Solo Rider's Southeast Travels

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by SoloRider73, Jun 1, 2021.

  1. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

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    I'm planning to post most of my day trips for my personal remembrance and entertainment for anyone who cares to read.

    My current motorcycles are a 2019 Moto Guzzi V7 III and a 2020 Moto Guzzi V85TT.


    On Sunday 5/30/2021, I decided to take a long day ride on my V7. My ride had two purposes. First was to swing by Two Wheel of Suches campground and check it out. I've never camped at TWOS before and plan to camp there in a few weeks for the Italian bike weekend. The second purpose was to test out the V7 on a much longer ride. My longest rides on the V7 have been around 250 mile trips. I wanted to see how comfortable it would be on a long ride that included some long freeway portions.

    I decided to wear my summer jacket with it's internal rain liner thinking it would block the wind. I almost turned back to switch jackets as it was way too cold. I decided to tough it out thinking it would warm up quickly. Nope 6 hours later it finally warmed up enough.

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    I left Huntsville AL heading for Little River Canyon near Fort Payne AL. I didn't bother taking a new picture of the mushroom rock since I already have so many. So here is an older one.

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    Lots of nice scenery around the Canyon.

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    Doublehead Gap Road heading to Suches was really busy over the holiday weekend. When I pulled off the road, two cars stopped to ask me directions.

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    It was 3PM before I rolled into TWOS. TWOS had already closed for the day, but there were still a number of bikers sitting on the porch chatting.

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    A couple rode in on their Honda Groms. I'm sure Groms are fun to ride on the roads around TWOS.

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    I spent time chatting with some guys who admired my V7s perky jugs. They were very surprised when I told them how much I paid for my bike new. Everyone always thinks Moto Guzzi's are expensive given they are Italian, but the V7s can be had pretty reasonable if you don't mind buying a left over unit.

    I rode through the Ocoee area heading to Cleveland Tennessee where I got on I-75. I didn't stop except for gas on the way back to Huntsville so I didn't get any additional pictures.

    Overall the V7 did a great job. I really need to have the seat cushion upgraded as it gets rough after a few hours. On the freeway, the V7 did well. Running 75 - 80 mph didn't seem to stress the 750cc engine so I think it would be fine touring. My bike doesn't have any wind protection so running 80 mph does get tiring.

    I ended up with 496 miles in 12.5 hours for the day.
    #1
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  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Two Wheels of Suches, (and Two Wheels Only before that) has been one of my favorite places to ride since I first rode there from Florida in 1990. Let me know if you want suggestions for a good route to get there or good rides in the area.

    Good idea starting a thread to document your rides:thumb I'll be following along.
    #2
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  3. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

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    It’s been around 10 years since I had ridden a motorcycle in the area. I’ve never camped at TWOS but the place looks pretty nice. I’m always open to good roads to ride. One of my friends wife has a knack for finding good roads. Her method was look for the squiggly lines on the map. Worked well.
    #3
  4. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

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    I didn't get a chance to ride this weekend since I was busy Saturday and it rained most of the day Sunday.

    My wife came in from the garage on Saturday and asked why I would risk riding my V7 with tires so bad. See pics below. I had checked the tires before my last trip so I guess it wore down over the 500 mile loop.
    My only motorcycle activity over the weekend was buying new tires. All the cool kids on the V7 thread say the Conti Road Attack 3 are great tires. I went ahead and splurged, I'll give a review once they are installed.

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    #4
  5. chethro

    chethro Confidence is High

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    I could tell a positive difference with the RA3's. I think you will like them. I thought the front looked smaller than the same sized Sport demon, but they rode great.
    #5
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  6. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

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    If they are half as good as everyone says, I’ll be happy. What kind of mileage did you get out of your bike? I ended up with 5200 on my back tire which apparently is great for the demons. I also tend to ride mine until the belts are about or are showing.
    #6
  7. chethro

    chethro Confidence is High

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    I wore my rear Sport Demon out at 4000 miles, but mine wasn't down to the threads. :rofl I went to a rear Michelin Pilot Active until the front Demon wore out at 5000 miles and switched both to RA3's which I put another 2200 miles on before trading it in. There was no noticeable wear on either tire at that point.

    I liked the RA3's better in the wet and they stuck every bit as good in the dry as the Demons (which worked fine for me). Where they were better was in the ride. Like any bias vs radial tire the radial is just better. It was my first radial tire on a bike and I was skeptical, but they were really better. :D
    #7
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  8. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

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    I started out my weekend delivering my V7 to the dealer for a rear drive that is weeping oil and new tires. Luckily my dealer is only an hour and a half away from home so not as bad as some Moto Guzzi owners.

