As far as a good WNC tire, depends on where you are riding most. If you are sticking to the Charlotte - Blue ridge and Tail of the Dragon super slab routes, go with something like the K60.
But WNC has a very active dual sport community and Charlotte is centrally located to most of it. To the east you've got the Uwharries, to the South the sandy forestland of SC, to the west and north all the mountains of the Applachians. All the mountain ranges along the WV/NC/TN/SC/GA borders can be traversed via almost all dirt alone if you know where to find the connections. And if you are really up for a good ride go out to Tellico Plains.
Where I ride the ridges on the edge of Pisgah, when I get lucky enough to have a couple days to make it out there, is not K60 country (the K60s are no better than 100% street tires in that mud). It's knob country -> Karoo T, TKC, E09 Dakar etc.
The F8 is a great machine for riding in all of the above places (and getting to those places). It's heavy though and if you don't like muscling a heavy bike in the dirt, it might not be your best choice. I believe someone out of Asheville is selling a 2006 KTM 640A which would be my idea of the ideal Appalachian traveler if I didn't already have an F8.
If you are around next weekend come join other inmates at the NC ADV Spring Fling in Bryson City NC. There are a couple good rides planned in areas that you will have fun riding on the XRL.
I'm going to try to be there but can't commit yet due to scheduling conflicts. If I do get to ride, I'll let you feel out my F8 and decide for yourself whether it's the right bike for you.