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I'm considering riding the Blue Ridge this summer (July)...would be my first long trip on the Burg.

So...anyone done that here? Tips?

Burg: 2012 AN400, ~5400 miles and mechanically stock. Will have a Best Backrest and a Bestem top box on it for the trip. Between that and the under-seat storage, I should have plenty of room. :)

Gear: Teknic armored mesh jacket (with rain liner), gauntlet gloves, Red Wing boots, Shadow Scorcher II vented pants. (I'll probably wear a nylon mesh T-shirt and shorts under my gear.) Helmet is a full-face KBC, though I will probably replace it with a modular by July.

Also...I'm seriously considering going via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel...anyone done it?
 

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LOL, you must be reading my mind. Myself and 4 friends will be riding the entire length of both the Skyline Drive (from Front Royal, Virginia) all the way down to the Tail of the Dragon. Then we're riding home via Cape Hatteras, Virginia Beach, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, thru DC and Gettysburg and then back home to Toronto.

We've got 13 riding days in a 15 day trip (two rest days planned). The red line is our route out and the blue line is our route home. Roughly 4500 km of riding. We're leaving on May 30th so hopefully we miss some of the heavier summer traffic after schools are out on vacation.

During my research some other friends who have done the Blue Ridge Pkwy say to be prepared for continually changing weather conditions. It can be warm down in the valleys and a fair bit cooler and windier on the summits. Also, you can get fog either in the valleys during the mornings or at some of the peaks during the later day.

I'll be riding a 6-wk-old new Burgman 650 and will have the underseat storage, plus a Givi 55L topcase and the E22 Givi side-cases.

I'll post a trip report when I get back which hopefully will be prior to your leaving and can then provide some updated info.

Steve

 

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I'm from Mooresville NC. I've been on it many times. I will say this. Do not go over the posted limit. I've been pinched and they will not give you a break. It's federal land so you get a ticket by a park ranger and it doesn't go on your license. However the ticket is $100.00 for 15 over so watch out. I will be on it this summer. I always get on it at Blowing rock. A beautiful ride and it seems to go on forever. Let me know when you go and maybe we could meet and ride and get a bite in town. Don Potter
 

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I spent 7 days riding the Blue Ridge twisties on my 400 in Sept. The best part of the BRP is between Ashville and Cherokee, NC. Outstanding views! I camped at a state park that was only 6 miles out of Ashville. I went into town to eat, shopped (REI), and explored this beautiful tiny little town. Then I headed west on BRP, and stayed for 4 days at a motorcycle lodge called Ironhorse in Robbinsville. This place is heaven for m/c lovers!
After a day's ride, we'd gather inside, talk about our rides, m/c's, and life. Fun times! No doubt BRP is amazing, but the best has to be all the twisties around Robbinsville. Tail of the dragon, Cherohala, and the "local" routes that you will come across once you're there. The local routes have the best sceneries, smoothest roads, and least traffic, and NO COPS! Unload all your gear, empty out the seat , b/c this is about as pure of sports riding as you will find. I've already made my plans to go back there again in Oct, but this time on my 650.

I should add...I'll be taking my 650 (2up w/ wife riding BRP), and my sport bike (Tail of dragon, Cherohala), and my plated enduro dirt bike (woods single tracks) on a trailer instead of riding out there on a m/c. I'll base camp at Ironhorse again, and spend my week in Robbinsville.
 

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On my first ever long trip, in 1982, I went with two guys who were best friends. All went well until we were on Skyline Drive which is connected to or part of BRP. We went around a mountain and ran into a solid wall of rain, and the rain did not let up for two days. The one guy parked on a overlook and refused to ride any further. We coaxed and pleaded but he was afraid his bike would spin out. So there we were, sitting on a mountain in the rain and lightning. There was a brief lul and we convinced Stan that the storm was over and took off. Hadn't gone three miles and hit it again, but to Stanley's credit, he kept going (albeit slowly) until we go down off the mountain. Those two best friends were no longer speaking to each other. They relayed their messages thru me! LOL We found a motel and sat there for two days. I kept saying to myself, "someday you will laugh about this!" Needless to say, we came home and didn't ride the entire Parkway. I hope to ride its length some day. Skyline Drive is gorgeous. Take lots of pictures and post them for us!
 

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BRP will be a ride of a lifetime so make the most of it... sounds like you have it pretty well planned out. I live close the BRP summer months near Roanoke, VA. So if you get down that way and need some info or want to meet up let me know.

I've done Skyline, BRP and Tail of the Dragon a few times. Blowing Rock/Boone is a good stopping point. If your looking for good BBQ stop at the Woodland's in Blowing Rock. Also there are some hotels close to BRP in Asheville. Then at the end there are plenty of hotels.

Enjoy and let me know if I can give you any tips for around Roanoke, VA:p

Have good rain gear... helps with rain or cold... fog might be a problem in NC area's,
 

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If you ever get the opportunity, do the Parkway round trip tip to tip. I have done it twice. Riding in the opposite direction feels like it is a totally new and different road. With side trips, it is about 1,000 miles.
 