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    On Sunday I rode from Huntsville AL to my parents home in Dunlap TN. I've ridden up there a thousand times, so I'm always looking for a new more interesting way to get there.

    I rode from Huntsville to Stevenson AL and headed up the mountain. I had found a mostly gravel road called Orem Mountain road on a previous ride.

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    I've never seen a car on this road.

    Half way up, it appears that part of the bank had slid into the road. Cars could still get through, but it was a tight fit. After parking my bike in the soft gravels, I'm thinking a kick stand pad is in my future.

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    I always drive by Jim Oliver's Smoke House that recently burned to see if anything has changed. They are starting to clean up the location and it appears they are trying to revive at least a patio business.

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    Coming off the mountain is Daus mountain road. It drops me off about a half mile from my parents home. When I was a kid, the road was gravel. The road has been paved within the last 10 years.

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    When I pulled off to take a picture, a guy on a Honda XR650 stopped to see if I had issues. He lived near by and knew my Dad. His XR had been sitting for 6 years. He changed the oil and put fresh gas in it and had been riding it all day. I guess you can't kill a Honda.

    I came back the boring highway since I didn't want to get back after dark.
    #8
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  9. chethro

    chethro Confidence is High

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    Sux to hear about the V7. How many miles are on it?
    #9
  10. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

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    It has 6000 miles. The rear drive seals were changed at 3000 miles under warranty. It started weeping again at around 4000 miles. It’s still under warranty so I took it back in for repairs. The dealer said they would do a deeper dive for another cause. From reading Guzziology it appears the seal surface can become corroded on the small blocks.
    #10
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  11. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Got home from work yesterday. Told my wife that I needed to pack my V85TT for a weekend trip to the Italian bike weekend at Suches. She says yea, I think your motorcycle is leaking oil, but it doesn't look that bad. What?? So I go to the garage and sure enough there is oil on the floor. I started into a profanity laced diatribe since my V7 is currently being repaired for a rear drive weep.

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    After my rage subsided, I took the skid plate off and found the filter bolt was loose.

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    I tightened the bolt and cleaned up the oil. I took it for a 10 mile ride and didn't find any fresh oil. I topped it off with oil and all appears good. It currently has 3500 miles on it and the dealer did the 900 mile service. Not sure if the dealer didn't tighten it enough or if it worked loose. So after an exciting afternoon, I'm still on for my weekend trip.
    #11
  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    In case you are interested, my normal route to Suches:

    Go East on 565/72 to Scottsboro.
    34/40/117 to Mentone.

    Left on the Lookout MTN PKWY.
    R on Dougherty Gap RD
    R on HOG JOWL RD
    R on 193
    L on Shinbone Ridge.
    R on N. Chattanooga ST
    L on E villanow
    Straight on 136
    Stay on 136 for a long time.
    Left on Sunrise ridge/burnt MTN Rd.
    L on 52
    R on Rackley rd
    R on Roy Rd.
    R on doublehead Gap RD
    R on 60 to Suches.

    This is not the fastest route but it's a very good ride.
    #12
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  13. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

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    My plan was to leave early on Friday for the Italian bike weekend at Two Wheels of Suches. Some work items came up that I had to address, so I got a later start than anticipated. I ended up taking the interstate from Huntsville through Chattanooga. Apparently I have to relearn every couple of years that traveling through Chattanooga takes longer than backroads through Alabama and Georgia.

    I finally made it to Cleveland Tennessee and headed up the Ocoee.

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    Traffic around Ocoee was terrible. Seems everyone took the day off to go rafting. Many of the small towns along the way to Suches were packed as well. I finally made it in the afternoon. I setup camp and met Wavedog from the WildGuzzi site who was already setup.

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    Clint (Wavedog) has a Moto Guzzi California. He said he was going to park it behind his tent because it was old. But I think it has the right amount of patina for it's age.

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    Another rider from WildGuzzi Mike (MMRanch) showed up later. He has a V7 Stone similar to mine but his is setup for touring.

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    This was the first time I had camped at TWoS. I was impressed with the facilities.

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    Saturday morning, I took a ride up Blood Mountain with Mike before all the bike showed up. There were a lot of cars and bikes running the mountain, so I didn't take any pictures while riding. I did see 3 cars in the ditch waiting for tow trucks.

    When we got back, a lot of bikes had showed up.

