You Only Live Twice

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by klaviator, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. MYUMPH

    MYUMPH 'Ol Timer

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    klav, I've really enjoyed reading this entire thread and getting to see so many places you shared in pictures across the country and entire world! and the stories that went along with them.:clap
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  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. It was a lot of work putting this together but very worth it to me to preserve some of my best memories. Someday I'll take more recent highlights and add them to the end of this report.

    I was expecting to have to re build the first half of this report due to the Photo Bucket fiasco but so far my pictures continue to show up and without that obnoxious "proudly hosted on photobucket" logo ruining the pictures.
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  3. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Time to add a little more to the report. In May of 2017 I took a trip that was a real milestone for me. It was also posted on Photobucket shortly before they screwed so many people and I decided to switch to SmugMug.

    I had always been fascinated with the ride reports I had read here that involved taking long trips on tiny bikes. I had wanted to try it myself for years but never got around to it. I decided that this was the time and that it would be appropriate to do it on my Super 8, my first scooter and the bike that really got me into tiny bikes. I planned on replacing the S8 soon so it was now or never to do it on this scooter.

    I had a week of vacation but used the first few days to go to North Georgia in the cage with my wife and spend some time with family. That would leave me with 5 days for this trip.

    Before going on this trip I needed to address a few issues with the S-8. First was the small gas tank. 1.3 gallons and around 70 MPG was not good for going all that far. Add to that the inop gas gauge and the fact that the S8 has no trip odometer. I was planning on riding part of the BRP which has few gas stations. So I got a small cooler just big enough to hold a 1 gallon gas can and velcroed it to the floorboards.

    The next issue was the fuel filler under the seat. I figured out that I could bungee a small dry bag directly to the seat so that I could raise it without having to take it of and put it back on every time I got gas.

    The small bag on the bungee hook holds my Sony camera. I would carry my Olympus hanging from a strap around my neck. Here's the S8 ready to go.

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  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Early Wednesday morning I got on the road. To save time I had the S8 in the back of the Avalanche which I drove to Cherohala Mountain Trails Campground near Tellico Plains. There I unloaded the scooter and headed off. I had arranged to leave my truck there.

    I rode through Telloco Plains and over the Cherohala Skyway. I have ridden this road so many times I didn't feel the need to take a bunch of pics. Just this one to show I was there.

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    Then it was 143 to Robbinsville and 129 and 19 to Wayah RD.

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    When I got to the turnoff to the gravel road up to the top of Wayah Bald I decided that to make this a bit more of an adventure I needed to get off the pavement some. Besides, I hadn't been up there in years. I think the last time was on my XT350.

    So I rode to the parking lot at the top then did a short hike to the observation tower.

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    A shot of my S8 with the Franklin airport off in the distance.

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    Then it was time to ride back down. Just to show what this road was like. Gravel and extremely curvy. If they ever pave this it will make the dragon seem easy.

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  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Riding up Wayah Bald was fun but it put me behind schedule. My destination for that day was Asheville where I had a reservation at the Red Roof Inn. I rode through Franklin and then took 28/64 to Highlands. 28 between Franklin and Highlands is a fantastic road with great curves and incredible scenery. I was in a hurry but still stopped to take some pictures.

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    One of my favorite picture spots.

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    I couldn't resist the next pic. I still really like the styling of the S8. I have a thing for black&red bikes.

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    After this last pic I really needed to hurry. I took 65 to 215 to the BRP. Once on the BRP I stopped a couple of times for pics.

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    I rode down 151 towards Asheville and nearly met a squid head on as he was in my lane trying to cut a corner:asshat. I think maybe he was having trouble keeping up with his buddies.....or maybe just has bad riding habits. He saw me and swerved back into his lane. 151, for those of you unfamiliar, is a fantastic twisty road.

    I got to the Motel just before dark. Once I got there I recognized it. I think I stayed there around 20 years earlier on when riding the area on my EX500. I got the room through one of those internet sites for around 60 bucks. It turned out to be a nice place with a bunch of restaurants withing easy walking distance. I asked the lady at the front desk what the rate would be if I had just showed up and asked for a room. She said about double what I paid!

    I'd stay there again if I wanted to stay in the Asheville area.
  6. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Before I left on this trip I had planned ahead on lodging for the first and last nights. I left everything in between up in the air. The weather forecast for this week wasn't that great so I figured I'd try to plan around the weather during the trip. While in Asheville I made a plan for the rest of the week that would hopefully keep me out of the rain as much as possible.

    I got up Thursday morning and headed through town on my way back to the BRP. Asheville seemed like an interesting town. Someday I need to go and spend some more time there and explore it a bit. I did a bit of unexpected exploring that morning as I missed a turn and got a bit lost.

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    I rode past a scooter shop so I pulled a u turn and went back to check it out.

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    I talked to the owner. He said his business was mostly cheap Chinese scooter owned by drunks. North Carolina allows people to ride 50cc scooters without a license. He said most of these scooter riders lost their licenses and rode scooters only because they needed them for transportation. They also wanted scooters that were cheap. A Vespa shop opened in Asheville opened up and it only lasted about 6 months.

