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Old 12-29-2010, 02:08 PM   #1
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Full Throttle Touring - 150 through the Rocket City

A recent job transfer has changed my home away from home from Columbus, Ga to the Rocket City.



My home is still in Marietta Ga but I now have an apartment in the Rocket City AKA Huntsville, Alabama. I spent three years in Columbus but I really didn't do much while I was there, or take the time to explore the area. I decided that things would be different in Huntsville. What better way to explore a new area than on two wheels? Just to make things more exciting, how about doing it Full Throttle? Stay tuned. If I don't get arrested I will be posting pics of my exploration of the area.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:01 PM   #2
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If you have read any of my previous ride reports, you know that they are all about riding in the mountains, on curvy roads, unpaved roads, crossing creeks, getting away from civilization and traffic. This will be different. it will take a different frame of mind. To live up to the title of this ride report, it will also take a different machine.

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Old 12-29-2010, 04:04 PM   #3
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:12 PM   #4
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Shucks ...

... I was expecting a Ruckus.
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:00 PM   #5
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When I got to Huntsville nearly 2 months ago, I did what I always do when I come to a new city; I check out the local motorcycle shops. The first one I stopped at was Midway Cycles in Madison.



As you can see they sell Kymcos and Vespas. They had their Kymco Scooters marked way down. The wheels in my head started turning Or was that the gears in my head grinding? Ever since I rented a Yamaha Riva 125 in Hawaii in the late 80s, and had a blast on it, I thought I would like to get a small scooter some day. For running errands around town, it's hard to beat a small scooter. Saves money on gas and wear and tear on the cage. More importantly it would get me out of the cage and on two wheels.

To make a long story short, I did some research. Kymco has a good reputation and a major scooter manufacturer. They have an extensive dealer network in the US. They probably have more dealers than BMW. I narrowed my search down to two scooters. The dealer prepped and let me ride both. How many Japanese motorcycle dealers would do that? This is what I got.



It's a new 2009 Kymco Super 8 150. Under $2200 OTD including Tax, Tag, and Title.
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:06 AM   #6
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In case you're wondering about the title of this report, 150 is for the number of CCs of my new scooters engine. Full throttle? With only 11 HP (claimed), full throttle will be required to keep from getting run over.

This is my first scooter after having owned a large number of motorcycles so it would be an adventure even if I wasn't exploring a new area.

The first adventure came quicker than expected. When I tried to load it in my truck, it grounded out and got stuck on the top of the ramp. It doesn't have the ground clearance of my dual sport bikes and the angle of the ramp was too much. luckily someone saw my predicament and help shove it into the truck. I have constructed an extension for my 7 foot ramp but haven't had a chance to try it out yet.

Here it is in the back of my truck.



The next challenge was to ride it while "attempting" to adhere to the recomended break in speed, 40 MPH for the first 600 miles. That ain't gonna happen but at least I tried to keep it under 40 as much as possible until I did the initial 300KM oil change. I did some riding trying to keep it mostly on residential roads near my apartment. I also took some pics.

My apartment is right by a small lake. My first pic was with the lake in the background.



Huntsville has a lot of wetlands and also a large number of birds.



I added the tail trunk to my scooter give it enough storage capacity that I could use it to go shopping and carry a reasonable amount of stuff. It also has storage beneath the seat, although it is not quite large enough for a full face helmet. The tail trunk may look large but that is partly due to the small size of the scooter. It will barely hold a full face helmet.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:59 AM   #7
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That is an excellant price for a new Super 8 150. What other scooter did you test ride? I just bought a new leftover Kymco People 150 to keep at our place on the Big Island of Hawaii that we rent out to vacationers.We'll be moving there a little later.Gas prices are a lot higher bthere than in the Seattle/Tacoma area in Wa. State.The dealer, Kisers Motorcycles in Kona was having a sale on the 2009 People 150s, and it was $2390 out the door with everything.The Super 8 (the other scooter I waqs interested in) was abnout $100 more.I won't see my new scooter until Feb. when we are there for eioght days.Since there are no SYM,Vespa,or Genuine Scooters dealers on the Big Island that left Honda,Yamaha,Suzuki and Kymco.I went with the Kymco because the price was better, and they are a quality scooter with a two year warranty, while most others (except SYM-also two years) give only a year.

