Austin to The Old Dominion on a 155cc Scooter

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by The Virginian, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. CtMac

    CtMac Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2015
    Oddometer:
    147
    Location:
    Deertickistan Ct
    Epic!
    Now I'm waving to scooters, and I don't care if they wave back..
    squonker and Gham like this.
  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    16,035
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    Let me start out by saying no way would I do a ride like this. That doesn't mean I didn't totally enjoy following along as you did it. Congrats on completing this ride. I must say I am impressed by the performance of the Vespa......and of course the rider too!

    I'll be interested to read your thoughts on the Vespa vs your Smax. I'm still leaning towards getting an Smax to replace my Kymco but following this report has put the possibility of getting a Vespa back in my mind.
  3. Scot

    Scot Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    749
    Location:
    Fredericksburg, VA
    When we ride this season, I'm buying you a lunch. Maybe two.
  4. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,948
    Location:
    Yellowknife and Norman Wells, NWT
  5. The Virginian

    The Virginian YouTube n00b Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,444
    Location:
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Sam, thanks for the uplifting words!

    Thanks Jeremy!

    Scot, see ya on a scoot ride soon! Just wait up for me on that Forza! ;)

    :pynd

    Many thanks for stopping by and reading.

    Mac, thanks!

    Well, I hope it was a good story. Thanks for stopping by.

    Wow, what a nice thing to say! Glad you enjoyed it.

    CB, thanks for the kind reply! It's a small world sometimes. Regarding your quote, "You endeavored to persevere!"; Outlaw Josey Wales is my all time favorite movie! Amazing that you brought up that quote from my fav movie.
  6. The Virginian

    The Virginian YouTube n00b Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,444
    Location:
    Spotsylvania, VA
    I have roughly two more posts to contribute to this ride report.

    - Finish up the ride report, provide stats, cheers & jeers
    - Write up on my gear that worked and didn't work

    I just rode home from Front Royal to Spotsy, roughly another 78 miles and you know what? It wasn't raining! Cold but no rain.

    First a few pics from some of my favorite spots on the way home.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And Bella being introduced to my XR1200
    [​IMG]

    Stats:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Day 6 78 miles - 1,853 miles total Yeah, I'm a numbers guy. (the nav is showing a little less as I didn't use it to venture out for supper)
    - Max speed 72 mph
    - Average speed 49 mph
    - Seat time 36 hours
    - 23 fuel fill ups
    - Average mpg 60.8
    - Best mpg 74.9
    - 31 gallons of gas burned
    - Fuel cost $89.49
    - Average fill up cost $3.89
    - Average Price per gallon $2.87

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Amazing moments:

    - About an hour after I left the dealership in Austin I was riding along with traffic and there was this old fellow on the side of the road selling
    watermelons. As I passed by and he made eye contact with me his face lit up like a Christmas Tree and had the greatest smile. He waved hello to
    me with such enthusiasm!I don't know what provoked it but it was a warm fuzzy for me.
    - Somewhere on I10 I saw my first Armadillo. It was road kill Tango Uniform (tits up) but still it was the first one I've ever seen in my life. One of
    many in TX, LA, MS that I saw.
    - Somewhere on I10 (I10 just went on and on) I saw a turtle crossing the road. I said to myself, dammit turn around so I did and ran across I10
    fetched him and gave him a fighting chance in life. A fellow can never have too many karma points banked. This was 1 of 3 turtles I saved. No,
    I'm not a tree hugg'n kind of guy but I felt compelled...
    - I met many folks I'm proud to call my friends
    - Many 'twinkies' i.e. young gals felt the need to film me or take a pic of me riding down the road. I'm quite sure I'm on a couple of FB pages being
    laughed at by other 'twinkettes"! I gave each and every one of the a hardy wave.
    - The euphoria of traveling almost 2/3rds of the U.S. on a small scooter. I'm overwhelmed with pride and self satisfaction and words cannot
    describe. An experience that I have had many times on a m/c but doing so on a scooter was empowering.
    - In MS I'm scoot'n along and two HD riders rolled up next to me, full pirate outfit, jackets no sleeves, tatts showing, and had their best mean look
    on their faces. You know the one they practice in the mirror? Riding next to me I look over trough my iridium blue visor, nod my head a couple of
    times with approval and give them the metal death horns sign. They both busted out laughing and gave me the thumbs up and motored on. In
    my mind they got it, a man/woman on two wheels in the wind.
    - I figured I would get a lot of questions on this trip as it unfolded so I printed up some business cards on my PC that directed them to this thread
    and others on different forums I haunt. Many wanted to follow my journey and it was really slick way to share that information. Btw, I ran out of
    cards to give out after I printed 50...
    - Barber Museum! Go! Nuff said.
    - The mighty Vespa 946 proved to be stone cold reliable and not once hiccuped or skipped a beat! Giusto!
    - Glympse! I'm going to get a little long winded on this topic. What a joy to share my trip virtually and in real time. I chose to do this for a couple of
    reasons. For safety, as I figured there would be a
    quite a few viewers that knew exactly where I was at should I need help. Many folks wrote me saying; hey! my brothers/dad/mom/etc lives right
    there. I know in my heart they would help or reach
    out if I needed it. What Glypmse manifested into was a whole different animal. I had on average 130 to 150 viewers tracking on my journey. They
    seemed to really enjoy being in the know in real time and somehow made my ride report more compelling. My loved ones adored being able to
    know where I was at and it gave them a little piece of mind in a small way. It's a free app, don't leave home without it!