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So cool to read all of this. Just bought a 2012 650 - I'm disabled with a weird spine, and having a Richland Roadster trike kit put on down in Dade City, FL. Flying down the first week of April to drive it back to Ohio. Already have it in my budget to ride Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway this October. It's going to be the trip of my life time! I am so psyched!
 

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I can take the BRP in small doses as you get into lookout overload pretty **** quick and you do have to stick near the speed limit.

Skyline is fab and if you get tired of the BRP further south you can always switch west a bit and pick up back of the Dragon in WV

These are available for any region and state and offer a lot of good finds.

http://www.motorcycleroads.com/Routes/West-Virginia_124.html.

Depends on how long you have, but dropping on and off the BRP to catch some good roads would add variety.

And watch for deer.....any time of the day but especially dusk and dawn.

Catch the weather right and it's just gorgeous.

Coming back rather than slab home from Front Royal- slip over to PA and have some superb riding on 144/44 and home via Buffalo.

PA has some amazing roads. Sections of 144 just north of Renovo are perhaps the best twists I've ever ridden....and 144 S of Renovo is superb as well.

Allow for time to clear the border if its a weekend ....it can be brutal.
A lot of riders get Nexus card.

That makes PA a 4 hour ride ....nothing in Ontario compares.

BTW not sure you are on GTAM

http://www.gtamotorcycle.com/vbforum/forumdisplay.php?55-Cruising-Touring

But you have a huge pool of touring Canadian riders very familiar with BRP and points south.
See ya there.
 

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Wait...what border?
 

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But I'm not Canadian and won't be going anywhere near the border.
 

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Coming back rather than slab home from Front Royal- slip over to PA and have some superb riding on 144/44 and home via Buffalo.

PA has some amazing roads. Sections of 144 just north of Renovo are perhaps the best twists I've ever ridden....and 144 S of Renovo is superb as well.
LOL, I rode on 144 last September during mid week. It was amazing and at worst, we only saw one other car every hour or so. Completely abandoned roads and wonderful to ride.
We did a three-day ride from Toronto. Across to Rochester (lunch at the Dinosaur BBQ), then down the finger lakes to Bath NY for an overnight. Then thru Corning and down thru and then west across PA to Kane for our second overnight. Then a wonderful ride up thru the Allegheny Forest back to Buffalo and home.

Thanks for your suggestions for the BRP. Looking forward to it come June.

Steve
 

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Do It and say I Did It is worthwhile. I have been on nearly all of it in pieces (BRP and VA Skyway). Great road, great scenery, many things to see, some to hike to, no commercial traffic, good surface seldom any gravel on edges as they are grass.

Now comes the BUT, Too many tourists poking along, too many folks pulling in and out of overlooks, and MOST OF ALL I get bored with the sameness of it after about an hour or two. I just prefer seeing the country side of farms, barns, houses, cows, horses, people, little towns, etc.

I have no desire to ride the whole thing at one time as I would be bored silly.

That said, I live near Knoxville, TN (actually in between Knoxville and Sevierville). I still make a lot of loops to the BRP as day rides. Go up to the BRP via various routes and ride some of it and head back home after going north or south on BRP (makes 200 or 270 miles day rides). So, I like a little of it at a time. :D

A couple main attractions down this way on BRP (N & S a bit of Asheville) that you do not want to miss. MT Mitchell State Park is reached off the BRP N of Asheville and is the highest point East of the Mississippi (you can ride up to a parking lot with a museum, snacks, bathrooms and hike up a trail to a tower and see for miles ON A CLEAR DAY). Another is east of BRP on Hwy 176 and is Cradle of Forestry (a visitor center with exhibits and trails that take you thru the property which was first Forestry School in USA and started by Biltmore to manage his property when he had 3000 acres).

By the way Hwy 176 E or W of BRP is one heck of a ride (more curves per mile than the Dragon). And, just a few miles further east of the C of F is Looking Glass Waterfall (park on the road right beside the falls and view it from above or take stairs down to the river).

Enjoy your adventure. Mid Sumer or late Summer is best time for weather, etc.
 

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MOST OF ALL I get bored with the sameness of it after about an hour or two.
exactly.....that's why I think OP would be good to loop on and off it as you proceed - pick up some of the other great roads in the area
 

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I have ridden the Skyline Drive, and the lower one hundred miles of the parkway (Starting in Cherokee) but that is all. Just curious as to why it wold get boring? Is it because the road or the traffic or the scenery is all the same? I know that getting behind a laboring Winnebago on a hilly road is no fun!
I rode the Natches Trace with some friends years ago, and that ride was boring, because there were few real twisty or hilly parts to make it interesting, and the Park Rangers had speed traps everywhere. It was hard to keep under 50 mph. A Park Ranger followed us over twenty miles, hoping to catch us over the limit. He finally pulled us over and checked our registration etc and let us go. I probably won't waste time on the Trace again.
I have ridden across the Great Plains several times, and though the roads were flat and straight, etc, I loved the experience and would do it again when the opportunity arises. There is nothing like riding across western Oklahoma when the wind is blowing to remove all boredom from your mind!
 
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