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Anyone else drive the Tail of the Dragon? Would not recommend anybody try it with the camper attached. Off the Smokies. Your side of the road might be taken up by racing motorcycles. Designated as US 129, it is by the Tenn/NC state line. 318 curves in 11 miles. Make sure you have good brakes...

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Yes, we have, many years ago.

The microwave came loose on one side, and pretty much everything in the trailer was jostled around. That's with an Elite 1. I wouldn't recommend it, at all, especially with an Elite 2.

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One time, around 1972 on a Norton Commando 750. Actually, three times, I went back to the beginning and rode it again before departing the area. Pretty neat road, and zero traffic. Another good one not too far away is TN 30, between McMinnville and Falls Creek Falls SP, (north entrance). Woohoo! Most RVs shun that route and take the more modern (bulldozed straight) alternative.
 

Out west those kinds of twists and curves are not that unusual.They are found as side routes off new modern freeways, from the good old days.  Though it is rare to find a stretch that long, they do tend to be shorter, going up and down precipitous mountains. One good detour off US 95 in the ID Panhandle is the Old White Bird Grade, it was made about 1920 and was quite a challenge for Model A’s - in the 2900 foot climb there were four water stations so drivers could pull over and top up their boiling radiators.... others are the Spiral Highway going down from the Palouse into Lewiston ID (Snake River gorge), and the Chief Joseph highway due east of Yellowstone. The latter is amazing because you have to crank the wheel hard back and forth but the speed limit is 65 mph.  😳. Corvette drivers have a great time on it. I have done these and more with “Mouse” but you need to take it really really easy, in either direction. Traffic is usually low or nonexistent. Not at all like the Dragon in these times.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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1 hour ago, Mainiac said:

Road was pretty smooth. Elevation change was abrupt at times. I think going around one corner I could see myself ahead?

Probably. 🙂

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I've simply lost count on the number of times I've driven/ridden that road.  Last I heard, the record for the quickest it was ridden was right around 6 minutes.  If you drive or ride it slowly you can see bits of motorcycles and cars still hanging in the trees.  These days, law enforcement tries to control things much more than they did 10 to 15 years ago.  However, virtually every year someone losses their life doing stupid things on that road.

Bill

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1 hour ago, John E Davies said:

One good detour off US 95 in the ID Panhandle is the Old White Bird Grade, it was made about 1920 and was quite a challenge for Model A’s - in the 2900 foot climb there were four water stations so drivers could pull over and top up their boiling radiators.... o

In the Only-Somewhat-Related-But-Perhaps-Amusing-Department:  Several years ago we were driving up the Whitebird grade (the new version, with four lanes, a fast and slow lane in each direction, but same elevation gain/loss, and similar big drop-offs over the side).  It was windy.  Very windy.  The wind coming out of the canyon below caught the slide-in camper in the pickup ahead of us and twisted it out of the truck.  Bent out the entire side of the bed.  The camper went skittering across several lanes, breaking up into many pieces (which a stick-built unit is capable of doing very well).  Personal belongings -- clothes, cookware, food --  were scattered everywhere.  We of course stopped to offer the poor guy some help (very little traffic that day).  Another pickup coming down the hill also stopped.  That fellow got out, put his hands on his hips, surveyed the situation, and in typical Idaho fashion helpfully offered the guy whose camper was demolished and whose belongings were scattering in the wind, "Ya wan' me to help ya jus' shove it all over the side?"

It wouldn't have been the first wreck that ended up in the valley below.

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2 hours ago, topgun2 said:

I've simply lost count on the number of times I've driven/ridden that road.  Last I heard, the record for the quickest it was ridden was right around 6 minutes.  If you drive or ride it slowly you can see bits of motorcycles and cars still hanging in the trees.  These days, law enforcement tries to control things much more than they did 10 to 15 years ago.  However, virtually every year someone losses their life doing stupid things on that road.

Bill

Bill,

I had to blow the dust off an old photo of me at Deals Gap back in 1999. (It was not as well known as it is today population 6) I was riding my new 1999 Honda Valkyrie. This particular day I remember buying a long sleeve heavy t shirt which I recently parted with along with the leathers. The Deals Gap Store was tiny and had a few t-shirts in a card table for sale, so I bought one. Now it’s Tail of the Dragon...it attracts all kinds of moto and auto enthusiasts. Over the years grew way too crowded and just unsafe to ride and enjoy. Many have met their fate on Tail of the Dragon on her twisted turns and terms. 
With 40 years plus safe riding years and a rather number or large sampling of different scoots, my wife and decided to retire off two wheels in Aug of 2018. Oh what a great ride it was!

