal. It was still a nice day and as always there was so much to see and take in here.

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    There was vintage racing going on to the left on the track and then there was the crazy guys on their MX bikes doing insane stuff in the air.

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    Then I went over to the Bates booth to look up TrashCan and some of the other Deal's Gap regulars who come down here for Vintage Fest. Then I headed over to the swap meet area to find the Bama Rides booth. Going past the bike parking area on the sides of the perimeter road I couldn't help but notice the wide variety of cool bikes.

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    In the past years many people had trouble finding the BamaRides booth but no excuses this year.

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    So I hung out there for a while and ate a sandwich for lunch. Then I wandered back over to the vendors area with a few other guys.

    WOW motorcyles from Marietta GA had a big display as always and had a couple of bikes that caught my eye.

    First was this Benelli 600 V twin. I'm pretty sure it's made in China but looked cool.

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    Then this little SSR 250. Again, probably made in China but looked great.

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    I fit on it OK but I don't think there is room in my garage.

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    The first Gurney Gator I have seen in the flesh.

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    Checked in again with @TrashCan and the Deal's Gap breakfast club.

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    Lot's of these trail 70s around. It was my first dream bike back in the 60s.

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    @FenceJumper09 trying out one of the Royal Enfields.

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    Some racing going on.

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    A 7 cylinder two stroke Kawasaki anyone?

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    More racing.

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    The hazards of racing.

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    Side car racing.

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    I left after the racing ended. Due to the weather forecast all Sunday events were cancelled and by the time I left many of the vendors had already packed up and were heading out.

    So I had a great day. I don't think my pics or words can really show what a great event this is for any motorcycle enthusiast. You don't have to be a vintage guy (or gal) to enjoy this. This is just an incredible gathering of motorcyclists with so much to see and do. Barber Motorsports park is an incredible facility probably second to none in the motorcycle world and it's right here in Alabama. Wandering around I saw dozens of people i knew which is probably just a small fraction of the people I know who where there. I'll be going back again next year. One of these years I'll have to go down for the whole weekend. This year and previous years I had to work Friday night.
    HeidiHo, blacktruck, zookster and 6 others like this.
  3. TrashCan

    TrashCan Scary Jerry

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    Well said Win, as always great to see you.
    Home and wet...
    klaviator likes this.
  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Glad you made it home safe. I'll be up you way in about a week but I'll be bikeless doing the family reunion thing outside of Gatlinburg. It will be really tough being near all those great roads without a bike:( Maybe if there is a nice weekend I'll be able to make it back up that way in Nov or Dec.
    TrashCan likes this.
  5. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Been here awhile

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    That arm or wrist looks to be a bit cattywampus.
  6. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    He crashed at pretty high speed but seemed to be OK. Of course I'm sure the adrenalin level was pretty high masking any pain.
  7. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Took a little ride through Wheeler today.

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  8. Smaug1

    Smaug1 Been here awhile

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    Makes me really miss my KLR. Nice shots.
  9. Smaug1

    Smaug1 Been here awhile

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    There's SOME vendor in that area who rents out Slingshots, and I saw a few guys driving them through the Dragon. I wonder if there's something near Gatlinburg?
  10. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    There are some places that rent bikes in the general area but the slingshot is a three wheel car. If I want to ride a bike in the area I can just bring one of mine. I want to focus on spending some time with the family and a bike would just be begging me to take off and ride. Better I just leave temptation behind.

    I did consider bringing along my Smax just for grocery runs:evil The house we are renting is up on a twisty mountain road about 15 minutes from the nearest store.
    Smaug1 and Dirt Road Cowboy like this.
  11. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Been here awhile

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    I saw a sign for that place as we were about to get on the Cherohala Skyway, near Robbinsville. They rent Slingshots and bikes. Lemme do some Googling..

