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Old 05-15-2011, 01:28 PM   #1
Dmarino OP
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI
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Two Up to Appalachia (Tiger800)

For some time now I have wanted to share my love of two wheel exploration with my better half. Last year our calendars aligned and we did a 1000mile 4 day weekend in the UP on my StreetTriple. Well that worked, she made my buy a new tiger . Next on the list was to take her to Appalachia. We would find some great twisty-curvies, ride goat trails complete with goats, and most importantly convince her that I'm only moderately insane and two wheel exploration is a blast!

Hello new toy! (The Dad got one as well)

An overview of our 2200 mile path. We would hit Michigan (Home), Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

11' Triumph Tiger 800 ABS | 04' DRZ400E
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:42 PM   #2
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Day 1
339 Miles
Pinckney, MI to Mineral Wells, WV

We zipped out of town around 9am and humped it south. We would only be on interstate for <2 hours and then it was off to two lane goodness.

800 Miles and ready to go. On a side note I removed the windscreen and could not be more happy with out it and it's horrid noise. Even with my 33db earplugs (Max Lite) I just could not put up with it. Now it's quite as can be and the air hits just above my chest.

Part way down the unique meals would start. We dropped into the Corner Shack for a quick lunch. The food was good and walking to the bathroom required a quick trip through the kitchen. The weather was so so and I swear Carmon was having a good time. We have Sena headsets so we could talk about the fields and cows as we passed them .

We continued south to 555 the "Triple Nickle". It was wet and I got into some trouble for backing the bike into a few corners. No worries though as we were keeping a relaxed pace due to it being quite slippery. From then it was off to the Holiday Inn Express and Cracker Barrel.
11' Triumph Tiger 800 ABS | 04' DRZ400E

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Old 05-15-2011, 02:29 PM   #3
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Day 2
263 Miles
Mineral Wells, WV to Tazewell, VA

Today would be exciting. We got another moderately early start and blasted south. I had preplanned the route using Garmin BaseCamp but was too conservative on the waypoints. Being that we had the GPS on shortest distance the morning would get exciting fast.

Let me start off the story by stating that Carmon bangs on the back of my helmet when I attempt to take us down dirt roads . This is somewhat reasonable as I have almost no dirt experience. We were blasting down some nice West Virgina backroads, no traffic, lots of humps and twists, having a great time. After a hand full of miles the road went from "normal" to paint-less. Alright I said as it got twister and "humpier" (Yes I like to make up words). The road continued to thin a deteriorate but what the heck no traffic and the scenery is great. Well then the GPS said left, down the drop off we went . We promptly stopped for our first dirt road photos, who cares right it's just a dirt road. Keep in mind here we are total dirt noobs, excited noobs.

Carmon loving her heated bib, very smart move on my part if i may say so. This made the "sales job" much easier.

It was decently wiggly but the mostly road biased Scorpion Trails worked on this surface.

Carmon giving birth to a baby tiger . I should note that Carmon wanted off first.

After this the road got insane by our standards. Huge descents and assents requiring a bit of wheelspin to climb. I was grinning ear to ear until the mud pit that almost took us down. At that point the "road" on the gps had two feet of grass in it and I was not to confident on continuing. Yes there were goats and the aflack duck running down the road. Great experience overall, I look forward to more back/off-roading with better tires.

"Sure just park the bus in that ditch over there."

After the adventure and backtracking we headed SE to see the New River Gorge Bridge.

Once there we crossed and headed into town for some eats, Pies and Pints was amazing. No pints for me though.

Smoked Gouda and Chicken

Guess she is not "new" anymore.

I took Carmon to a classy hotel in Tazewell, $55 classy. All and all it was not bad for the price. Tip, bring cash...

Dinner was with in walking distance and was so bad I don't even want to write about it. Lunch was so good it made up for the evening bad food choices.

Day 3 Coming Soon
11' Triumph Tiger 800 ABS | 04' DRZ400E
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:17 PM   #4
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Tiger 1050, Bonneville, Brutale

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Old 05-15-2011, 03:50 PM   #5
RaY YreKa
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Tiger 800 RR?

IBA #40578

shine on, you crazy emo diamond
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:14 PM   #6
Joined: May 2011
Location: Pinckney, MI
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It's me!!! The crazy girlfriend that decided to get on the back of a motorcycle with my insane boyfriend for 2200 miles..... what was I thinking. First off, I want to applaud Dom for keeping the bike in an upright position . There were a few moments where I had to knock on his helmet... the dirt goat trail was definitely one. Somehow he convinced me that he could handle the dirt and that I should start taking pictures. I guess the distraction of taking photos got me over the fact that we may crash at any time (just kidding, he did a great job).

Needless to say, the Tiger gets an A. Although the back seat is not that of a goldwing, it is certainly a billion times better than the street triple. The ride is surprisingly smooth over freeze cracks and dirt roads, it wasn't until Day 7 that my butt decided it had enough.... or maybe it was the twister that was quickly approaching (dun, dun, dun).

