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Old 08-13-2013, 03:23 AM   #1
Dan V. OP
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Location: Pothole City, West Michigan
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Heading to Dragon Land - 125cc scoots

Hola! Noob here looking for some adventure advice.

After my wife and I tackled Michigan's Tunnel of Trees (M119) last fall we have been thinking of riding the famous twisties of the Dragon. Looks like it will happen in a few weeks. We will be trailering the Vino and Buddy, both 125's, down I75 from Michigan.

These scoots allow us to travel a real 55 on flat ground, so we don't think the size of our steeds will be a problem on the Dragon or Skyway, but not so sure of other roads in the area. Of all the ride reports I have read, it seems as if they were on bigger bikes and speeds are not mentioned, so we don't want to get on roads where we would be a hazard. Some of the local guys I talked with figure we should be OK on most of the back roads but thought I would ask.

Would sure appreciate any tips as where to go and where to stay when in the area.

Any places we should stop and ride in Southern Ohio or Kentucky before getting to Tennessee? Long drive down and could use a break.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:53 AM   #2
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You will do fine....

The "Dragon" is fun. It is just the cherry topping the sundae as the roads coming and going in the area can be very entertaining.



Not me, but a Buddy will do it!
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:00 AM   #3
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You'll be fine.

There are plenty of good roads to keep you busy.
For more information, feel free to pm me.


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Old 08-13-2013, 04:20 AM   #4
klaviator
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I've been there a couple of times on my 150cc Super 8. Here's links to my ride reports:

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=670468

http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...647784&page=17

As you can see from the reports, there are plenty of great roads suitable for small scooters.

exactly when will you be there?
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:04 AM   #5
John Fabian
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The Dragon et al


Here are all the routes I've ridden on my 150cc scooter around Great Smokey Mountain National Park. All were/are great.
This was covered in two visits over 5 days.
I stayed in Cherokee, Gatlinburg, & Deal's Gap. I camped at Cades Cove.
Don't forget the Blue Ridge Parkway. Maybe America's best scenic byway.
Cades Cove Loop Road is a 10mph unpaved historical pioneer valley.
Take your time and have fun.

P.S. In central Kentucky is Mammoth Cave National Park. It's worth a visit and has several quiet forested roads around it. Additionally, a hundred miles or so to the east is Daniel Boone National Forest with many great secondary roads and interesting geologic features.

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Old 08-13-2013, 07:49 AM   #6
JerryH
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I've never been there, but it does look like fun. But I have seen a lot of videos, and from the looks of things, riding a scooter there might be a bit dangerous. I saw a lot of sport bikes going really fast, and it looks like you just might get run over on a scooter.

We have a really nice road with lots of curves and switcbacks on it called the Salt River Canyon in AZ. Unfortunately I am not able to get my 125cc scooters up there. I have ridden back and forth on it several times on motorcycles, and even if you are going over the speed limit, there is always someone in an SUV tailgating you.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:09 AM   #7
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I live in NC. and have ridden the Dragon several times, but now that I know the real roads I avoid the carnage over there.
I suggest you ride it in the middle of the week , not on the weekend !!
The weekends get crowded with the squidly people and the LEO's are usually out in force .
Lately they have been strictly enforcing the speed limit and any infraction that takes you over the double yellow lines can be expensive, just be smart about it and you should be ok.
As for places to stay, well just look around and see what you like that is within your budget.
If you stay at the Top of the Dragon at the motel , be advised the dining room leaves a lot to be desired . Unless you can live on hamburgers and hot dogs. The motel itself was clean but spartan the last time i stayed there.
Be sure and bring your rain gear, we have been experiencing a very wet summer.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:18 AM   #8
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The advantage of riding a small scooter there is that it's much easier to stay close to the speed limit. I haven't ridden a motorcycle through Deal's Gap in at least 5 years, it's too hard to stay close to the speed limit. I have taken both of my scooters there.

There is less traffic on weekdays but if you go there on a weekend, just plan on a slow sightseeing ride through the Gap and leave the speed for other roads. Even on 125cc scooters, you will not likely be the slowest people on the road. Most cars and cruisers are going under the speed limit. Do watch your mirrors, it can surprise you when a faster bike zooms past you. Because of heavy law enforcment, most of the fast riders will be going fast on the surrounding roads, not on 129.

Deals Gap resort is an interesting place to hang out. You will see all kinds of bikes and meet people from all over the world if you spend some time there.

