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Super Cubbing Southbound

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Wiener Patrol, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. Wiener Patrol

    Wiener Patrol Adventurer Supporter

    Jun 12, 2013
    Texas and Wisconsin
    Epic ride? I question my judgement for even considering posting this report here. I’m not going RTW. I’m not crossing international borders. I’m not riding some famous off-road trail. I’m not even riding anything remotely near an ADV bike. I’m riding a Honda Super Cub C125 1600 miles from northern Wisconsin to the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. The only things pushing this ride over a week as required by our official epic rules are the Cub’s slow speed and my sore butt. I know, I know, go read about Nathan the Postman and his truly epic rides; the size and speed of his postie didn’t make it any less epic. But I still feel like a poser. Oh, well.

    Here’s the story on how I got here. For many years my wife and I escaped the summer heat of Texas to vacation at a boat we kept on Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. After I retired in April 2019, we planned to spend our entire summer up north. I took that opportunity to ride my 2007 Triumph Bonneville from our home near Dallas to our location in Racine, Wisconsin. Unfortunately, a mechanical break down in Joplin, Missouri forced me to ship the Bonnie back to Dallas and spend the summer of 2019 without a bike.

    While things were going well in 2019.


    As 2020 approached, I started the planning to ride my 2016 Vespa GTS 300 again from Dallas, but to our new location in Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin. Thanks to covid and all of the uncertainty of a multi-day trip, quarantines, closed motorcycle shops, closed restaurants and hotels in May, I drove the car up instead.

    I was pretty bummed, because while it doesn’t have the canyon carving of Utah, Wisconsin is full of scenic roads and interesting rides. With my 60th birthday approaching, I bought myself a present of a new 2020 Honda Super Cub from a dealer near Green Bay. I’ve loved every minute with it and have already logged over 2800 miles. Of course it’s slow, underpowered, has limited fuel capacity and is designed for nostalgic old farts. Therefore it’s perfect to ride the 1600 miles back to Texas.

    The Cub in Peninsula State Park in Door County.


    I’ve done a 2000 mile loop on the Triumph through Louisiana to Natchez, over the Trace, up into Kentucky and back through Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. I also rode the backroads through Texas and New Mexico to Phoenix and back, so I have planned similar long distance trips before. But dang, this one will be with the minimal amount of gear and at a top speed most likely in the 45-50 mph range. My plan is to spread out the mileage over nine riding days to barely qualify as an “epic” ride.

    West Texas


    I love New Mexico.


    Furkot is my friend. I just know that it works for me, and there are dozens of other trip planners out there. What is unique this time, is that I have no time demands on my schedule. So what if I run at 40 mph? I can take all of the time that I want, and that’s going to be my deepest personal challenge. I need to stop and smell the roses. I need to experience all aspects of this adventure and not just the ride. I need to take more photos so one day in the far future my grandchildren say, “can you believe what Pops did?”

    The route.




    I have only a few requirements. I want to drive along three of Wisconsin’s ‘Rustic Roads’ on my way south. The Rustic Roads program is run by their DOT and their website includes a Rustic Roads Motorcycle Tour awards program. The site states:

    “Rustic Roads are ideal for leisurely motorcycle riding. Wisconsin has a large system of lightly-traveled asphalt or gravel roads highlighting the state's natural beauty. Presently, Wisconsin has 122 marked Rustic Roads covering over 740 miles in 61 counties.

    Travel at least 10 of these roads and you'll be eligible for a Rustic Roads Motorcycle Tour patch. Travel on 25 Rustic Roads or more qualifies you for a special state certificate.

    To verify participation, have your picture taken with your bike in front of the Rustic Road numbered sign. If solo, just your bike needs to be in front of the numbered sign.”

    I have 8, and while I really don’t care about the patch, some of these roads have been very cool. Give it a look if you are ever in Wisconsin.


    A short section of packed gravel.