    Jeers:
    - The lions share of the trip was in the pouring driving rain. We can't predict this stuff so all you can do is adapt and overcome, which I did. Mother
    Nature pounded me and Bella 3 of the 5 days I was on the road which drastically cut into my miles per day I wanted to achieve of 500 leaving lots
    of time to explore the BRPW.
    - Cancelling the whole BRPW. This was heart breaking as I hammered through so many areas I wanted to explore but didn't have the time so in a
    way I put all my eggs in one basket only to have
    Mother Nature smash the basket.
    - Food, I rarely got to enjoy a nice meal as by the time I got to the hotel there was not much near for restaurants. Again, I'm sure I'd reply
    differently if I got to ride the entire BRPW...
    - I'm not a fan of showing my mug on the 'net. If I do it's only to share a basic emotion that I'm experiencing.
    - On the last leg of the trip it was just drizzling and very windy. I got behind this one semi that I swear he veered off the road onto the rumble
    strips that had water pooled in each divot throwing
    spray on me. If I'm lying I'm dying this happened 50+ times.
    - The fleabag hotel... The next room over a dude was pounding his gal in a good way. The bad news is the headboard backed up to my wall. So I
    banged on the wall and yelled, "Hey! Move the bed back a little or hurry the f*** up and have a happy ending! My scooter and I are trying to
    rest!" I heard a soft conversation and they both busted out laughing. hehe

    Random thoughts:

    When I write about anything, ride reports, my builds, etc I just tend to write as it happens. To me you capture the feeling or tone of what's going on. If the situation is bad, tell it like it is. I can't stand reading anything that has been filtered and is full of unicorns pooping rainbows. Tell the truth and nothing but the truth. I try hard to provide documentation that supports what I'm seeing, feeling or experiencing. In essence, don't candy coat your reports, speak the truth and speak from your heart. Just my 2 cents...

    So in closing...

    Mea Culpa

    To all my friends that wanted to see the BRPW pictures. I tried my best and failed in epic fashion. With a little luck later on this summer I'll have another go with Bella.

    Eric

    Life is short, enjoy the ride!
  7. Gham

    Gham past expiration date Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,612
    Location:
    Auburn Hills,MI.
    Very nice RR, enjoyed the heck out of it!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    TM1(SS) and The Virginian like this.
  8. The Virginian

    The Virginian YouTube n00b Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,444
    Location:
    Spotsylvania, VA
    First off Klav, thank you for reading my adventure and I thoroughly enjoy your posts. You contribute to the forum on many levels and I appreciate your hard work.

    I'm not sure where Rocket City is and I'm assuming FL. If you can find your way to VA come ride both back to back and do a comparison (till the Smax sells). If you want to ride up we have a nice guest room with your own bathroom. Yes, I'm serious, go put a couple hundred miles on each.

