What I learned on the Dragon - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 18 Old Jun 25th, 2008, 7:48 pm Thread Starter
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What I learned on the Dragon

Well sitting here in Franklin having an ice cold Bass Ale and reflecting.

Did the Dragon on Tuesday. Rode from Franklin on 28N, 19S, 28 through Fontana, 28 to 129 Deals Gap. First off the stopping area is very cool. Tree of shame been mentioned many times, but to you see it and the stuff people write on their trash. The lot is filled with all kinds of bikes but Harley's were in big numbers. Just a great time talking to them all. Really the whole group were great to hang out with and talk with. Seems the Pirate mentality is left at home with this group of people and they just flocked to our BMW with compliments and curiosity.

Now the LT on the Dragon. My riding mate said as we pulled out, be on your game and stay sharp. Good advice for sure. It took me a bit to figure out the LT and very tight transitioning corners and what I found I was doing "wrong" was not pulling hard enough out of the corners. Once I figured that out the LT was a dream. I must say I have never ran her so hard in 2nd gear and at times 3rd since I owned her. But that is what it took me to keep her rolling over and transitioning corners smoothly.

While I did follow the advice of balls of the feet on the pegs, and look into/out off the turns and this really helped me become proficient on the LT in the Dragon.

All in all a nice road and glad I did it once, we may run over and do it again but I am in no hurry as these States are filled with good roads.

Coming back to Franklin we did, 143 SW, 68 S, to 294 S/E, old 64, to 64, to 28/Franklin.

Today we ran 28/64 into Highlands, Brevard, 276 N, Blue Mt Parkway, to 19, 28 Franklin. The Parkway was just awesome.

Not sure what tomorrow brings, but it will be another blast for sure.

I have to say I have spent 3 times as much time leaned over then strait up. No choice in these parts of the world.

The LT is a dream on this and while it is a "big girl" if you keep her low enough in gear and high enough in RPMS she will do all this with no issues. Well both pegs and the right center stand have taken some abuse but that was before I was applying enough RPM to make her turn back upright for the next transition.

Life is good and while my butt is sore, my desire to continue to ride these roads is like a crack addiction.

You must stay focused and in the 1/3 off the white line as trucks and cars and bikes do not watch their lines so you must. Very important to not be even a little sloppy here or life could turn ugly real quick.

So anyway my take on the Dragon and this area of NC and loving every turn.

Lee
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post #2 of 18 Old Jun 25th, 2008, 8:48 pm
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Re: What I learned on the Dragon

By next month 294 will be finished being paved.

When you hit 143 and the Chelohala, be extremely careful.
NC is using tar and a sandy grannite mixture to resurface the road.
Most of the low turns have this crap in the curve.You can not see it is there
until you are sliding through.

I called NCDOT today to get them to sweep the road.
The girl said they have been receiving many calls about the issue.
Please becareful, this stuff is very slippery it almost bought a new 848.
I hope they get it cleaned up before a biker dies.

Visit
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post #3 of 18 Old Jun 25th, 2008, 9:19 pm Thread Starter
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Re: What I learned on the Dragon

Good heads up. But road through it yesterday. We wont be on that part again. I thank you for the heads up.

And others should heed it also, as it was a +10 on pucker factor.

Lee
17.5 R1200 GSW Black Low
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post #4 of 18 Old Jun 26th, 2008, 9:08 am
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Re: What I learned on the Dragon

great report. Never drink Bass ice cold.....45 deg is optimal.


F

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post #5 of 18 Old Jun 26th, 2008, 9:22 am
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Thumbs up Re: What I learned on the Dragon

Quote:
Originally Posted by LAF
Life is good and while my butt is sore, my desire to continue to ride these roads is like a crack addiction.
Pun intended I suppose!

Gilles & Kathy
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For her I climbed the highest mountain!
For her I swam across the deepest ocean!
For her I walked through the largest desert!
And then she left me... She said I was never home!!!


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post #6 of 18 Old Jun 26th, 2008, 12:57 pm
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Cool Re: What I learned on the Dragon

Wayah Bald Rd.(whatever) out of Franklin over to US19/74 is quite pleasant. You should try it sometime.

Benton Blalock
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post #7 of 18 Old Jun 26th, 2008, 1:15 pm
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Re: What I learned on the Dragon

The LT handlling is amazing, glad you got to try it out!

The SO can't believe how fast we come out of the mountains here

Ok ok, I thought she was screaming with joy on those over-the-cliff twisties coming down from Jerome, heheh...ahem, I was a bit off on that one
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post #8 of 18 Old Jun 26th, 2008, 3:02 pm
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Re: What I learned on the Dragon

Is this you?


-Ekim
2005 K1200LT (R.I.P.)
Manchester, MD

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post #9 of 18 Old Jun 26th, 2008, 6:03 pm Thread Starter
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Re: What I learned on the Dragon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ekim
Is this you?

Yep, good, bad, and ugly.

Lee
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post #10 of 18 Old Jun 26th, 2008, 8:10 pm
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Re: What I learned on the Dragon

Is that a turd hanging out of your mouth?


Turner Corner Cafe' is open again and the food is good.
We just got home from dinner.

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post #11 of 18 Old Jun 26th, 2008, 10:12 pm Thread Starter
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Re: What I learned on the Dragon

Yes it is a cigarette. We got pissed at a gray Suburban and pulled off on our run back, and I lit up.

