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Riding the Smoky Mountains

  1. #51
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains


    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post
    Cool, thanks for the reply! Also can I please take the Tuono for a spin?
    He has TL, I have Tuono.

    On the Gap there is one place where they normally sit, it's called "Radar Straight", close to the overlook, maybe a mile? heading from NC side it's a left corner.
    locals play games of cat and mouse where they all warn each other about TN troopers approaching the Gap on 129 and Troopers try to outsmart them by going thought Cades Cove and take Parsons Branch Road, I can post detailed explanation what it is if anyone interested, in short it's "unimproved road" with river crossings that comes in to Deals Gap about midway point, it's one way dirt road

    On Rt28 they hide in the driveways where rt28 gets wide coming down the hill past Stecoah towards 74, most bikes uncork it after being held up by cars where it goes 2 lane and get Performance Awards from NC trooper.

    On Blue Ridge no cops, only Park Rangers, seen plenty, talked to some, same as cops they are all different kinds of people, some are nice, others are not, but all can write a nice fat ticket or arrest you.

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  2. #52
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    did you check killboy highlights? perhaps you made it...

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  3. #53
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    someone from CT made highlights for his grass mowing skills


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  4. #54
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    The big dude on the Grom that made the highlights rolled through while we were there. He looked hilarious on that thing.

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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by Dmitry View Post
    He has TL, I have Tuono.
    Would you mind if I took it for a test ride some time?

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  6. #56
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post
    Would you mind if I took it for a test ride some time?
    Not at all, just don't crash it, I'm about to replace thedamaged frame sliders... perhaps I should hold off

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  7. #57
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Bump.

    Buddy and I decided to repeat our trip again in late April. This year we're going down on much different bikes (my KTM 1290SA, his Triumph Tiger XCA), and we'll most likely be riding all the way down rather than trailering. Plan is to get on Skyline Drive/BRP and ride it all the way down to Cherokee on day 2 (day 1 is traveling to Virginia and staying at a hotel somewhere near the entrance to Skyline).

    This year we want to hit dirt down there. I've read plenty about Parsons Branch Rd. Also heard about dirt Cherahola...anyone familiar? Anyone know of any other dirty sections of fire road or unimproved roads? We don't want anything too gnarly, but we aren't afraid to get a little dirty/wet.

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  8. #58
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    Blueridge and the Smokey Mountain NP (441 South of Gatlinburg) are two roads I have mixed feelings about. Both were underwhelming rides filled with traffic, cops and lots of rules. But then both are also very beautiful and worthy of "been there, done that" status.
    if there is a time when there isn't traffic, it would be now, the off season, however, not sure of the snow cover status, they just had quite a storm in the area and they don't have snowplows, they wait for they snow to melt

    http://tailofthedragon.com/your-trip/weather/

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  9. #59
    Take Chance, Shit Pants TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by SRTie4k View Post
    Bump.

    Buddy and I decided to repeat our trip again in late April. This year we're going down on much different bikes (my KTM 1290SA, his Triumph Tiger XCA), and we'll most likely be riding all the way down rather than trailering. Plan is to get on Skyline Drive/BRP and ride it all the way down to Cherokee on day 2 (day 1 is traveling to Virginia and staying at a hotel somewhere near the entrance to Skyline).

    This year we want to hit dirt down there. I've read plenty about Parsons Branch Rd. Also heard about dirt Cherahola...anyone familiar? Anyone know of any other dirty sections of fire road or unimproved roads? We don't want anything too gnarly, but we aren't afraid to get a little dirty/wet.
    Tatham Gap is a run little (albeit short) ride to get over to Andrews from Robbinsville. Not sure if it's open yet, they have a big land slide a few years back that took out a good section of it.

