So your going to ride the Dragon - read on . . . . - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 15 Old Sep 13th, 2010, 11:37 pm Thread Starter
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So your going to ride the Dragon - read on . . . .

My brother got this from some site thought I would share
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1. Always check your tire pressure before a run on the Dragon. It will never be as important as here.

2. Wear FULL protective gear..a suit with armor, helmet, gloves (with Kevlar), boots, etc.. . if you don't..and you go down.. you will regret it.. potentially forever.

3. Stay in YOUR lane. and there are a few good reasons... some obvious.. some not. (1). Yes, you might shave a hair off your time by "cross-laning", but keep this in mind... Riding the Dragon fast takes 100% concentration. If you are drifting across lanes and there happens to be another rider coming the opposite direction, as soon as he sees you in HIS lane.. he may lose HIS concentration and perhaps go down or take you down. His life is not worth your 1 second of shaved time. (2) you may take out somebody else, and (3).. You could die.

4. If another rider is on your ass... when appropriate, wave them past. No matter how good you THINK you are.. somebody is faster or stupider. Do not take it personal. You getting passed will not appear in any newspaper or the next issue of MCN.

5. As the Dragon is not a race track, there will be police. I find that they usually set up their radar traps on the few straights or at the bottom of the hill on the Tennessee side... almost never in the curves. To avoid handfuls of tickets... SLOW DOWN on the straights...If you must speed.. do it in the curves which is the primary reason you're here anyway. I give this same advice for riding the Blue Ridge Pky.

6. Try not to scare the shit out of the cages you are going to pass. They may be old.. they may be looking for a place to move out of your way.. they may be an undercover cop. Be courteous. Try to both flash your lights as a warning that you are going to pass and WAVE after your pass is successful. About 60-70% of the cages on the Dragon will actually pull over for you when they find a spot. If you/we continually piss off the locals.. sooner or later our party will come to an end.

7. If you are not feeling 100%.. both physically and mentally... sit this one out...The Dragon senses your weaknesses and will strike if you are vulnerable.

8. Braking!!! Ideally.. you should not have to use your brakes at all if you keep your bike in the right gear with the engine spinning at the right speed. This is a personal issue. Many track schools teach one way.. some teach others. If I have to brake, I try to have ALL done before dropping into a curve. My personal opinion for getting in and out of a curve as quickly and "efficiently" as possible is... shift weight/brake/downshift/steering input/open throttle. If corrections have to be made mid-corner.. I use either ONLY the rear or if I have too much speed.. BOTH.. never just the front in mid-curve or you have a good chance of lowsiding.

9. Rather than riding full out and trying to make better times (if that is your goal...) work on your technique at slower speeds. Hanging off, throttle control, corner exiting, etc.. Like martial arts.. once you master the technique.. the speed will come. THINK about what you are doing, analyze AFTER the ride, then practice.

10. Never ride at 10/10ths. There are too many variables. The Dragon is not a track and conditions change quickly. Shadows will strain your vision, gravel (while not common) appears after rains in some curves, furry little critters scramble out in front of the unsuspecting, a shady area may still be wet if early, and sometimes you'll find oil or antifreeze where a cage has either spewed or another rider has crashed.. Give yourself at least 1-2 second padding for emergencies or line corrections.

11. Many SUV's, pick-ups, etc have large mirrors that stick waaay out. If you are hugging the center line and hanging off.. your head may come into close contact with these mirrors..not a good thing unless you want to eat pudding and drool for the rest of your life. Try to stay centered or to the outside of your lane if possible.

12. Dont go blowing by the overlook....bikes and cars are always pulling in and out... and coppers too............Contributed by Patrick Jennings

13. Ride the Dragon on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, fewer bikes and fewer police. I first rode the dragon 10 years ago when it was still fairly unknown. Speed limit was 55 with nary a cop in sight. Now police jump out of the woods taking video and speed limit is down to 35. Contributed by Pete Osta / Raleigh,NC

14. Check your mirrors before you pull out for a pass/overtake, so you don't get zapped by a 23 year old on an R1. Contributed by Ozy / France

15. Avoid the painted lines when the pavement is wet. They are extremely slippery.

16. Do NOT sightsee!. The Dragon is to ride, not to watch the sights. On many runs I don't even see what is on the side of the road. I'm watching the roadway ahead.

17. The road crews usually work on the eroded shoulders after the summer peak is over. They have a way to use gravel in places that need it. Unfortunately, they pile the gravel on asphalt patches in the broken pavement spots on the inside radius of the turns. The first cage that comes along will scatter the gravel out to the center of the curve. Be extremely careful!! Be sure you can avoid the gravel or you'll take the ball bearing ride of your life! Contributed by Wade Davis / Ocala, Florida

18. FATALITIES: According to the official Dragon website...."Every death that we know of on the Dragon occurred while riders were NORTHBOUND !" Hmmmm Contributed by Drew Bland / Evansville, In

19. Braking Part II: It’s not braking that’s offing these riders, it’s the speed of modern day bikes & corner entry speed of inexperienced riders that have the “cheap seats” calling their names. If you’re braking hard @ the Gap, you’re riding it incorrectly. If you ride the Dragon (or track) well/correctly, you’ll be in the correct gear to allow engine braking to ensure your longevity as well as trail braking when necessary. On the K1200RS as an example, you’ll want to be @ 6-7K RPM in 2nd or 3rd gear, & hang off for best results. Contributed by Vic Saleeeme / Concord, Mass

That's it, gang. Good luck and be safe. Remember ...try to project a positive image.....you are representing ALL motorcyclists to the non-riding mortals who move among us. Enjoy!

