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Rode the Dragon and Hellbender

5 posts from 5 voices
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  1. 13oSc
    #

    Won't bore you with all the details, but I hit the N end of the Dragon somewhere around 6pm on last Fri nite...the N end isn't marked as to where it actually starts.
    Nice ride from PUNKIN CENTER(good BBQ) along river/lake/whatever, then start climbing and turning more often...
    Tighter and twisties, LOTS of wide pull overs in case you need to let faster pass...
    Came upon an overlook, 8-9 meaner than average looking cars and 10-12 bikes of all descriptions..."Is this the Dragon?" "Yep, you're about 1/2 way up it"...Cool!
    Rolled into DEAL'S GAP about 7:45 (took lots of pics and just hung out for long time @ overlook). 4-5 guys porch sitting in full leathers...hot rod sportbikes...very cool.
    Chatted till 9pm, it was good and dark then-they were gonna ride the Tail @ nite...I headed S (or E) on 28 Hellbender...super ride, but alittle erie at nite...was that banjo music or a bear?
    Hit Bryson City for a McDonalds CB about 10:30, Under the covers at Cherokee NC Holiday Inn at 11:30pm....
    Up and rolling again about 9am. N on 441 thru GSMNP to Gatlinburg-this was maybe the best ride of the trip-beautiful weather, easy curves, 30 mph(Ranger's waiting), easy enuff road you can sightsee some.
    Hit Gatlinburg about 10am, did Roaring Fork Motortrail, back in Gatlinburg about a little after 11am...
    Retraced route S thru park(411) back to Cherokee...stopped in Cherokee at a roadside joint called PAUL'S FAMILY RESTURANT. Straight up pan fried trout and hushpuppies, tolerable coleslaw, and normal frenchfries and good sweet tea- 16 bucks or so...Outstanding table on the porch, so I could watch all the neat bikes and sportscars cruise by...probably spent an hour or so there vegitating...
    Onto 74...then pick up 28 and retrace route I rode in the dark. Stopped by a garage in Fontana...been converted into a MC/SC bar, accessories,lite food, T shirt/souvienerr mecca..Very Cool Place to watch the traffic...
    Onto Deals Gap...I'd guess somewhere around 3pm...probably 250-300 bikes there...place was poppin! Groups of 8-10 tearing up the hill or coming back in. Lots of riders in all the gear...Lots of riders with WORN knee pucks...I don't think posers last long down here...
    Rolled out sometime around 6pm I'd guess, Rode the Tail N back to Punkin Center...more BBQ...headed home...
    They took my pic on the Dragon..Killboy(!???) photos...can be seen here- entire middle row and 1st 3 on row 4...

    photoreflect.com/pr3/ThumbPage.aspx?e=5030859&g=03&s=2175

    Dragon was fun and safe, need to concentrate and watch the road-NO SIGHTSEEING, lots of pullovers to let people pass.
    Hellbender 28 was a handfull at night- deer, bears, potential outlaws along the roadside...But a nice ride on the way back in daylight.
    Cherokee is a cool town, with a good strip folks cruise...
    441 thru the park is very nice, easy cruising,sightseeing, don't even think about rollin on that throttle too hard-Park Rangers...
    Roaring Fork is neat- most of it 1 way 1 lane 10 mph.
    The Strato gave me a tick over 40 mpg most of the time, close to 50mpg on one stint...
    The stock seat? Well, I got on about 9am on Sat, rode mostly (with lots of breaks) about an hour at a time and towards the end of the trip my rear end was only wanting 45-50 min...slipped under the covers at home
    at 4am Sunday morn...Up @10am to goto church...never even considered taking the Strato...MY BUTT WAS SORE!!!!

  2. Suzhipiger
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    Very jealous dude. I'm going next month with a group from rswarrior.com. It sounds like I'd better take it seriously.

  3. tunc
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    read a bit about that place (dragon)sounds like a dream place to ride

    bears /outlaws
    a daytime ride it would be then
    good write up and pics

  4. puppaco
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    Sweet. Something about stock seats. Must be a price point thing, but you'd think Yamaha would realize how much $$ they are giving up to the after market guys.

  5. CTVModorz
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    hmmm.... seats??? I love my Mustang 3 piece... ok, back to the thread...
    I rode the Dragon a week or so ago with my mc group. We make an annual trip of it from here in VA to the area, ride the Cherohala Parkway, the Dragon, thru the Smokies, and this year did the Devil's Triangle. Like you're heard before, ride the Dragon on a weekday in the am, but don't miss the DT. Ride it clockwise, it's spectacular riding, no traffic compared to the Dragon. The Stratoliner was unbelievably nice on all those roads. Cruises the Interstate like a champ and incredibly balanced on the twisties - much more confident bike and made a big difference compared to my previous Suzuki C50! Anyway, just adding my 2 cents, its a 1200 mile round trip for us, 3 or 4 day weekend, nice little mc vacation.

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