Tail of the Dragon riding - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 25 Old Oct 21st, 2014, 6:53 pm Thread Starter
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Tail of the Dragon riding

I have a couple of buddies who are taking their wives to Maryville TN, renting a couple of Harleys and riding for two days.

You can't see it all in two days so my question is where would you send them with only two days of riding???

I know they have to see the Dragon and the Cherahala, also Maggie Valley and the museum. What are the best two 200-250 mile routes???

Thanks for the input....

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post #2 of 25 Old Oct 21st, 2014, 7:17 pm
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

The "rest" of the dragon is in southern WV along the border through VA...(actually through all of WV)

Seriously, the Tail is OK, but can be crowded and it's only about 13 miles...There is a 200 mile loop through southern WV and VA that has all of the curves, elevation changes and lots of short straight aways with no traffic.

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post #3 of 25 Old Oct 21st, 2014, 7:20 pm
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

Mostly from memory...

Ride starts on route 16 in Tazewell, VA and goes to Marion, VA. Staying on 16, go under the interstate and head to Sugar Grove and then to Shatley Springs. (Great place to eat) Ride a little further and get on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Head north and take the first exit. Biker bars there. (Beer and snack)

Head north to Independence, VA and on to Wytheville. Stay on route 52 over Big Walker Mtn.

Stay on 52 north and go over East River Mtn. to Bluefield, WV., my home town.

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post #4 of 25 Old Oct 21st, 2014, 7:21 pm
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

If they ride the dragon tell them to keep track of there time for the whole length. A decent sport bike rider will do it in about 9 & 1/4 minutes. A good sport bike rider will be in the mid to upper 8 minutes.

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post #5 of 25 Old Oct 21st, 2014, 9:12 pm
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

I find those times highly unlikely. At 60 mph you travel 1 mile per min. That would be 11 minutes at 60 mph. Having ridden the dragon several times I am doubtful of averaging 60 mph there on a sport tourer.
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post #6 of 25 Old Oct 21st, 2014, 9:26 pm
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

Quote:
Originally Posted by dthogey View Post
I have a couple of buddies who are taking their wives to Maryville TN, renting a couple of Harleys and riding for two days.
Geez, is that all they'll get in exchange for their wives... a couple of Harley's....???



sorry, couldn't help myself.... my wife would consider she's worth much more than that.

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post #7 of 25 Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 4:50 am
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

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Originally Posted by BIRDDOG51 View Post
I find those times highly unlikely. At 60 mph you travel 1 mile per min. That would be 11 minutes at 60 mph. Having ridden the dragon several times I am doubtful of averaging 60 mph there on a sport tourer.
I have no idea what a quick sport touring bike time would be at the dragon. I know a rider on a Honda CBR1000RR that runs it in just over 9 minutes & he knows riders that are in the 8 minute range.

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post #8 of 25 Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 5:56 am
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

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I have no idea what a quick sport touring bike time would be at the dragon. I know a rider on a Honda CBR1000RR that runs it in just over 9 minutes & he knows riders that are in the 8 minute range.
I hope that someone sweeps the dirt and gravel ahead of him.... I have spoke to some of the guys who maintain those roads and they say that it's the cars that run slightly off of the roads that spread the road debris..

The "other part of the dragon" is a much more leisurely ride of about 225 miles with bits and pieces that are as technical as The Dragon, but a lot safer. It takes several hours with lots of nice stops along the way.

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post #9 of 25 Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 7:07 am
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

David the Dragon was nice but I thought the Cherohala Skyway was better. Way less traffic & cops to deal with. DO NOT do the Dragon on a weekend I did it on a Tuesday at 10:00 am while at CCR & only saw 20 or so bikes, but 6 Leos.

Also Moonshiner 28 was more fun then the Dragon. We did it both ways & had a blast.

If they go to Wheels Through Time they can do parts of the Blue ridge Parkway.

This can be done in 2 days if they manage they time right. We stayed at the iron Horse 2 nights, We did the Cherohala Skyway coming in on Sunday.
Then the Moonshiner 28 to the Blue ridge to Wheels Through Time. Plus some other back roads the Don Smith took us on all on Monday. We did the Dragon on the way to CCR & were in Chattanooga by 1:00.

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post #10 of 25 Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 10:27 am
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

Moonshiner 28 is one of my favorites along with Wayah Road, Warwoman Road, Wolf Pen Gap, GA Rt. 60, Cherohala Skyway, etc. etc. etc. OMG too many roads and not enough time.
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post #11 of 25 Old Oct 23rd, 2014, 9:53 pm
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

Quote:
Originally Posted by dthogey View Post
I have a couple of buddies who are taking their wives to Maryville TN, renting a couple of Harleys and riding for two days.

You can't see it all in two days so my question is where would you send them with only two days of riding???

I know they have to see the Dragon and the Cherahala, also Maggie Valley and the museum. What are the best two 200-250 mile routes???

Thanks for the input....
Here are some suggestions.

Day One
Out of Maryville, head east on 321 then right and east on 73. Turn right at 441 and head South. Turn left onto the beginning of the Blue Ridge Parkeway and take that to the Hwy 19 exit, and head east on 19. That will take them right into Maggie Valley. Heading back to Maryvillle, head west on 19 towards Bryson City. Stay on 19/74 and it will merge with 28. Turn right on 28 west and that wil take them to Deals Gap and start of the Dragon. Even on the weekends, the Dragon can be fairly empty in the late afternoon. They can then stay on 129 all the way back to Maryville.


