Suzuki Burgman USA Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
355 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I decided to take a couple of weeks off and do a road trip... I am retired so I have 52 weeks a year off,,, but a break from mowing the grass... I loaded up and took off about 8 AM after packing the Burg with my sleeping bag,,, air bed,,, tent and ruck sack... I had the bike serviced by Tropic Powersports in Ft. Myers and I knew the scoot was ready to go... I went up Interstate 75 to the Tampa area to meet a friend , Wayne who was going to ride up to the Georgia border with me... We cut over to SR 301 at Ocala Fl and road up to Rt 1 which will take us to Georgia... After a nights stay,,, Wayne took off to the west and I continued up Rt 1 through Ga... The ride was good but a bit boring... I found out that either I had lost my Iron butt or the Burgman 650 seat does not fit my butt for long distance riding... It is not like my old Goldwing seat... I got up to the northern most town in NE Georgia and spent night two... In the morning, I road on into King, NC where I went to visit friends and relatives... After a week there I was ready to ride again...
I took off to Fancy Gap, Va and picked up the Blue Ridge Parkway... I headed south and that is a very good ride... I hit rain on and off again but with my frog toggs,,, I stayed dry... I stayed the night in Maggie Valley and in the morning,,, went to the Wheels of Time Museum... Took a bunch of pictures of old cars and old motorcycles... Most of them ran and the owner would fire one up and ride it a round a bit... After a couple of hours,,, I took off for Deals Gap and checked into the motel... It was still early so I took on the Tail of the Dragon,,, up and back... I thought the ride up on Rt 28 from Maggie Valley to Deals Gap was worst but the rain and traffic may have had something to do with it...
After a couple days there,,, Raining on and off most of the time,,, I was ready to head home... I punched the home button on the GPS and let it guide me home... A two day ride back from Deals Gap and I pulled into my driveway... Sore ass and all... The one improvement I would make on the Burg is a better seat... One as comfortable as the Goldwing...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,142 Posts
great ride -

seat??

a) try a Beadrider - you may be surprised and it's cheap.

b) if you are serious about the Wing equivalent - invest in a DayLong.

I use both. Can't stand the stock seat - can ride forever with the Daylong and the Beadrider just added a little bit more "no pain".
( I have sciatica and I could feel a bit of it with the Daylong alone - I bought the Beadrider for the KLR in Australia and decided to try on the 650 here - it's staying on. )

Counter intuitive but it really does work ( nother 650 rider bought one on my recommendation and it worked for him ).
I ended up getting beads for the car too.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
188 Posts
Travelogue: FL2-O Members John and Lee & Wendy Okeechobee, FL

Event: RoadRunner Monocycle Touring & Travel - http://www.roadrunner.travel

7th Touring Weekend July 17 – 21, 2012, Maggie Valley N.C.

John and his buddy Jim rode down the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) from Roanoke, VA spending the Tuesday night in Asheville, NC. Then we completed our ride to the end of the BRP Wednesday morning stopping in Cherokee, NC for a short break. This has been a goal of mine to complete the whole BRP this summer. In my opinion the section of the BRP from Asheville to the southern end is the most interesting with many tunnels, high elevation and great views. After leaving Cherokee we got on Rte 28 know as the “Moonshine Trail” which was a very challenging road which we truly enjoyed before checking in our hotel and the tour in Maggie Valley.

Lee and Wendy came up from Florida stopping in South Carolina the first night out with temperatures of 100 degrees. And they also arrived Wednesday afternoon for several days of great riding. This was Lee and Wendy’s first RR Tour.
Thursday was a free day and we visited the KOA in Cherokee which Wendy’s company owns. Then we set off for Deals Gap to ride “Tail of the Dragon” which we rode up and down since we were in the area. This was extremely challenging because we had rain every day of the event. We ate a nice lunch at Deals Gap after making the run up and back. We were all ready for a break! We passed by Fontana Lake and Village which is a beautiful resort close to Deals Gap.

Each evening we had an enjoyable dinner provided us by RoadRunner along with a short program which made for good company and information section after riding each day. Friday evening was an open evening where we ate Mexican with a few other riders I’s met over the years.

Friday and Saturday were guided tour days John and Jim were in Leisure group 3 and Lee and Wendy leisure group 4 were none of the groups had more than 15 bikes. Note because of the rain most groups were much smaller. Some didn’t ride or did the tour on their own and made it to lunch location set up by RR tours. We had a southern route of about 184 miles and a northern route of approximately 230 miles. Both routes had beautiful scenic roads and having a guide was a nice feature.

