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Old 11-05-2010, 10:39 AM   #1
mikem9 OP
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: North Georgia
Oddometer: 1,195
First Trip on New Bike - Blue Ridge Parkway

My buddies planned a short vacation to the Parkway. But, I needed a street-bike first.

Been looking for an inexpensive, dependable, middleweight sport touring machine for a while. Narrowed down my goal to something less than $3000, and year 2000 or newer. Started my street bike hobby on a twin, but lately have really enjoyed riding the in-line fours. Considered and rode an FZ1, Suzuki Bandit, Honda 919, etc. They are all good bikes, but I chose the Bandit. It has a roomier cockpit and the riding position is a little more relaxed vs. the other two. It has more torque throughout the lower end of the RPM range and I really like the way the half fairing handles the air. Gives some protection but the air is clean - almost no buffeting.

2003 Bandit 1200s w/Yoshimura exhaust, K&N Air Filters, Jet Kit, etc:


So, on a Friday morning, we headed North. Up through backroads through the outskirts of Cumming, Dawsonville, Cleveland, Clarksville, Taccoa, Clayton, Franklin NC, Sylva NC to the Parkway. The entire journey is on great roads, but there is something special about reaching the Parkway.

We met up with our other buddies at the Little Switzerland Inn for the night. On Fridays, they have an all you can eat Seafood Buffet that's awesome.

Then the next day, we head back home - we take an alternate route through Weaverville NC, Hot Springs NC on increadible roads along the French Broad River and then a turn south on 209 out of Hot Springs. One of the most twisty roads I've ever ridden, including the Dragon.

Part of our group on the Parkway:


Enjoying the new relatively cheap and hopefully dependable bike:


Sections like this on the Parkway just draw you back:


Another rider we met along the way.


One of my favorite spots

mikem9 screwed with this post 11-06-2010 at 08:52 AM
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:22 AM   #2
achesley
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Location: Jennings, Louisiana
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Congrats on a fine bike purchase. Now, even the '07's are going very very cheap. Just no market. Or a Buyer's Market at present.
Yes, Love the Blue Ridge and need to go see it without the fog of the last trip there.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:54 AM   #3
GB
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Location: Toronto, ON
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Looks like you found the right mount for you, thanks for the report, pics and congrats
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:11 PM   #4
evilted
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Good choice! I work with a guy who has a Bandit 1200S and he loves it.

Great photos of the Parkway too -- the bit south & west of Asheville is, IMO, the most scenic.

It's reports like this that will sustain me through a long, dark winter. ;)
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:45 AM   #5
Robert Ford
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The Parkway is indeed something special. Thanks for the pics.
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