The Valk...a great bike in its day. Never a moments problem. The last two scoots we owned my former R1200 BMW ADV and my bride on her Suzuki 650 Vstrom. Photo taken by “Blind Kenny” a road side photographer on route 80 aka- the Devils Whip right off the BRP. 
 

 

 

DF153563-BFD5-4302-9064-AD2BCA8853C9.jpeg

DAE558F9-1CC0-4DEB-8E94-55D792E5B1E2.jpeg

A10D759A-4D3F-407B-944E-9CFE86AEC1DE.jpeg

Edited by Patriot
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OK - for those that have never either heard of or had the chance to "enjoy" this road, here's a map for when you are in the area.

Bill

 

 

P1020788 (2).JPG

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We enjoy roads like Tail of the Dragon TN, Devil's Whip (NC80) and Diamondback (NC226A) on two & four wheels.

Debbie & I  riding "Tail of the Dragon":

i-8GV7Cg6-M.jpg

Riding the "Devil's Whip" (NC80) going up the hill on same section of road Patriot posted:

i-sj2rhTQ-M.jpg

Edited by rideandfly
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Bill

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3 hours ago, Fritz said:

In the Only-Somewhat-Related-But-Perhaps-Amusing-Department:  Several years ago we were driving up the Whitebird grade (the new version, with four lanes, a fast and slow lane in each direction, but same elevation gain/loss, and similar big drop-offs over the side).  It was windy.  Very windy.  The wind coming out of the canyon below caught the slide-in camper in the pickup ahead of us and twisted it out of the truck.  Bent out the entire side of the bed.  The camper went skittering across several lanes, breaking up into many pieces (which a stick-built unit is capable of doing very well).  Personal belongings -- clothes, cookware, food --  were scattered everywhere.  We of course stopped to offer the poor guy some help (very little traffic that day).  Another pickup coming down the hill also stopped.  That fellow got out, put his hands on his hips, surveyed the situation, and in typical Idaho fashion helpfully offered the guy whose camper was demolished and whose belongings were scattering in the wind, "Ya wan' me to help ya jus' shove it all over the side?"

It wouldn't have been the first wreck that ended up in the valley below.

Wow

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1 hour ago, rideandfly said:

We enjoy roads like Tail of the Dragon TN, Devil's Whip (NC80) and Diamondback (NC226A) on two & four wheels.

Debbie & I  riding "Tail of the Dragon":

i-8GV7Cg6-M.jpg

Riding the "Devil's Whip" (NC80) going up the hill on same section of road Patriot posted:

i-sj2rhTQ-M.jpg

Great pics Bill! We loved the switchbacks of route 80👍🏻

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2020 Ford F-250 6.7 liter Powerstroke Lariat Ultimate “Tremor” High Cap tow pkg  - 2020 OLEII - Hull #634 

 

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3 hours ago, Patriot said:

Great pics Bill! We loved the switchbacks of route 80👍🏻

Thanks! 👍

Took a Miata on Tail of the Dragon a few years ago, and really enjoyed it. Had the top down and Debbie was hearing a scraping noise behind us in the curves. It was a motorcycle dragging his pegs through the curves. Later that day, Debbie said I had to install a roll bar on the Miata. Installed a Hard Dog roll bar during the next couple months on Mr. Miata. 🙂

Edited by rideandfly
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Bill

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6 hours ago, John E Davies said:

One time, around 1972 on a Norton Commando 750. Actually, three times, I went back to the beginning and rode it again before departing the area. Pretty neat road, and zero traffic. Another good one not too far away is TN 30, between McMinnville and Falls Creek Falls SP, (north entrance). Woohoo! Most RVs shun that route and take the more modern (bulldozed straight) 

My ‘75 Norton Commando 850 Roadster that I’ve owned since 1990 is pictured below.  It often pains me to drive the Land Cruiser and tow the Oliver over some of the many great motorcycle riding roads we’ve been on, especially out West.  Often makes me want to trade off the Land Cruiser for a pickup so I can bring along one of the bikes.  Haven’t been down the Dragon yet, but have put lots of miles on many other nice roads. 

Current stable. ‘75 Norton Commando, ‘75 Triumph T160 Trident, ‘74 Triumph T150 Trident, ‘69 BSA Rocket III, ‘77 Triumph Bonneville, ‘69 Triumph Trail Trophy 250.  

E33655AE-1F11-4B0B-AB0B-A694671E4EC9.jpeg

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Anyone here ride a '74 Moto Guzzi El Dorado?

Moto Guzzi March 2014.JPG

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Ray and Susan Huff

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9 hours ago, KenB said:

My ‘75 Norton Commando 850 Roadster that I’ve owned since 1990 is pictured below.  It often pains me to drive the Land Cruiser and tow the Oliver over some of the many great motorcycle riding roads we’ve been on, especially out West.  Often makes me want to trade off the Land Cruiser for a pickup so I can bring along one of the bikes.  Haven’t been down the Dragon yet, but have put lots of miles on many other nice roads. 