I like that Super 8, and thought if I got one of those, I would have got a green one just to be different.

Enjoy your new scooter!!
Jon
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:53 AM   #8
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That is an excellant price for a new Super 8 150. What other scooter did you test ride? I just bought a new leftover Kymco People 150 to keep at our place on the Big Island of Hawaii that we rent out to vacationers.We'll be moving there a little later.Gas prices are a lot higher bthere than in the Seattle/Tacoma area in Wa. State.The dealer, Kisers Motorcycles in Kona was having a sale on the 2009 People 150s, and it was $2390 out the door with everything.The Super 8 (the other scooter I waqs interested in) was abnout $100 more.I won't see my new scooter until Feb. when we are there for eioght days.Since there are no SYM,Vespa,or Genuine Scooters dealers on the Big Island that left Honda,Yamaha,Suzuki and Kymco.I went with the Kymco because the price was better, and they are a quality scooter with a two year warranty, while most others (except SYM-also two years) give only a year.

I like that Super 8, and thought if I got one of those, I would have got a green one just to be different.

Enjoy your new scooter!!


Jon
I initially considered the Agility 125, People 150, People 200 as well as the Super 8. I eliminated the Agility 125 quickly since i didn't fit on it, I'm 6-2 and my knees hit the handlebars. The People 150 was also a tight fit for my size 12 feet and it just had less storage than the Super 8. It was a good deal at $2350 OTD. They had a People 200 for $2550 OTD. I test rode the 200. Very comfortable and more power than the 150s but it handled like crap. It did not like being leaned over - it just felt wierd. Since I love riding fast on curvy roads - the tighter the curves the better, there was no way I was getting the 200. The People 150 does have some advantages over the super 8 and I probably should have tried it but I'm happy with what I got.

So far I really like the way the Super 8 handles. It has fairly wide 14" tires and it feels like a small sport bike. I think the 14' tires are a great compromise between the small wheel 12' and big wheel 16" tires. I also like the brakes, good power and feel, AND THEY ARE NOT LINKED. I DESPISE LINKED BRAKES. I've been taking it easy with the throttle untill I get it broken in so I can't really comment on the power but I suspect I will wish for a little more.

The seat on the Super 8 is fairly hard and not shaped that well. It hasn't been an issue since I haven't taken any really long rides but most likely I will end up modifying the seat.
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:41 AM   #9
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A recent job transfer has changed my home away from home from Columbus, Ga to the Rocket City.
I worked for a couple of weeks in Decatur last summer and HIGHLY suggest the museum. It's pretty much corporate sponsored, but some of the things you see in there will blow the tech savvy guy away! Where else can you see a full size Saturn V horizontal with the stages exposed? Or walk up to a SR-71, or look at a Saturn Gyroscope?

Anyway, the BBQ was a big draw for me. We must have tried every joint within 30 miles of Decatur. I highly suggest 'the Chuckwagon' and 'the Greenbriar' if the rule of 'small, dumpy, and non-chain' are the the keys to good BBQ.

The cycle shop near Decatur looked pretty good, but I never got a chance to step in there. I would also suggest 'Bama gun and pawn' if you want to see where all the stolen tools end up in your area...and a scary group of individuals.

I enjoyed the time I spent down there and will be doing more work in Decatur sometime around June-July.
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Old 01-01-2011, 02:36 PM   #10
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Congrats on the S8!

i remember your thread in the Battle Scooters forum about your choices and buying experience. you seemed a bit on the fence about a few things scooter related, but as it turns out....well....you seem really happy with the scooter and your choice!

its nice when things work out like that, and even nicer when a long time motorcyclist discovers the joys and practicality of scootering

oh, and the awesomeness of a good deal on a good Kymco scoot
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:24 PM   #11
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I worked for a couple of weeks in Decatur last summer and HIGHLY suggest the museum. It's pretty much corporate sponsored, but some of the things you see in there will blow the tech savvy guy away! Where else can you see a full size Saturn V horizontal with the stages exposed? Or walk up to a SR-71, or look at a Saturn Gyroscope?