    My second requirement is to visit an old fraternity brother in suburban Milwaukee. Next is to visit my granddaughters in Indianapolis. Finally, I want to visit my Uncles and a family gravesite in Kentucky. None of these have a date or time commitment other than an estimated arrival in Furkot.

    Super Cub.

    The Cub will be almost entirely stock. I’m running on the original IRC tires. Maybe they aren’t the grippiest, but I do like their versitality. I’ve had them on several packed dirt and gravel roads, and they perform surprisingly well. I don’t know how true this is, but I have read that when Mr. Honda created the Cub, he had to convince IRC to make the unusual sizes it required. What most forget is that a majority of roads in Japan were unpaved at the time, so the original tire design included light off road capabilities. I’ve ridden them over some well packed dirt and fine gravel roads this summer, and they weren’t bad. I figure the rear will be near spent by the time I get to Indy. Won’t really use the Cub off road (a Hunter/Trail Cub in my future?), so I had a set of Michelin Pilot Street 2s sent to my son’s house. I think I will appreciate the dry and wet performance of the new tires as I move south.

    I purchased all of my own gear and have no interest in any of these vendors. These are just my choices, so don’t take any of this as some kind of expert gospel. I installed the Honda OEM rear rack and a pair of Kijima side bag supports that I purchased from Webike in Japan. If I did it again, I’d do the Kijima rack too for its greater size. The side bags are Kappa brand that I ordered from Chromeburner in the Netherlands. My top bag, an Ogio Aquatech, literally just fell apart at the seams. I’ll try out an Oxford Aqua T-30 for the first time on this trip. I have a single Ram mount for an old iPhone 6 that I use solely for navigation. I don’t have a power port, but I’ve found that a few cheap rechargeable battery packs are enough to keep me charged during a long ride. I take my route off of Furkot and download it as a track to Maps.me. I’ve always been good at navigation and never use turn by turn functionality. Plus, I’ve found that if you plan more obscure roads and download as a route, almost all nav apps will do rerouting and you waste time cleaning it up.
  2. V0R2G0

    V0R2G0 Been here awhile

    May 30, 2016
    Vancouver Island
    Subscribed. Enjoy the ride. It looks exactly what I'd like to do right now in the middle of a messy business breakup full of accountants lawyers and the tax man. Looking forward to your report. Cheers
    Chillis likes this.
  3. Migolito

    Migolito Prognosticator and MotoYogi

    Nov 6, 2011
    Chillis likes this.
  4. Kyron

    Kyron Oncler Inds

    Jun 11, 2007
    Phoenix Arizona ATR > Pacifica Ca PMA
    Very cool !
    Chillis likes this.
  5. black 8

    black 8 motographer

    Dec 11, 2016
    33.202738 -117.384040
    Chillis likes this.
  6. JLA49

    JLA49 Adventurer Supporter

    Jan 19, 2014
    I'm in.
  7. MongoLikeCandy

    MongoLikeCandy Long timer

    May 24, 2020
    los angeles
    You can always pretend that you're these people here

    CharlestonADV likes this.
  8. Wiener Patrol

    Wiener Patrol Adventurer Supporter

    Jun 12, 2013
    Texas and Wisconsin
    Sorry about that. A business breakup is just as bad as a divorce. Only the accountants, lawyers, and tax men win.
    dp064 likes this.
  9. Wiener Patrol

    Wiener Patrol Adventurer Supporter

    Jun 12, 2013
    Texas and Wisconsin
    I love this series.
    MongoLikeCandy likes this.
  10. Wiener Patrol

    Wiener Patrol Adventurer Supporter

    Jun 12, 2013
    Texas and Wisconsin
    My personal gear.

    I left all of my gear at home in Texas, but I had one of my sons ship the basics to me here in Wisconsin. (BTW, UPS was expensive, slow and missed their estimated delivery date by a significant amount. On the other hand, my international shipments from the Netherlands on DHL were way faster and far more affordably priced.)