    Too bad. Scooters are really cool but around here they had a reputation as "Liquor Cycles". I'm sure a lot of people saw me on my tiny scooter and assumed I was another drunk.

    A view inside the shop.

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    The owner gave me directions to get me to the BRP.

    It wasn't a picture perfect day but it was still a nice day to be out riding and the BRP is always fun.

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    For the most part the S8 was great for this road although it would occasionally bog down to less than the 45 MPH speed limit on the steeper hills.

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  7. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Looks like you found the seedier side of Asheville, maybe try the much larger yuppieville part next trip? :lol2
    Lots of great rural roads N of Asheville that are much less touristy than in the other directions. Thanks for the pics.
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  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Seedy side of town? It didn't seem that seedy to me but then I do live in Alabama:lol3
  9. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    I guess I was taking the likker scooters thing a bit too far? Having a N AL DIL I tend to play that card now and then as a retort to this & that KY BS talk.
    I usually play it safe and say is that behavior from Lower AL or Northern AL? so it becomes less of a putdown.
    Now, back to planning a trip to Ecuador on a PTW! :nod
  10. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    My destination for that night was not that far away so I had plenty of time to stop and check stuff out. This was an easy stop right on the BRP.

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    While I was taking these pics a couple of riders on BMWs stopped. It turns out they were also from Alabama. I didn't get any pics of them.

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    My next stop was a bit more of a detour.

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    I had been here before but it had been many years.

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    I had plenty of time and needed some exercise so I walked to the top.

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    Nice view from up here.

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  11. MYUMPH

    MYUMPH 'Ol Timer

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    Always love the smell of the trees going up MM. I remember seeing Biltmore and Winston Salem from up there I believe?
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  12. Nice Goat

    Nice Goat higher is better

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    I love this shot:
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  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    That's one of my favorite shots from the trip. I took the picture from a pretty good distance back and zoomed way in to get that effect.


    After that I got back on the BRP and rode. I'm don't remember why I stopped at this spot but I'm thinking that maybe this one of the two times I used some gas from my gas can.

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    Then again, maybe my butt just needed a break. The S8 is very comfortable around town but the seat sucks on longer rides.

    When I got to 80 I got off the BRP. 80 is a fantastic curvy road.

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    I only went a short way then turned around. I don't know why I didn't go to the bottom of the mountain and come back up 226a. That's a fantastic loop.

    My next stop was for lunch in Little Switzerland.

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    After lunch I rode 226s east to 226 where I got back on the BRP. There are a few interesting looking motels on 226a. This was one.

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  14. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    For most of my riding years I would just ride and ride past interesting places without stopping. A few years ago I started taking the time to stop and I definitely did that on this trip. I took a detour to go see Linville Falls. I found a parking area and hiked down to the falls. One of the reason I often didn't do this kind of thing in the past because I didn't want to just leave all my stuff unattended on my bike. With the scooter much of my stuff was under the seat, in the tail box or locked to the bike with a cable.

    I think the hike was around a half a mile, uphill both ways of course:lol3

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    Pretty cool but I was expecting a bigger falls. I found out later that I missed the main falls. I guess I'll have to go back some day.

    I hiked back and then got back on the Parkway.

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    I got to the town of Blowing Rock pretty early. It was only 140 miles to get here but I was ready for a break. When researching a place to spend the night I found this town and I pictured a really remote town way up on a mountain. What I found was a pretty but upscale yuppie town just on the other side of the BRP from the much larger town of Boone NC. I checked into the Alpine Village Inn, an older but well maintained motel a block form the heart of town.

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    The room was small but very nice. $79 per night was around the most expensive motel of the trip but this was an upscale tourist location.

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    I went walking around town.

    Some shops full of expensive stuff. Debbi would probably love this place. I didn't go into any of the shops.

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    Nice vintage Jag.

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    There where a lot of cool old places.

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  15. MYUMPH

    MYUMPH 'Ol Timer

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    Hiking and cruising on 2 wheels in the mountains is as good as it gets for me, and thanks to wonderful RR's like this I hope to have my 1st scooter soon to try these trips on. Thanks Klav!
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  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    While walking around town I checked out the local restaurants. They were upscale places with high prices. I'm not really into $15 burgers. I prefer more homestyle, and healthy food and besides that, I'm cheap:D So I decided to head over to Boone for dinner. It was still early so I had time for some exploring. I got on the main road over to Boone and once I crossed the BRP I got off on some side roads. This was the type of riding where a small scooter really excels. These were rural residential roads. They were very hilly and twisty as hell. They were not suitable for high speed sport riding and a bike like my Versys would have been complete overkill. They were twisty enough to still be a blast at lower speeds. So i rode around for maybe 30-40 minutes before riding into Boone. The only Picture I got was this ski area.

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    Boone had a lot of traffic and was quite a change from the riding I had been doing all day. I ate dinner at Applebees (If I remember correctly) and then got back on the scooter and headed back towards Blowing Rock. The sun would soon be setting so I headed North on the BRP looking for a good spot to catch the sunset. I found a spot and took a bunch of pics. It was hard to decide which pic came out the best so here's a couple.

