Thursday, August 23, 2018

Don't Miss These Four Mountain Roads Around Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains

Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains feature a variety of mountain roads that are breathtaking any time of the year. Here are some of our favorite roads to take in nature and get away from it all.

Blue Ridge Parkway 
A road going through a tunnel


When trying to find the best views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it's hard to ignore a road that was named in their honor. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers stunning views and is completely devoid of stoplights, billboards, and commercial vehicles. It also boasts easy curves, making it particularly good for breaking in a new or pre-owned bike. But be sure to plan ahead: the Blue Ridge Parkway also features drastic altitude changes of up to 3,000 ft. within an hour, meaning the weather can change dramatically during a ride.

Spanning 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina, Blue Ridge Riders is conveniently located under 2 miles from the parkway, making it an easy access point for riders. Keep in mind that the speed limit is only 45 mph, dropping down to 35 mph in curvy areas, so this is not a speedy ride. But with more than 200 pull-off areas and overlooks to enjoy the natural setting, riders will want to take their time.

NC Route 9 South to Chimney Rock


Black Mountain Rag (also known as "The Sidewinder") is a scenic route on NC Route 9 South that carries history in its name. It was named for a "rag," or a tune with many twists and scales. Black Mountain Rag offers a number of twists of its own as it winds to the top of the village of Chimney Rock overlooking Hickory Nut Gorge, an especially beautiful sight when seen at sundown. Riders can even continue past Chimney Rock to enjoy the stunning Lake Lure, also the setting for countless movies, including Dirty Dancing and Forrest Gump.

Around 31 miles total, riders should plan for about 2-3 hours of travel time. The start of this route is located just on NC Route 70 at its intersection with Route 9 South (just 15 minutes from the Blue Ridge Riders dealership) and is conveniently accessible from I-40. For a loop, take NC 74 towards Asheville and then get on Route US 40 East toward Black Mountain.

Cherohala Skyway


After 34 years of construction, the majestic Cherohala Skyway was finally completed in 1996. This 40-mile long dream road for riders gets its name by crossing through the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests, and it also connects Robbinsville, North Carolina to Tellico Plains, Tennessee. Along the way, elevations can range from 900 feet to over 5,400 feet above sea level when crossing from North Carolina into Tennessee!

This ride should be saved for a longer trip, as riders will need to travel around two hours to reach the start of the skyway at Santeetlah Gap from Asheville. It's also best to avoid this route during winter nights, as inclement weather can make it frosty and hazardous.

Tail of the Dragon


Just around 90 miles outside of Asheville, the Tail of the Dragon has become a rite of passage for motorcycle owners—maybe because it navigates 318 curves in 11 miles through Great Smokey Mountain National Park, and it's a great way for riders to get their kicks. It's not the best ride for those who enjoy more lonesome roads, though, as its popularity means it can see up to 15,000 motorcycles and sports cars in a single day. In fact, riders may even run into wildlife along the way, as bears, deer, turkeys, and wild boars have all been spotted on the road. The Tail of the Dragon is not recommended for beginner riders as it is very technically challenging.

This infamous passage of U.S. Highway 129 starts around Robbinsville, about a two-hour drive west of Asheville, and has a speed limit of 30 miles per hour to help navigate the endless curves.

Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains offer some of the most memorable sites for motorcyclists of any skill level. If you'd like to get a bike and take any of these rides, give us a call at 828-505-7575 today for more information about our inventory, trade-ins, or financing! Also, feel free to call us to discuss local rides and riding conditions. All of our staff at Blue Ridge Riders are motorcycle enthusiasts who regularly ride.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

U.S. 74A and THE HICKORY NUT GORGE




U.S. 74A AND THE HICKORY NUT GORGE: Known as the old Charlotte Highway, U.S. 74A runs Southwest out of Asheville to join U.S. 64 in Rutherfordton. As most motorcyclists can attest, the ride uphill can be more enjoyable, so these route descriptions approach the route from the piedmont. From the west, the road follows the Broad River as it flows out of Lake Lure. Travelers hug the western edge of the lake as they travel up the gorge. On the left, towers Chimney Rock, the iconic monolith from which visitors atop the landmark enjoy stunning views. This road proves popular with motorcyclists, who can stop and enjoy the many shops, restaurants and Chimney Rock State Park. 



