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Look forward to reading about it. Wish I could have been there.
 

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OK. Here goes...

When was the last time you were with a group of over 250 scooter riders? Well, it was this past week, if you were at Scootercade. We had 258 participants. There were a small number of "spouse" machines there - a Goldwing, a couple of Goldwing trikes, one BMW motorcycle - but mostly scooters. It was a great crowd, no drinking, no problems - just great companionship and a whole lot of scooter riding and scooter talk. We had 6 folks from Canada, 2 from California - even a couple from Rhode Island. Some folks trailered their scoots to the rally, but the majority rode to it.

Scoot-Tours & their Scootercade rally have been around for 15 years - the last 13 annual rallys have been held in Eureka Springs. Three years ago, Honda Helixs accounted for 85% of the scooters at the rally. Two years ago, Helixs still accounted for 50% of the scooters there. Times have changed. This year, out of approximately 250 scooters, there were only 38 Helixs. There were lots of Silverwings - I figure a lot of the former Helix riders traded up at their familiar Honda dealer. There were also lots of Burgmans, both 650s and 400s. And scattered throughout, there were some other interesting scoots.

There was a 150cc Velux with it's folding hardtop and amazing standard equipment package. Stereo 4 speaker radio system, windshield wiper and washer, remote control keyfob that could start & stop the engine from up to 50 feet away, and alarm system - also activated via the remote. The same guy that had the Velux also brought a 200cc BMW scoot. It was also nicely optioned, but the options were extra cost on it - I'll bet it cost more than a Burgman 650... There was a Kymco 250cc People scooter - fit and finish was very nice. There were two Aprilia Atlantics, also very nice looking scooters, but one owner I talked to is planning to switch to a Burgman 650 soon due to the very limited Aprilia dealer support network.

There were several vendors there. One had a very nice variety of goodies - Clearview and Givi windscreens, Fehling rail trim, bike covers and half covers, Frogg Togg raingear, throttle rockers - and lots more. Jac Vinson was there selling and installing his turnsignal beeper kits and backrest conversions for the Burgmans. He sold out of beeper kits on the first day, and did pretty well with the backrest conversions too. Tow-Pac was there with their 3 wheel conversion kits. Another vendor was selling Scootercade caps and shirts.

Looking at the various modifications folks had made to their scoots was also interesting. Ever seen a Silverwing equipped for nitrous oxide boost? Yep - one was there. I saw one AN650 with a sidecar, and several others with the tow-pac 3 wheel rig installed. There were at least 2 Burgman 650s pulling trailers. Lonnie Stivers was there with his AN650 fitted with BMW sidecases, wind wings and more. A lot of folks were fascinated with my Caterpiller O-ring throttle lock - I demo'd it quite frequently. I should have brought a dozen extras with me to sell.... Many other unique and innovative modifications were there to be seen.

I met at least a dozen folks who have posted on BurgmanUSA - and others who have browsed the site without becoming active. Comments regarding the site were all very positive. It is recognised as a great resource for Burgman enthusiasts.

The opening banquet on Sunday night was packed - and the food was very good. The Awards banquet on Wednesday night was also well attended - the food was excellent. Both were buffet style, and there was a program following each banquet. There were other organized rides and activities - or you could go off and explore Eureka Springs and the surrounding areas with other scooterists. We had one rainy day - the first in the last four years of Scootercade I was told.

So what did I do? Well, I hung out a lot with one of our members, Doug, and his wife Margaret. They are from a Arkansas town about 45 miles from Eureka Springs, and know the area and roads quite well, so they led me on several nice rides. On Sunday, we spent most of the day on the rally site behind the Traveler's Inn motel looking at scooters, vendor wares, and talking to other scooter riders. Went for an evening ride. On Monday, we did a lot of riding. Tuesday, we took the trolley rides around Eureka Springs, shopping and exploring - you get a one day free pass for the trolleys as part of the rally package. We also attended the show at the Pine Mountain Jubilee that evening - it was excellent. Wednesday was hampered by rain, but the sun came out in time for the ride to the awards banquet. Thursday we rode again. Doug & Margaret led me to a great Steak House about 2 hours away for lunch - it was definitely worth the trip. Thursday night we attended the show at the Ozark Mountain Hoedown - also excellent. I purchased a nice half cover for my scoot ($40)and a original style large Clearview windscreen ($115) at the rally. Long story, but Doug is now riding around with my ex-Gustafsson on his 650. Bill and Mary at the big vendor tent were unbelievable. They don't take credit cards, but they will mail you a bill after the rally rather than cutting in to your rally cash. They did that for a lot of folks including me. You won't find that kind of trust at Sturgis or Daytona motorcycle events - and it speaks well for the caliber of the group that attends Scootercade.

