Mini Bike Trip 2019 - Kawasaki Z125 Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Mini Bike Trip 2019

So me and Mrs Evil Pirate are heading down to Deals Gap to ride the Dragon and many other roads in the area.

We are going to trailer the bikes down to spend more time riding on the better roads and to be able to take more stuff with us. My little Nissan Frontier is only rated for about 900 lbs payload. So we would be pushing it a bit with the two of us, two weeks of ****, and the bikes, plus tools and fluids. So perfect excuse to step up my game and get a trailer!

I bought a trailer from harbor freight for 350 bucks. It came in a box. Once it is built you can fold it in half for storage and it is rated to carry about 1800 lbs. You put it together like an ikea project. It all bolts together. I did weld on a tongue screw jack so I can drop it off the truck if I want. I figured the wheel bearings were the weak spot so I took the hubs apart, cleaned them out and repacked with synthetic marine grease. I heard people say that the hubs ship with only a little grease inside to prevent rust, and it is mandatory to clean them. I took them apart they were packed with a bluish green grease (looked similar to the synthetic marine grease I repacked them with). The bearings seemed clean too. But now I have piece of mind.

Did a 30 mile test run yesterday with the bikes loaded up the hubs stayed below 125 (it was about 90 degrees here and sunny) so I think they will be good. Had to pick up a tow bar and wiring as well. Install was a piece of cake, there is a wiring harness behind the passenger kick panel. You just plug in to a 12 pin receptacle (plug in harness has a few relays on it) and boom tow package installed.

Bringing camping supplies, a big cast iron pan, tool box, stuff to change oil, and a mini fridge for all the craft beer I'm going to find. Also bringing spare tires, a spare chain (long enough for either bike) and spare wheel bearings and grease seals for the trailer.

Mrs. Evil Pirate put together another itinerary I figured I'd share. It is long. She is a little neurotic with the planning. But she included details on all the rides. Check it out if you are not familiar with the area.

Gotta mount the new KD1s tonight and roughen them up on my way to work this week!



https://docdro.id/B4Gz5rj
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Last edited by MrEvilpirate; 05-28-2019 at 02:26 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 02:38 PM
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Whoa! My wedding wasn't planned anywhere near half that well. Anyone in the area could crash your plans down to the minute.

Lots of wine, beer, and sake. Stay safe out there and enjoy yourselves.

Dropped a gear... . . . . . . . . . . ...still here
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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We made it!

Pulling the trailer along the blue ridge parkway was an adventure in my 4 cyl truck but all went well. Was shifting between 3rd and 4th the whole time. Awesome road. The Kendas were SICK!!! Super super sticky, did fine in the rain (we had some wet days, visited Asheville on one, Knoxville on the other, then rode the third). Put 2500 miles on the bikes and 2800 on my truck. Those 2500 miles were 95% at 8000 RPM and up on mountain roads. Definitely was burning some oil. The stripped spark plug started working itself loose last two days, had to tighten it up every hundred miles or so. But we made it. New Oring chains on before the trip. One adjustment at about 1000 miles. No more stretch in next 1500 miles. Highly recommended. Roads were sick sick sick all paved recently, all good condition, one pretty major pothole on the dragon but it was marked. The Snake was my favorite. Got my pegs down on Mountain Meander. The lean felt insane. The pegs are a lot higher on the Z than other bikes I've ridden. Lean it over in the garage and see how far you need to go to get them to touch! This place is amazing if you have not been you need to ride this area it is crazy twisty with tons of elevation change.

Bike has 5800 miles on it now, I think it is starting to show what happens when it lives it's entire life close to redline for hours and hours at a time. A bit disappointed that it is burning oil and needs a helicoil in the head... but it has been abused (maintained, but honestly It has had the S...h][t wrung out of it for its entire life. So now I will start stripping it and getting into the 190 upgrade.

Saw a couple packs of Grom guys out there (they were running the Kenda KD1s as well) but not one Z.

I caught a couple guys on 1200 BMWs the 2nd day at the dragon. It took me 5 miles. I was gaining on the turns but they would pull away when it straightened out. About a 1/4 mile from the end they pulled over and let me pass. At the gas station they came up to me and wanted to see what I was on. They were very surprised it was a 125!

On Charahalla Skyway there was a pack of Harleys from NY. They sucked man, it was like being behind a school bus. Gave them a few opportunities to pull over, then me and my girl cut through the pack and left them in our dust (downhill section creeping towards the limiter in 4th for about 6 miles).