    This is a tough one for me to answer. If you're practical, the Smax all day long. The motor out performs the Vespa inside and out. If ascetics are your cappuccino then the Vespa wins hands down. Here's my seat of the pants assessment.

    Yamaha:
    + Storage
    + Greater top speed, the 4V motor is amazing!
    + Stone cold reliability
    + 0 - 60 will leave the Vespa in the dust
    + Dealer network
    + Fuel fill up without popping the seat
    + Water cooled
    + Assuming 2016 or newer LED headlight, outstanding
    + Accessories are a lot less $$, i.e. top box, rear rack, hand warmers
    - Seat sucks
    - mpg is quite a bit less then the Vespa, don't use this RR as an example of mpg for the Vespa, I pushed it hard
    - Styling of the Smax is like most Japanese scoots these days, Transformers look.
    - Fit and finish compared to the Vespa
    - Leg room is horrible
    - front forks are dreadful to me

    Vespa 926
    + Style, just a beautiful scoot (subjective)
    + Air cooled, may be a benefit to some folks for simplicity
    + The 155cc Sprint has storage, my 946 has none
    + Fit and finish is amazing
    + Reliability? I put mine through the wringer and she stood tall, many others swear by them on this front, time will tell
    + Seat on the 946 is awesome, I can't reply about the Sprint
    + Handling and suspension, I give the nod to the Vespa, much more sure footed and very stable
    - Dealer network is very lack luster
    - Mine is slooooow but when it gets there it holds like a freight train, I suspect the Sprint to be much better as it weighs less
    - Cost of parts
    - Air cooled, may be a negative to other folks

    Fire away if you have anymore questions!

    Eric
    ClearwaterBMW, chulla10 and TM1(SS) like this.
  9. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    16,035
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    Thanks for the reply. The Rocket City is actually Huntsville, Al, the home of the US space and rocket programs:

    [​IMG]

    Your Vespa vs Smax are mostly what I have been thinking. I would get a Primevera or Sprint, not the 946 if I got one. I have ridden the Smax but never ridden any Vespa.

    I am planning my first small scooter trip in a few weeks. I am planning on riding part of the BRP on my Super 8 but I don't think I'll make it quite as far north as you are. I have been wanting to do a tour on my Super 8 for years but just never got around to it. I have vacation coming up and was trying to decide between a ride on my Versys or my scooter. I think this ride report is what made the decidsion for me.

    I did live in Bowie Md for three years so I know what the riding around you is like.
  10. BigKev72

    BigKev72 ANZAC

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,316
    Location:
    Waco, TX
    Great ride and ride report. Thanks for sharing with us.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The Virginian and Gham like this.
  11. Gham

    Gham past expiration date Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,612
    Location:
    Auburn Hills,MI.

    I agree completely,I'm really sorry this one is over.I think we were having more fun than he was :lol3
    The Virginian and klaviator like this.
  12. calmconviction

    calmconviction Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2015
    Oddometer:
    134
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Me too.. I was kinda hoping this would take longer for its entertainment value
    Gham and squonker like this.
  13. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,588
    Location:
    seal beach, ca.
    :beer:beer

    Just freakin amazing Eric, your journey, your photo's, your telling & writing ability!!

    That first round or five, will be on me!

    My wife and I have been lucky enough to visit Barber also, like you said, "Go, nuff said".

    Thanks for the "ride" Eric, and welcome home.
    ClearwaterBMW and The Virginian like this.
  14. The Virginian

    The Virginian YouTube n00b Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,444
    Location:
    Spotsylvania, VA
    I think it's imperative to share what gear worked and what did not under the circumstances that your journey put your gear through. So I'll share a few tips about my gear in hopes that it helps another traveler. I should mention that I'm cheap so I tend to buy last years stuff on close outs.

    Gear:

    Let's start with my helmet. The most crucial part of my gear to me. I'm a gear whore and have 8 helmets. Why did I choose my AGV for this trip? Simply put, it provided the most safety and the least noise levels that I've experienced. This particular helmet has about 75,000 miles on it and is getting tired. As it has never let me down it performed magnificently.

