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Old 06-18-2008, 10:13 AM   #1
Yankee Dog OP
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Location: Decatur, AL
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Russians on the Tellico

I’ll start the story at the beginning. A while back the missus and I went to a bike show in Atlanta. While there we saw this side car thing called a Ural. The missus really liked it. She is what you might call a bit vertically challenged. She discovered that with a sidecar rig you don’t have to worry about falling over at stop lights if your feet don’t touch the ground.

So anyway, almost a year later we discover there is a dealer a couple of hours away in Waynesboro, TN; Mike’s Urals . We decide to mosey on up there to have another look at them. Really no plans to buy at this point. It was just suppose to be a sort of fact finding expedition. The fact that there are some good roads between Somerville and Waynesboro didn’t hurt.

Unfortunately it turns out that Mike had a used 2005 Gear Up for sale. Even worse Mike turns out to be a pretty decent guy and offered the bike for a pretty decent price. So the next thing you know the dang thing is sitting in my garage.

Well after riding the thing around the neighborhood a few times I realize that this thing really shines on the dirt roads. There are a few dirt roads around the house, but a light bulb suddenly comes on in my head. I remember my trusty GPS tried to route me down a dirt road while riding the Cherohala Skyway. I also remember a road called the Kimsey Highway on my way to the Dragon a couple of years ago. I had planned to take it using my R1150RT but I asked a local about it and she looked at me like I was on drugs. So I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and took a different route.

Anyway, I discover that there are a boatload of dirt roads up around Tellico Plains, TN. I also come up with this idea to ride the Ural up there and spend a couple of days riding around. I talk to the missus about it. And since she was dropped on her head as a child, she immediately agreed.

So we pack up the beast and off we go. A word about packing. Let me tell you. These Ural things will haul a ton. But no matter what, the amount of stuff you NEED to bring will expand to just beyond the available space to carry it. I ended up adding an old tank bag to fit in the little bit of extra I couldn’t cram into the side car.

We did ride some pavement to get there. Some of it pretty good. This is Hwy 30 in Tennessee

The horrid Kimsey Highway was the first bit of dirt we hit. The Kimsey runs East-West from Hwy 30 vic of Archville, TN over to Hwy 68 at bit south of Ducktown, TN. This is a photo of one of the switch backs on the Kimsey. But I have to tell you that most of the dirt roads we traveled this week end had similar curves.

The Kimsey also had some nice views.

But I was mostly paying attention to where I was going.


The next dirt road was Witt Road. It runs South from around Tellico Plains, TN to out in the middle of nowhere. The road had a lot of new loose gravel but was otherwise fine.

Witt’s main claim to fame is its four water crossing. During this dry time of years all had water but none were a problem.

We stayed at the Green Cove Motel and Trailer Camp. This little mom and pop place is located on River Road about 20 miles out of Tellico Plains. It is not exactly high society but the price was right at $50 for a room with a kitchenette. The floors could have been swept better but the bathroom and the sheets were clean. And it is located smack in the middle of a great bunch of dirt roads.

The best part was the back deck. All the rooms open up onto this deck. What you can’t see is the deck hangs out over the Tellico River. We could have fished off of it had we hadn’t spent all our time riding.

The Green Cove story wouldn’t be complete with a a shot of the neighbors. Most of which stopped by to chat sometime during our stay.

The next day was what I call the dirt Cherohala. It begins as a continuation of the River Road near Green Cove.


River Road passes underneath the Cherohala

After passing under the Cherohala it become Forest Road 81. FR 81 took us the rest of the way into Robbinsville, CN.

We had planned to ride Tatum’s Gap and a couple of other dirt roads getting back to Green Cove but the Ural gave me some problems in Robbinsville and I chickened out and road the Cherohala back. I figured that if I was going to break down along the way I want it to be in a place where I might see another human being in the next month or so. No photo of the Cherohala as it is just another piece of pavement.

My fears were unfounded however. The beast ran fine after that and the next day we decided to do the tourist thing and check out Cades Coves. Cades Cove was scenic and all that, but the traffic was more than I like and from what I have heard we hit it on a light day.

We also decide to do the squid thing and ride the Dragon. I mean we were in the neighborhood and all. If you are interested you can see us on Look for the side cars on Sunday 6/8/08.

