Scootin Through the North Carolina Mtns - 2 up on an Aprilia CS250
Western North Carolina has some of the best riding in the Country. The roads are curvy.
They are carved through some rugged mountains.
There is a lot of great scenery.
There is some strange scenery.
Best of all, it is not to far away for us, so my lovely bride of nearly 25 years and I decided to spend Memorial day weekend riding through some of the best North Carolina has to offer.
We weren't the only one with this idea, we saw many other couples out riding the area, but we were the only ones we saw 2-up on a small scooter.
Here's our new toy:
It's a brand new, 2009 Aprilia Sport City 250.
The Aprilia in action:
And then there's us. We're not exactly brand new:D
But we are young enough to spend a weekend riding some of the steepest, twistiest, and most fun roads in the country on a scooter.
I'll post The full story, including lots of pics, as soon as I have a chance.
Looking forward to see your pictures :D
(proud owner of a Honda Innova 125i) :evil
A few more pics of the Aprilia before I try to explain how and why we ended up on a scooter.
Our last 2 up bike was a 95 BMW R1100GS. A couple of years ago it was taken out of commision by Bambi. Since then we had done very little riding together. All of my other bikes were single cylinder Dual Sports and didn't work well 2 up. About 6 weeks ago, I sold the GS and another bike. The ADV flea market works well as both sold in less than a day. When I told Debbi the bikes had sold she said " Can we get another bike that's comfortable 2 up now?"
Of course being a sensible guy I am I said no, we should spend the money on yard maintenance or a new vacuum cleaner................
What, you don't believe me:dunno
Of course Debbi has ways of changing my mind:evil
So she grabbed my arm and twisted real hard. So I agreed that we would go bike shopping. So we did. We looked, sat on and even test rode a bunch of motorcycles and scooters. I was really leaning on getting a scooter since I had been bitten by the scooter bug when I bought my first scooter, a Kymco Super 8 150, several months earlier.
So, we eventually decided on getting a Piaggio BV250. So how did we end up on the Aprilia? Stay tuned.
The day after deciding on the BV250, I took a ride to the North Georgia mountains. I stopped at Riders Hill in Dahlonega to see who was hanging out there and to get some lunch. Riders Hill is also a motorcycle dealer and happens to be open on Sundays.
When I walked inside I saw 3 Sport City 250s on the showroom floor. I didn't know they were still available. Best of all was the price tag; $3499.
So I called Debbi and she drove up to see if it would be comfortable for the two of us.
It was. The next weekend we came back and did a test ride. We ended up leaving with it along with a Givi Top case. Here's a pic of us 2 up the next day.
After getting the scooter I had 2 week to get in some break in miles and do the initial oil change before our weekend trip. It was rough but somebody had to do it:D
We left Marietta shortly after noon with the scooter in the back of our truck and headed for Franklin. Some die hard Iron butt types may frown at trucking instead of riding but if I enjoyed riding on the highways I would have bought a big touring bike, not a 250cc scooter.
We arrived in Franklin and checked into the Franklin Motel, an old motel near downtown. Unfortunately, when we checked into our room, it reeked of cigarette smoke. They had no other suitable rooms so we got our money back and headed out to find another room......on a Saturday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend:huh We were not happy, I specifically requested a Non Smoking room and he even gave me the room number when I made the reservation. It was a smoking room. It didn't look like that nice of a room either. I will not be going back to that motel.
So we drove a few blocks and saw a not very impressive little motel. I was not expecting much but they had a room available, $49 per night, stay 2 nights and get a third free. The room was old but much nicer than the Franklin Motel so we took it. The name of the place was the Budget Inn. Here's a few pics:
Like I said, it didn't look like much.
Here's inside the room.
And I prefer the old style motels where you can park right outside your door.
We went for a short ride just to check out the town. Didn't get any pics but we did wander just ouside of town and found ourselves on some nice twisty roads:ricky
Then it was time for dinner. We walked to the Blue Ridge Roadhouse.
The door handles were interesting.