    The timing on my gear shipment was never going to line up with the delivery of the cub, so I needed to get a helmet up here. Fortunately, Team Motorsports had a clearance on a Kabuto full face. My summer jet style scooter helmet was in the shipment, but I knew I would need something much warmer for the trip in early October. I knew nothing about Kabuto and the style looks far more street racer than appropriate for the cub, but the fit was amazing. It also has great aerodynamics and flows a lot of air. The visor mechanism could use some re-engineering however. I learned later that Kabuto is the third largest helmet manufacturer in Japan after Arai and Shoei. At least it has a good Honda inspired paint scheme.


    My packing list:

    No noise earplugs
    Warm and cold weather buffs
    Revit Air jacket
    LL Bean primaloft jacket as a cold weather liner
    Revit Sand 3 gloves
    Odin MFG winter gloves
    Taichi rain gloves
    Sliders kevlar jeans
    Revit waterproof over pants
    Alpine stars goretex boots
    Goretex rain jacket also used as windbreaker.
    2L hydration pack
    Two shirts
    Two underwear
    One longjohns
    One padded bicycle underwear
    Flip flops
    Tool bag with tire plug kit
    Hand air pump
    Lysol & wipes
    Gym shorts
    Two pair boot socks
    Navigation iPhone
    IPhone and iPad
    Four battery packs
    Spare battery for key fob
    Chain lube
    Face shield cleaner and rag
    MSR bottle

    Time, age and experience have taught me that I prefer a cheap motel to camping. As such, I do not plan to bring any camping gear. With the size and weight limits on the Cub, this is the better choice anyway. However, I do hesitate because of covid. It would at least be more socially distant to camp out away from others. I’ll stay open to the idea and I can always get “it’ll have to do gear” at a Walmart along the way.

    Why do I ride? We’ve all seen or read the accounts of how motorcycle riding is thereputic or deeply meditative. Others cite the unique connection to machine and road, that “oneness” you feel when everything clicks just right. For many it’s the sense of community with others who share your passion. Pirsig used it as a means of exploring philosophical concepts. At the other end of the spectrum, we cannot dismiss those for whom the motorcycle is simply an efficient means of transportation. For most on this site, it is the best means for exploration and adventure. The motorcycle as the viking ship of our day.

    That’s me. I’m going a’ viking without the mahem or the pillaging. Or the battle axe. Or the beautiful shield maidens. One can always hope.

    During the final eight years before retirement, I commuted every day on a Vespa. (A GT 200 and GTS 300). One day a very high ranking executive was holding a reception at his home and asked me jokingly when I arrived on the Vespa whether it was a political statement. I laughed and replied that I rode because it kept me focused and emotionally balanced. To ride well and safely in city commuter traffic required both. It was too easy and too common to either zone out or drive angry in a car. Anyway, tommorow we start. A weather window is open in these last few days of Indian Summer. In the meantime, here are some photos from my summer rides.

    Sturgeon Bay is home to one of the largest shipyards on the Great Lakes. Many large lakers lay up here over the winter too.


    Lambeau Field


    Cave Point on the Lake Michigan shore.


    I really don’t know the story behind this place in the middle of Door County.

  11. simondippenhall

    simondippenhall Simondippenhall

    Apr 19, 2006
    Hampshire, England
    Safe travels. I will be following (in spirit).
  12. Wiener Patrol

    Wiener Patrol Adventurer Supporter

    Jun 12, 2013
    Texas and Wisconsin
    Day 1. Roll out the barrel - Sturgeon Bay to West Allis. Today was a mix of familiar and new roads. I started with my normal coffee, toilet, breakfast routine and was able to get on the road by 8:10. My route was secondary and back roads mostly along Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan coast. The day started clear and humid after the nights rain with a comfortable 60s. I started by wearing moderate layers as the forecast was for mid to upper 70s during the day. It worked well as I never felt cold while avoiding sweating. One thing that is hard to describe is the impact that Lake Michigan has on the local weather. During the warmer months, pretty much every forecast is qualified by ‘cooler by the Lake.’ The trick is how much is cooler and how close is by. By ten o’clock I was able to shed layers. Algoma, Kewaunee, Two Rivers, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Belgium, Port Washington, Grafton, Cedarburg, and suburban Milwaukee to end in West Allis for the night. Arrived at 3:00.

