Off to the Tail of the Dragon - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 14 Old Nov 16th, 2013, 9:09 pm Thread Starter
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Off to the Tail of the Dragon

I have spent the last two weekends getting the ride prepared for a week on the road. I have installed Muth Mirrors, Clearwater Lights Erica's, two Gerbing permanent controllers for driver and passenger, Skene Design P3 Lights: Rear Visibility Lighting System
, Model: P3 Lights-TS: with Turn Signals. I now have experienced the removal of all plastic except the rear side bags.

From reading everyones recommendation I finally bit the bullet and purchase Gerbing's new 12V Micromess Jacket Liner, Gloves and pants. While functional checking my wiring installation I put on the liner and gloves and they got hot almost immediately. Keep in mind I am in Texas and it was about 77 degrees today. But I believe I can finally give up the fleece Aerostich liner I have been wearing for years.

Will be leaving Monday morning from Dallas heading towards the lower corner of North Carolina and The Tail of the Dragon.

Would anyone have any road recommendations for the drive from Dallas to North Carolina other than Interstate 20 and other roads in that area once I arrive?

It's finally cool riding weather, my favorite time of the year.
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post #2 of 14 Old Nov 17th, 2013, 6:06 am
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Re: Off to the Tail of the Dragon

Be careful this time of year when you are riding in the Smoky Mountains. The roads can have ice & snow on them as early as October. Be especially careful in the morning & in the shaded areas of the road during the daytime.

Dave Selvig
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post #3 of 14 Old Nov 17th, 2013, 6:27 am
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Re: Off to the Tail of the Dragon

Maybe from the Vicksburg area off of I-20 you could pick up the Natchez Trace all the way up to Nashville (slow 45 mph ride though) and then over, OR you could ride up some of the way and find a point to where you can start riding east towards the Dragon.

If you do ride up the Trace to Nashville there is a restaurant REAL close to the end/beginning of the Trace called The Loveless Café and it is WELL worth the stop, don't be in a big hurry though, place gets kinda busy!

Have a safe trip

Brett
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post #4 of 14 Old Nov 17th, 2013, 6:50 am
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Re: Off to the Tail of the Dragon

Can't wait for your ride report, but I do follow Deal's gap on Facebook and they've posted that they just closed for the season. Reopening in March. Hopefully that doesn't discourage you. Have a safe and warm trip.

Cheers,
Tross

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post #5 of 14 Old Nov 17th, 2013, 7:04 am
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Re: Off to the Tail of the Dragon

Do yourself a favor, and experience The Cherahola Skyway, as well. Fifty miles of curves and scenery. Several overlooks to stop and take in all of God's glory. The Tail and Cherahola almost intersect on the NC side, so a nice loop can be made to travel both in a couple hours.

Also, in NC, Hwy 28 is my favorite. We spent 5 days up there around Memorial Day, and rode 28 every day from our cabin to our destination. You could take it into Franklin, NC, then South, down Hwy 64 into Highlands.

Jesse Kriner
Hope Mills, NC

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post #6 of 14 Old Nov 17th, 2013, 8:39 am Thread Starter
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Re: Off to the Tail of the Dragon

I knew I could count on you guy's for making some recommendation for this trip. Of course, having never driven in this part of the NC I thought I would call upon the vast knowledge of this site for recommendations.

I will take every recommendation into account and start plotting my route today.

Saddleman, thanks so much for the safety advise related to the possibility of ice in the shadows.

Thanks guys.

Dallas weather today projected to be 86 degrees, where did the cool weather go? It at least allows me one more chance to wash/clean the bike before the trip. I want to make sure I'm a good representation of a K1200LT community while touring down the road.
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post #7 of 14 Old Nov 17th, 2013, 9:13 am
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Re: Off to the Tail of the Dragon

Quote:
Originally Posted by vespacar
Can't wait for your ride report, but I do follow Deal's gap on Facebook and they've posted that they just closed for the season. Reopening in March. Hopefully that doesn't discourage you. Have a safe and warm trip.

Cheers,
Tross
The temp there was 14 degrees last Wednesday morning.

Dave Selvig
2004 Black LT
2000 Canon Red LT



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post #8 of 14 Old Nov 17th, 2013, 1:21 pm
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Re: Off to the Tail of the Dragon

Dave has a point. I'm not being a no it all. Having been on 129 many times. I Just don't want anyone getting hurt.But at this time of year. It's frost or ice in the morning. Wildlife. Deer,fox,coyote,And Elk in the morning are on the move.Just watch yourself on the Dragon. Ride your ride, not someone else's. And trucks or cars can come over the line in a blind curve unexpected. The Dragon can bite you at any time. Respect it, And have fun. There are other roads too. The Cherahola skyway What a nice road that is., The Blue Ridge there is awesome in Tenn./NC. If you get a chance .Go to Maggie Valley NC to Wheels Thru Time .The best motorcycle museum in the country.IMO Dale (the owner)has stuff you will not see anywhere else. And almost of the stuff runs.Call first to make sure their open.Wish I was going with you. LOL..Be safe.

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I'm a 4 percenter.