    This helmet is/was from their high end GT-Tech line, Pista GP is their new name for 2017 helmet line. Back then it was roughly $1,000 but I bought it on sale for $800. Also I'm a huge Rossi fan! So try to stick with the best fitting helmet brands that offer the best protection. Shoei, Arai, AGV, to name a few. Remember, it's all you have when your head hits the road at 70 mph.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    My jacket is a REV'IT! Shield Jacket. About $239 TMD, waterproof with minimal venting, pocket for back protector, attaches to my britches. It did it's job very well and was good choice for this trip. I stayed dry for roughly 8 hours of riding in the rain, after that water was creeping down my neck. It's cheap, waterproof and gets the job done. I'm not a fan of having membrane layers to zip in and out. It has a zip out liner for cold riding. This jacket is a very poor choice for summer/hot riding as it truly fails in the venting department. Fall-Winter-Spring is where it's at.
    https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/revit-shield-jacket
    [​IMG]

    My britches are REV'IT! Sands 2 on close out. These pants have gortex membrane, zip in thermal liner and armor. Yes, I hate the membrane but I just leave it in permanently and forget about it. It too has minimal venting. They stayed waterproof about the same time, 8 hours of driving hard rain. After that water started to seep into my crotch area from the belt line. I want to say I paid about $180 tmd. The pockets are not waterproof so beware what you place in them.
    [​IMG]

    My boots are el cheapo AeroMoto Renegade Waterproof Motorcycle Boots. At $69 U.S. they fall into the disposable category. Use them and toss them when they show signs of giving up the ghost. They are rock solid waterproof during all bad weather conditions. Seriously, these rock for the dollar!
    http://www.compacc.com/p/aeromoto-renegade-waterproof-motorcycle-boots
    [​IMG]

    My backpack is a Alpinestars Orbit Backpack. I didn't skimp her as I need it to be absolutely waterproof keeping my gear and electronics dry which it did flawlessly. It has a lip much like a dry bag that you fold over 3 times and snap it closed. I should mention the outside pockets are not waterproof. It house a bladder if hydration is your thing. It's not mine, if I'm thirsty I just pull over. I have no use for carrying heavy liquids on my back. It also comes with a laptop sleeve that Velcros inside. I didn't use it as the sleeve used up precious cargo space. Again, stone cold reliable under the worst of conditions. This will be my luggage when I travel on the XR.
    https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/alpinestars-orbit-backpack
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    When I long distance ride invariably my ass hurts bad. About the 2nd or 3rd day I switch to these britches. (not in the habit of showing my under britches but in the spirit of helping others) These help quite a bit and will net you a few more days of riding with a little less pain. Yes, you look like you have a load in your pants but what m/c gear doesn't make you like you have issues in one form or another? The key (to me) for underwear is no seams on your backside. Just replacing your normal under britches with no seam undies is a game changer. Check outdoor stores like REI or the like. This pair is made by Dainese and aren't made anymore. Bicycle shops have many options here as well.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    My intent was to take some short riding movies on the BRPW, I use a GoPro Hero Session. I paid $180 for mine but I've seen them cheaper. No movies this trip but maybe next one? Love this mini cam! Waterproof with no exoskeleton plastic case to waterproof it. It can be operated via your smartphone via Bluetooth. Here's a cheesy example of a quick clip I took last summer.


    Lastly my Kreiga US-20 Drybag. Wow, these bags just work on so many levels. It comes with all the attachments to attach to your bike or bike rack. Snap off and on with ease. 100% waterproof, very flexible as far as stacking other Kreiga packs on top or on the sides like luggage panniers. They make many sizes and this IS my go to bag for many years and has never ever failed. It's a bargain for $139. Get one, you won't regret it! If I had the OEM rack on the XR1200 I would have a US-30 ans a US-20 stacked for 50 liters of storage which is more than enough as I'm a minimalist traveler. I kept my MacBook air, all chargers, paperwork, and anything heavy in this bag filled to the brim. The bag cinches up like a compression sack.
    [​IMG]


    Mophie waterproof smartphone case. It's waterproof, fits my iPhone 6+, 70% more battery backup and just works. 99% of all my pics are done with my iPhone. It must be waterproof as its the only thing I keep in my pants or jacket because in case of an off items dig into your body as your tumbling and cause more damage to you. On sale $69 tmd.
    https://www.amazon.com/mophie-juice...93063293&sr=1-1&keywords=mophie+iphone+6+plus