The highway climbs through the Hickory Nut Gorge and crests the Eastern Continental Divide, which runs along much of the Blue Ridge Escarpment from Virginia to Georgia. The Gorge offers views of rugged cliffs and the 400-foot Hickory Nut Falls, one of the highest waterfalls east of the Rockies. The section nearest the crest of the mountain is the most technically challenging with a series of hairpin turns descending into the valley southeast of Asheville. In summer, the northern side of the ridge offers a cool, green escape from the heat.



Continuing north brings riders to the Blue Ridge Parkway near Interstate 40 just 23 miles from Lake Lure. This makes a good starting point for riders traveling out of Asheville and descending the escarpment.



Several side roads off U.S. 74A make for enjoyable diversions. U.S. 64 West heads up out of the gorge toward Hendersonville. N.C. 9 to the east takes you on a scenic route to Black Mountain. After you crest the mountain range, Upper Brush Creek Road to Cane Creek Road serves as nice detour as you head towards Fletcher.



The details and photograph of this ride were graciously provided by Michael E. Gouge a seasoned motorcyclist here in Western North Carolina.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Questions you should ask a dealer when buying a Motorcycle


Hey motorcycle enthusiasts we want to take the time to make sure when you are looking to purchase your next bike that you ask the dealer the MOST important questions. We all get that “giddy” moment where we walk in to a dealership, find a ride we fall in love with, sign papers and leave. When in reality, we all need to take a step back and think about what is truly important. Are customers asking these 10 questions to assure they are getting a quality bike that is road ready? At Blue Ridge Riders our staff offer up this information without you even asking! What about other dealers? Even if you are not a customer of ours we want to make sure no one is being mislead or taken advantage of. Use these questions as a guideline for your next motorcycle purchase and take charge of YOUR decision:



1.      How many owners has this bike had?

2.      Is the mileage accurate on the odometer?

3.      Does the bike have a “clean title” or is it a “salvage title” or are there any negative brands on the title?

4.      Have any on-staff mechanics serviced and inspected the bike?

5.      Where did this bike come from?

6.      How much tread is left on the tires?

7.      What has been serviced or replaced? Example: oil, oil filter, air filter, brakes, brake fluid, tires

8.      Is there any existing warranty, if not can I purchase one?

9.      What, if any, accessories come with the bike?

10.   Will this dealer charge any additional fees such as document fees, prep charges or delivery/destination fees in addition to the negotiated price for the motorcycle?


 Please make fully informed decisions when buying your next ride. This lifestyle is about the Fun, Freedom, and Adventures a motorcycle offers you!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018






Diamondback-Devil's Whip Loop: The Diamondback-Devil's Whip Loop is located in the area of Little Switzerland and the Blue Ridge Parkway about 50 miles Northeast of Asheville, North Carolina. This 38-mile diamond shaped loop includes NC 226A, US 221, Toms Creek Road, NC 80 (a/k/a the “Devil’s Whip”) and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

This loop starts near the hundred-year-old Switzerland Inn located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Little Switzerland. You should consider an overnight stay at the Switzerland Inn.  Begin this ride by descending down NC 226A in Little Switzerland towards US 221.  These 11 miles are packed with several great twisties. The first 5 miles descending are the steepest and the tightest. On this first leg of the ride you will descend down approximately 2,100 feet over the 11 miles. When NC 226A ends bear right on to NC 226 a short distance to US 221.

On the next leg you will make a right turn on to US 221 South for 4 miles and then make a right turn on to Toms Creek Road. You may want to gas up while you are on US 221.

Take Toms Creek Road for 2 miles to NC 80. Make a right turn on to NC 80 (a/k/a “Lake Tahoma Rd.” and then known as “Buck Creek Road”). NC 80 ascends 2,100 feet over the 10 miles back up to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Approximately 7 miles up, NC 80 (“Buck Creek Rd.”) takes a sharp left turn at Singecat Branch. The last three miles on NC 80 get steeper and twistier. There is a very challenging switchback just before the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The final leg of the Diamondback Loop is to take the Blue Ridge Parkway north for about 10 miles back to Little Switzerland where you started this loop.