The food was good, the service was good, and the prices very reasonable. I would recomend this place to anyone who was hungry. My only complaint; the tiny deserts.
After dinner we walked up the hill to the town square and checked out the free concert.
The band was pretty good, playing some old rock and roll classics as well as some country.
Quite a bit of the town was here. They have free concerts a couple of times a month. I find it interesting watching older people (older than me anyway) enjoying rock and roll. When I was young, people my parents age thought rock was just noise. Now you have to be pretty old to not have grown up listening to rock.
This caught my eye and I thought it might make a nice picture:
I'm an early riser, and Debbi is not so I got up early and went for a ride while she was still sleeping. I ended up riding 28 to Highlands and back. It's a great road with lots of curves and some of the best scenery around. Unfortunately, the traffic is usuelly so heavy that it spoils the ride. I was out early enough to beat most of the traffic. I enjoyed riding the curves:ricky
but also took the time to stop for some pics.
I saw a covered bridge, so I decided to check it out.
And I found this.
Then it was time to head back down the mountain to Franklin. There wasn't much traffic so I had a blast.
The Aprilia handles these curves really well. It has great steering that puts most sport bikes to shame on tight curves and unlike my Super 8, it seems to have good cornering clearance.
Then I picked up Debbi in Franklin and we headed out to ride some of the twistiest roads in the state and see how the Aprilia would handle them.
Some of my favorite roads are the narrow, not so well known roads that go from nowhere to nowhere. These roads are not as well known as "the Dragon", "the Snake, or the Cherohala Skyway. Because of this, they have much less traffic, especially on busy weekends when many of the main roads are too congested to be fun to ride. Additionally, many of these roads have much tighter curves and are much more challenging to ride than the more famous roads. It's probably good that most riders stay off these roads since soo many of them have trouble with the relatively predictable and gentle curves found on these other roads.
Here we are getting started on one of my favorites:
Besides being narrow, the road surface is also not as smooth as the main roads. The Aprilia handles tight curves very well but the suspension is a little too soft so we did occasionally bottom out the rear suspension.
We stopped on one of the many tight hairpins to take some pics.
And of course I had to make several passes so Debbi could get some action shots. It was a tough job but I was willing to do it in the interest of bring you a better ride report:D
There were many of these signs.
We took a break by a scenic lake.
I used the stop to crank up the preload on the rear shocks since we had bottomed out a few times.
Then we headed for Highlands to get something to eat.
Highlands is a very pretty town at an elevation of over 4000 ft. It's also not a place for those who are not well endowed in the financial department. We went looking for some place where we could just get salads for lunch but we were looking at $11-12 just for a salad. So we looked around until we found this place.
Not fancy but the food was good and the prices while not cheap, were at least reasonable. There was a room on the side with picnic tables to eat on.
Parked outside was this;
A burgman 650 with training wheels. I thought that with 4 wheels it would be classified a car?
After lunch we walked around town and Debbi did some shopping.
The place was full of tourists, including quite a few motorcyclists with Harley's being the most common.
Next on the agenda was to go ride the Too Too road. A little history on this road. Many years ago, while staying at the Two Wheels Only motorcycle resort, the late Frank Cheek told me about a road near Highlands that was Too crooked and Too steep to be riding on a motorcycle. I couldn't concieve of a paved road that was too crooked or too steep. As far as I'm concerned, the more crooked the better. Of course I had to go find it and see for myself. It took many years before I found this road but I finally did a few years ago.
Was it too crooked and steep? I still hold to my belief that there is no paved road out there too crooked and I have yet to find one too steep. So off we went to ride it. We stopped at one of the curves to get some pics.
So what's the real name of this road? I have no idea, I just call it the Too Too road.
Keep it coming. :lurk
I have been thinking about replacing my bigger Majesty with something like the SC. I saw them at the shop when passing through there a couple of months ago.
Green river Cove just out of Saluda is another "Too Too" road.:eek1
Viking from Denmark and Reconstructed, thanks for following along.
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