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Old 05-13-2010, 04:17 PM   #1
JerseyBiker OP
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SYM HD200 hits the National Forest Trails!

So, I decided to take a little ride and check out Uwharrie National Forest and see what the Service roads were like. I hopped on the little scoot and rode the 100 miles to Eldorado Outpost and picked up an OHV permit so I could go on the OHV trails if they didn't look too bad. Another few minutes and I was in the park.

If you want to follow along - here's the map
http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/recreat..._trail_map.pdf

The service roads are all gravel or paved - not much fun there and after a little bit I got to the Wolf Den Trailhead where trail 89 begins - it's the only one listed as Easy and, it did look ok. Flat with a little mud I easily went around.



it quickly got narrower and rockier but still, nothing too bad



after about a half mile the fun began - uphill and rocks! My little scoot was sliding all around and I almost turned back but glad I didn't.



made it to the top and over - followed by a nice fat whoop-de-doo and things eased up



lots more whoop-de-doos and up and down the mountain



through the woods


quick stop for lunch and a photo



Now somewhere in the above, (I think - tho all the photos might have been of trail 89) I switched trails from 89 (Easy) to Trail 96 (Moderate). I figured 89 had been fun and the Scoot was still running so why not do a bit more. 96 got more challenging and there were a couple of parts where I really whacked the bottom of the scoot and I kept looking to see if I'd knocked anything important off - but no - all was good. I finished 96 and saw the entrance to 96A (Difficult) and decided "Not Today". Not only was I alone but there was no one else on the trails. I did not see a single other vehicle of any kind on any trail.

So I took 553 North and when I came to where 96A crosses it, I stopped and looked at the map. I really wanted to do some more and I saw Trail 92 is listed as Moderate and I could grab a small part of 96A (Difficult) to get to 92 and thought "How hard can it be?" so I jumped on 96A and quickly it became very steep with rocks and several times I wasn't sure the street tires would get me up the hill but the did. Up and down and up and I saw this



Now the photo doesn't do this justice. The trail, lots of rocks, drops fast and then comes back up and makes a quick right. From where I'm at, I can't see either the top of the hill or what's to the right so, I hit it sort of cautiously. I go down, start up and about half way up see it's a big mound at the top - something I don't want to go flying over on a scooter but still, I need to slam on the gas to get up and by the time my front tire is on the mound, the back tire is spinning and I just barely make it over - whew! But hell, that was too much fun so I turn around and return to where the photo was taken and hit it again with more power and this time come over the top at a good clip (no "air" or anything like that - I did have to ride this thing the 100 miles back home).

So trail 96A ends and 92 is easier and a lot of fun. I get back on the service roads and head home. I arrive home 6.5 hours later, 230 miles total trip - tired but it was the best $5 I've spent in a long, long time. The little scoot was so brave - I'm gonna get her an ADV decal as a reward!
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:34 PM   #2
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Nice. Seriously--really cool.

Good call on making sure you could make the ride home.

No doubt that scoot has earned an ADV sticker. It probably saw more dirt than some GS's have.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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Out of curiousity does your scooter have a USFS approved spark arrestor? The rangers would've been happy to write you an expensive ticket for not having one. This is so stupid--we're the only country in the world that requires them and I can honestly say I've never heard of anyone setting the woods on fire with their exhaust.

My congratulations on surviving your ride. What's that they say about inappropriate equipment making for great adventures???
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:21 PM   #4
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Funny...I was wondering the same thing, since the first thing that popped into my mind was taking the Stella through the same area.

Hmmm. Does anyone know if the Ruckus or Zuma have approved exhausts, since they're somewhat dirt oriented?
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:30 PM   #5
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Jersey, Great Report!
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:59 AM   #6
JerseyBiker OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsrat
Out of curiousity does your scooter have a USFS approved spark arrestor? The rangers would've been happy to write you an expensive ticket for not having one.
Hmmm - Not that i know of.

The sign said an approved spark arrestor OR muffler or blah blah blah....so I just figured all was good. I really don't think anything but a muffler is required (tho' I will double check before next time! lol)
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsrat
Out of curiousity does your scooter have a USFS approved spark arrestor? The rangers would've been happy to write you an expensive ticket for not having one. This is so stupid--we're the only country in the world that requires them and I can honestly say I've never heard of anyone setting the woods on fire with their exhaust.

My congratulations on surviving your ride. What's that they say about inappropriate equipment making for great adventures???
Perhaps one reason you haven't heard lots of fires being started by engines is because the requirement is successful in reducing them. Another might be that you haven't been looking for them.

You seem to be on an anti-government high horse instead of sticking to facts.

Your statement, which is wrong: No other country requires them.
Fact: Spark arrestors required in parts of Canada for many internal combustion engines.

Your statement, which is wrong: You've never heard of fires, so they must not happen.
Fact: 1.3% of the fires in Alberta, Canada were caused by ATV's between 1995 and 2002. ATV's in Alberta are not required to have spark arrestors and the rise in ATV usage between 1999 and 2002 correlates with a similar rise in the number of wild land fires started by ATV's.

(both facts available online from the Wildland Fire Operations Research Group of Canada)

From the USFS:
"Spark arresters have been used in the United States since the early 1800s when screens were placed on the stacks of Jupiter locomotives, which were notorious for starting fires. The first legislation requiring spark arresters was passed in 1905 and applied to engines and boilers operated in, through, or near forest-, brush-, or grass-covered lands. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service effort in combating equipment-related fires started in the 1920s with external combustion engines (steam donkeys) used in logging.
In the early 1950s, the USDA Forest Service became interested in reducing the number of fires caused by internal combustion powered logging equipment. This effort was based on the 1934 report by J.P. Fairbanks and Roy Bainer entitled “Spark Arresters for Motorized Equipment,” published by the University of California at Berkeley. The research demonstrated that exhaust particles with a diameter of 0.023 in or larger were responsible for the majority of fire ignitions."

I live in a place where forest and grass fires do major damage. Careless fire awareness has shut down the forests completely (no access at all, not even walking in or driving off paved roads) in bad years. Removing a spark arrester is plain foolish IMHO. Fire is easy enough to prevent, but hard to put out.


approachbears screwed with this post 05-14-2010 at 08:37 AM
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyBiker
Not only was I alone but there was no one else on the trails. I did not see a single other vehicle of any kind on any trail.
That's too bad. The looks on their faces would've been priceless.
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Old 05-15-2010, 07:11 AM   #9
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That's a pretty cool report. I think two wheeled vehicles by nature are off road vehicles. It is just that some have become more specialized in that regard than others.

As far as spark arrestors and mufflers go. Most dirt oriented bikes have straight through pipes with only a baffle or arrestor at the end. Most mufflers have internal baffles and are not straight flow through which is why a true muffler doesn't need a spark arrestor.

Approachbears, You nailed it! (with a sledge hammer )
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