Kawasaki ZX-10R Forum banner

1 - 20 of 61 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,137 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning on heading to "the gap" and surrounding areas next weekend, assuming the weather is nice and everything pans out with my buddies. Does anyone have any advice? I changed my oil today, and plan to have a new set of tires for the trip too, as well as giving my bike a general once-over some time this week to try to eliminate any unforeseen problems. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips to make the trip extra memorable? I live in NC, have been riding for about 5 years now, and this will mark my first motorcycling trip in that time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,688 Posts
1. Make a pass through the Dragon at a reasonable speed in both directions. Don't go haulin' ass through there on the first run. It's probably tighter than you think.

2. Do a little research and ask around about the other roads in that area. Don't spend all your time at the Dragon. There are tons of good roads in that area. Plan your loops. I've done 1100 miles in 5 days up there before and that was by far my best trip to the Gap.

3. Bring a still camera and mount a video camera on your bike if you can.
 

·
MIdlife PIMP
Joined
·
3,459 Posts
Tenn10 is spot on........make a few passes..it is def tight and technical in alot of spots,..........bring alot of film,...........watch for the law,..........NC side usually has less but the Tenn side is loaded.........plus they have air support!
Check out Cherahola Skyway........
Early morning or before noon is best to ride,........Weekends are crowded,.......lots of squids,.........beware!...LOL

HAVE A GREAT TIME!!.........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,137 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Damn, I probably won't make it up there until Friday really really late/early Saturday. I may have to put some actual time into planning a good loop. I will also have to look into borrowing a GIPRO or something along those lines I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
754 Posts
Wife and I went down there a few years ago. It sounds like the local law has stepped it up somewhat since then. As mentioned, check out other roads (Cherahola is a blast), and just don't ride over your head. The 'Dragon WILL tie your head up into knots, but it's a lot of fun if you ride smart. Try not to donate to the Tree of Shame.

Oh, and check out the guy who does video from his screaming-yellow Honda Goldwing. I think for about $60 he'll video you in one direction. Don't think that because he rides a Goldwing that he's a slow old man - he rides that thing like a sportbike. Super nice guy as well.

Have fun!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,394 Posts
Rule #1: Stay in your own lane.
Rule #2: See Rule #1.
Rule #3: See Rule #1.

Unfortunately, not everyone using that road is aware of these rules, so not only do you have to watch out for yourself, you also have to watch out for errant cars, transport trucks, and unfortunately bikes. Friend of mine got passed on the RIGHT by a Harley going in the opposite direction; the rider's eyes were wide with panic. That could have easily been a bike-to-bike head-on.

The other thing is, make sure you know how to stop or slow down in a hurry. It's not uncommon to see a 100 foot long skid mark leading straight off an embankment ... because someone jumped on the rear brake in panic and locked it up without properly using the front brake. If you go over the edge, it is a long way down.

The Gap was great in years past before it got so publicized. Now, you have to pick and choose the times you ride more carefully to avoid all the traffic.

Police enforcement in the last few years has not helped. It kept the fast, smooth, safe riders away, and allowed the touring bikes and cruisers to invade ("doesn't affect us, we're not going fast, and now all those squids aren't there any more"), but unfortunately, a lot of those folks have no idea what they are in for.

Have fun, take it easy, be safe!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,394 Posts
Oh, and check out the guy who does video from his screaming-yellow Honda Goldwing. I think for about $60 he'll video you in one direction. Don't think that because he rides a Goldwing that he's a slow old man - he rides that thing like a sportbike. Super nice guy as well.
Ah, Yellow Wolf ... He hasn't done that for the last couple of years, but definitely check out the videos anyway.

I know my previous post ragged on slow (a.k.a. incompetent) riders, but every once in a while, someone shows up on a Harley or Gold Wing who really knows how to ride. I remember seeing a V-Rod blast by while me and a buddy were stopped for a break, throwing sparks in EVERY corner, but staying in his own lane and completely under control ... I don't think I would have wanted to keep up with that. Forget about trying to keep up with local riders who know the roads, no matter what sort of bike it is. And DON'T try to keep up with a supermotard or any other small, light bike. That road was made for those.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
754 Posts
The other thing is, make sure you know how to stop or slow down in a hurry. It's not uncommon to see a 100 foot long skid mark leading straight off an embankment ... because someone jumped on the rear brake in panic and locked it up without properly using the front brake. If you go over the edge, it is a long way down.
:+1:
Very true here. LOOK THROUGH THE TURNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As GoFaster said, many of the skid marks are rear-wheel straight lines either off the road and over the edge or into the embankment. If you find yourself feeling like you're carrying too much speed, let off the brakes and look through the turn. 9 times out of 10 the bike will carry you through as long as you let it. I would guess that most of the crashes could have been avoided by keeping your brain from going into panic mode, fixating on the looming embankment/cliff, and just following through with the turn.

Yellow Wolf - I can't remember the guy's name. Too bad that he's not doing the video anymore. Hopefully it's not the result of the police enforcement. I remember the first time I encountered him, he was chasing some guy on a sportbike and practically had his knee down (almost). That 'Wing was CRANKED over! Dude can ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
754 Posts
Good loop:

Take the Cherohola out of the Robbinsville area to the end. Head north on ? toward ? (other members, help me out here with specifics), then turn back onto 129 - it's a bit of a drone past the lakes/reservoirs but then you drop back down through T of the D. It's a good loop with some places to stop at the end of Cherohola for food/fuel.