Good places to stay:
Camp at Deals Gap, Iron horse motorcycle resort, or Kickstand lodge. If you want a motel, stay in Townsend, Tn, or Robbinsville, NC. I have stayed at Docks in Townsend and the Phillips Motel in Robbinsville. I would recommend either one. I used to ride down to the area from Michigan and usually stayed in townsend.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:20 PM   #9
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Don't go to Cade's Cove on the weekend. It is like a parking lot and takes like 2 hours to get through.

Iron Horse Motorcycle Resort is a great place. Every time that I have been there I have enjoyed it. I want to go back sometime.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:50 AM   #10
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I was there this summer, I stayed in tellico plains and it is an absolutely beautiful ride to get to the gap. I'd had loved to have a scooter there. Matter fact I ran into a scooter club at the gap resort while I stopped for a break. Be sure to ride 28 Is the best roads out there Make sure you stop at the dam as well of of 28.
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:39 AM   #11
Dan V. OP
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Wow! Thanks for all the great info! Looks like there is more than enough roads to keep us busy for a few days. Enjoyed the ride reports, Klaviator - I have caught some of your other reports, but missed these ones somehow. Doesn't appear like the 125's will be a problem on most of the roads. Really getting jaked for the trip.

Will be heading down the week after Labor Day and riding during the week so should be less crowding. One of my favorite times to take vacation. The cooler weather is so refreshing, and sometimes you catch the leaves start to turn.

Jerry, I hear ya. I know well enough that when you ride a scooter, every asswagon has to get around you, no matter how fast you ride. Some just need to intimidate. Can't be as bad as in Bermuda - if the local hooligans spot the indications of a rental they will purposely try to clip you as they fly by - takes the fun out of a holiday.

Oh, will need a little advice on this - I enjoy my barley pops. Will need to know if this is a "dry" area. Don't want to worry about keeping beer cold for relaxing with after riding....

Still need to find a stop and ride in Ohio or KY for the trip down from Mi so lots of planning left to do.....Thanks again for all the good info!
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan V. View Post
Wow! Thanks for all the great info! Looks like there is more than enough roads to keep us busy for a few days. Enjoyed the ride reports, Klaviator - I have caught some of your other reports, but missed these ones somehow. Doesn't appear like the 125's will be a problem on most of the roads. Really getting jaked for the trip.

Will be heading down the week after Labor Day and riding during the week so should be less crowding. One of my favorite times to take vacation. The cooler weather is so refreshing, and sometimes you catch the leaves start to turn.

Jerry, I hear ya. I know well enough that when you ride a scooter, every asswagon has to get around you, no matter how fast you ride. Some just need to intimidate. Can't be as bad as in Bermuda - if the local hooligans spot the indications of a rental they will purposely try to clip you as they fly by - takes the fun out of a holiday.

Oh, will need a little advice on this - I enjoy my barley pops. Will need to know if this is a "dry" area. Don't want to worry about keeping beer cold for relaxing with after riding....

Still need to find a stop and ride in Ohio or KY for the trip down from Mi so lots of planning left to do.....Thanks again for all the good info!
Stop & ride in Ohio would be the Hocking hills, though that might be a bit farther east than you would like to go. Just google the area, lots of cabins and such back in the woods to stay at. Great riding too!
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:30 AM   #13
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September is a good time to go. Kids are back in school but it's before the leaf peepers show up. The leaves don't normally change until October. As for being a dry area, it varies by county. I believe that Graham county, NC, is a dry county. I'm not sure about Townsend, Tn or Tellico Plains.

Here's a pic I took near Robbinsville last year:



I think there was a vote coming up on alcohol sales so maybe things have changed.

As for places to ride on the way down, the area around Richmond or Lexington, KY has so good riding. Probably any place off of I-17 south of Lexington has some good roads. However, the area around Deal's gap is Better.
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:32 AM   #14
JerseyBiker
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Dan

Yes, part of the area is dry!

Couple of years back I ended a great day of riding by stopping in Robbinsville at the Microtel hotel. Went to buy some dinner and a sixpack only to find it was a dry town or county!

Not sure how much of the area is dry but definitely something to look into further.

Have fun!
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:41 AM   #15
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I know there are a couple of gas stations that you can buy beer and wine at in Tellico plains (just not on Sunday if I remember correctly). Anything that you drink over ice Id bring with you
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