Saturday evening wound up the event with a nice steak and chicken dinner along with several door prizes won by playing touring bingo which Wendy was a lucky winner. This was my forth year out of the seventh and looking forward to attending next year.

John, Okeechobee, Fl and Troutville, VA :cheers:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I did a similar trip to the Skyline Drive, Deal's Gap and Cheahola Parkway including Rte 28 and over Sassafras Mountain by way of South Indiana, kentucky South Ohio and West Virginia with a friend from Chicago from June 30 to July 8. I'm going to try to paste in my story from another board and see if ti woorks so I don't have to re-write it.

We ended up eating On the Ohio River in Leavenworth, IN on Saturday. We did Indiana 66 and 62 today. Then we hoped on the freeway past Louisville and did KY 36 from Milton to US 68 to Maysville where we ended up. It's been consistantly up near 100 degrees, so it's been G2 by the quart. KY 36 and 32 are pretty fabulous. I too a wrong turn and missed KY 22 which locals say is supreme, maybe on the way home or another trip. I'm thinking of a circuitious rote to north west WV tomorrow, so my buddy can make it into WV.

This is his first bike trip and he's gaining confidence under fire through the hills and turns on a cruiser, a little funny. His first ride in rain tonight. Also he was hit with 35 MPH wind as a first in the storm. You'd had to have seen his expression when we stopped. Off and on in the hills and turns I have to stop and wait for him. He just says that my short fork and weight distribution have him beat, but years of riding help too. He's begining to learn what's wrong with Harleys. Anyway lots of fun even if the heat is killing.

It took so long to write any ending to the story because the story became a long story. We ended up spending Sunday night in Maysville, KY and riding mostly along the Ohio river to Huntington, WV. From there we took WV 10 to WV 3 to Beckley on Monday. The West Virginia roads were just magnificent riding all hills and turns. We felt like we were riding on Space Mountain at Disney. My friend Brian says that West Virginia should charge admission to motorcycles. The same riding story from Sunday was on Monday, that I wanted to do the hills and turns at the pace that challenges me and the Burgman causing me to have to pull off and wait for Brian a lot. It was near 100 degrees all day Monday and that part of West Virginia had a storm on Friday and Saturday that had knocked out the power in much of that part of the state so we had to wait at gas stations that had one pump run by a generator. We stopped for dinner at Beckley WV and after dinner discovered that every motel room for 70 miles was taken by the people from further north with no electricity. The closest room I could find was in Wytheville, Virginia 70 or so miles south on I 77. My buddy Brian had never done night riding through the mountains before, so it was an experience for him, but I loved it.

On Tuesday morning we should have headed home, so I could be at work Thursday morning, but Brian convinced me to extend my trip and call my partners telling them that I wouldn’t get home till Sunday night. I don’t think that it made my partners happy, but I took off till Sunday night. We spent Tuesday doing the Blue Ridge Parkway from Fancy Gap to Asheville, NC. It was also the day that Andy Griffith died and kind of fitting to do the Blue Ridge, It sure is beautiful. All day I had to stop here and there waiting for Brian to catch up. All day Brian kept telling me that his 950 V Star just can’t go fast like my Burgman 650. We stopped at the Music Center and listened to free Blue Grass during a short rain and enjoyed the supreme beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We had dinner and a nice Holiday Inn at Ashville, NC which is a truly nice town.

During the day on the Parkway I met a couple of Ironbutt guys I’d met in Casey (last moth when doing the Moonshine SS 1000) on the Blue Ridge and one of them on a ST 1300 demonstrated to Brian why a Burgman can’t keep up with a ST 1300. I was keeping up with him through turns doing 35 MPH turns at 75 till he gave it the gas through a turn at 75, and when I tried I could feel my back tire start to slip and dropped back.

On Wednesday we rode over Sassafras Mountain on US 218 and down South Carolina 11 to SC route 28. We took South Carolina 28 up to US 441 and stayed over in Cherokee, North Carolina. We ate lunch in a wonderful little deli on the top of Sassafras Mountain waiting out a short rain storm and had dinner in Sylva, North Carolina. Sassafras Mountain and the Sumter National Forest provided some great riding. Cherokee had a nice 4th of July fireworks show that we saw on the river and in all it was a good day.

The plot really thickened on Thursday. We planed on riding through Smoky Mountains National Park on US 441, through Pigeon Forge and over through the Foothills Parkway to the famous “Dragon” on US 129. We left Cherokee and went through the park. While we were in the park just after we went to the top of Clingman’s Dome we met a crazy guy who was doing tricks riding on an old souped up Harley. This guy was riding standing on his pegs and doing military salutes to the bystanders. He hit it off with my buddy Brian and was telling us that he was an ex motocross guy. He ended up giving Brian lessons on better control of his V Star while trying to convert us to born again Christianity.

