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Hey everyone, I joined this site last month when I purchased a 600RR, this is my first post. I just returned from a week long 1200 mile trip through NC, TN, KY, WV. I have never riden/owned a street bike before last month. However, I have riden dirt bikes my whole life and street bike riding seemed to come to me fairly easily. I used this site extensivley for researching gear, tips, ideas, etc before venturing out on this journey and it has helped me a lot, Thanks!!

The Trip:
Day 1 - We left from Burnsville, NC and headed over to Hot Springs, NC. That was my first taste of a twisty moutain road and I could tell the 600RR wanted to eat them up. From Hot Springs we headed over to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park and then to Gatlinburg for the night. Stayed at the Riveredge Terrace Hotel and went down to Pucker's for some pool and darts.

Day 2 - Left Gatlinburg and headed back through GSMNP towards Townsend, TN then to TN129, The "Tail of the Dragon". We approaced the tail from the TN side. As we rode TN129, I did not even realize that was the Tail of the Dragon until we got to Deals Gap(The Crossroads of Time). I remember thinking to my self "Man.. This road is awesome!! I can't even imagine a road better than this!!". We took it slow through the dragon and it treated us nice. Some guy flew by our whole group and I think I found his picture on killboy.com http://photos1.blogger.com/img/55/3348/1024/IMG_3780.jpg. We ate lunch at the little restraunt at Deals Gap, checked out the "tree of shame" and bought a t-shirt in the shop. After that we headed down to Fontana Dam then to Robinsville and the Cherohala Skyway. It was getting late so we booked it over to Cleavland, TN. Stopped at "Bonnie's Talk of the Town" for a beer and got a room at the Quality Inn down the road and had dinner at Naw'lins which was very good.

Day 3 - From Cleavland, TN we cruised over to Chatanooga, TN and went up lookout mountain. Stopped at the top of the "Incline" and checked out the view(Supposedly you can see five states). From there we wanted to head towards Nashville. We took TN41 most of the way from Chatanooga to Nashville. It took us through Manchester, TN where Bonnaroo, a huge music festival, was going to be held in few days. I actually went to Bonnaroo two years ago and knew there was going to be some ridiculous traffic, but luckily we skipped on by. We knew we wanted to stay at the Opryland Hotel and Convention Center, so we punched that in to the GPS when we got near Nashville and it took us right to it. Let me tell you, this place is ridiculously huge. It's like a mini city under huge atriums with rivers, boats, trees, caves... $250 a night though for the cheapest room.

Day 4 - Took off from Nashville and headed north to Kentucky. Dang it was pretty hot and flat this day. Not much to see but farms, made it to Somerset, KY and had dinner at Picasso's. Nice place, sat out side and had a view of the river.

Day 5 - Got on the bikes and started heading east towards West Virginia. Went through many coal mining towns, and got stuck behind many coal trucks going over mountain roads. There were some nice roads through here. We stopped in Williamson, WV and tried to get a room at the Super 8 but they were booked because the Hatfield-McCoys(familys famous for feuding back in the day) were having their anual reunion. So we went over to Logan, WV and got a room there.

Day 6 - We needed to make it make it back to Burnsville, NC this day. So we hopped on the bikes and followed more beautiful roads through mining town after mining town, down through WV to VA to TN to NC. We went thru Johnson City to Unicoi where we took 226. I think this part of 226 had more turns and twists than the tail of the dragon!! It was a perfect end to a awesome trip!

Can't wait to do it again!!

Estimated Route:


Sorness Factors:
After riding for hours on hours my a$$ would start killing me. I would move around a lot sitting in one position for 5 minutes at a time and this seemed to help. When on straight roads I would sometimes hook my feet on the passenger pegs and rest on the tank bag. I was going to say that on the next trip I'm definetly getting a corbin seat, but guys i was riding with on harley's with plush seats said their a$$ was hurting too, I think it just a factor of sitting for so long, its going to hurt no matter what. My right wrist also started to hurt towards the end of the trip. My back would hurt at times but wasn't bad at all.

Gear:
Luggage - I researched luggage on this site before pruchasing anything. I decided to get a magnetic tank bag. I went with the Joe Rocket Velocity Tank Bag. I took off my gas tank cover and crazy glued super strength neodyium magnets to the under side where the magnets in the tankbag matched on the other side. This worked out great. The bag was perfect and stored alot of gear. In the clear map pocket i stored my GPS, Cell Phone, and Ipod. To power all of these items i bought a kit from radio shack that included a three outlet cigarette lighter, wires with inline fuse and a quick disconnect. I ran the wire straigt from the battery under the gas tank cover and came out right next to the head bolt. This is where the quick connect is located. Then I placed the three outlet cigarette lighter in my tankbag and ran the wire out the front and connected to the quickconnect right there next to the head bolt. Worked awesome! For more storage space I purchased a Joe Rocket Velocity Tail Bag. This bag comes with bungees to strap it down, however i used a strap I had that came with an old backpack and attached it to the rear seat. I used the 2 front bungees on the bag to stabilize it some more by connecting them to the passenger pegs. This worked out nice becuase when you wanted to carry everything into the hotel room i would just pop off the rear seat and took it with me still attached to the bag.

Jacket - I bought a Joe Rocket Alter Ego jacket from a member of this site. It worked awesome. I left the removeable panels off most of the trip and was comfortable the whole time, and it was super hot a few days.

Gloves - I had bought some Joe Rocket Gloves. I used these for about an hour then took them off. It was just too hot.

Helmet - I got a great deal on an HJC AC-11. It worked well light, and may vents, comfortable. Couldn't ask for more.

Rain Suit - I got a 29.99 rain suit from dicks sporting goods. It's designed for fisihing and what not, but it kept me dry when it rained two times. It wasn't that uncomfortable to ride in either. I made sure to get an XL to fit over everything i was wearing.

Electronics - As mentioned above I added 3 cigarette outletes to my tank bag. This powered my cell phone, GPS, and Ipod. The Ipod worked great. I clipped the inline remote to the outside of the tank bag so i could quickly connect and disconnect the head phones when getting on and off the bike. I also could control the ipod's touch sensitive controls through the clear plastic, which i loved!!.

Here are pics of the whole trip. Not in order(from multiple cameras and some didnt date the pictures and I dont feel like chronologically sorrting 480 pics from memory) http://photos.syck.ath.cx/050612%20-%202005%20Bike%20Trip/


Todd
 

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WOW!! That sounded lick a kick A$$ trip!!!! beautiful country!
 

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That's awesome. Sounds like a lot of fun. I'm planning a trip with my father around the shore of Michigan (1600miles). Hopefully I'll have as much fun as you did!

I always love going through the little out of the way towns we run across when we ride.
 

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You are one tuff dude! I did a 400 mile trip on my RR and my shoulders felt like they were going to fall off! Not to mention my a$$
 
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