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post #9 of 14 Old Nov 17th, 2013, 6:07 pm
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Re: Off to the Tail of the Dragon

Hello, I live in Maryville Tn, a few miles from Hwy 129 (Calderwood Hwy / Dragon). Although "PEAK" viewing of colors has passed it still is a beautiful ride. We usually ride two round trip routes with a meeting point at Hwy 411/129. We ride 129 thru the dragon and continue on Hwy 28 toward Cherokee NC. The return route from Cherokee is Hwy 441 toward Gatlinburg, turning a few miles prior and continuing toward Townsend then Maryville (Takes around 5 to 6 hours of easy riding). The other route meets at same location and rides the dragon but instead of taking 28, we continue on 129 toward Robbinsville and take the Cherohala Skyway to Tellico Plains (Roundtrip back to Maryville 4 hours). If you continue out of Tellico Plains, taking Hwy 68, you can continue a very nice ride to Blue Ridge GA. Temps this week / Highs in the mid 50's, partly cloudy with occasional rain.
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post #10 of 14 Old Nov 18th, 2013, 9:57 am
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Re: Off to the Tail of the Dragon

While you're right there at Deal's Gap (Tail of The Dragon), there's also NC 28 leaving the intersection of US129 at the Deal's Gap Resort & Store. It's a nice curvy road and you can take it to the turn off for Robbinsville and then head for the Skyway if you want.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
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post #11 of 14 Old Nov 18th, 2013, 10:15 am Thread Starter
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Re: Off to the Tail of the Dragon

Good morning everyone and happy riding.

Let me start by thanking those that have give suggestion for this week tour around the corner of NC.

I left Roanoke, TX. this morning at 0700 worked my way across the morning rush hour traffic in Dallas, which really starts about 0630 in the morning. Picked up I30 in downtown Dallas and started my way east towards Terrell, TX. At Terrell I jumped off the interstate and started following Hwy 80 east which will take me to Shreveport, LA.

Currently, I'm sitting in a McDonalds in Gladewater, TX. where I'm taking in a Sausage Egg Biscuit and the free wifi. Don't normally eat at McDonalds, but what the heck I'm living large on the roads of Texas and they do have wifi.

The temp was 54 when I left the house and it has now climbed into the upper 60's. The Gerbing liners just under my Aero Roadcrafter suite has taken the chill away from what I normally feel as the protective suites outer material cools down. Beautiful day and I'm already starting feel myself relax into that state of no worries or thoughts other than the road a head of me.

Thought. Why riding the back roads I see abandon buildings, places that were once the hopes, dreams and excitement of business owners. I just can't help but wonder what happened to those business. Did the industry change? Was the business a success but the children of the original owner had no desire to continue the business and just sold it all off once their father or grandfather passed away? Just makes me think that Time Changes Everything, Time Waits For No One and Time Will Win Out.

Got to get back on the rode.
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post #12 of 14 Old Nov 18th, 2013, 10:27 am
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Re: Off to the Tail of the Dragon

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkriner
Do yourself a favor, and experience The Cherahola Skyway, as well. Fifty miles of curves and scenery. Several overlooks to stop and take in all of God's glory. The Tail and Cherahola almost intersect on the NC side, so a nice loop can be made to travel both in a couple hours.

Also, in NC, Hwy 28 is my favorite. We spent 5 days up there around Memorial Day, and rode 28 every day from our cabin to our destination. You could take it into Franklin, NC, then South, down Hwy 64 into Highlands.
Amen, Thats good stuff down there. I feel better knowing I did what the locals say to do. Have fun. Early Sunday morning I had the road to myself. Deals Gap, while fun to see the spectacle, was overrated.


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post #13 of 14 Old Nov 18th, 2013, 9:42 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Off to the Tail of the Dragon

682 miles later and 2100 hrs and I find myself in Birmingham, AL where I will spend the night. Tomorrow morning I will start driving north on Hwy 411 working my way into the western side of Rome, GA. Thought I would swing by my brothers house and spend a few days with him before heading into NC.

I had a head wind most of the day and I'm getting 41mpg, which I thinks is pretty low compared to most I hear people reporting. The best I've ever gotten on average is 45, maybe I just drive too fast?

The Clearwater, lights have totally change my night vision capabilities. While in the low beam setting on the bike I turn up the dial on the lights just a little and it gives me a wider and further depth of vision, plus the ability to see into the side ditches where the little Bambi's hang out. When you are in the clear and turn on the high-beams the Clearwater lights (Erica's) light of the road like the landing wing tip light on and MD80. The light is such a pure white light, I think I might just stand in front of them and get a tan. As I've gotten closer to my fifties, my night vision seams to have faded, but these light really helped bring back those day's of younger eyes.

Not many motorcycles on the road, guess it's because it's a Monday and everyone is at work. Did see one BMW GS1200 in LA, other than that it has mainly been HD's and one Wing.

While passing through Monroe, LA I managed to fined the "Duck Diner" and thought it would be a great photo opportunity for the bike. Happy Happy Times.

Until tomorrow.
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post #14 of 14 Old Nov 24th, 2013, 4:39 pm
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Smile Re: Off to the Tail of the Dragon

Caution wet leaves can be just as bad as oil slick. Buford New York.
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