    Hmm, maybe it was "Smoky Mountain Steel Horses LLC"

    I also found this. Looks like they just rent Slingshots
    slinginginthesmokies.com/
  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I saw a place right on 129 in Robbinsville that advertised motorcycle rentals last time I was there. There's also a place in Townsend that rents dual Sport bikes. I'm sure there are a few more places in the area. Rental bikes tend to be pricey. I can't see renting a bike somewhere this close to home.
  13. Heatery

    Heatery Worry free by mile 3.

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    I really wanted to go to that event. Alas, I work for the power company in Mobile. I was needed here. I have never been there. I guess since the rest of the event was cancelled, this was the one to miss.
  14. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    There's always next year.
  15. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I needed my dirt fix this morning so I headed over to Wheeler.

    Less than half way around my normal loop and this:(

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    So I had to backtrack. I think the gates open back up sometime in Feb or March.

    Don't know what this thing is:scratch

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    Maybe it used to be the bottom of a power pole? They recently cleared this out so maybe they are going to put something in here.
  16. Heatery

    Heatery Worry free by mile 3.

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    It looks like a raised sewer access. They use them a lot here in Mobile in the low bayou areas.
  17. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I think you are right. There is a water treatment facility near by and they are in line between it and the Tennessee river.
  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I'm in the Gatlinburg area this week getting together with Family. We are in a rental house in the mountains. The roads here are awesome, super twisty and steep. They would be a blast to ride but I didn't bring a bike so I'm suffering from PMS:(

    This mountain we are on suffered from the fires last fall. 75 houses in this development were destroyed in the fire. It's really weird. The house we are in is fine but houses on either side burned up. I was really expecting the Gatlinburg area to look really devastated from all those fires but for the most part it looks fine.....well except for the bazillion tourists everywhere.

    As much as I hate being in tourist traps, I need to come back here some time and ride some of these super twisty roads on one of my small scooters. These roads make the dragon look like an easy four lane highway in Kansas, they are that steep and twisty.
  19. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I'm back home after a week in the Smokies, surrounded by fantastic roads and without a bike to enjoy them. Of course I was suffering from PMS so I went for a short ride yesterday.

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    A few thoughts and observations about the Gatlinburg area and Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

    First, as I mentioned in the last post there are a ton of really fantastic roads in the area and awesome scenery. Unfortunately the area is also full of tourists and there is too much traffic on most of the roads for them to be much fun to ride. At least this is true for the Gatlinburg area and the Park. Away from those areas you can find less crowded roads. We drove to Clingman's Dome early in the week and the traffic in the park was moving along OK but too slow to be fun on a bike. Getting into the parking area on the top took at least 20 minutes due to backed up traffic.

    Then we drove there again on Saturday. This time traffic was heavier, it was like rush hour. Traffic stopped about a half mile from the Clingman's Dome parking area so we did a U turn, parked at the side of the road and walked. It would prabably took 30 minutes to and hours to get to the parking lot and then there might not have been an open spot. The parking area at the top looked like downtown Gatlinburg, it was that crowded.

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    Then coming back down traffic was stop and go for a couple of miles trying to get back onto the main road through the park. Then it was backed up again about 6 miles before Gatlinburg. It was bad enough in a cage and would have been worse on a bike. The park is really beautiful and has great roads but the only way I will go back on a bike is maybe midweek or really early in the morning.

    We did enjoy the cabin we rented way up a mountainside on some really twisty roads. Those roads would be a blast on a small scooter or tiny bike like a Grom or Spade:ricky:ricky:ricky

    On last pic, Sunrise from our cabin.

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    I was planning on doing the True Grits rally in Suches next weekend but the weather forecast is not looking good. I'm not just a fair weather rider but rain and temps dropping into the 20s is outside of my comfort range:(
  20. Phipsd

    Phipsd Older but not wiser.

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    An S-Max being held up by a 'slow' FZ10 on a twisty road? That just goes to prove that most riders think it's about the bike, when in fact it's about the rider.
    Heatery and klaviator like this.