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    I really think I need a Ducati Fasthouse. It looked even better in person. It had an obnoxious pipe on it.

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    A 1977 Morini 350.

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    Supposedly this is a rare Ducati, but I don't know much about Ducati heritage motorcycles.

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    Next was a tricked out Vespa ridden by a big guy who went by the name DJ Tiny. He had an obnoxiously loud pipe on his Vespa.

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    Of all the bikes, the next one is the only bike that cleared the porch. Everyone walked down to get a better view of it. The bike was a new MV Agusta Rush. It still had the temporary tag. A professional cameraman showed up and was taking pictures of the bike and rider. I'm thinking that I need my own professional cameraman for my Guzzi.

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    It rained early Sunday morning, so I decided to leave as soon as the rain stopped. I decided to use @klaviator suggested route on the trip back to Huntsville.

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    Overall, I had a great time.
    #13
  14. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I talked to my buddy Steve. He was there and said he talked to you. He also said something about you photobombing the pic he took of DJ Tiny:lol3

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    #14
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  15. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Steve was in the picture I took of the Vespa. Look at the two guys talking in the background. I guess we are even
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  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    You are right:lol3
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  17. Raptorman

    Raptorman Retired Raptor Keeper

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    Ronnie, Great to see you at TWoS! Funny that we photo bombed each other. :freaky The guy I was talking to is Rocket Rex from Madisonville, TN. He's quite a rider and has many bikes. A while back I happened upon him on my DL1000 on TN30 near Reliance, TN. Once he saw me he took off like a "rocket" on his '72 SL350. I stayed with him for a while until it got really twisty and he was gone. He waited for me at US64 and we exchanged thumbs ups. :thumbup:thumbup Interesting guy no doubt. I look forward to riding with you again in the AL-TN area when I visit Win. :p3rry
    #17
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  18. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

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    I spoke with Rocket Rex later in the day. Learned a lot about Honda SL motorcycles in a short period of time.
    #18
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  19. Raptorman

    Raptorman Retired Raptor Keeper

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    Amen! He's an old school rider with serious skills and is a book of infinite knowledge! :devildog
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  20. SoloRider73

    SoloRider73 Been here awhile Supporter

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    So with the holiday weekend, I decided that I needed to take a ride with 3 days off work. I use Spotwalla to track my rides for the year, so I decided to review my rides. I noticed that most of my riding had been around Huntsville. I've worn out my local rides, so I wanted to go somewhere different.

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    Reviewing the map, I looked for somewhere within 5 hours ride that I hadn't been before. I fixated on north west Tennessee. I've never been to Reelfoot Lake, so the destination was set. To make it more interesting, I decided to circle through Land Between the Lakes which is on the Tennessee Kentucky border.

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    I didn't leave until 8AM, which is late for me given how far I was expecting to ride. There wasn't that much to see on the way, but I did cross the Tennessee river as it flows north.

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    I did find a Famous Chinese Restaurant in Lexington TN that I had never heard of, which is weird given it's famous.

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    Reelfoot lake is in a very rural part of Tennessee. Other than boat ramps, I really didn't find any parks to have lunch. I didn't ride around the lake, so I may have missed one. I ended up riding some roads close to the lake.

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    Really swampy in the area.

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    When I ride solo, I normally pack a lunch since I don't really like eating out solo. I found a shady spot near a boat ramp where I had my lunch.

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    After leaving Reelfoot lake, I heading into Kentucky. My first stop was Hickman KY. It's a small but interesting town. They have a concrete wall with murals that I assume were paid for by locals. I noticed that people were driving through the wall, so I followed. The wall is used to block the Mississippi water from entering the town if it floods.

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    I was riding through Mayfield KY and saw this mural. Given the 4th of July holiday, it seemed appropriate.

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    Riding into Land Between the Lakes.

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    As I rode across the bridge, I noticed willow flies had swarmed the whole bridge. Notice all the brown on the concrete on the right. I've always seen them on trees close to the water.

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    I took a trek off the main road, which included some gravel roads. I noticed that there are a lot of cemeteries in the area.

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    It was pretty quiet given the holiday weekend. It was just me and these two cleanup guys.

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    Overall it was a good ride without much traffic. I rode the freeway back as I didn't want to ride after dark. I ended up with 12 hours and ~550 miles for the day. I plan to go back to Land Between the Lakes to do some more exploring. The bike did great, but does have quite a bit of engine heat on a hot day. My only complaint with the bike is the fuel economy drops significantly above 75mph. It drops from high 40s to low 30s above 75mph.
    #20
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