Current stable. ‘75 Norton Commando, ‘75 Triumph T160 Trident, ‘74 Triumph T150 Trident, ‘69 BSA Rocket III, ‘77 Triumph Bonneville, ‘69 Triumph Trail Trophy 250.  

 

Ken,

Nice selection, I really like old the old iron. Having been a cyclist since my early youth, the memories are plentiful. However, I sold the  last of what I had a few years back - the road had gotten way to dangerous and my body was not up to the off road stuff I loved to ride.  Cell phones are the biggest danger out there....

Moto Guzzi  - mot many around - and not hard to identify - few people have any experience with them - I love them. Don't remember  the last time I saw one on the  road. 

By the way - if you are ever near Birmingham - any enthusiast - must take time to tour the Barber Motorsports Museum  https://www.barbermuseum.org/ simply fantastic.

Ken - I am envious - always wanted a BSA - esp. the M50 See the source image

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

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12 hours ago, Susan Huff said:

Anyone here ride a '74 Moto Guzzi El Dorado?

Never owned an Eldorado, but did own a brand new Moto Guzzi V65 for awhile in the 90’s.  Bought it from a Honda dealer when they absorbed another Honda dealership that also carried Moto Guzzi.  The new Honda dealer just wanted it gone.  I heard they had a Guzzi on the floor and went in hoping for a LeMans or an SP.  Salesman begged me give them an offer.   I didn’t really want a 650, so I offered about 30% of what I thought it was worth, and they took it!

Ran that bike for several years before selling it on consignment at the local Moto Guzzi dealer.  Made ALL my money back on that one including parts, tires, insurance, and gas.  It was free transportation for at least 10k miles.

Rode it to a few State and National Moto Guzzi rallies.  Even after I sold it I continued to be the ‘Guy on the Norton’ at the Moto Guzzi rallies.  The Moto Guzzi people are a nice crowd.

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4 hours ago, BackofBeyond said:

Ken - I am envious - always wanted a BSA - esp. the M50 

Yes, A B50 MX would be a good find.  I haven’t run across any for sale at a reasonable price, so I scratched the itch with a ‘69 Triumph 250 single.  It was sold by Triumph dealers, but is just a rebadged BSA.  I bought it more than 25 years ago and it’s been sitting in the back of the garage.  This spring when I was stuck home in isolation I brought it to the front and got it road worthy.  My intention was to sell it off and roll the money into upgrades for everything else, but it’s been so fun to ride around town I might keep it.  It turns head where ever it goes, it’s easy to push around, and sounds great.  (Yes, I see the oil drip under it, I missed parking it over a piece of cardboard)

If I could only figure out how to bring this along with the Oliver when it’s being towed by the Land Cruiser.  Every option I’ve come up with is too risky, or too heavy.  Can’t bring everything.

 

AE0C46F5-860E-4640-B3BE-88D95BFEAD0C.jpeg

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24 minutes ago, KenB said:

Never owned an Eldorado, but did own a brand new Moto Guzzi V65 for awhile in the 90’s.  Bought it from a Honda dealer when they absorbed another Honda dealership that also carried Moto Guzzi.  The new Honda dealer just wanted it gone.  I heard they had a Guzzi on the floor and went in hoping for a LeMans or an SP.  Salesman begged me give them an offer.   I didn’t really want a 650, so I offered about 30% of what I thought it was worth, and they took it!

Ran that bike for several years before selling it on consignment at the local Moto Guzzi dealer.  Made ALL my money back on that one including parts, tires, insurance, and gas.  It was free transportation for at least 10k miles.

Rode it to a few State and National Moto Guzzi rallies.  Even after I sold it I continued to be the ‘Guy on the Norton’ at the Moto Guzzi rallies.  The Moto Guzzi people are a nice crowd.

This was my husband's dream bike.  He found it, for sale by owner in the Willamette Valley in the early 2000's.  Rode it quite a bit, but it became unreliable for long road trips - overheating, hard to find mechanics, and DIY wasn't working.  He kept it, but purchased a KLR 650 for tent camping excursions (he likes to wander off-highway).  Sold the Guzzi to a friend a couple of years ago since it was mostly sitting in the garage.  The friend has not ridden it - just admires it! 

When my husband (before we were married) got out of the Navy, he rode a Suzuki 500 home - from Mississippi to Oregon.  After we were married in 1976 and starting a family, he sold the Suzuki and bought a riding lawnmower!

Edited by Susan Huff
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Ray and Susan Huff

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