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First road trip on the RT. Going solo


2 wheels

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2 wheels

Hi. Newish to the forum. I’m about to launch off on a solo ride down Virginia’s Skyline Drive (102 mi) and the Blue Ridge Parkway (470 mi), then back. Roughly 1300 miles in 7 days. It’s my first tour on the 2020 1250RT and my first solo trip.  Because I don’t yet know my mileage capabilities on this bike and the low speed limits on Skyline (35 mph) and BRP (45) I’m planning to run 200 to 280 miles daily. Staying in hotels.  Pretty psyched. This is a trial run before heading to high mountain passes in Colorado late summer.


I’d be pleased to hear any of your thoughts.  One thing I’m toying with is how close the weight should be in each side case. Left side may get all tools, rain gear, and water. If so it’d be a bit heavier than the right, which has clothing. How precisely should the cases be balanced?  Thx


Pics of my RT

C3A3810C-4B31-4B59-8E49-29A988D9B25D.jpeg

588EDBBA-9340-44DF-9E30-BB37E89CA2EE.jpeg

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wbw6cos

Hello 2 wheels, welcome to the forum.   

 

What a nice looking bike you have there.   It seems to have more panels painted than I have seen before.  It looks like you have all the black parts painted red, with the exception of the windscreen trim.  Nice!

 

Is that another storage box behind your seat?

 

I once did some mountain riding with one of my side cases a lot heavier than the other.  A lot.   Laptop heavier.  I definitely felt it a time or two, but it was much of a bother while riding.  I do recall the heavier one being on the left side and when I stood the bike up from the side stand it was most noticeable.  :ohboy:  It would behoove you to balance those as best as you can.  You can load them up and have them dismounted to pick up at the same time in each hand to feel the difference.   Or, if you are all that concerned about precision, use a bathroom scale.  Tools, water?  Yeah, balance those out, if you can.

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2 wheels

Hi William. Yes, i painted all the body parts BMW missed. I come from HD and that crowd paints or chromes everything. I’m looking for ways to add more silver. The box replacing the pillion is a Corbin “smuggler.”  Incredibly handy and I’m always one-up so have no need for a second seat.  Top case is BMW’s small (28 l) version. Balancing load is probably a dumb question or at least i knew the answer when i typed it.  I’ll get the balance close. Thanks

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Lowndes

Hey, Newbie!!  Welcome to the forum!!

 

Nice bike and very nice seat.  Looks like you know how to do it.  Just like the old Harley saying, "If you can't go fast at least look good."  But that bike will go fast, too.

 

The SLD and BRP, huh??  EZPZ.  Good time of year to do it, too.  First time I did both was early 80's.  I dearly love the ride.  Check this site for closures, etc: https://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm#12/35.3025/-82.8520   Maintenance, washouts, slides, and fallen trees cause problems anytime on the BRP and they do most of the cleanup/repairs on weekdays.

 

Weekdays are the best riding.  Weekends can be crowded and slow but sometimes you have to.  NO gas on the parkway but usually not far from it.  The southern end is the best. Stop for lunch at Little Switzerland, have a sandwich on the deck and enjoy the view.   When you get to the very end, turn left and go into Cherokee, a gambling and tourist mecca.  Or turn RIGHT and go over the mountain on 441 (a great road, too) to Gatlinburg, another tourist trap but Pigeon Forge is not far, Cades Cove is a nice ride and US 129, "THE DRAGON'S TAIL", is just around the corner.  Kinda.  Gotta do that.  But ONLY on a weekday for sure.  It can be a royal mess on weekends.  Harleys wobbling all over the place.

 

I've heard recently that rooms around Blowing Rock are $300/nite.  Get away from the main tourists destinations and they get more sane.

 

Best do what William says above about loading that bike.  I try to keep up with him sometimes.  He is a professional driver, too.

 

I load my old clunkers however I can get it tied down.  On day rides I just throw all the tools, spare parts, water bottles, and tire fixin stuff in one saddlebag and go.  I can't ride good enough to tell any difference but it sure is easier to get on and off with one.  Remind me to tell you about the tall blonde from Austria that flagged me down to tell me I lost a bag!!

 

Safe Travels!!