The park was beautiful and the lessons helped Brian (with riding but thankfully not religion), but we were stuck in a lot of traffic in Pigeon Forge and didn’t finish the Foothills Parkway till an hour before dark. When we got to the bottom of the “Dragon” it was still light but not by that much and the wind started whipping up to a terrible wind storm, but I wasn’t riding to the “Dragon” without riding up to the top.

I started up the Dragon with the wind blowing like no tomorrow and Brian thought I was crazy, but that he better follow. Branches were coming down and hitting us on the helmets and I had to zig and zag to avoid branches on the pavement. About a third of the way up a fifty foot tall tree came down on the road right in front of us blocking our path. Not far in front of that there were two cars with ladies in them who were driving up. One car was stopped by the tree that stopped us and the front car stopped scarred to look while another tree fell in front of her car. Trapping her front and back. Brian climbed off his bike and rescued the lady in the front car. He got her to the back car and we all turned around to go down. On the way down another tree fell in front of us trapping us on the “Dragon”. The ladies had food and beer in their remaining car so we drank and ate in the storm waiting for help. After a couple of hours some guys with trucks and chain saws came. They cut apart the tree blocking the way down and pulled the pieces off with binding straps and their trucks. We were saved from being eaten by the “Dragon”, but I never had gotten to ride the “Dragon”. We ended up saying good night to the ladies, who waited for the men with the saws and trucks to clear the rest of the road, so they could go on their way. We went back over the Foothills Parkway in the dark into Knoxville and stayed the night in a hotel near downtown.

Friday morning and we were in Knoxville but hadn’t really done the “Dragon” . I convinced Brian that we should go back and do the Foothills Parkway one more time and go up the “Dragon”. After a little getting lost in Knoxville we made it back out to and through Foothills Parkway and we did the “Dragon” in a more normal way. It was kind of fun, but not worth the hype. Even though Brian started right behind me I had time to smoke a cigarette and talk to people at the top before Brian got up there. After the “Dragon” we did the Cherohala Skyway which is unbelievably beautiful and took Tennessee 39 into Tennessee 30 to I 75 into Chattanooga and stayed in Chattanooga for the night.

On Saturday we went to the Chickamauga Battlefield Park which was pretty good and has a nice museum. Then we went to the top of Lookout Mountain which I thought was commercial and not so worth while. Not much worth while riding, but it satisfied Brian’s curiosities. We left Chattanooga around four thirty and rode to Paducah Kentucky for the night, taking I 75 and I 24 the whole way, without any real time to stop in Nashville.

On Sunday we finished the trip taking I 24 to I 57 home to Chicago. This was the story of a short trip becoming a long trip and how we almost got eaten by the “dragon”. I do have pictures, but it’s late and my camera isn’t with me, so I’ll have to add them later.

I thought I'd finally get to putting up a few pictures.








All pictures from the Skyline Drive.








Clingman's Dome and Smoky mountain Park pictures.




Brian and his bike and our bikes in Smoky Mountain Park.


Tree blocking the Dragon and people having a party on the road at the Dragon waiting for the trees to be removed.




Pictures on US 129 south of the Dragon.









Our bikes, me and the Cherahola Skywy pictures.
Brian gathering his artillery for battle at Chicamuaga.

I hope that these pictures present a little of the visuals of a trip through the general area. Please bear in mind that my buddy Brian is technologicaly challenged guy, saying that he "Only uses smoke signals". Also I'm a lousy photographer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Interesting story! I too would like to ride to visit the "Dragon." My plan was to ride with some friends from North Carolina since they have been their before. I think that I will postpone my ride until I get the Beadrider Beaded Seat, Givi V46 Monokey Topcase / Top Trunk for storage, and the Sonoma Series 50 liter expandable saddle bags. The ride from Richmond, Virginia would be approximately 459 miles one way. Obviously, I need to be comfortable and as well equipped as possible. I've watched the many videos concerning Tail of the Dragon. What year is your bike, and how many miles do you have?

Wilbur (wcevans09200) in Richmond, Virginia
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
188 Posts
Thanks for the nice write and up and pictures... makes the ride more interesting. :cheers:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,933 Posts
The first time I was on the Dragon was in my cage and we got detoured there on our way back from skiing because of ice. It was an awesome experience even in a car. I immediately knew I would be back on my bike. That whole area up there is made for riding and I try to get up there at least twice a year.
It is good living close to such great rides for sure! :thumbup:
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top