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Old 12-05-2017, 10:04 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by miniceptor86 View Post
I rode the tail of the dragon several years ago and found it less than enjoyable. So many blind corners, so many opportunities to find the unexpected limb, pile of leaves, or other debris. It certainly didn't have any flow to it and any fun factor was overshadowed by the pucker factor. Plenty on much nicer routes in the area to ride, leave the tail to the people who don't value their's or someone else's life.
I've been down it maybe 30 times total. I have never seen anything more than a leaf on it. The pavement is clean and smooth as a billiard table. I also found sections of great 'flow' and rhythm, and hardly any corners are "blind" in fact, you can usually see all the way though the hairpins and out the other side a long way.

My personal favorite route:

From PF over to across the Foothills parkway. It is a stupid little tradition of ours that we always coast down the Foothills on the far side with our engines off. I learned more about cornering by 'racing' my buddies coasting down that hill than anything else. Makes you really have to pick good lines when you cant power out of a corner.

Anyway, turn left on 129 from the Foothills parkway and ride the Dragon down to Deals Gap. Stop at the gap for a while and just enjoy it all. Maybe have a quick bite there, the food is usually pretty good. From there, bear left towards the Fontana Dam, stopping at the visitors center at the top of the dam for pictures and a bottle of water. From Fontana dam, over to Cherokee N.C and stopping to do a little shopping in Cherokee. Turn left into Smoky Mtn. Natl. Park, and ride the park road to the top to klingmans dome. I've walked up to the top once. that was plenty, but you can get just as good a view from the parking lot. After klingmans dome, head down the other side of the hills and come out of the park at the top of Gatlinburg. Finally, stop and eat dinner in one of the restaurants in g-burg.

That right there is a ideal day of motorcycle riding.

Tim
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:35 PM   #22
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An excellent overlooked road is Wayah Road between Topton and Franklin. It goes along the Nantahala river and Nantahala lake. (Nantahala Lake at sunset)
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:48 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Cowracer View Post
I've been down it maybe 30 times total. I have never seen anything more than a leaf on it. The pavement is clean and smooth as a billiard table. I also found sections of great 'flow' and rhythm, and hardly any corners are "blind" in fact, you can usually see all the way though the hairpins and out the other side a long way.

My personal favorite route:

From PF over to across the Foothills parkway. It is a stupid little tradition of ours that we always coast down the Foothills on the far side with our engines off. I learned more about cornering by 'racing' my buddies coasting down that hill than anything else. Makes you really have to pick good lines when you cant power out of a corner.

Anyway, turn left on 129 from the Foothills parkway and ride the Dragon down to Deals Gap. Stop at the gap for a while and just enjoy it all. Maybe have a quick bite there, the food is usually pretty good. From there, bear left towards the Fontana Dam, stopping at the visitors center at the top of the dam for pictures and a bottle of water. From Fontana dam, over to Cherokee N.C and stopping to do a little shopping in Cherokee. Turn left into Smoky Mtn. Natl. Park, and ride the park road to the top to klingmans dome. I've walked up to the top once. that was plenty, but you can get just as good a view from the parking lot. After klingmans dome, head down the other side of the hills and come out of the park at the top of Gatlinburg. Finally, stop and eat dinner in one of the restaurants in g-burg.

That right there is a ideal day of motorcycle riding.

Tim
Rode it back in June of 2014. Did almost the identical route as Cowracer and had a blast. We really liked the Blue Ridge Parkway and would highly recommend it. There are tons of awesome roads all over that area. You will have a blast, just be careful. We plan on going back again sometime soon.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:46 AM   #24
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The Dragon is one of those things that, if you ar in the area, you just have to do it. Otherwise you will always wonder "what if".

The first time I rode up the Dragon I had hit a stick that flipped up and broke the toe piece off my shifter that morning, leaving me shifting with the welt on my boot. I was also pulling my Aspen Classic camper that day. Made the trip Interesting.

As others have said, Foothills, Cherohala, the trip through Smokey Mountain National park are all good rides. The Moonshiner 28 is also a great road to ride, in fact I don't think there is a bad road to ride in that whole area.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:15 AM   #25
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Rode it back in June of 2014.



