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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to make my first trip down to the Tail this coming May, and was hoping for some tips to make it the best I can. We are planning to trailer the bikes down for the week and head out from somewhere? I have all the brochures, and all the websites, but the guys that have been there can be the most help I bet?

....so help me plan, and maybe a few other members will be able to show up? Wheres the best place to stay, and leave the truck and trailer? What should I expect to pay for accomodations? What should be expected for weather in mid-May (besides foggy mornings)? What will road condotions be like, and is there anywhere not to go? Is there somewhere to hang out after the bike gets shut down for the day? Anything else?

Thanks in advance....
Nraged.
 

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It could still be pretty cold in May, though I've always gone in August so I'm not sure. I know the fog can be pretty thick in the morning on the Blue Ridge Parkway, even that late in the year.

Stay at the Resort at the base of the Dragon's tail, no TV but it's $45 a night and ultra-clean. You won't need a TV if you go with some friends anyway. Plenty of parking for a truck and trailer. There's nowhere nearby to hang out after the riding, though - Fontana is 11 miles away, but shuts down pretty early. The Fontana Dam is cool, and Hellbender (28, the road that leads into Fontana) is a nice ride as well.

Just watch out for the cops, they were getting pretty nasty earlier this year and probably will again. Especially on the Tennessee side of things. Check out www.tailofthedragon.com for the latest happenings up there.

As you probably already know, there are no guardrails out there and it is pretty easy to screw up if you are not paying attention or pushing things too hard. Take a couple of easy passes before you ride hard - hell, take an easy pass every morning as your first ride. This will not only help get you in the groove of things, but it will also give you a chance to scope out the cops and see the road conditions for that day.

I hope to take the 600RR there this coming year, but when will depend on what job I get in the next few weeks, and whether I go back to college to finish my degree.
 

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Here's my advice. Put those bikes on a trailer and take turns driving straight through to California and ride the canyons out here. Much better roads, better weather, far fewer cops and a trip you'll never forget.

Did I just say that out loud...
 

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lol, fuk california.





too many rules. and i will admit that you cant beat southern hospitality. Cali is full of assh*les. and the canyons are dull. look up pics of the gap and see for yourself the beauty it holds. if youy get bored of the gap, there is a national park just next door, called the Smokey Mountain National Park, look that up too, great views and scenery. if you go to the national park, expect a whole day trip to do the loop and get back to the gap. there are plaenty of little places to stop and get gas, so dont worry about that.


oh, and go during the week if you can.....the weekends are too crowded, more likely to get hit by a retarded cager or some novice harley guy.
 

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heres alittle map for ya. plan on taking lots of pics if your going to the national park. theres also tons of elivation changes and you wont wory about heavy traffic during the weekdays.
 

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remember, just cuz the line looks straight on the map doesn tmean it is.

look at the gap and remember that theres over 100 turns in that little streak
 

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Been there many times. If you are going with friends, rent a cabin. There are plenty of them around Townsend, Tennessee. Expect to pay about 125 dollar a night for something that will sleep three or four. This way you can prepare your own meals and grille out at night. Plus you will have some amenities like TV and a hot tub. From there you can ride over on the Foothills parkway (great road) and be on the Dragon in about 25 minutes.

On the Dragon......definately take it easy on your first pass and stay focused on what you are doing. The road is very technical and is not the place to be looking around. Look up the road and through the curves. The road is in good shape with good pavement. The Dragon is a blast, but be sure to take in the other great roads in the area as there are hundreds of miles of great twisties. Be sure to ride the Cherohala Skyway.....increible road. Some like it better than the Dragon. Take it all the way to Tellico Plains.

In May the weather is usually decent, but it will be chilly at the top of the Cherohala, which rises to about 5300 feet. Take a rain suit. The roads will spoil you......best place in the nation to ride twisties.
 

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remember, just cuz the line looks straight on the map doesn tmean it is.

look at the gap and remember that theres over 100 turns in that little streak
There are over 300 curves in the eleven mile stretch....one right after another. Some are connected directly to each other so that as you haul the bike up from one corner you immediately toss it over the other way to make the next corner.
 

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Read up about the dragon.... they are pulling people over for just being on bikes assuming they will act like tards. So many arrests there last year mainly caused by BS stops then the situations escaladed. Good ride though!
 

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after watching the bike cam videos last year of all the cops and then all the BS tickets that were coming out of that place i will most definitely pass.

cops were pulling people over for 3mph over, FE kits, aftermarket exhausts, non DOT turn signals
just any stupid thing they can. one guy even reported on another forum that a harley he bought from a cop there in town was ticketed for aftermarket pipes.

pass
 

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after watching the bike cam videos last year of all the cops and then all the BS tickets that were coming out of that place i will most definitely pass.

cops were pulling people over for 3mph over, FE kits, aftermarket exhausts, non DOT turn signals
just any stupid thing they can. one guy even reported on another forum that a harley he bought from a cop there in town was ticketed for aftermarket pipes.

pass
++++++1 the cops are really ruining it for people that want to go for a nice trip.