95% of the time I was pumped to be on the Z. Some sections getting from ride to ride, especially climbing the mountains, it would have been nice to have more power. But the Z was an absolute blast carving through the turns. Best riding of my life.

I'll post up some pics but need to catch up on 2 weeks of work now.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 11:25 AM
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I was just out there June 2nd-7th. Where is mountain meander?

I had my H2 SX SE as well as my Z125. I only took the Z125 out a couple times, it was a pain in the ass to get it anywhere. The guys I was with were on big bikes. We stayed in Madisonville but rode 9hrs+ a day on the bikes. We ended up doing most of our riding around Franklin NC.

One evening I decided to take the Z125 up to the Dragon after riding the big bike all day. My 2 friends that joined me on that ride were on a Super Duke 1290R and a S1000XR. It took about 30min of riding the Z125 flat out to get there. Once we got to the Dragon they stayed behind me but said they were having some trouble keeping up in the curves. The uphill sections were a pain sometimes but it was fun. We got to the Tail of the Dragon resort around 8 hoping to get gas but they were closed. The Z was below 1/2 tank and my friends BMW fuel light was on. It was getting dark and we weren't sure if the Z125 and BMW would make it to an open gas station if we went north so we went down to Robinsville for gas. By the time we got Robinsville it was completely dark. We gassed up at the corner of 129 and 143 (the Dragon and Cherohala roads). Looping around over the Cherohala was about 3 miles farther and 3 minutes longer according to google maps. We figured we could make up more time going over the Cherohala by carrying more speed. The first issue is that the Z125 headlight is horrible. With my friends behind me I could see my shadow inside where my light was shining. This made it a little tricky to carry speed not really being able to see the corners. My friends did a good job of following behind me and lighting the road but I'd have to turn in and be into the turn before their headlights would light it up significantly. The next issue was that the direction we were going was mostly uphill. I'm 225lbs so I really struggled going up some of the hills. I was down in 2nd gear a lot crouched down low. Once we got into the down hill sections it was an adventure to try to take advantage of the speed I could carry without going too fast for the damp road. I came around one corner and spooked some deer. It was pretty scary realizing that I was about eye level with a deer's butt. We ended up making it through ok but it was quiet the adventure that night.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Mountain Meander is the section of Rt 28 heading North from Franklin. It starts North of Cowee and ends when it hits Rt 74. We stayed in Franklin for the 2nd half. It was about an hour's ride to the dragon. We took two routes, one via Hellbender, the other via Wayah Road which is another awesome twisty road. There is a 6 mile dirt road off Wayah that leads to a pretty sweet overlook with a tower (Wayah Bald).

We were on the Dragon on 6/6 and again 6/12.

We met a couple guys at a gas stop on a Super Duke and S1000XR. Wonder if they were your buddies? One was from Georgia or Florida originally, the other lived in Asheville. The guy on the S1000 used to own a Grom.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 12:13 PM
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Thanks for the info on the Kenda tires, still need to put mine on.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrEvilpirate View Post
Mountain Meander is the section of Rt 28 heading North from Franklin. It starts North of Cowee and ends when it hits Rt 74. We stayed in Franklin for the 2nd half. It was about an hour's ride to the dragon. We took two routes, one via Hellbender, the other via Wayah Road which is another awesome twisty road. There is a 6 mile dirt road off Wayah that leads to a pretty sweet overlook with a tower (Wayah Bald).

We were on the Dragon on 6/6 and again 6/12.

We met a couple guys at a gas stop on a Super Duke and S1000XR. Wonder if they were your buddies? One was from Georgia or Florida originally, the other lived in Asheville. The guy on the S1000 used to own a Grom.
We did a lot of trips up and down that section of 28 and Wayah rd. We hit blood mountain as well, that was a good one. Another road we found randomly was Elijay road south of Franklin. It was real similar to Wayah road. I'll check to see if I have any go pro footage of it.

The guys I was out there with are from NM and TX. There were a lot of super dukes and S1000XRs there this trip though.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Some pics!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 05:37 PM
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Can't quite read what the sticker says on the Motorcycle Advisory sign.... "Don't be a ____" Looks too short to be "squid"...

Looks like a blast! Definitely one of those bucket list trips that I should attempt to check off soon and often. Glad you had fun and primarily smooth sailing.

Dropped a gear... . . . . . . . . . . ...still here
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Good eye didn't notice it. Zoomed in on the high res version "don't be a d I c"
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