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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Not sure what you mean by Cherokee but if it's an autocorrect for cherahola, I think your plan may be a bit optimistic on miles covered or otherwise you are in for a serious, serious, iron butt ride. I did it solo a couple years back, and skyline drive and brp are fun as hell but not good for high average speed or total distance traveled compared to how the crow flies (at all)

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  11. #61
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by Imbeek View Post
    Not sure what you mean by Cherokee but if it's an autocorrect for cherahola, I think your plan may be a bit optimistic on miles covered or otherwise you are in for a serious, serious, iron butt ride. I did it solo a couple years back, and skyline drive and brp are fun as hell but not good for high average speed or total distance traveled compared to how the crow flies (at all)



    Cherokee is the name of the town at the southern end of BRP

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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Ok, thanks, then my point stands. All of skyline and brp in one day probably won't be much fun, except in an ironman triathlon as fun kind of way.

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  13. #63
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by SRTie4k View Post
    Bump.

    Buddy and I decided to repeat our trip again in late April. This year we're going down on much different bikes (my KTM 1290SA, his Triumph Tiger XCA), and we'll most likely be riding all the way down rather than trailering. Plan is to get on Skyline Drive/BRP and ride it all the way down to Cherokee on day 2 (day 1 is traveling to Virginia and staying at a hotel somewhere near the entrance to Skyline).

    This year we want to hit dirt down there. I've read plenty about Parsons Branch Rd. Also heard about dirt Cherahola...anyone familiar? Anyone know of any other dirty sections of fire road or unimproved roads? We don't want anything too gnarly, but we aren't afraid to get a little dirty/wet.
    that is pretty much what I did the first time I went down, day 1 starting in concord, NH to Gettysburg, PA, day 2 gettysburg to Roanoke, VA, day 3 Roanoke to CROT @ deals gap

    plenty of forest service roads parallel to the cherohala, as iglu sed, Tatham Gap if it's open, also, Beaver Creek Road from Snowbird to Andrews, a bunch down in northern GA as well, Pool Creek Road, Rt 2, etc.

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  14. #64
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by Imbeek View Post
    Ok, thanks, then my point stands. All of skyline and brp in one day probably won't be much fun, except in an ironman triathlon as fun kind of way.
    Averaging 50mph on the off season on Skyline/BRP, I don't see how 570 miles in a day isn't doable. We did a 530 mile run of the Puppy Dog Route this year in a span from 6AM to 7PM, and that's nearly all dirt and at an average 40mph.

    Also we can always hop off around Asheville and hit the slab the rest of the way if we get sick of it...we already did the section from Cherokee to Asheville last year.

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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by SRTie4k View Post
    Averaging 50mph on the off season on Skyline/BRP, I don't see how 570 miles in a day isn't doable. We did a 530 mile run of the Puppy Dog Route this year in a span from 6AM to 7PM, and that's nearly all dirt and at an average 40mph.
    Speed limit on Skyline Drive is 35, and it's fairly heavily patrolled. And a federal speeding ticket. Maintaining 50mph average there is ill-advised.

    Also, keep in mind that there's a shitload of wildlife around Skyline Drive and the BRP, and those critters are very used to traffic so tend to linger in the road. You want to keep your speed down for that reason alone, especially early morning and late afternoon.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRTie4k View Post
    Also we can always hop off around Asheville and hit the slab the rest of the way if we get sick of it...we already did the section from Cherokee to Asheville last year.
    That section is the best part of the BRP. If anything, you'd be better off slabbing from Roanoke to Asheville, as that's the least interesting section of the BRP (pretty, but not a lot of twisties).

    Honestly though, a better idea would be to take an extra day and don't rush through. Take a less direct route through PA -- there's some great riding in northern and central PA -- and stop for the night somewhere around Johnstown. Next day hit up some of the roads around the Youghiogheny River area, cut through western Maryland and northern West Virginia down to Front Royal, take Skyline Drive and the BRP down to Roanoke (or stop a little short in Buena Vista or Buchanan). Then day after that, take BRP the rest of the way. That might even put you into Cherokee early enough to make a couple of passes on the Dragon if you want.

    --mark

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    Last edited by markbvt; 01-09-17 at 05:11 PM.
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by SRTie4k View Post
    Bump.

    Buddy and I decided to repeat our trip again in late April. This year we're going down on much different bikes (my KTM 1290SA, his Triumph Tiger XCA), and we'll most likely be riding all the way down rather than trailering. Plan is to get on Skyline Drive/BRP and ride it all the way down to Cherokee on day 2 (day 1 is traveling to Virginia and staying at a hotel somewhere near the entrance to Skyline).