If youa re looking for a good ride there is the kancamangus highway here in NH. Loaded with twisties and limited cops. If you want to go ride I would even go meet up. Here is a pic. Awesome scenic ride with lots of rest areas to stop and park.

 

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i second both the dragon and the Kanc!

i just got my first bike so i have never "ridden" either but i have driven both many many times. the dragon and BR parkway speak for themselves, definitely worth seeing at least once. the kancamagus is one of the best roads in the world if you hit it when the leaves are turning colors in the fall...it's so beautiful.

i am looking forward to riding them both sometime down the road.
 

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i agree with Johnmark101. We took our first family vacation to TN and rented a cabin in Wear's valley. Here's the cabin rental website www.covemountain.com/cabinrentals/listings.asp?strPageSize=1&strCurrentPage=28&categoryID_list=2%2C+16
Coming from FL, the journey/ride to get to the Dragon was just as rewarding and beautiful as the destination!



Ride well...
Been there many times. If you are going with friends, rent a cabin. There are plenty of them around Townsend, Tennessee. Expect to pay about 125 dollar a night for something that will sleep three or four. This way you can prepare your own meals and grille out at night. Plus you will have some amenities like TV and a hot tub. From there you can ride over on the Foothills parkway (great road) and be on the Dragon in about 25 minutes.

On the Dragon......definately take it easy on your first pass and stay focused on what you are doing. The road is very technical and is not the place to be looking around. Look up the road and through the curves. The road is in good shape with good pavement. The Dragon is a blast, but be sure to take in the other great roads in the area as there are hundreds of miles of great twisties. Be sure to ride the Cherohala Skyway.....increible road. Some like it better than the Dragon. Take it all the way to Tellico Plains.

In May the weather is usually decent, but it will be chilly at the top of the Cherohala, which rises to about 5300 feet. Take a rain suit. The roads will spoil you......best place in the nation to ride twisties.
 

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I go with JohnMark to the Gap several times a year. He's right. Another good place to stay is Fontana Village.

As far as the cops go, we went at the end of last year. Yes there was a bunch but they were not harassing everyone like they reported to be at the beginning of the campaign. They were also predictable. They only focused on the TN side of Deals Gap, worked 10-6pm every day. We made a bunch of criminal runs through there in the morning and the afternoon. Besides, the Dragon is only 11 miles worth of twisty's in a land of hundreds of miles of great roads. NC and northern GA are full of excellent roads, some better than the Gap. NC28 is fantastic, Cherohala, GA60, etc... Go and have a good time, just stay on the NC side mainly until you figure out what the Cop situation is on 129. There are hundreds of bikers daily so it won't take long to figure out what the deal is.
 

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Besides, the Dragon is only 11 miles worth of twisty's in a land of hundreds of miles of great roads. NC and northern GA are full of excellent roads, some better than the Gap. NC28 is fantastic, Cherohala, GA60, etc... Go and have a good time, just stay on the NC side mainly until you figure out what the Cop situation is on 129. There are hundreds of bikers daily so it won't take long to figure out what the deal is.

+10000000000
 

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^i'll give that another +10000000000 i stayed a week in franklin north carolina the roads were amazing, the only bad part of the deal was i didnt own a bike at the time, but i still had a great time crusing around in the car. dont just hang out around the gap franklin was about 30-45 minutes away and the roads on the way to the gap were amazing!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Thanks a bunch guys...

The maps and recommendations are priceless, and better than any pamphlet or brochure. I guess I need to decide exactly where we are gonna base out of for the week, but it sounds like maybe the Carolina side would be best?

I'll keep you posted of the latest plans, and maybe it'll spark or help others to make a trip? ....so keep the advice coming!


and P.S. ....Cali ain't in the plans...lol
 

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Thanks a bunch guys...

The maps and recommendations are priceless, and better than any phamphlet or brochure. I guess I need to decide exactly where we are gonna base out of for the week, but it sounds like maybe the Carolina side would be best?

I'll keep you posted of the latest plans, and maybe it'll spark or help others to make a trip? ....so keep the advice coming!


and P.S. ....Cali ain't in the plans...lol
Just so you know, the Carolina side of the Gap is fairly short. The rest is in TN. Last time I went there I counted 14 cops on a Sunday, though only some had someone pulled over. Here's my write-up on the last trip, in August: http://www.fotocycle.net/dealsgap.htm
 
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