Dan Finazzo
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Last edited by dfinazzo; Sep 13th, 2010 at 11:38 pm. Reason: grammer
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post #2 of 15 Old Sep 14th, 2010, 9:16 am
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Re: So your going to ride the Dragon - read on . . . .

Great post Dan. I haven't made it there yet, but plan to in the future.

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post #3 of 15 Old Sep 14th, 2010, 10:24 am
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Re: So your going to ride the Dragon - read on . . . .

"Shifting?"


Put it in 2nd gear, leave it there.

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post #4 of 15 Old Sep 14th, 2010, 11:46 am
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Re: So your going to ride the Dragon - read on . . . .

Last time I rode it ( a year ago ) there were plenty of bears ( not the four legged kind ) in the curves also. Mostly Tennessee troopers. Had my detector barking the whole time. Was closed last April when I was up there due to a big rock slide but had a great time on the Cherahola Skyway.
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post #5 of 15 Old Sep 14th, 2010, 4:29 pm
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Re: So your going to ride the Dragon - read on . . . .

Most of that list should be applied whenever and wherever you're riding.

Steve
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post #6 of 15 Old Sep 14th, 2010, 5:54 pm
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Re: So your going to ride the Dragon - read on . . . .

With all due respect, I think it requires a lot more skill to ride the Cherohala Skyway (and many other routes) than the Dragon. Come ride with me as I pass the century mark, then down-shift into second for a swiping left or right hander. You'll know you're alive for sure. That is ... if you make the turn.


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post #7 of 15 Old Sep 14th, 2010, 6:06 pm
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Re: So your going to ride the Dragon - read on . . . .

Good info indeed and should be used on any road! I must agree with Joe, there are a lot more technical roads in the area. The Cherohala is one of my favorite roads anywhere. I will certainly have one eye in the mirror looking for Joe making sure he has enough room to "roll" by....

Dave Oehler
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post #8 of 15 Old Sep 14th, 2010, 8:09 pm
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Re: So your going to ride the Dragon - read on . . . .

We drove the LT two up from MN to NC last October to ride the Tail of the Dragon. The owner of the B&B we stayed at strongly recommended and we ride other similar roads instead as "there are too many crazies out there"..... Really avoided a lot of traffic etc during a peak riding season. It was a wonderful trip.
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post #9 of 15 Old Sep 15th, 2010, 10:10 am
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Re: So your going to ride the Dragon - read on . . . .

Great post.

Just got back from a quick 2 day in the area. We rode the Gap up and back once early in the am and then got out of there.....RT28 is way better. Take it down to Georgia and pickup War Women road and then run over to Suches and do 60 and 68 and 348 and 180. You will have alot less company and fewer cops.

We were first on the scene of a rider who wrecked on the Cheraholla, Ny buddy had to lift the front wheel of his chest while I called 911. He was heading East and over cooked a decreasing downhill left hander marked at 20 MPH. went across the lane and rode along the guardrail for a good 50 ft. He was messed up and the bike was totaled. He was wearing full gear though and was conscious. We hung till the cops got there and then left. Had we been thee 1 minute earlier...he might have hit one of us. That is why the Dragon is dangerous....even if you are riding perfectly....there are alot of idiots both 2 and 4 wheeled.

Ron
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post #10 of 15 Old Sep 16th, 2010, 10:24 am
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Re: So your going to ride the Dragon - read on . . . .

We just did the Dragon on the 10th of this month coming back from CCR. We hit it hard (as I can) and we saw some oncoming riders giving the cop sign. A rider went off one of the corners and he and his bike flew off the edge. We heard later that he had to be airlifted to the hospital.

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post #11 of 15 Old Sep 16th, 2010, 4:19 pm
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Re: So your going to ride the Dragon - read on . . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibbones
We just did the Dragon on the 10th of this month coming back from CCR. We hit it hard (as I can) and we saw some oncoming riders giving the cop sign. A rider went off one of the corners and he and his bike flew off the edge. We heard later that he had to be airlifted to the hospital.
Sorry to say that he died on the way to the hospital.
There are now flowers and cards where he went off.

Richard Vogt
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post #12 of 15 Old Sep 16th, 2010, 8:02 pm
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Re: So your going to ride the Dragon - read on . . . .

And look out for tractor-trailers! Granted some have to use the road but some see it on a map or even GPS as a shortcut. When they realize what they've done, it's too late. In many spots, they take up the entrire road (yes both sides).

Chris Ehlbeck
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post #13 of 15 Old Sep 19th, 2010, 6:09 pm
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Re: So your going to ride the Dragon - read on . . . .

Thanks, Dan! As the other guys already said, those "tips" should be used anytime we "take the field."

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #14 of 15 Old Sep 20th, 2010, 6:44 pm
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Re: So your going to ride the Dragon - read on . . . .

That advice applies anytime you ride. I did the Dragon this summer, and it's noi different than any of the other challenging roads I've been on.
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post #15 of 15 Old Sep 29th, 2010, 8:22 pm
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Thumbs up Re: So your going to ride the Dragon - read on . . . .

just returned from a trip last week. We had a great time at the Dragon. Hit it late in the day both Thursday and Friday. Must say Thursday was little or no traffic. Also did many of the great roads in the area. Great riding area and not to far from home. If you get up in that area you need to do the Skyway and foothill expressway. both great

Al
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