Thursday, 10/17 – Ozona, Tx to Houston, Tx

The return to lush greenery. This leg of the journey saw a transformation from the high desert to lush greenery. Coming out of the desert into the Texas Hill Country is amazing. During the descent from the high desert shrubs and trees begin to appear along the roadway. As the elevation inches a little closer to sea level the temperature begins to rise a bit and it is welcome. I-10 has been unseasonably cool on this trip by well over 20 degrees. The warmer dryer air is a welcome change for certain.

I have had numerous text messages, emails and phone requests to talk a little more about this sweet little Kymco Xciting 500i. There is much to say. My previous touring experience has been limite to two 3,500 mile tours on my Kymco GT300i and one 3,300 mile tour on the 2009 Piaggio BV500. The Xciting 500 is definitely different compared to those two scooters. It is more Birgman like in it’s design and seating position. One of the most distinguishing features is the long floorboards. These give the rider more ergonomic choices that I find welcome on numerous 500 mile days. This bike offers several seating positions. Sitting up close to the front of the seat with your feet right beneath you is very sportbikeish. With its seriously fat sport radials, huge brake rotors and excellent suspension this is definitely a sport you’re ring scooter. The seat/bar relationship is perfection and that combined with the flexible seat/floorboard options truly creates an all day comfortable seating position where you can either stretch out or choose to sit in an upright sportbike or sport standard position.

Top speed is about 90 miles per hour. I only chose to do that whentraffic dictates. About 75 miles per hour is where the 500 single seems to be the happiest. Cruising at that speed with no headwinds nets an average fuel economy in the 55 mpg range. Not bad considering the amount of luggage I have onboard and the larger Kymco touring windshield and the additional Lamonar Lip.

I love the large underseat storage area complete with an underseat light, a cell phone holder and a charging power port. I could leave the iPhone on charge underseat turned on and bluetoothed into the Cargo Scala Rider G3 mounted on my Nooan helmet. It really helped pass the miles listening to iHeart radio, Pandora and the music stored in my iTunes. All that and still fully capable of receiving calls.

The seat is the best of any motorcycle I have ever toured on. My preference is for a firm seat offering the ability to sit in several different locations. This one accomplishes both perfectly.

As darkness began to fall the lights of Houston came in to view on the horizon. After days of being in the sparsely populated desert it was exciting to be entering the city and back into civilization again.

One more day and I would be home in Daytona Beach. Biketoberfest is in full bloom. Daytona is a sleepy little town except for the two NASCAR events and the two motorcycle events. The funny thing is on the final day of each the town is all abuzz with activity as people are enjoying the beach, having breakfast and buying fuel for their trip ahead. It is very strange that at 11 am the city is fully alive and by 1 pm they are gone as quickly as they came and my little town is sleepy again. I am excited to get home and enjoy the agility of the scooter on the surface streets amongst the hoards of bikers and motorcyclists.

See you tomorrow nite Daytona!

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