For a change of pace, reverse the direction of the loop and go down NC 80 (Devil’s Whip) and up NC 226A (the Diamondback).  Going either way is a fun and challenging ride.  Enjoy!

*** We do not recommend this ride for beginning and novice riders given the various demanding technical challenges of the tight twisties and the switchbacks. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Caesar's Head and US 276 Ride



CAESAR’S HEAD and U.S. 276: One of the best views in the region is only a short ride south of Brevard on U.S. 276. Caesar’s Head State Park, located a few miles across the South Carolina border, features a rocky overhang with an observation deck providing 180-degree views of Table Rock and Upstate South Carolina.


As you head south from Brevard and reach the state line, a quick detour into Camp Greenville will take you to “Pretty Place,” an outdoor chapel with more stunning views.


U.S. 276 briefly joins S.C. 11, also known as the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway, at the bottom of the mountain. Following the base of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, Highway 11 offers the best access to many of the roads climbing the ramparts of the Blue Ridge Mountains. U.S. 276 veers north on Greer Highway to twist its way up to Caesar’s Head State Park and the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. Nearly halfway down the mountain, a pull-off area offers riders a spot to explore Bald Rock Heritage Preserve. This large, flat outcropping of rock features views nearly as good as Caesar’s Head above and makes a great spot for a roadside break.


Along the route are few short passing lanes, many of them in the middle of a few sharp turns. It may take a bit of nerve and confidence to overtake if traffic is heavy. Atop the escarpment, Caesar’s Head State Park usually bustles with visitors, many of them on two wheels. The gift shop tempts you take home a souvenir and of course the view from the rock never fails to imprint a lasting memory. The curves are tight and the riders waiting at the summit are usually welcoming.



The details and photograph of this ride were graciously provided by Michael E. Gouge a seasoned motorcyclist here in Western North Carolina.


Monday, July 2, 2018

A Guide to Buying a Pre-owned Motorcycle

Buying a pre-owned motorcycle is a great way to get all the fun and freedom that comes with a brand-new bike but at a more reasonable price. But as with buying anything secondhand, there are a few points to consider and parts to examine before signing the deal. This guide will help you navigate the basics of selecting a "new" pre-owned motorcycle and inspecting all the details.

Choosing a Bike According to Riding Needs 
A blue pre-owned motorcycle


Pre-owned motorcycles are perfect for bikers on a budget, but price shouldn't be the number-one factor when shopping for one. Motorcycles, new or used, should be selected with their intended use in mind. Long-haulers planning for cross-country trips are better suited to touring models with all the extra features—seat warmers, surround sound, cruise control, and the like. For bikers who plan to take shorter trips around town, cruisers and sports bikes with the bare essentials are preferable.

Market Price and Model History Research Is Key


There's also important pricing and model history to look up before deciding on a pre-owned motorcycle. Check on the bike's market pricing in guides like the NADA Guide, and make sure insurance coverage costs will be reasonable for the motorcycle in question. It's also a good idea to get detailed service and title histories if they're available, as they should show any potential problems or red flags to help you avoid headaches down the road.

Give It a Thorough Inspection


Inspecting the pre-owned bike early will ensure that the money saved buying used won't need to be spent on further upgrades and repairs. Reputable dealers will sell only quality bikes, but it's still important to check for potential problems before making a purchase. The engine, gearbox, chain, suspension, wheels, and brakes should all be structurally sound and in good, consistent working order. Unusual noises, leaks, and loose parts are all indicators that the bike is in need of extra attention.

For over a decade, Blue Ridge Riders has been one of western North Carolina's most trusted dealers of high-quality pre-owned motorcycles. We carry bikes by leading manufacturers, including Honda, Harley-Davidson, Suzuki, and Yamaha, and make it as easy as possible to own the motorcycle of your dreams. Give us a call today at 828-505-7575. All of our motorcycles have been fully serviced and inspected and are ready to ride.