I enjoyed the time I spent down there and will be doing more work in Decatur sometime around June-July.
I'm not normally big on museums but I do plan on spending some time at this one.

Let me know if you come back down this summer. By then hopefully I'll know the interesting places to go.
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:14 PM   #12
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I don't make New Years resolutions. I didn't make one this year. I did make a resolution a couple of months ago when I relocated to Huntsville. My resolution was to stop wasting so much time, especially in regards to time that could be spent riding. I rode just under 5000 miles in 2010. Thats probably my worst total in over 20 years. At least the riding I did do was almost all really great high quality riding. Also it was almost all off road or on twisty paved roads. Still, I hardly rode unless I could go for an all day ride or longer.

I was out of town on the first so I couldn't go riding but wasted no time when I got back today. Since small scooters are designed for the urban environment, that's where I decided to go exploring today. Looking at my Huntsville map I found a couple of historical districts near downtown Huntsville. Thats on the other side of town from my apartment so I figured out a route to get there without getting on the interstate. I'm trying to hold down the speed until my scooter is fully broken in, but even when it is broken in, it will never really be a highway machine.

The ride was chilly, I don't think it made it to 40 today. When I got downtown, it was pretty deserted. Normally I try to avoid traffic but somehow it the lack of traffic made downtown seem dead. I suspect it's a different place during the week, especially when it's warmer and more people are outside. Just outside of downtown there was a neighborhood of old historical houses. I'm not an expert on houses but I was surprised to see that many of the houses were built in the 1800s. I took a few pics.



The house above was built in 1815. If I had taken this pic when it was built, the only vehicle parked out front would have been a horse drawn carriage!

This house was next door.



I rode around some. Like downtown, this area seemed pretty dead. I suspect it's much more lively when it's warmer. Add some springtime leaves and colors and it will likely have a completely different feel.



Looking down the street. Unlike many modern subdivisions, this nieghborhood was built for walking with sidewalks on both sides of the street.



I imagine that not only did the original residants use these sidewalks to go walking, but when they did they probably got the chance to see their neighbors who I can imagine relaxing on their front porches in the evenings.



I would guess that these people actually knew each other. I'll have to stop by here on some warm evening and see if the current residents still use their porches........or if they all sit isolated inside their houses watching the latest sitcom on their hi def, big screen TVs.
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:59 PM   #13
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Just to the east of here are some mountains. I could see them and they were calling to me Not sure what I was thinking, I was already cold. All I needed was to go up in elevation where it would be colder. I don't always think clearly so up I went. I found a couple of my favorite signs.







Unfortunately I also found sand and salt all over the road. Nothing worse than having to go slow on some fun curves

Well, it could be worse, at least I got to get out and go for a ride. Tomorrow it's supposed to get all the way up to 50 degrees Looks like I'll have to go for another ride
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:50 PM   #14
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Just to the east of here are some mountains. I could see them and they were calling to me Not sure what I was thinking, I was already cold. All I needed was to go up in elevation where it would be colder. I don't always think clearly so up I went. I found a couple of my favorite signs.







Unfortunately I also found sand and salt all over the road. Nothing worse than having to go slow on some fun curves

Well, it could be worse, at least I got to get out and go for a ride. Tomorrow it's supposed to get all the way up to 50 degrees Looks like I'll have to go for another ride
Thanks for the pics! I think the first pic is the corner where I drug my first peg! On an old CB450!

I grew up in Huntsville, and still visit - just never have a bike there anymore.

Lots of good memories there just getting out on the bike and going - with no destination at all!
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Old 06-09-2014, 04:42 PM   #15
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Anyway, the BBQ was a big draw for me. I will be doing more work in Decatur sometime around June-July.
You want to check out Granvilles BBQ, on Meridian, in Huntsville, and the Rib Shack in Corinth, MS. The latter is a nice day ride.

Everybody likes their BBQ cooked and seasoned a little differently, these two do ribs the way I prefer them. Pulled pork all seems to be the same; its just a matter of what sauce you like on it. I prefer a sweeter sauce --- Sweet Baby Rays, for example.

Big Bob Gibsons in Decatur by far has the best pie in the entire Huntsville/Decatur area and the BBQ is just fine.
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