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!