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ZAMM Fanatic
2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Beeline Highway (87) is truly the premier approach to Phoenix, coming in from the NorthEast. It's a slice of 4-lane paradise, particularly at dawn this morning, when I TORE IT UP on my Silverwing (600) scooter.

There's dead flat, dead-straight Interstate 8 to Los Angeles (276 miles), I-17 to Tucson, a flat racecourse, I-17 to Flagstaff, 4 lanes of pure Indy 500 at speeds up to 90mph, and 60 out to Apache Junction, Superior, Miami/Globe, and on through the Salt River Canyon, a twisty that's unfortunately, overpopulated by RV's trucks and other slow-moving vehicles destroying an otherwise great rider's road.

That leaves the Beeline, which departs from Mesa/Scottsdale, offers fantastic views, and 4-traffic passing lanes of excitement. Especially at dawn.

I started out from Payson at about 37 degrees and oh-eight-hundred hours, fully bundled up. Even in the parking lot applying the final layers I was overheating. Overcast, which means much warmer than "clear and cold" with 50% rain forecast for the afternoon. The roads were still wet from the evening rains. I fueled up at Giant, re-set the odometer, and then went hell for leather...

Alone on the southbound lane most of the time I just kept bumping the speed up, as the road dried, and the clouds parted. Think I underestimated what a fantastic machine the S-Wing actually is; used ones sell at bargain basement prices vs much less capable scooters/motorcycles.

I pulled over and took the picture below, shed a layer of clothing, and pulled out the eyeglass cleaner and cleaned both my visor and the top half of the windscreen, which was still messy from the rain the night before despite a toweling off at the motel.

And yes, I asked the clerk for a rag rather than using the hotel towels like some jerks.

After snapping the photo, I tugged on and re-attached the cargo net, pulled on mh gauntlet gloves, and looked to pull back onto the highway, I saw a car approaching. I began rolling immediately as he passed, and gave her full throttle. What a rocket! Within 1/10 mile I had caught up with him. I then changed lanes and passed him, and, encountering a downhill with a clear view, laid into it and took it on up to 100.

100's just a number, as anyone who's ever done 150 can attest, but it's still symbolic. It's a speed where LEOs not only ticket you, but arrest you, and tow your machine, 2-wheeled or otherwise. On one downhill I had it up to 110 mph. She had more to give, but I won't do over 100 unless I can see both oncoming lanes are empty for at least 2 miles ahead of me, and nobody in sight behind me. In this case I ran out of clear view, not road.

After 5-6 miles of high-balling, I backed it down and cruised at 80 or thereabouts, road to myself. Fantastic scenery as the sun rose and painted the hills. An Arizona photo isn't an Arizona photo without a Saguaro (cactus) in it, I decided, but I was having too much fun laying her over in the curves to stop and take more photos for THIS unpaid gig.

I actually find with the big, feet-forward scooters rather than leaning my body in the corners or hanging off, the most productive technique is to counterlean --- shove the handlebars and the bike down into the corner while keeping my body relative upright. Just seems to work best with a feet-forward bike. For me. YMMV.

So I'm 15 miles or so out of Fountain Hills and decide not to push my luck, or the speed limit anymore. Back it down to 75 or so and within 3 miles, there's the LEO, parked in the one center part of the divide where he can ZAP cars both coming and going.

I'd have signalled some oncoming traffic except...the road immediately widens and drivers can't see oncoming traffic for at least 2 miles past that point.

A right on Shea Boulevard, through that construction mess, through all the radar/speed cameras on Shea near the Mayonaise Clinic, onto the 101 West, and home to the retirement community (aka "Wrinkle Ranch") I live in in Sun City. I stop to fuel, and calculate I got 40mph at 80mph+ for the run. Not bad at all. I pack the gauntlet gloves, shed another layer, and put on the thin leather gloves I normally ride in.

Record high of 80 degrees in Phoenix 2 days ago. Eat your heart out, you wannabe-Canucks!

Stress from some recent personal stuff has brought on a bad cold, so today I'm hot-showering, resting, and downing Dayquil. But nothing like a great ride to start the day and set the tone. 100 miles before breakfast, as usual, I thought, as I sat eating my McMuffin.

Again like to open the invitation to any inmates NEEDING some winter riding to come down to the Wrinkle Ranch and crash for a few days. You can go hit 191 from Eager to Clifton, the twistiest road in America, and I guarantee you'll go home fully rejuvenated.


7,448 Posts
I think Arizona is absolutely beautiful and in fact, on the way back from recently visiting my kid's and grandkid in the Riverside area of southern California, I took Interstate 10 to Phoenix and then HWY 60 east-North east to Show Low, the place I'd wanted to see again since I was much, much younger. I continued on 60 until I got to Socorro, then north on Interstate 25 and then east on 60 again until going north on HWY 84 and into Santa Rosa, at I40, where I spent the night. The entire drive from east of Phoenix until I got to Santa Rosa was almost magical in it surreal beauty, with vistas where one could maybe see for a hundred miles, looking over rolling mountainous plains of American Indian country!

I was in my Pickup but will make the same trip, LORD willing on a Motorcycle someday:)

Wadenelson, it sounds like you are really enjoying your SW and the weather there and can ride most of the time like lots of us can't! Although, yesterday and today and supposedly tomorrow will be a high of 60 degrees! I may have to dust off the Burgman 650 or the Kymco 500 and go for a PUTT:biggrin:

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