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Thread: dragon or 555?

  1. #1
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    Talking dragon or 555?

    I'm stealing a day off in September and planning a trip to....??? I'd half planned on The Dragon, thinking I could get from Chicago to Knoxville on the slab Sunday, ride the Dragon and the Cherahola all day Monday, then back to Knoxville for the overnight and back to work in Chicago Tuesday night. Ta Da.

    Then a guy recomended Ohio 555, south out of Zanesville and I started looking at the map and noticed near the S end of 555, Rte 7 goes S out of Coolville ( of all places!) and connects to 52 which follows the river toward Cincinnati. BTW have you read a book called "Follow The River"? (James Alexander Thom) It's terrific. And it'll make you want to try the drive along the Ohio. Trust me.

    It looks to me like the 555 option is both closer (fewer miles on the slab) and has more miles of fun riding. So I've begun to lean toward Ohio.
    But The Dragon is ....well, The Dragon. I mean, C'mon!

    Whadda YOU think?

    Note to C.R.K. I was just in MI so it's kinda faded to third place.
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

  2. #2
    Smoked Pigs Ass Rider 01 gsweave's Avatar
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    Do 555, but understand when I say, sometimes the road just disappears, from under you.

    Then move east to WVa 16.

    Make sure you enter Va and do 16 from Tazewell to Marion.


    You will never have a need for the Dragon again

  3. #3
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    am i on drugs when this happens?

    [QUOTE=gsweave;359370] sometimes the road just disappears, from under you.

    ...???!!
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

  4. #4
    rocketman
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    the Ohio River road is great riding, lots of views of the river and little towns along it are fun, did much of it back in 05.

    The dragon is somewhat over rated, not thats its not a great ride, but its gotten over populated and therefor somewhat less fun, unless you like having tons of traffic and such, esp. since there are plenty of other equally great roads down that way with tons less traffic. And PA has some mighty fine riding as well and is closer to you. On my recent ride thru there I'd have to say they have as many curves and mountains as you'd find further south. had a blast on 56, parts of 30 and some others I found on my home to VA from the 4 winds rally.

    RM

  5. #5
    Registered User LENRT1200ST's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketman View Post
    the Ohio River road is great riding, lots of views of the river and little towns along it are fun, did much of it back in 05.

    The dragon is somewhat over rated, not thats its not a great ride, but its gotten over populated and therefor somewhat less fun, unless you like having tons of traffic and such, esp. since there are plenty of other equally great roads down that way with tons less traffic. And PA has some mighty fine riding as well and is closer to you. On my recent ride thru there I'd have to say they have as many curves and mountains as you'd find further south. had a blast on 56, parts of 30 and some others I found on my home to VA from the 4 winds rally.

    RM
    PA back-roads are some of the best kept secrets in motorcycling. I lived in east central PA for two years and had an absolute blast riding them on my Bonneville.

    I'd love to get the R1200 ST up there for a rematch.

    Len

  6. #6
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by lenrt1200st View Post
    PA back-roads are some of the best kept secrets in motorcycling. I lived in east central PA for two years and had an absolute blast riding them on my Bonneville.

    I'd love to get the R1200 ST up there for a rematch.

    Len
    Well, at least untill now! Ha Ha!

    RM

  7. #7
    Bikes, Guitars, and ... beemokat's Avatar
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    Hocking Hills

    There are a lot of GREAT roads though that part of Ohio. I rode 550 (along with a host of others), which crosses 555. Very technical riding, I don't think you can take a bad road through there.
    Wherever you go, there you are.

  8. #8
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsweave View Post
    Then move east to WVa 16.

    Make sure you enter Va and do 16 from Tazewell to Marion.


    You will never have a need for the Dragon again
    You're absolutely right! I live in Marion and I led a group of Chromeheads over the road last Saturday. Another road that is outstanding is Route 80 between Rosedale, VA and Meadowview, VA (exit 24 on I-81). Also, try Rt 421 through Shady Valley, TN (known as the Snake)

    All three of these rides are better than the Dragon and the two in Virginia have little traffic and law enforcement presence.

    Like most, I just had to ride the Dragon since it is famous. I was really disappointed because I have better roads 10 minutes from my house.