    Just before departing.

    My battle axe! This place is outside of Two Rivers. Now where is the shield maiden bar?


    These are fishing tugs at a museum in Two Rivers. You can still find a few working on the lake.


    The Wisconsin Maritime Museum is a must see in Manitowoc. It’s impressive in both size and scope, and it has a wonderful collection of ship models. It is also home to the USS Cobia, a Gato class submarine from WW2. Manitowoc had a sustantial ship building industry and quickly began building subs for the US Navy. They would complete the subs, except for the periscopes. With the reduced height, they could ship the subs via barge down the Illinois river system, to the Mississippi and complete the periscope installation in New Orleans. The Navy took the subs through the Panama Canal and they joined the Pacific fleet.


    Manitowoc is also home to the Badger, one of two cross Lake Michigan ferries. It is a good way to avoid the traffic around the south end around Chicago. The other high speed ferry is based in Milwaukee.

    If you are into space exploration, Manitowoc lays claim to the crash site of the Soviet Sputnik IV. Some sources incorrectly confuse it with the first Sputnik, but the plaque gets it right.


    Port Washington is a neat little town on the Lake. We’ve stayed there several times in their nice marina, and weekends are full of Harleys taking their pillions to the shops. They do have one of the few Duluth Trading retail stores for the guys. Stopped for lunch here.


    Food porn. Rib tips and Mac & cheese.


    Pecan bar from bakery two doors down.


    Milwaukee. King of the American drinking towns. No lushes in Wisconsin, just professionals. And the drinking goes beyond beer. There are restaurants throughout Wisconsin known as Supper Clubs. Imagine the 1950s and you won’t be far off. A Wisconsin Old Fashioned (made with brandy in lieu of bourbon) to start. Prime rib for dinner. Grasshoppers and Brandy Alexanders for dessert. Frank, Dino and Sammy as background music. Makes you realize dad or gramps were cooler and hipper than the man bunned hipster of recent vintage could ever hope to be.


    A nice short Rustic Road.


    Here’s what it turned into.


    It turned out to be a perfect day. Great weather, lite traffic and interesting sites. More importantly, I learned something. Even though I put on a lot of miles before this trip, I was concerned about how this little bike would handle a ‘big’ trip. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The bike isn’t the issue. I’m the issue. Adjust your driving to the capabilities of the bike and your can go anywhere. Just get out and ride.
  13. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

    Jul 20, 2009
    South Louisiana
    :lurk In
    Chillis likes this.
  14. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

    May 30, 2010
    seal beach, ca.

    All the best with this latest ADVenture!

    (psst, I'm telling my friends to tune in)
  15. steved57

    steved57 Been here awhile Supporter

    Dec 31, 2007
    East Texas
    This looks great - I'm in and looking forward to more
    Wiener Patrol and Chillis like this.
  16. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Nov 27, 2009
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Small bike on the road? I'm in. :rayof
  17. LovelyNancy

    LovelyNancy n00b

    May 26, 2020
    Santa Monica, CA
    I’m thoroughly enjoying this
    I am a new member with a Honda Monkey.
    It gives hope to my dream of doing something like this someday.
  18. dp064

    dp064 Been here awhile Supporter

    Nov 11, 2019
    In.. be safe!
    Wiener Patrol likes this.
  19. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Mar 11, 2008
    what a great looking bike!
    Wiener Patrol and Rusty J like this.
  20. Migolito

    Migolito Prognosticator and MotoYogi

    Nov 6, 2011
    Whats the blue funnel for...? Nevermind, we gotta keep some things a mystery. Great read, excellent photos.
    bluestuff68 and dp064 like this.