Accomodations at the Traveler's Inn were good. Scootercade rate was $38 per night, bed was comfortable, shower was excellent, TV got a lot of channels - not that I watched TV much. There are lots of restaurants in the area - many of them are quite good and prices are reasonable. The local folks were all quite friendly, and quite a few gave discounts to Scootercade attendees. There is a leather shop downtown that has unbelievably low prices (Sonya's). I bought a great wallet for $4.55, and a nice belt for the same price. When I took them to the register they gave me an additional 10% discount for Scootercade! They have leather jackets starting at $29.95 (some really nice ones for about $50), chaps, gloves, purses,etc - all at great prices.

I've left out a lot - there is much to see and do both at Scootercade and in Eureka Springs. It was a great time, and before I knew it I had to pack up and head home. If you can make it there next year, by all means go. Make sure to pre-register. It is a "closed event" - you can't just drop in and participate. And bring comfortable walking shoes - there isn't much level terrain in Eureka Springs.
 

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Paul,

Thanks for the report from Scootercade. Now I really wish I could have attended this year. Sounds like you had a blast.

pauljo said:
I met at least a dozen folks who have posted on BurgmanUSA - and others who have browsed the site without becoming active. Comments regarding the site were all very positive. It is recognised as a great resource for Burgman enthusiasts.
Hope you convinced them to become active members of the forums. :)

pauljo said:
I purchased a nice half cover for my scoot ($40)and a original style large Clearview windscreen ($115) at the rally. Long story, but Doug is now riding around with my ex-Gustafsson on his 650.
I was wondering how you had a Clearview again on your bike on the way home. Thought you still had the Gustafsson.

pauljo said:
Bill and Mary at the big vendor tent were unbelievable. They don't take credit cards, but they will mail you a bill after the rally rather than cutting in to your rally cash. They did that for a lot of folks including me. You won't find that kind of trust at Sturgis or Daytona motorcycle events - and it speaks well for the caliber of the group that attends Scootercade.
That is exceptional. Rare to find vendors like that anymore. I'd be inclined to do more business with people like that.

pauljo said:
There is a leather shop downtown that has unbelievably low prices (Sonya's).
...
They have leather jackets starting at $29.95 (some really nice ones for about $50)
Sounds like really good prices. Too bad they don't have an online shop. (I just looked) :(

I'm definitely going to try and make it to Scootercade next year.
 

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Great pics. Thanks.
 

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Scooter performance notes from the trip.

The trip down and back was about 1000 miles. I did about 400 miles of riding around while I was there - I didn't keep track. The AN650 ran great - it now has over 11,300 miles on it, time for another scheduled service. It got lousy mileage on the trip down & back (38 to 44 mpg) - very good mileage while I was there (48 to 51 mpg). This has been typical of my AN650 when touring.

A few folks have expressed concern about a couple of the noises the 650 makes. It was nice to be able to compare mine to a few others. There were several 650s that had been "fixed" for the diesel noise at idle. They all still make the noise, just not quite as loud as the "unfixed" machines. Mine was about average for a "fixed" 650. The belt chirp when starting the machine seems to be as "normal" as the diesel noise at idle. Every 650 I heard start up after sitting for awhile made that chirp sound.

My oil level is still above the minimum line in the sight glass - it did drop a tad on the trip. I was pushing the machine pretty hard on the trip, and I'm now overdue for service, so I'm not too concerned about that.

The Pirelli tires are awesome. I mentioned before that adding the front Pirelli really seemed to smooth out the ride. With the scoot loaded for touring, the ride was very nice. The rear Pirelli now has almost 1000 more miles on it than the original Bridgestone had when I replaced it. The Pirelli still has lots of tread left, and has not flattened out much in the middle.

The Gustafsson windscreen worked OK on the trip down. I've just been very unhappy with the flawed craftsmanship (the screen sat about 1/4" off center and was not evenly cut across the bottom), and particularly with Mr Gustafsson's hostile attitude when I called to discuss the defects. One of the vendor's at Scootercade was an authorized Clearview dealer. They had a couple of the original design Clearviews. These are now discontinued, but I had had one before, and I've recently been wishing that I hadn't sold it. They offered to sell one to me for $115 - and to send me a bill in the mail. I couldn't resist. I put it on my 650 and transfered the SAENG Micro-Swirl edging over from the Gustafsson. I mounted the Gustafsson on Doug's 650 - and he liked it. I experienced some minor, but persistent helmet buffeting on the way home. When I got home, I shimmed the top windscreen mounts out about 1/4". I put about 50 miles on it after shimming the screen, and I'm pretty happy with the results. For the most part, the buffeting is gone - I get just a touch of it if I'm going straight into a headwind.

I also bought a 1/2 cover for the scoot from the same vendor. I could have bought a full cover for $8 more, but the 1/2 cover packs down into a much smaller pouch, which I liked. I bought it and put it on my machine about 3 minutes before a thunderstorm started. It has the soft liner for the windscreen, and fits over the big Givi trunk just fine. I like it.