    Ken
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  9. #9
    well, you're smart to ride the dragon on a weekday.

    here is the forum thread and some photos of the triple nickel... 555.

    here is the web site article that resulted from the forum thread. (be sure to watch the video) too bad it didn't make the magazine so that more could have read it. this was written back in the day when, if something appeared on the web site it couldn't appear in the magazine.

    personally, given where you're starting from, i'd choose 555 and the surrounding roads.

    pm me if you do ride the dragon... i will give you some other roads nearby that few outside the area know about and are equally as good as the dragon, if not better.

    ian
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  10. #10
    535IS
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    Quote Originally Posted by 26667 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by gsweave View Post
    sometimes the road just disappears, from under you.
    ...???!!
    Was it me who suggested 555? [Probably not, since I was working on that Lake Michigan circle tour.] I mean, I have suggested it to folks before.

    Now, realize that I have not driven the entire Dragon; only parts of it - and parts of the Blue Ridge Pkwy. I have ridden neither, but the way I drive my BMWs, I know exactly what the road offers on two wheels as well. Both are overtraveled tourist destinations. That's why they have the enticing names. But Ohio 555 is just a standard-issue twisty Appalachian foothills southern Ohio road. It is for hard-core bikers who love that kind of road. You won't see a bunch of trundling campers out there because there's no place to go that you can't get there easier on other roads. It isn't a picture-postcard scenic road. Just fields, a few very small towns, a few miles of ridge-running, and lots of woods. There are occasional farm tractors and locals in cars and pickups, but they are often showing you the way to haul ass on that road.

    When gsweave says the road disappears out from under you, he isn't kidding. I have a very vivid memory of cresting a left curve that turned out to be tighter than I'd anticipated. A fortuitous touch of rear brake [Kids, don't try this at home!] slipped my rear wheel out just enough to turn me far enough so I didn't end up in a ravine. Took me an hour to dig the seat cushion out of my clenched butt ... But, given a choice of running a whole day of Michigan or Ohio 555, I'd be back in my old home state in a nanosecond.

  11. #11
    If you ride 555 during the week the traffic will be quite light. I'd not start out first thing though. The deer are more plentiful by the side of the road at early morning and later in the afternoon. Also many schools have started and school buses are on the roads.

    Go have a nice breakfast and start on 555 around 0845 or 0900. You'll be tuckered out by lunchtime. It is tiresome to have to concentrate for too long a period of time.

    A significant advantage of 555 over Rt 129 from NC to TN (the "dragon") is that the likelihood of some nimrod coming over into your lane from the other direction (car, truck, or bike) is very low.

    Some of the curves are not well marked. If you come over a rise too rapidly there will be daylight between your tires and the road. It's real hard to set up for the next curve in those cases.

    As mentioned before, there are many good roads in that south eastern sector of the state.

    The Hocking Hills area is SE of Columbus and is quite nice also. Here is a link to a little video that I made a few years back of some typical roads in the area.

    Last edited by robsryder; 08-21-2008 at 01:11 PM. Reason: experiment in embed of google vid

  12. #12
    Jfixit
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    The Dragon would also be doable, I just returned. Left from thirty miles north of Muskegon, Michigan and 515 miles got me to Lexington for the night, 50% slab riding. Next day no slab and ate lunch at the Deals Gap store. Following 28 south into SC is pretty sweet too.

  13. #13
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
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    The dragon is most definitely overrated, not from the curve factor but simply because every ricky racer wannabe is out there being stupid. It's not the same road it was in the 80's when you could ride without having the frequent idiot infringing your lane from the other direction. The cherohala is a far more enjoyable ride IMO.
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  14. #14
    Smoked Pigs Ass Rider 01 gsweave's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=26667;359383]
    Quote Originally Posted by gsweave View Post
    sometimes the road just disappears, from under you.

    ...???!!


    unexpected sharp curves. Most people end up harmlessly in a field.


    Stay within your sight distance, you'll be fine.

  15. #15
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lenrt1200st View Post
    PA back-roads are some of the best kept secrets in motorcycling. I lived in east central PA for two years and had an absolute blast riding them on my Bonneville.

    I'd love to get the R1200 ST up there for a rematch.

    Len
    Well, at least untill now! Ha Ha!

    RM

    What he said, not worried though, you will not find the best roads on most maps, or they look straight and un-interesting. After 7 years of riding in the area regularly, I find new roads all the time.


    A few years ago I traveled to Pa and rode with a life-long local rider, I took him on some great roads he did not know existed.

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