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    Then it was back to my motel.

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  17. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    I rode through most of this area in November-back when it was nice & leaves in color...
    By going to : www.visitvirginiamountains.com you'll see these routes and more. A toll free call or a contact message and they'll (Smyth County, VA) send you colored paper maps of all the routes in that area. There are indeed some dandies over there! One can ride many a number of different several hundred mile days trips from Marion, VA general area and return to same lodging or connect the dots and also ride the BRP, part or all.

    Great pics! Thanks
  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I had a plan for Friday. I would ride the BRP back to 226a or 80 and then head towards Chimney Rock on one of those fantastic roads. It was a great plan until I got up and looked outside.

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    Well I had ridden in the rain before and I had places to go......so I went.

    It wasn't bad at first since it was just a light rain. Then I went up in elevation.

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    Riding the BRP all the way to 226a or 80 wasn't going to happen. I got off on 221 and headed south and to lower elevations. 221 is a nice ride for a few miles and then turns into a boring 4 lane. Then it was right on 70 which isn't a bad road. Speed limits on these roads were high enough that I was running close to top speed much of the time. I stopped in Old Fort and had an early lunch at Subway. I had a granola bar for breakfast that morning so I was hungry. Then I picked up Bat Cave road. This could be a really awesome road to rival the dragon except that the best part had gravel all over the curves:( Then it was 9 and 64 to Chimney Rock.

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    I got to my motel in Chimney Rock around 11:30. It was kind of early to check in and the weather was gloomy but dry so I headed out to get in some riding before the rain moved in. My first destination was about a half hour away. What was my destination? How about a 2.3 mile Gymkhana course?

    I rode by Lake Lure.

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    Then I rode some back roads for maybe 30 minutes before getting to my destination.

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    2.3 miles of non stop super tight and steep hairpin curves.

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    I had ridden this road before on my KLR and Versys but it was more fun on the S8. A Grom or Z125 would be great on this road.

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    The curves seem tighter and steeper in real life than it the pictures show. When I rode this the first time on my KLR I remember riding some of these curves in first gear and feathering the clutch.

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    I rode up and down these curves a few times. I was having a blast:ricky:ricky:ricky

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    I took a break because I needed gas so I headed off to a nearby town to get gas. By the time I got back it had started raining:(. I had planned to ride up and down a few more times before heading off to another nearby road that is nearly as steep and twisty as this one but much longer and more scenic. I guess I would just have to come back here another time.
  19. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    In case anyone was wondering about that road with all the curves:

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    I doubt it will ever become real popular. No T shirts, no photographers and way to tight for most riders. I'm sure there are a lot of riders out there who would shit their pants if they accidently found themselves on that road.

    Since it was raining I headed back to the motel where I checked in and unloaded my stuff. It was another old but well maintained place. Like the motel in Blowing Rock it had small rooms. It wasn't quite as nice but it also cost less.

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    I had been to Lake Lure a few times in the past but never stopped and explored. Since it had stopped raining I headed back out to do that. Of course as soon as I headed out it started raining again.:dunno I continued on anyway. What I found was that there really wasn't that much lake access. It's mostly a residential area but the roads are all super twisty and were fun even in the rain.

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    Back at the Motel.

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    There were some places to eat within walking distance but they were closed. I guess it wasn't tourist season yet:dunno

    So I got back on the scooter and rode to "downtown" Lake Lure and ate at an Italian place.
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  20. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    When I woke up the next morning and looked outside this was the view.

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    So I wasn't in a big rush to get on the road. I had some roads to ride and dry roads are just more fun. I took Alt 74 towards Asheville. I had ridden this road before but had forgotten what a great road it was:ricky:ricky

    It was a great ride but I was having too much fun to stop and take any pics. Eventually it just turned into a straight boring road but it got me to the BRP which I took a short ways before getting off to get something to eat and check out this MR Motorcycle, claimed to be the largest in the area. It was a pretty big dealer with a lot of stuff but I didn't see anything I needed.

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    Then it was back to the BRP. While I prefer nice sunny days, the clouds on this day did make for some interesting pictures. Since my destination wasn't far away I had plenty of time to stop and take pictures and enjoy the views.

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    Using the dramatic mode on my camera.

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    The contrast between my S8 and a more typical bike found on the BRP.

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    The BRP really is an amazing road. It can be frustrating when clogged with slow moving cages (and some bikes) but I was really enjoying it on my little scooter. If I got stuck behind slow moving traffic I just stopped at the first overlook and looked for some photo opportunities.

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    Being by myself also allowed me to stop more often. It would be fun to ride this sometime with some other riders on tiny bikes who liked to stop for pictures:hmmmmm

    One of my favorite pictures from this trip.

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    This is pretty much a mandatory stop.

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    The clouds were blowing across the road ahead of me. I quickly snapped a pic.

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    Waterrock knob has always been one of my favorite stops on the BRP. I have often come here to watch the sunset. No sunset today but some interesting clouds and views.

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