    This year we want to hit dirt down there. I've read plenty about Parsons Branch Rd. Also heard about dirt Cherahola...anyone familiar? Anyone know of any other dirty sections of fire road or unimproved roads? We don't want anything too gnarly, but we aren't afraid to get a little dirty/wet.
    I don't know about a dirt Cherohala Skyway, but the paved Cherohala Skyway is amazing.



    I'd do it again.

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    Last edited by number9; 01-09-17 at 06:35 PM.
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains


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  18. #68
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    Did that on a V-Strom on Pilot Road ST rubber. Good time. Would do again.

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  19. #69
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by markbvt View Post
    Speed limit on Skyline Drive is 35, and it's fairly heavily patrolled. And a federal speeding ticket. Maintaining 50mph average there is ill-advised.

    Also, keep in mind that there's a shitload of wildlife around Skyline Drive and the BRP, and those critters are very used to traffic so tend to linger in the road. You want to keep your speed down for that reason alone, especially early morning and late afternoon.

    That section is the best part of the BRP. If anything, you'd be better off slabbing from Roanoke to Asheville, as that's the least interesting section of the BRP (pretty, but not a lot of twisties).

    Honestly though, a better idea would be to take an extra day and don't rush through. Take a less direct route through PA -- there's some great riding in northern and central PA -- and stop for the night somewhere around Johnstown. Next day hit up some of the roads around the Youghiogheny River area, cut through western Maryland and northern West Virginia down to Front Royal, take Skyline Drive and the BRP down to Roanoke (or stop a little short in Buena Vista or Buchanan). Then day after that, take BRP the rest of the way. That might even put you into Cherokee early enough to make a couple of passes on the Dragon if you want.

    --mark
    I'm fully aware of the 35mph limit on Skyline, as well as the harsh speeding penalties in VA. And FWIW the northern section of BRP is what I'm most interested in - I don't particularly care about the twisties on a 500mi day. We can more than make up in highly illegal speeds through 129/Highlands or really any area.

    I'm saving PA for another trip, namely the trans-PA vertical trail and parts of the TAT.

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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    I really need a new bike to start seeing this country this year.

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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by jhawley View Post
    I really need a new bike to start seeing this country this year.
    What's wrong with the Vffr? The looks, or gas mileage

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  22. #72
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    BRP is currently CLOSED. The whole thing, I believe. As was pointed out above, we got a snow storm (I have a hard time typing that when we got 3 inches in Asheville) but they don't plow or salt the Parkway. However, it's supposed to be 65 degrees here on Thursday, so I imagine it will reopen soon. Also, be aware of sections that may be closed for repair work. The seem to like to do road work or tunnel maintenance work over the winter. I'll keep an eye on things and update as your trip gets closer.

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  23. #73
    Jamnuts jhawley's Avatar
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    I want something different. I've put nearly 35k on that bike in 3 years.

    Plus it's got zero amenities. It's too sporty for real long distance. And I can't deal with the looks of raising the bars. But there is too much of a bend in my knees so after about 3-4 hours I'm dying.

    Yes and the questionable gas range too.

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  24. #74
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by jhawley View Post
    I want something different. I've put nearly 35k on that bike in 3 years.

    Plus it's got zero amenities. It's too sporty for real long distance. And I can't deal with the looks of raising the bars. But there is too much of a bend in my knees so after about 3-4 hours I'm dying.

    Yes and the questionable gas range too.
    I'd say go find a used KTM 1190 Adventure. You could probably scoop an older one up for around $10k. Or if you don't mind a bit less features, a used Tiger 800 is still a wonderful mix of power, handling, comfort and features.

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  25. #75
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Riding the Smoky Mountains

    Show me the way to the $10k 1190 ADV please! That is still 990 money.

    And I agree that Hawley would be better served with a Tiger800, probably a roadie or maybe V-Strom 1k or Versys 1k or..

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    Last edited by nhbubba; 01-12-17 at 08:16 AM.

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