I definitely enjoyed the adventure.... but now I think it is time for my own bike.
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:20 PM   #7
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Day 3
193 Miles
Tazewell, VA to Bear Den Campground (BRP)

TwistyCurvies! On day 3 we headed from Tazewell skipping breakfast. We hit subway for a 10 am breakfast and were surprised that it was quite good. After boosting the energy with the late breakfast / early lunch we attacked 421 the snake. This was a very good time! We removed the bikes pesky chicken strips and took some of the kickstand off in the process. She hangs off as I can't very much while two up. We slowly worked our way up to speed and I only spooked Carmon when I grounded the hard parts, she is a trooper.

The next three photos are from Aaron at

Below you can see the stand being "modified" for additional clearance.

After zipping by the photographer we turned around to get his card. We ended up hanging out a while and he let me use his 8mm lens.

421 was an amazing road.

Glad I didn't install one of those big kickstand pads. Just a note that the preload was maxed but I would not expect the rear spring to be sufficient for two up + luggage + riding spiritedly. When solo the pegs touched down first.

From 421 we headed south to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Being early in the season there was almost no traffic. Carmon was armed with the camera.

One can never have too many photos of the parkway.

Caught in the act!

We turned off the parkway into Bear Den and were surprised with more decent offroading, Ok really just a gravel road with lots of elevation change and washboards.

For a total of $110 a night we got a very nice two bed two bath cabin. We had a friend dropping in the next day.

Porch hot tub and all.

No internet or cell service face. IT Guy unplugging .

It was nice to relax for the afternoon.

More soon....!
11' Triumph Tiger 800 ABS | 04' DRZ400E
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:34 PM   #8
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Central OH
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Excellent photos. We did a similar trip last month on a Bonneville. We were considering getting a Tiger 800 instead as it seems to be more comfortable on long trips.
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:55 PM   #9
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Day 4
117 Miles
Bear Den Campground (BRP) to Asheville back to Bear Den Campground (BRP)

On day four we set out to explore Asheville, NC. We are considering relocating after Carmon finishes grad school, thus we plan to check out our options on trips. My dad had talked this place up so we went to spend the day walking around. We ended up taking the BRP there and 40 back. Due to it being in the Mid 80's and our ATGATT we were overheating. We did however have an amazing lunch at Chorizo Latin Fare. The food was so good I swear we were writing a ride report about Central America.

Also a local, presumably college student, was selling hand made Popsicles. Her cart read "King of Pops", I had a Arnold Palmer, Carmon a Banana pudding. Amazing as well!

On to the food pictures..

Given that Jim (The Friend) had not arrived we lounged around the empty campground and shot a few pictures. The downtime was welcome.

The cabin overlooked this creek and made nice ambient noise.


Jim made it in the early evening on his very tricked out Adventure.

That night there were some powerful storms and a few trees were blocking the BRP.
11' Triumph Tiger 800 ABS | 04' DRZ400E

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Old 05-16-2011, 04:24 PM   #10
Dmarino OP
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Day 5 & 6
303 Miles
Bear Den Campground (BRP) to The Dragon!

Well time to move on and what better place for twisties then the dragon, 28, and the skyway. We packed up and headed down the BRP after an intense night of storms. Stopping into Little Switzerland we had a great breakfast at a great cafe, highly recommended. After leaving we were quickly stopped by park officials in front of a large downed tree and routed onto some side roads. They were all covered in debris from the strong isolated storms. We quickly got back on the parkway but were forced off by a pair of troopers as there were more trees blocking the parkway. We headed down the interstate to get to the good stuff faster.

After we arrived at the dragon I made my first pass and fell more comfortable then the past two times I visited. Highway 28 is also an amazing section of road and should not be missed.

The tires were now fully scrubbed in .

Got off the seat but the pegs still touched down once or twice. Given this is a dualsport I've been very impressed on how hard you can push it. Also the good quality picture below is Killboy, stick with Killboy.

Almost got the front strips to!

The Dragon and the Resort quite special to me as over the years I have made many lasting friendships around the Bonfire Pit. Great times are to be had there.

Including 50 races and hill climbs!

On to the random pictures from the two days there.

Our buddy Jim on the Adventure.

Potato Potato Potato

Love the glasses

More stickers!

Amazing vews from the skyway

Post day debriefing with Jim and our new buddy Dave

More randoms...

11' Triumph Tiger 800 ABS | 04' DRZ400E
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:35 AM   #11
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Dom and Carmon, Looks like a fun time.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:26 AM   #12
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Magnificent ride on some equally magnificent roads.
Marty F
'13 Triumph Sprint GT; '14 BMW G 650 GS
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:57 AM   #13
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Great pics and report. Hey, is this the first Tiger 800 ride report???

Don't you know there ain't no devil, it's just God when he's drunk.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:14 AM   #14
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Location: Peoples Republik of Kanada, Québec province!
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Cool photos... We rode the BRP two years ago! One of our top three rides!
"Work negatively inpacts my free time !" Me.
"Ride it like you stole it, then do the same to me ! " Her.
"A good thing in a bad place, is still a good thing ! " Us.

R1200GS 09
DRZ400 03
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:33 AM   #15
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Cool pictures, looking forward to more.

Get busy living
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