    [​IMG]

    Ram ball mount. I have one on every bike I own and for $17 I can mount my nav, iPhone or camera using Products. They come with mant different length screws for your triple tree or in this case on Bella the mirror stem. Shop around, I usually get them for $12. I use an Ram x-claw to hold my phone.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005J43I56/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    [​IMG]

    Held Air N Dry Gloves, they work on many levels. Slip your hand under the membrane you have air gloves for hot days. Slip your hand in the waterproof top part of the glove and my hands stay dry all day. The squeegee on the index finger is a must have. I bet it used it 1,000 times this past week. $250
    https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/held-air-n-dry-gloves
    [​IMG]

    Lastly my TomTom Rider 400, I freaki'n love this thing. It pairs up to my phone, Tyre maps are so much easier (for me) to use then Garmin's basecamp. I can play my music, hear the nav and make changes on the fly. On this trip I did get some water condensation that I need to address with TomTom. We'll see how that goes...
    [​IMG]

    I normally carry a dock kit that I use for hunting and m/c trips. It's always ready to go but since to a fly and ride the airlines require all you liquids be in a clear plastic bag, this trip a Ziplock bag was my dock kit.
    [​IMG]

    Those are my cornerstones for traveling long distance, I hope it helps someone. The only other advice I have is use moisture wicking, quick drying shirts. They compress really small when packing, wash them in the sink and hang to dry, in the morning they're bone dry. You can do a trip carrying 2 shirts rotating. Catch the sales on leftovers from last year. Here's an example.
    https://www.rei.com/product/883145/nike-cool-fitted-t-shirt-mens
  15. TM1(SS)

    TM1(SS) Matthew 24:36, Ride today, ride now :-) Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Oddometer:
    537
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    Many thanks for taking the time to write the review of gear!!
    The Virginian likes this.
  16. luckner

    luckner Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Oddometer:
    34
    Location:
    Tandil, Argentina
    Hello!
    My congratulations for this amazing tour! As a scooter driver since so much years I recognize the effort of doing so much km, pitifull with mainly bad weather.
    Scooters were very well known in my country and through many years the only transportation device for the man that couldnt afford a car. As a fact, half of the two wheels mass where scooters until they where displaced by motorcycles. Starting in 1955 Vespa, Lambretta, Rumi, Iso, Puch, NSU and quasi handmade brands with Sachs engines dominated the streets. Cubic displacement were 125 and 150 cc, all smokers or two strokes. There is no way to compare them with the modern and technologic "Bellisima"!
    I learned to drive and performed my first voyages on a scooter. So, Eric, I rise my hat about your adventure!
    Kind regads,
    LUCKNER
    Gham and The Virginian like this.
  17. The Virginian

    The Virginian YouTube n00b Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,444
    Location:
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Luckner,

    Thanks for the kind words and welcome to ADV! We have a very active scooter forum in Battle Scooter, we sure hope you hang out there post some of your adventures and experiences from your side of the globe. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

    Eric
    TM1(SS) and Gham like this.
  18. calmconviction

    calmconviction Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2015
    Oddometer:
    134
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I couldn't agree more with this statement. I used to always wear jeans under my riding pants and just thought that a tired butt is the way of life. Now I only wear Under Armor or sweatpants as an underlayer and have ridden 12 hour days with minimal discomfort (well, relatively speaking). This also works for flying and driving. You look like trash but it's not like anyone will ever see you again at the airport/rest stops.
    The Virginian likes this.
  19. FAW3

    FAW3 Old wanderer

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,485
    Location:
    No.VA.
    Welcome home! A great ride report and gear review. I hope you travel again and let us follow along!
    The Virginian and klaviator like this.
  20. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    16,035
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    Watching the Glympse a few times I was really impressed by the speed you were going. On the interstate it showed speeds from 61 to 70 MPH for quite a while. I assume the Glympse uses GPS data and the speeds are accurate. Did you have the throttle pinned or was there still a little speed left in the mighty Italian speed machine? Either way, I think Vespa only claims a top speed of around 60.
    The Virginian likes this.