You are barely leaning. If you ain't losing chrome, you shoulda left it at home... LOL

Tim
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:36 AM   #26
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there are also some very nice roads to ride in northern Arkansas
make sure to check out the Pig trail
i actually got tired of all the back roads, sharp corners, slow down,
speed up, up hill, down hill
i was actually happy to get back on a straight hiway
they tell me the scenery was beautiful but there was no way i could see it
to busy watching the road
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:54 AM   #27
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We usually ride there from Florida. MANY things to do/see, as mentioned, Wheels Thru Time Museum is a MUST! Dale and staff are wonderful..(you're welcome Dale) Take your time and enjoy, police are usually present on the Dragon and commercial traffic (18 wheelers) are prohibited, YaHhh!
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:07 PM   #28
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Any idea how early in the year you can ride this? Is April realistic?

My dad's a huge scooter nerd (Big Ruckus) and has talked about riding it. He's from PA, we'll be in Florida + heading north. I'm thinking we could meet there and hang out for a spell.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:10 PM   #29
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depends on how hard core you are, live in E. Tennessee, April is iffy it could be in the 60s- 70s or it could be 30 or less
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:21 PM   #30
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Any idea how early in the year you can ride this? Is April realistic?

My dad's a huge scooter nerd (Big Ruckus) and has talked about riding it. He's from PA, we'll be in Florida + heading north. I'm thinking we could meet there and hang out for a spell.

did the "loop" in April once. Nice, sunny day, temps in the low 70's. Just perfect on the bike with a hoodie on. Heading north into the park was a big, flashing "SNOW WARNING" sign. I figured that maybe it was left over from winter and they hadn't taken it down yet. I figured wrong.

To transition the park from south to north, you go over a large ridge of the Appalachian mountains. As we climbed, the temp got cooler and cooler. I started noticing sleet and slush in the ditches along side the road. At the peak (or as much of the peak as the main road takes) Temps were about 30 degrees and there was light snow falling. I was totally freezing my assets off, as I brought no other jacket. Going down the other side was not fun, but at least the temps started warming up. It was back in the 70's when we arrived in G-burg.

If you are a flatlander like me, you don't even think about stuff like elevation temperature changes.

tim
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:21 PM   #31
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The dragon is good, but I've ridden on many that are just as good or better and you don't have the number of idiots that think they can go 60 mph around a 20 mph curve. Check into some of the other not so well known roads.

https://www.headofthedragonwv.com/

Home

https://backofthedragon.com/

Rt 619 between Norton, VA and Fort Blackmore, VA

There are so many roads in my area that provide fun, exhilarating motorcycle riding opportunities. Look into the far southwest Virginia, southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky roadways.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:24 PM   #32
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Any idea how early in the year you can ride this? Is April realistic?
I have ridden the Dragon in March and in November but I also have heated gear!
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:25 PM   #33
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Any idea how early in the year you can ride this? Is April realistic?

My dad's a huge scooter nerd (Big Ruckus) and has talked about riding it. He's from PA, we'll be in Florida + heading north. I'm thinking we could meet there and hang out for a spell.
Rode it on March 28th one year,got "Sun Burn"! 750 Norton Commando! Youroo!!
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:33 PM   #34
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Thanks guys. Pops is pretty hearty, so I think he might be able to do it. I'll throw a message out to him and see where it goes.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:37 PM   #35
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We loved riding the Tail of the Dragon! That entire are is amazing!!
And whomever said to leave your significant other at the campsite, has me puzzled!
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:40 PM   #36
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Nice Plate! Youroo!!
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:41 PM   #37
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Nice Plate! Youroo!!


Thank you!!
Iíve had people take pics of it when behind me on the roads!
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:54 PM   #38
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Thank you!!
Iíve had people take pics of it when behind me on the roads!
Do the Pics show up on the "Run A Red Light Cameras"? That they send in the Mail,with the Fine$$$ amount! The State Highway Patrol also use the Rear Plate to tell if you have Any DWI or Outstanding,Plus Conceal Carry! Youroo!!
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:04 PM   #39
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One of my Dragon pics. I brought my Wife but she is riding her own behind me. We have really enjoyed her riding her own. She has over 100,000 miles on her Harley!
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:40 PM   #40
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Do the Pics show up on the "Run A Red Light Cameras"? That they send in the Mail,with the Fine$$$ amount! The State Highway Patrol also use the Rear Plate to tell if you have Any DWI or Outstanding,Plus Conceal Carry! Youroo!!


Well they gotta walk around to the front of my 3500 beast....to see that!
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