 

When do you leave??

 

 

Lowndes

 

 

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Dennis Andress

Don't over think it. Enjoy the ride, and don't you dare scratch that beautiful paint!

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2 wheels

i have found the first scratch to be liberating.


Leaving Thursday.

 

Mars Red? Funny. My paint guy just could not get a good match even after 10 or 15 tries. We ended up painting everything.  It’s a Hyundai color

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Skywagon

My side cases are out of balance weight wise.  The left one has tools and feel heavy.  The right one has rain gear and some cords.  Feels light.  The big BMW Trunk on the rear has things I use when I stop like windshield cleaner, towels, caps.  I don't notice any adverse issues from the out of balance bags.  Have fun.  Great route.

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BendBill

^

What Skywagon said--and what you have done.  Left side is heavier with tools, portable pump, and other items I hope not to use.  I come close to balance by carrying extra clothes, water and Gatorade on the right.  And as others have said, not to worry.

 

Have fun on your maiden voyage

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RandyShields

Good morning.  Great looking bike.  A few suggestions to protect finishes -- maybe not now but at some point soon -- cylinder protection covers or bars, rear side case protection bars, and protection for your headlight -- either film or a cover (lots available). They are all way cheaper than repairing what they are protecting.

 

What Lowndes advises about the BRP is correct.  Definitely check the NPS site for closures.  There are normally easy detours so you can get back on after the closed area, but sometimes it is a ways away.  Pick up a BRP map to help with overlooks and places to stop.  The northern section is rolling hills and agrarian.  The southern end has more mountain views. Cool areas to visit include Mabry Mill, Blowing Rock, Grandfather Mtn. and Little Switzerland.  Enjoy!

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Lowndes

One more suggestion, 2 Wheels,

 

Mt. Pisgah at MP 408 has a good resturant, hotel ($190/nite), snack/supplies shop (off to the side), restrooms, camping, and views.  Only place like it on the parkway.  Opened in 1919.

 

https://www.pisgahinn.com/

 

Post some pics here if you think about it.

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As others mentioned, check for closures on the BRP.  I live close to Roanoke, Va., and I think there is a closure just north of where Rt. 220 crosses the BRP. I was up there last weekend and the BRP was closed just at the entrance to Explore Park going North.   Good luck with it. 

 

When I first rode the BRP some years ago, I had to be careful to keep my eyes on the road and not let them wander off to view the beautiful scenery!!

 

Great looking bike, and have a good trip! :)

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Gotta add in what a nice job on the paint work! :clap: Time one of your stops here. Switzerland Inn it’s spectacularly peaceful and biker friendly. :thumbsup:

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RandyShields

A couple of others if you have the time:  Linn Cove Viaduct at milepost 304 (the final project to connect the entire BRP), Linville Falls at milepost 316, Mt. Mitchell (the highest peak east of the Mississippi) at milepost 355, and the overlook at the highest point on the parkway (6053 feet)(with a highest point sign) at milepost 431. 

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I did the exact same trip about 10 years ago - rode over to Front Royal and then headed down the Skyline and then the entire length of the BRP by myself. I didn't have any hotel reservations, I just wing it based on when I felt like stopping each night. Hotels are usually friendly about getting you a room since you're a single, weary traveler. 

 

I stopped at many of the overlooks and every big sight, I took my time, took lots of pictures, stayed within the speed limit (don't want a federal ticket!) and I completed the entire thing sooner than I thought. Helps that I got up early each morning and was riding early so I could see the wildlife wandering around (and I was off the parkway somewhat early to avoid that same wildlife). 

 

Lots of interesting things to see and do so take your time and enjoy the ride!

 

Jim

 

 

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Rougarou

Tuggles Gap restaurant has awesome chocolate pie milepost 165, that's if@TEWKS didn't eat it all.  Also have a little motel too.

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I didn’t but, it is now on the list for next time! :clap: :classic_biggrin:

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/12/2022 at 6:22 AM, RandyShields said:

Good morning.  Great looking bike.  A few suggestions to protect finishes -- maybe not now but at some point soon -- cylinder protection covers or bars, rear side case protection bars, and protection for your headlight -- either film or a cover (lots available). They are all way cheaper than repairing what they are protecting.

