The Maui Excursion Dec 2018
Ok, so Maui... Does a scooter qualify as an adventure bike? I say
yes! But how did I end up on a scooter in Maui. Well, I
started communicating with a lady who will remain nameless, who
happens to spend months in Maui at a time, and she said why don't I
come, do some hiking, see the Island. At the time however I
was recovering from a sprained ankle, and the possibility that I
could go hiking on it was next to zero. But as December neared
the ankle started feeling better and I said why not?!
Let's start with some pics...
This was my day trip.. actually took longer than shown but I'll get
The pic is somewhere between Kapalua and Kahakulua (did you know the
Hawaiian alphabet has only 17 letters.. they need to borrow some
consonants from the Germans).
How did I end up on a scooter? Well, I'm not going to fly my bike to
Maui for two weeks, and to rent an "adventure" bike there was a cool
$200/day. The scooter... $75. Scooter wins! But, I went all out and
got the 200cc Kymco (So I wouldn't end up in the bicycle lanes with
the other 50cc scooters). It could do 60 mph on the flats "depending
on conditions", as it said in the papers. Alright then, and it
actually did. Even comes with a trunk and a cigarette lighter to
keep my cell phone charged. Pfffftttt! Only problem was it was so
small that I literally had to sit on the back seat up against the
trunk/top-box to not feel totally ridiculous. But if I sat at the
front and ducked down I literally could not see the handlebars or
the front wheel any more. It was like flying! Ha! I only had the
scooter for one day, but there are some amazing roads on Maui.
Covered some of them on the scooter others in the rent-a-van.
Anyway, on the road to Haleakala. That pic is at 6000 ft on the way
to the Haleakala Volcano Crater, which is at 10k ft, which on Maui
is generally above cloud level, makes for some amazing views down to
sea level. I heard if you get to the top of Haleakala at like 2:00
am, you can see the sunrise?
I was getting about 35/40 mph max out of the scooter, but some of
the turns are like 15 mph switchbacks, and the limit is only 25. So
it worked... until it didn't. At about 2000 ft at full throttle the
scooter just starts slowing down and dies. Push it to the shoulder,
try to start it again, no go. Great. I thought about calling the
rental place, but then I'm like, I'll just coast down. There was
enough of an incline! So, coasting I go down the mountain, no
problem maintaining the limit. Got to a pulloff tried her again and
she starts! Now what? Figure I won't push my luck and I'll just take
it back to the rental place. But she's running good and as I get to
the bottom, I'm like f it. Going back up! Got to 4000 ft, it dies...
really. So, I wait a few minutes, and it starts again! I get to 6000
ft and it dies again. Wait a few minutes and it starts again. I get
to 8000 ft it dies again... Ok, three strikes I'm out! I start it
and take my ass back down the mountain and to the rental place. So,
that was the end of the scooter adventure. Just as well, got there
half hour before they closed. But over 170 miles on the scooter in
one day! That's an adventure.
Oh, yeah, scooter... no foot controls... front break on right, rear
brake on left. Sucks if you forget it's not a clutch. Ha! That took
a few stops to get used to. And do not trail break the front into
corners, cause it seriously wants to stand up. Get your breaking
done early, trail in with the rear if you want. Just saying.
The road to Hana... well, it goes to Hana and takes you all the way
around the East side of the island also. As you get past Hana, going
clockwise, there are some seriously potholed sections (not for
scooters, 4x4 only it says), some sections I would describe as an
asphalt quilt because there were some many potholes it's all been
repaired (poorly at that), and some 1.5 car wide sections, and some
1 car wide sections right on the cliff. That's fun when 2 cars meet,
but there are enough wider sections to minimize the need for KY
Jelly on your car door and driving in the weeds. Good reason to have
a motorcycle or scooter. Why go clockwise on the road to Hana?
Because you don't want to be the guy on the cliff side of the road.
There's one section on the road to Hana, just past Kaupo which on
the island map says driving here will void you rental car agreement.
Yes, I took my Dodge Minivan Rental on that... and washed it
afterward. Here's a few pics along that road.
If you notice, all my trips start at Olowalu camp ground on the West
side of the Island. That's where I camped for 12 of the 14 days I
was there. Right next to the beach, sheltered by the mountains,
$20/night. Temps in the high 60's to low 80's, breezy, rained only
one night I was there, though there are places on the island, the
Road to Hana on the North being one, that get pretty consistent
rain. Camping is definitely the way to go, unless you have gobs of
money, cause a room anywhere will cost you upwards of $130/night.
There are some hostels, but more expensive than camping by a long
shot. And you don't need bug repellent cause there's no bugs! Talk
The bay by the camp site actually had a ton of corral, shallow
hundreds of yards out. Rented a paddleboard for 24 hours, some
snorkeling gear, and went out there to see the fishies.. Those pics
aren't developed yet (undewater film camera). Also, took a 4 hour
boat ride out to the Corral Gardens one day where I shot the rest of
It was also whale season, so spent a few hours on different days
looking out between Olowalu and Maalaea looking for whales. Actually
saw one jump out of the water and make a splash, like slow motion.
Also saw a lot of spouts and tails here and there. Supposedly
January is the high season for Migration of the Humpbacks to the
Also, did a couple hikes while I was there. One was hiking up in the
Haleakala Crater. It's nothing short of amazing. It's like you
landed on Mars. 12 mile hike, cost me some blisters on my toes. You
go from an area that is just totally barren, the volcano crater, and
then through a section more like a tropical mountainside.
The last place I went on the Island was the road to Polipoli. If you
read the comments on the net, people say the road makes you sick...
Meh... Yes, lots of switchbacks and beautiful scenery, but the
pavement ends about 4 miles from Polipoli state park. That section
is 4x4 only and the park rangers will give you a ticket if they see
you there without one. But the government was closed! So...
About half way up there is an open grassy section, lots of
paragliding. I considered doing it, but it's not cheap. Figure I can
do it for less somewhere else in the world, like when I get to
So, that's it for Maui. The weeks between the 17th and the 31'st are
supposedly the busiest weeks on the island. Given that, it wasn't
too bad. Gas is expensive (Close to $4/gallon) and food is
expensive. The best food store on the island is Mana foods in Paia.
Good local grown food, bulk nuts and such, and everything else you'd
want at good prices... Paia also has a cool beach where I started
and ended my trip and found something in a store window that kind of
summed it up.
I'm back in Colorado, where it was -2 degrees at the Denver airport
when my plane came in. Still got some prep work to do on the bike,
but I'm getting there. Going to install my 6.6 gallon fuel tank that
came in, lube a few things, and I should be good. Next stop in a few