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Dragon, proof

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  • Dragon, proof

    First time there. IMHO there are more fun roads in the area. While not as technical, I prefer Cherahola and probably as technical, NC 80 on the east side of Asheville and the Snake. Rode the Dragon from top to bottom. I suppose the stories of bufoonery had me a bit spooked since any time I was in a left hander and I saw traffic I flinched. Lots of cool bikes and cars. Phoenix ran fine. Glad I put new rotors on the front. I'll post more pics and routes later. We trailered down and rode for 3 days, 900 miles. Left a day early since it was supposed to rain all day today.
    129 dragon 2020-10-08.jpg
    Last edited by slayman; 10-10-2020, 06:46 PM.

  • #2
    That entire area up there is motorcycle heaven. Dragon is a piece of work alright. But, I too like a lot of the other roads around there.
    The Dragon is damn fun though, but I always wished it was longer. When I go up there though I'll ride it several times. On the weekends
    though, traffic on it, is just crazy as hell. I rode it one trip at night with a bright full moon, now that was different. It was like another planet
    in the dark, glad my Zed has a monster headlight though.
    "If it ain't broke, don't fix it...
    but sometimes it just needs a mod"


    • #3
      Well, at least you finally got to ride it and see what the hype is about Scott.

      As you said, there are better and less "popular" roads in the area. Cherohala Skyway being one of them.

      There is also GA 60 from Dahlonaga north to Suches and continuing through to Morganton. The part past Suches north is great!

      Blood Mountain, Wolf Pen Gap, Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway are a few more.

      Glad to see the Phoenix rocking the Dragon
      I have neither the time,or the inclination, to explain myself to a man, who rises and sleep under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner, in which I provide it. I'd rather you just say 'thank you' and go on your way.


      • #4
        Bucket List Item for Gregness: Get down there and ride all those roads, and also do the Barber Museum!
        "The Price of Speed is Eternal Vigilance" 2015 ZX14R 30th, Four Kids


        • #5
          Post more pics

          While I am master of my sword, I shall never think any man greater than myself.
          ~Eumenes of Cardia

          I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth. ~Steve McQueen

          I work over by worlds of fun. ~JimmyMac

          My photo album -


          • #6
            Mostly plagiarized from Shane's STO write up. Photos are mine.

            What a phenomenal three days of riding.

            My local riding buds Shane (BMW R1200RS, Doug (Sprint 995) and I loaded our bikes in Doug's trailer Monday night, and headed for Sparta at 7am on Tuesday morning. Once we arrived at the Allegany Inn in Sparta NC, we unloaded our bikes, and checked in to our rooms. As it was only 4:00pm we decided to gear up and go for a quick shakedown ride. After that, we walked up to the Main St Pizzeria and Taphouse, where Doug proclaimed he had the best wings he's ever had. Then it was back to the Inn for a few more parking lot beers for them.

            Wednesday morning after a quick breakfast, we checked out and geared up for the ride to Bryson City, where we would be staying for 2 nights.
            It was all Blue Ridge Parkway today. Shane isn’t one to stop and take a lot of photos, so I insisted we stop every 50 miles or so and enjoy the sights.



            After arriving in Bryson City and getting settled at the Relax Inn, we tried getting into Jimmy Mac's restaurant, but it was not to be. The hostess said she'd call, never did, and crossed our names off and when we went back in to check on our place in line, she said she could put our names back on the bottom of the list. No thanks, we'll eat somewhere else. So we ended up at Nate and Nick's Pizza, and enjoyed our meals. Then of course, back to the hotel for parking lot beers except me since all that the guys were drinking was IPA.

            Thursday morning after I found a quick cup of coffee and some breakfast bars we started our day loop, which went counter clockwise up through Cherokee to Rt. 441, where we found the most traffic we saw all week. A beautiful ride by the Little Creek on Fighting Creek Gap Rd. took us to Wears Valley, where we picked up the Foothills Parkway, aka the Missing Link.
            Dragon day 2020-10-08.jpg



            That ended at Rt. 129 at the North end of Deal's Gap. We rode the "Dragon" down to the store, stopped there for a sticker, and decided we didn't need to do another run, the pavement was not in great shape, and it's a bit of a zoo,

            so we rode south to the Cherahola Skyway, which all 3 of us enjoyed immensely.


            After lunch in Tellico Plains, we rode back the Cherahola, then back up to Deal's Gap where we picked up Rt. 28. That took us all the way down to Rt. 74 and back to Bryson City. A walk to Mountain Layer Brewing had us enjoying a few brews and some delicious food from a food truck parked out back. I wandered up the street and found some coffee ice cream and dark chocolate covered pretzels. The other two had more IPA

            Friday morning, just coffee and breakfast bars and we packed up and checked out, ready for another great day of riding. We rode from Bryson City to Marion via mostly highway so we could get to some roads that thought we’d miss if Saturday got rained out. A quick bite at McD's in Marion, then it was game on.

            We picked up Rt. 80 north , and about a mile after we turned onto 80, we found a lane wide oil spill with some left over oil dry, super slow going for about a mile then wow what fun.
            Rt. 80 took us to Rt. 226, then up Rt. 261/143 over Roan Mountain pass.
            Bryson City to Sparta 2020-10-09.jpg


            A short jaunt up Rt. 19e to Rt. 91 found us at the Shady Valley country store at Rt. 421. We did an out and back east and then rode west up over the next set of twisties, then Denton Valley Road north to Damascus, where we picked up Rt. 58. We followed that to Mouth of Wilson, then Rt. 93 to Rt. 21 back to Sparta, for a total of 900 quality miles in 3 days.
            The Snake.jpg
            We looked at the forecast for Saturday (the remnants of hurricane Delta were blowing in), and decided before we start drinking, we better load the bikes in the trailer if we were to head home Saturday. After we loaded, it was time to get loaded at Laconia Aleworks, where finally I found an excellent beer, a very nice coffee porter. Then it was another walk to Main St. Pizzeria and Taphouse for dinner. After dinner, you guessed it, parking lot, coffee for me and beers for them.

            Saturday we packed up and headed for home in a warm, dry truck. I would definitely trailer to that area again, as we were able to avoid slogging our bikes down Rt. 81 with all the truck traffic.

            The bike ran perfectly, not quite getting to 80K since we didn’t ride Saturday. I am getting the hankering for something new though. The new Ninja 1000 SX or a used ZX14R? The N1K seems like it would be better suited to the skinny technical roads like the Snake and Rt 80 and much of what we ride here in PA. I need to find an N1K to test ride. I’m guessing the 14R would be closer to the ZZR in ergos and "feel"? If I find a set up for touring ZX14R I might just snap it up. I'll probably start another thread when I get closer to making a purchase.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by slayman; 10-13-2020, 07:41 PM.


            • #7
              Scott, thanks so much for this! If those maps are any indicators, it looks like sport bike paradise! And I got to agree, these days I have no patience for slabbing in traffic to where I want to actually ride. I am more motivated than ever to get down there and spend some quality time wrecking a set of tires.

              "The Price of Speed is Eternal Vigilance" 2015 ZX14R 30th, Four Kids