OK, I know that route well. Please forgive me for sounding like I'm complaining, but on N. River Road, I spend most of my time dodging potholes made from all the car traffic, and the last time I was on 81 (Big Santeelah) on the NC700, I barely averaged 10 mph because they had put down a deep, loose layer of round, golf ball sized gravel. I LOVE most all the gravel roads in the Cherohala area that are off the beaten path, like Old Furnace, Davis Creek, Wildcat, Bald River, Citico, Cold Spring, etc, but I'd avoid the gravelhala if I had a choice. And near the top of my favorites list might be Sycamore Trail, up to the high grassy meadow. Awesome.
These pics will get you anxious for spring!
With a bike like that, sure. Remind me to get a Honda XL and bring it along.