 

What Lowndes advises about the BRP is correct.  Definitely check the NPS site for closures.  There are normally easy detours so you can get back on after the closed area, but sometimes it is a ways away.  Pick up a BRP map to help with overlooks and places to stop.  The northern section is rolling hills and agrarian.  The southern end has more mountain views. Cool areas to visit include Mabry Mill, Blowing Rock, Grandfather Mtn. and Little Switzerland.  Enjoy!

Late to the party here on trip suggestions but what Randy suggests regarding protection items are great suggestions!   The side case protection from Illium Works are the best!!   But the other stuff is a must as well.   Enjoy your new ride and your first Solo ride.  It will most likely not be your last. 

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For those interested on my last trip on the BRP (living in Charlotte I run that road a lot) I discovered the Gap Deli about 100 feet off the parkway in Fancy Gap at intersection of Rt.52.  IMHP better than Tuggles Gap although I though they had new owners.  My 2 or 3 prior experiences there were just not very good.   But have stopped at Gap Deli now twice and both times it was very good.  Homemade soup and unique sandwiches.   Nice outdoor seating too.  But get there by about 11:30 to beat the lunch crowd,. 

 

 

IMG_7432.JPG

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On 7/11/2022 at 3:36 PM, 2 wheels said:

Hi. Newish to the forum. I’m about to launch off on a solo ride down Virginia’s Skyline Drive (102 mi) and the Blue Ridge Parkway (470 mi), then back. Roughly 1300 miles in 7 days. It’s my first tour on the 2020 1250RT and my first solo trip.  Because I don’t yet know my mileage capabilities on this bike and the low speed limits on Skyline (35 mph) and BRP (45) I’m planning to run 200 to 280 miles daily. Staying in hotels.  Pretty psyched. This is a trial run before heading to high mountain passes in Colorado late summer.


I’d be pleased to hear any of your thoughts.  One thing I’m toying with is how close the weight should be in each side case. Left side may get all tools, rain gear, and water. If so it’d be a bit heavier than the right, which has clothing. How precisely should the cases be balanced?  Thx


Pics of my RT

 

 

.... and to conclude, folks,  @2 wheels  left us, never to return.  Very sad situation.  😨

 

(Give us a ride report!  How'd it go on your first RT adventure?)  🍻 😁

 

Of course, he's probably not posting 'cause he's too busy actually RIDING, which is more than some of us can say (no one I'd know personally....).  🙄😮😩 🙃😁

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Dennis Andress
1 hour ago, Scott9999 said:

.... and to conclude, folks,  @2 wheels  left us, never to return.  Very sad situation.  😨

 

(Give us a ride report!  How'd it go on your first RT adventure?)  🍻 😁

 

Of course, he's probably not posting 'cause he's too busy actually RIDING, which is more than some of us can say (no one I'd know personally....).  🙄😮😩 🙃😁

 

Maybe he found a new shinny thing...

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1 hour ago, Scott9999 said:

.... and to conclude, folks,  @2 wheels  left us, never to return.  Very sad situation.  😨

 

(Give us a ride report!  How'd it go on your first RT adventure?)  🍻 😁

 

Of course, he's probably not posting 'cause he's too busy actually RIDING, which is more than some of us can say (no one I'd know personally....).  🙄😮😩 🙃😁

We’ll that’s kind of rude!

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6 hours ago, RTinNC said:

We’ll that’s kind of rude!

Didn't mean it to be.  More of a joking way to ask him how his trip went.

 

I hope he doesn't take it personally like that.  

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7 minutes ago, Scott9999 said:

Didn't mean it to be.  More of a joking way to ask him how his trip went.

 

I hope he doesn't take it personally like that.  

Funny I too was joking as well.   Guess it was my poor attempt at humor .... I won't quit my day job.  :4317:

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4 minutes ago, RTinNC said:

Funny I too was joking as well.   Guess it was my poor attempt at humor .... I won't quit my day job.  :4317:

No problem.   Tin ear on my part. ALL my friends know how weird I am anyhow.  (Oops, I forgot, I don't have any friends, cause, ya know, that weirdo thingy. 🙄)

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