I had repaired a broken tab on my lower left legshield several months ago using JB Weld. It had held up good - but the weld broke loose on the trip down. The only effect was cosmetic - the legshield hung out about 1/3" at the front. I haven't disassembled it yet to determine my next course of action.

Overall, I am quite satisfied with the scooter's performance on the trip.
 

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Wow! What a great trip.

I checked on the net to see how far it would be for me to get to Scootercade:

Start: Home ( Raleigh, NC)
End: Scootercade (Eureka Springs, AR)
Totals: 1000.1 miles, 19 hours 59 min, 54 turns (Fastest Route). So, I could do it. Did you notice any people who rode their scooters from NC to the event?

Thank you for the photos, trip impressions, and the report on various scooter noises.
 

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Wasquid said:
Start: Home ( Raleigh, NC)
End: Scootercade (Eureka Springs, AR)
Totals: 1000.1 miles, 19 hours 59 min, 54 turns (Fastest Route). So, I could do it. Did you notice any people who rode their scooters from NC to the event?
I can't remember meeting anyone from North Carolina. As far as I know, I was the only one there from Nebraska. But two guys rode Honda 250cc Helixes from California - one of them received the longest distance award. There were also 6 folks from Canada, and a couple from Rhode Island, so people do ride considerable distances to get to the event. Hope you can make it there next year! If you can split the ride into 2 days each way, it should be very manageable.
 

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This was our first Scootercade. My wife and I covered 600 miles from our home to Eureka Springs in a couple of days. We rode a little over 400 miles while there, and took a couple of days to take a longer way home, (700 miles). This was the wife's first long ride, and she did it on her Reflex. Once we got there, I couldn't get her to stop! We rode a little in the rain, a little in some fog, and a lot in some colder than usual weather for this time of year in Arkansas.

Like Paul said, it was a great time. The people there were the friendliest I think we've ever met. The country is beautiful, and the roads are unbelievably good! Smooth, lots of hills, lots of curves, and lots and lots of fun! Only bad thing I can say is there's not enough places to stop to take in the wonderful scenery.

Paul, I got the chance to look over your bike, but you were never around when I was. Nice job on the seat. Is it as comfortable as it looks?

Anyway, if you're thinking about going to Scootercade next year, you'll definately have a terrific time.

Bruce Woodburn
Rock Island, IL
 

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bwdbrn1 said:
Paul, I got the chance to look over your bike, but you were never around when I was. Nice job on the seat. Is it as comfortable as it looks?
Bruce Woodburn
Rock Island, IL
Bruce,

I'm really sorry I missed meeting you! The seat is the stock seat, re-upholstered by a local auto upholstery shop (most of the guys who work there ride bikes). They did add some padding to get the roll and pleat effect. I've done a few 500 mile days on it - it's not bad. I think they did a good job for $200.
 

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Paul

Thanks for the report and the photos. It looks really good out there and 'kinda quaint' around Eureka.

So if I turned up next year do you think I would be in with a chance on the distance award?

Just turning my mind to the flotation chambers/water jet modification :wink:
 

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NormanB said:
Paul

Thanks for the report and the photos. It looks really good out there and 'kinda quaint' around Eureka.
Yep. There isn't a hardly piece of level ground in that town. It's definitely a Southern state, and defintely "Bible Belt" - the religious attractions draw quite a few people, and there are underground caves to tour, two excellent shows (country, bluegrass and gospel music and excellent comedy), and much more to see and do. The local people were very friendly.

NormanB said:
So if I turned up next year do you think I would be in with a chance on the distance award?

Just turning my mind to the flotation chambers/water jet modification :wink:
Ha! You DO have to ride the distance on your scooter to qualify for the award.... Somebody at Scootercade told me about a guy who went around the world twice on a scooter. He went down the Nile river on it. Fabricated a raft and strapped paddles to his rear wheel to power it....
 

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Doug & Margaret Collins and I were out riding some Arkansas back roads - medium speed curvy stuff. Margaret was in front on her AN400, I was riding in the rear. An idiot in a small Ford Ranger pickup truck made a move to pass me. I had to back off and let him go - he almost got himself into a head-on collision during the pass. After several miles he made another foolish pass to get by Doug. He never did pass Margaret.

We eventually stopped in front of a small country store to take a break. Doug and I mentioned the fool in the pickup truck passing us. Margaret's comment: "Nobody passes Mama!"
 

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pauljo said:
Margaret's comment: "Nobody passes Mama!"
Way to go Margaret! :lol:
 

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Scootercade 2004

Doug and Margaret have posted to the Gallery their pictures from Scootercade 2004 Eureka Springs, AR. :p
 

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Nice pics Margaret - thanks for sharing.

:)
 
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