:eek:ccasion1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Get up early, and you can get in plenty of passes without the heat. Wait until after 6pm or so and you should be good to. Don't get caught up trying to keep up with someone in front of you either.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,394 Posts
Good loop:

Take the Cherohola out of the Robbinsville area to the end. Head north on ? toward ? (other members, help me out here with specifics), then turn back onto 129 - it's a bit of a drone past the lakes/reservoirs but then you drop back down through T of the D. It's a good loop with some places to stop at the end of Cherohola for food/fuel.

:eek:ccasion1
Aye ...

From the Gap, 129 south towards Robbinsville. Right at 143 west, this eventually turns in to the Cherohala Skyway. In Tellico Plains, turn right on 360 and follow that to 411 and turn right. Follow that to 72, turn right. This ends at 129, turn right and go through the Gap to complete the loop. Very nice ride.

A lot of people like the Cherohala because it has faster, more open turns. It's also a really popular place to crash, and the crash will be a lot worse because of the higher speed, and it takes a LONG time for rescue to get there ... and that's assuming someone even finds you. Watch out for mile marker 10 on the NC side, it's a nasty decreasing radius thing when going eastbound, the opposite direction of what's given above. I don't like going fast on that road ... but even taken at a moderate pace, it is a very nice scenic road. Speed limit is 30 mph on the TN side, which no one follows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,161 Posts
1. Make a pass through the Dragon at a reasonable speed in both directions. Don't go haulin' ass through there on the first run. It's probably tighter than you think.

2. Do a little research and ask around about the other roads in that area. Don't spend all your time at the Dragon. There are tons of good roads in that area. Plan your loops. I've done 1100 miles in 5 days up there before and that was by far my best trip to the Gap.
3. Bring a still camera and mount a video camera on your bike if you can.
Ah, Yellow Wolf ... He hasn't done that for the last couple of years, but definitely check out the videos anyway.

I know my previous post ragged on slow (a.k.a. incompetent) riders, but every once in a while, someone shows up on a Harley or Gold Wing who really knows how to ride. I remember seeing a V-Rod blast by while me and a buddy were stopped for a break, throwing sparks in EVERY corner, but staying in his own lane and completely under control ... I don't think I would have wanted to keep up with that. Forget about trying to keep up with local riders who know the roads, no matter what sort of bike it is. And DON'T try to keep up with a supermotard or any other small, light bike. That road was made for those.
See #2, the less popular roads have less traffic and cops. Be sure try to incorporate hwy 28 into Franklin (or out) in your gap loop, it's prob my favorite stretch of road there.

Yellow wolf, got behind him once and was shocked at his speed. At 1st thought about passing him, but after following for a while, I realized I didn't want to chance passing him and then getting tailed by a goldwing until the end. Figured it better to look as though I was stuck behind a goldwing rather than have one pushing me.:lol:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,394 Posts
Yes, 28 is good. Cautionary note as always ... NC troopers like staking out the 4-lane section. And at the corner marked 10 mph ... that really is a 10 mph corner. Another popular spot to crash, and on that one, you can't see if there is a car or truck coming the other direction.

I know a bunch of other interesting roads in the area but I STFU about them. They are there for the finding ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,616 Posts
:+1:
Very true here. LOOK THROUGH THE TURNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As GoFaster said, many of the skid marks are rear-wheel straight lines either off the road and over the edge or into the embankment. If you find yourself feeling like you're carrying too much speed, let off the brakes and look through the turn. 9 times out of 10 the bike will carry you through as long as you let it. I would guess that most of the crashes could have been avoided by keeping your brain from going into panic mode, fixating on the looming embankment/cliff, and just following through with the turn.

Yellow Wolf - I can't remember the guy's name. Too bad that he's not doing the video anymore. Hopefully it's not the result of the police enforcement. I remember the first time I encountered him, he was chasing some guy on a sportbike and practically had his knee down (almost). That 'Wing was CRANKED over! Dude can ride.
:+1:When in doubt LEAN. I would rather lowside by going past max lean, then lock up the brakes and go straight off the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,137 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Geez looks like my riding buddy might push it back another week, which puts it on a weekend I'm not off... my trip is now in Jeopardy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
772 Posts
Geez looks like my riding buddy might push it back another week, which puts it on a weekend I'm not off... my trip is now in Jeopardy.
You need to quit then.:lol:

There isn't much more fun than the cherohala speedway.:thumbsup:

the gap is fun, but there is only so many people that i can pass in twelve miles. I find myself passing on way too many double yellows on the gap. :headshake
 

·
MIA Post Whore
Joined
·
8,727 Posts
My advice.....never go on a weekend. Too many Racer X wannabe's and revenue collectors. Otherwise, do the dragon early in your ride rather than later. It's physically demanding. Watch for 18wheelers and oncoming cars...they don't stay in their lane. Watch for rocks kicked on the road by cagers going off a bit with their outside wheels. What was clean one pass may not be the next.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,137 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Yeah, I would really rather make it during the week... but I don't think that will ever happen. I suppose I could wait until it is too cold for all the posers haha.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
772 Posts
Problem is that in less than six weeks you will have leafers to tend with. not to mention all of the leaves falling onto the roads. i have definitely made fall and winter runs, but cold roads are a bitch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
379 Posts
I leave this Friday from Colorado and will be out there from the 19th to the 25th.

I've spent a week out there each year for the past 2 years. It's a great area to ride in and look forward to being back SOON!
 
1 - 20 of 61 Posts
Top