Heading to Dragon Land - 125cc scoots

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by Dan V., Aug 13, 2013.

  1. Dan V.

    Dan V. Been here awhile

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    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!
    #1
  2. driller

    driller Twist and Go

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    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.:ricky

    [​IMG]

    Not me, but a Buddy will do it! :D
    #2
  3. TrashCan

    TrashCan Scary Jerry

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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.


    :thumb
    #3
  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    #4
  5. John Fabian

    John Fabian Fabe

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    [​IMG]
    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.
    #5
  6. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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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.
    #6
  7. DandyDoug

    DandyDoug Been here awhile

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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. :rofl 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.
    #7
  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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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.
    #8
  9. duanew1

    duanew1 In my Pajama pants

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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.
    #9
  10. johnyrrr

    johnyrrr Been here awhile

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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.
    #10
  11. Dan V.

    Dan V. Been here awhile

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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!
    #11
  12. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    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!
    #12
  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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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:

    [​IMG]

    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.
    #13
  14. JerseyBiker

    JerseyBiker Living the life!

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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!
    #14
  15. johnyrrr

    johnyrrr Been here awhile

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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:evil
    #15
  16. duanew1

    duanew1 In my Pajama pants

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    Many years ago when i was there Bryson City and Telico Plains were wet with most of the stuff in between was dry. There are a lot if indications that it is still that way. I know that the Ironhorse Motorcycle Resort was dry but everybody brought beer in.
    #16
  17. Dan V.

    Dan V. Been here awhile

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    After a 12 hour drive we arrived in Tellico Plains for the night. Had called ahead and booked a room at the Lodge at Tellico. It is just south of the intersection where the Cherahola Skyway comes into town. What a great place to start the adventure - a cabin feel, but with a nice breakfast room, bike garage, and trailer storage area. The hosts were a great a couple, too, we ended up staying for three nights.

    After the continental breakfast, we went to the visitor's center where we loaded up with maps and info. Started out on the Cherahola about 10, and took a side road to see Bald River falls - a nice twisty, narrow road that was a great intro to the twistys in the area.

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    #17
  18. Dan V.

    Dan V. Been here awhile

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    Then off to the Skyway. It was lightly traveled being Monday morning, but we saw more motorcycles than cars. We thought that it would be best to be traveling in the opposite direction, as the sun was in our eyes, but it great to be in the mountains no matter what. It was a great ride, but unfortunately the overlooks were overgrown and ruined the view in most places.

    Climbing the elevations on the Skyway taxed the fuel consumption on the Vino with it's small tank, so we were happy to find this stop on the way into Robbinsville.

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    While we were gassing up, my wife recognized this character - a NC resident who has had a lot of exposure on TV lately.

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    After listening to stories for a while we headed into town for some lunch, and then rode to Deal's Gap for a look see.

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    As it was getting late in the day, we didn't ride up the Dragon, but headed back for the Skyway and Tellico Plains. It was supposed to be the best weather day for the next several, but at the highest point on the Skyway, we got dumped on - cold, hard rain. We had gear - really felt sorry for the Harley folks with the tank tops. Interesting how the top of the mountain can have such different weather than lower down. Coming down the mountain, the sun came out hot and dried us up. We arrived in Tellico Plains a bit before the new coffee shop closed so we enjoyed a cup as it started to pour for about 45 minutes.

    When it quit, we rode the five minutes back to the lodge. I enjoyed the cold Yuenglings I bought on the way into town before we headed to dinner at Krambones - a good BBQ joint in the Tellico Plains shopping district. Just a week after the Labor Day holiday, I was surprised to find that most shops close at 7 or 8 PM. You can buy beer a little later at the gas station, though :norton
    #18
  19. Dan V.

    Dan V. Been here awhile

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    After a good nights sleep and a light breakfast at the Lodge (where we enjoyed the conversations with the other bikers) we headed off for the Dragon. This time we took 360 into Vonore, then 72 East to 129 for the North end of the Dragon. Hit the curves at a little after 11 AM, and took it easy to get the feel of the road. Beautiful, warm day with little traffic - less so than it appeared on Monday. Saw three LEO's - two in cars and one on a bike. Is the Dragon ever fun!:clap Slowed down some by construction - repaving on a stretch had it down to one lane wide enough for bikes when we went thru. Interesting to meet an asphalt hauler coming at you after rounding a curve! Hung out at the Deals Gap stores for a while, then took off down 28 to Fortuna. Hmm, the only place to eat at Fortuna was the Gas Station, but the hot dogs were good! Explored the area around the Dam and headed back to the Dragon at about 2, then back to Tellico Plains where we had some time to ride back to Bald River Falls before dinner. Ate at a Mexican restaurant in town that was very good.

    Everyone that we met was very friendly, and had to ask us if we had ridden down from Michgan. Met people from all over - none seemed to look down at us for riding scoots and many thought it was pretty cool to scoot the area. The only place we were really overtaken by sportbikes was on the stretch of 28 out of Deals Gap, as could be expected as you have to watch for the cops on 129. We were respectful of others on the road, and other drivers to us also. As far as scooting the area goes, IMHO we were on the min sized bikes that should be ridden, mainly because of the hills. There were a few places on the Skyway where we slowed down to about 25MPH climbing the steep grades. There was a few routes we avoided due to speeds, but for the most part I think we had perfect steeds for the area.
    #19
  20. Dan V.

    Dan V. Been here awhile

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    Wednesday morning after breakfast we loaded the trailer and left for Townsend. We had booked a room at Docks, and was happy to find it was available for us early when we arrived. Went for lunch, then made ready and rode to the Smoky Mountain NP and into Cades Cove. Not too busy that afternoon, only about an hour to do the loop :rofl- man, I have grey hair and an Oldsmobile but I don't drive that friggin slow! (others may not share that opinion).

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    Continued on 73 into Gatlinburg. Couldn't wait to get out of that nuthouse! This is a great road - wish we had the time to take it south, but headed back to Townsend. Lots to view and lots of twisties on this road. I would say that this road is a "must" if you are off to the Dragonland area and you have time.

    Dinner time when we got back to the Motel so we cleaned up a jumped in the truck to go to dinner. Stopped at one family restaurant that gave me the creeps, so we left and found a small Cuban rest. that had some awesome sandwiches - so big that we each took half for the next days lunch.
    #20