But the best part of the Dragon was getting there. There is a one way dirt road that runs from Cades Cove to US 129 called Parson’s Branch. It was a hoot. There are supposed to be 19 water crossing. Ok we only counted 17 and they are all “improved” with concrete but it was still a fun road.

And like I said it ends at US 129, the Dragon.


And that about ends the weekend. On the way home we hit Smith Field Rd. Smith Field runs from Green Cove to Coker Creek. It is chock full of tight switchbacks, great views and fun. But then so was the entire weekend.

And did I tell you that we got rained on and my trusty GPS quite working

But we finally made it home. Tired but full of smiles. And since we missed Tatum’s Gap and a butt load of other roads it looks like we will have an excuse to go back.

Double darn.

Yankee Dog
2005 Ural
2005 BMW F650GS
2012 Triumph Tiger 800xc

Yankee Dog screwed with this post 06-19-2008 at 10:25 AM
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Old 06-18-2008, 04:07 PM   #2
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Very Very COOL
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:07 PM   #3
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All right! A Ural ride report!
Equal to all of you of roads and good luck! - krokodil al-kashi

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Old 06-19-2008, 04:34 AM   #4
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cool trip, I did parsons branch on my KLR a couple years ago. Fun ride. Theres a HUBB meeting up that way next month, I'll try parsons on my Indian!
Due to the idiots at the shipping company that couldnt send a container full of bikes to Bulgaria, Im back in bama to fix it, stop by & say hi some day. I'll be here for 5 weeks before heading back overseas. I miss my Izh already! HAHA
Oh, I found a 90's ural sitting in a barn not 2 miles from my house! hasnt been ridden in years. we're sorta talkin about me gettin it from him. you know how it is dealin with these rednecks, if you act like ya really want it, they either wont sell it, or they will want more $
so, Im acting interested, but not eager. Once I get it, we'll have to do some riding around here.

My bike hotel in Bulgaria. ADVriders get 1st beer free!

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Old 06-19-2008, 07:12 AM   #5
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What's up with the black print on the dark background? My eyes! My eyes!
Great report.
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Old 06-20-2008, 02:38 AM   #6
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Nice pics, nice hack, nice (REALLY NICE) countryside!

It just doesn't get any better.

Thanks for sharing
05 2 wheels...soon 3 wheels.
84 Kwaka GT750 Cafe Project & 84 Kawaka GT750 Outfit
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Old 06-20-2008, 05:11 AM   #7
Joined: May 2008
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The secret to russian technology is little technology

Im Russian in so allowed
Support Forum for Chinese motorbikes

GSXF250 Sold
GSXR600 K1
ZZR250 Sold
RG250 Still have
CBR600RR 04 Sold
CBR600RR 05 Sold
DR650 94 Still have

Want to try the trails for a while. If I enjoy will change bike at the end of the year .If not back to the road.
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:15 PM   #8
Yankee Dog OP
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Originally Posted by rtwdoug
..........Theres a HUBB meeting up that way next month, I'll try parsons on my Indian!
acutally there was only one section on Parsons that should give you any trouble on the Indian. Near the begining is an uphill section that is pretty rutted up. But if the weather has been dry and you get some speed behind you I figure you could make it. The water crossing would be a piece of cake.

Oh, I found a 90's ural sitting in a barn not 2 miles from my house! hasnt been ridden in years. we're sorta talkin about me gettin it from him. you know how it is dealin with these rednecks, if you act like ya really want it, they either wont sell it, or they will want more $ .......
ya want me to over and take a look at it while riding mine. I'll tell him I paid next to nothing for mine and how hard it has been to keep running. I can offer to buy his for parts and give him a low ball offer.

Let me know, it would be my pleasure.

Yankee Dog
2005 Ural
2005 BMW F650GS
2012 Triumph Tiger 800xc
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:56 PM   #9
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Eugene, OR
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Congrats on the new ride, and a what a great trip to break it in! Nice photos too.

I rode a lot of TN backroads when I was in college - they were fun enough even in my wee sedan. But on a Ural? Oh yeah!
2007 Ural Patrol - "Svetlana"
Antsaint - Food, the Web, Writing & Eugene, Oregon
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:23 PM   #10
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Darn Russin Invaders. I got one home at 30 minutes after midnight last night. Thanks for the pics, the bloody leg protectors just won't fit when you try and install then upside down on the wrong side
Krazy Konrad
Ural'ing South African Pitmaster
1998 Tourist
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