Day Two
Out of Maryville, head south on 129 and run the Dragon heading south and continue on 129 to Robbinsville. Head west on 143 and the Cherohala Skyway into Tellico Plains. Turn left on 64 and head south to Ducktown, and go west of 64. Watch signs and turn right on 30 north which turns into 315 then 39 going back to Tellico. Then right on 64 and left on the Cherohala and then left on 360 north. That will dump them out onto 129 to head north back to Maryville.

These routes should let them check off the major roads in the area and a couple of extras. Lots of technical riding so make sure they are prepared. Especially on Harley's.

"Not all who wander are lost"

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post #12 of 25 Old Oct 24th, 2014, 3:52 am
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

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Originally Posted by DanDiver View Post
I hope that someone sweeps the dirt and gravel ahead of him.... I have spoke to some of the guys who maintain those roads and they say that it's the cars that run slightly off of the roads that spread the road debris..

The "other part of the dragon" is a much more leisurely ride of about 225 miles with bits and pieces that are as technical as The Dragon, but a lot safer. It takes several hours with lots of nice stops along the way.
The riders I know that live near there ride it both directions before they make a quick run through it.

Dave Selvig
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post #13 of 25 Old Oct 24th, 2014, 5:25 am
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

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The riders I know that live near there ride it both directions before they make a quick run through it.
I grew up in the area of Southern WV and the nice thing about it is the great places to ride and the limited traffic. When I rode through "The Rest of the Dragon or as the Chamber of Commerce now likes to now call ( or Market) it the Back of the Dragon" with a buddy last month, I'd bet we saw less than a dozen vehicles throughout the 200+ miles. In a few of the areas, the speed reading on my GPS was in the red!

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post #14 of 25 Old Oct 24th, 2014, 9:16 am
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

Since The Tail Of The Dragon is fairly close for me I've ridden it a few times on the K1200LT and have a few tips no matter what you ride. Ride in a lower gear with higher revs. Ii recommend a slower "learning" ride each direction and then ride it in earnest. Don't wave or pose for the cameras, ride. Ride on a weekday if you can. Watch for big rigs, they will take up the whole road. Watch your speed. More importantly than speed, stay in your lane.

As a retired LEO I have spoken with a few of the Deputies and Troopers there and here's what I got. If seen, going into the other lane you WILL get a ticket, no question. Speed so long as not excessive will still get you stopped but could result in a written warning.

Over the years we got a few pictures of the K1200LT up there. It might be time to get one of the new R1200RT.

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post #15 of 25 Old Oct 24th, 2014, 5:13 pm
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

A friend of mine that lives near the dragon has run the dragon with an average speed of 73 mph in 11 miles.

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post #16 of 25 Old Oct 24th, 2014, 8:28 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

Thanks for the info guys!!

David Hogerheide

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post #17 of 25 Old Oct 24th, 2014, 8:31 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

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A friend of mine that lives near the dragon has run the dragon with an average speed of 73 mph in 11 miles.
You sure that wasn't you!!
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post #18 of 25 Old Oct 25th, 2014, 6:14 am
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

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You sure that wasn't you!!
No that's probably 12 to 15 mph over my average time.

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post #19 of 25 Old Oct 25th, 2014, 6:52 am
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Cool Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

Have lunch (bite to eat at the Restaurant/Souvenir Shop near the Tree of Shame and do the Cherahala. I got lucky and a couple took me via the Tail of the Dragon and it got really sweet in the elevated, sweeping curves of the Cherahala. We ended up at a waterfall at the end of the Cherahala that was exquisite too.
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post #20 of 25 Old Oct 25th, 2014, 7:00 am
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

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Have lunch (bite to eat at the Restaurant/Souvenir Shop near the Tree of Shame and do the Cherahala. I got lucky and a couple took me via the Tail of the Dragon and it got really sweet in the elevated, sweeping curves of the Cherahala. We ended up at a waterfall at the end of the Cherahala that was exquisite too.
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post #21 of 25 Old Oct 25th, 2014, 5:05 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

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No that's probably 12 to 15 mph over my average time.
That is so fast!!! What was his top speed to average that on the Dragon??

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post #22 of 25 Old Oct 25th, 2014, 5:37 pm
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

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That is so fast!!! What was his top speed to average that on the Dragon??
I'll ask the next time I talk to him. He is a retired professional racer & he told me there are riders that are a lot faster on the Dragon than he is.

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post #23 of 25 Old Oct 27th, 2014, 2:51 pm
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding



I need to mark this so I can find it again.

I like the area, but I don't care for the hype of the "Dragon".

Too many that think they have "prove themselves".

Of course this is just IMHO. With that and a couple of bucks, you can get a cup of coffee!

[B]It STILL don't make me no nevermind![/B]
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post #24 of 25 Old Oct 27th, 2014, 11:12 pm
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

Back to the original topic....When I have made plans for trips to that region, I have ordered a set of maps from AmericaRidesMaps.com They are the my favorite maps for that region.

Scott and Theresa
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post #25 of 25 Old Nov 10th, 2014, 5:35 pm
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Re: Tail of the Dragon riding

I spoke to my friend the other day about the times we talked about riding the dragon. They time the run from the state line to the overlook which is 9 miles. I had assumed he was talking about the whole run at 11 miles. His top speed on the 9 mile run is about 120 mph. His average speed would be just under 60 mph.

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