Went through the Smokies today nice ride and not too slow. Gatlinburg is for sure a trip. Man have they turned that into a gold mine or what?

Going to dip into GA tomorrow, gonna run a modified Green/Orange loop off of quick maps. Gonna do an Orange loop into GA, then hit Helen GA off a Green loop, back to the Orange loop back to Franklin.

As my riding friend said " the only time you are upright on a motorcycle here, is when its on the center stand"

Lee
17.5 R1200 GSW Black Low
15 R1200 RTLC San Marino Blue Metallic (Sold)
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post #12 of 18 Old Jun 27th, 2008, 7:46 am
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Re: What I learned on the Dragon

Lee;
Good meeting you yesterday at the Dragon stop. Have a good time down in Ga. and be safe. By the way nice pics on the Dragon
Brian
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post #13 of 18 Old Jun 27th, 2008, 7:47 pm Thread Starter
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Re: What I learned on the Dragon

[QUOTE=Ekim]Is this you?

http://www.photoreflect.com/PR3/ViewAlbum.aspx?a=523564

Did a little better my 3rd trip.

Lee
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post #14 of 18 Old Jun 27th, 2008, 8:07 pm
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Re: What I learned on the Dragon

If you're hitting Helen, make sure to hit Richard Russel Senic Byway, Wolf Pen Gap, TWO, 60.

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post #15 of 18 Old Jun 27th, 2008, 8:18 pm Thread Starter
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Re: What I learned on the Dragon

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianf70
Lee;
Good meeting you yesterday at the Dragon stop. Have a good time down in Ga. and be safe. By the way nice pics on the Dragon
Brian
Nice meeting you also. We had food on the table and wanted to get to it before the fly carried it off, and were very mentally fatigued, and dehydrated at the time. We had come the back way over the Smokies through Gatlinburg and the reverse way up the Dragon

We did go out and look for you and poke around your bike but did not want to move your helmet and gear to look at your dash.

Nice bike you have there.

While over in Helen today we say a Maroon LT with NC tags next to my buddy's RT.

We took a bath today other side of Murphy, 3 drops, we get off the road and man the buckets opened up. We were soaked by the time we got rain gear on.

It was good practice for rain driving about 60 miles or so.

Have to say the Avon's are a very impressive tire to me, time will tell though.

We have about a 1000 miles on these roads in 4 days and the are tremendous!!!!! Would like to get another 5 or 6 hundred before we split on Monday.

Lee
17.5 R1200 GSW Black Low
15 R1200 RTLC San Marino Blue Metallic (Sold)
10 Liquid Silver FJR1300 (Sold)
O7 Biarritz Blue Metallic LT (Totaled 2010)
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post #16 of 18 Old Jun 28th, 2008, 12:42 pm
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Re: What I learned on the Dragon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Florian
great report. Never drink Bass ice cold.....45 deg is optimal.
Have to agree with Lee on this one. 32 is just perfect!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #17 of 18 Old Jun 28th, 2008, 3:29 pm Thread Starter
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Re: What I learned on the Dragon

Rode over to exit 2 off 85 today to get the real deal 4th of July sky lighter uppers. Man 2 HUGE stores there. I am not much on fireworks but I love the mortars.

Coming back we rode around the rain and that is pretty cool. After yesterday I had enough.

We got tomorrow yet so not sure where or what we might do.

We ate at Dillard's for breakfast and that is just amazing. Worth every penny. The food never ends and man were we full and happy leaving there.

All I can say is I have learned there is a BIG difference riding 300 miles down an interstate and riding 300 miles through these roads. I don't consider myself a wuss but I am ready to get off the bike at the end of the day. I guess it is the combination of mental fatigue from being so aware of the road, choosing your line in and out of the turns, and the physical aspect of throwing the bike around. But I sleep well.

All I can say is people need to come here and see and ride these roads, and you will get a very good handle on your riding skill set very quickly.

And the Bass is about 38-42. Now the Guinness will be about 45 or so and work its way to 50.

Lee
17.5 R1200 GSW Black Low
15 R1200 RTLC San Marino Blue Metallic (Sold)
10 Liquid Silver FJR1300 (Sold)
O7 Biarritz Blue Metallic LT (Totaled 2010)
ATGATT I am breathing proof.
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post #18 of 18 Old Jul 16th, 2008, 8:34 pm
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Re: What I learned on the Dragon

Quote:
Originally Posted by LAF
.....................

You must stay focused and in the 1/3 off the white line as trucks and cars and bikes do not watch their lines so you must. Very important to not be even a little sloppy here or life could turn ugly real quick.
I agree totally with your write up. Glad you had fun. I did the Dragon a few times about 2 years ago on a cruiser bike (VTX1300R) and it was a blast. You hit the nail on the head with your warning to watch for folks crossing the center line. And not just cars and trucks; many motorcycles do the same thing. Another thing to watch is bikes coming up behind you. Let's face it, the kids on the crotch rockets were passing me, and it didn't bother me at all! I tried to make it easy for them so I didn't get run off the road!

I'd highly recommend doing the Dragon during the week if possible. I would not even attempt it during the weekend; too many pseudo-racers trying to beat their personal best time.

There are many, many great motorcycle roads in the area, the Dragon is just one of many. I recommend anyone going out there spend a little time on the BRP and the Cherohala Scenic Skyway. Both have terrific views and are fun to ride, and a LOT less crowded than the Dragon.

The Dragon is something to do once IMHO, the others are to do over and over and over...............

Deek aka adVentureMan
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