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I have ridden the dragon a dozen times and have yet to see a truck (cross my fingers). IMO the most dangerous thing on that stretch of road, as well as any other road, are inexperienced cyclers. If you go there ride to your abilities, not someone else's.
 

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Been there and done that, would like to do it again, as the last time was on a R1100RT and I think the LT would make a good Dragon Killer. I stayed inside the speed limit and just enjoyed the ride. It was great and the roads around there are worth the trip. No reason to speed really as it's just a nice ride.
 

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Ridden it many times.

the video is a bit sensationalized.

The Dragon is only as dangerous as you make it---the more you open your throttle, the nastier it gets.
 

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I've been a number of times as it's an easy day ride for me.

First off, I don't think it's a "Hell Road".
On a K1200LT keep the gear low and the revs high and you have a very good time.
But in my opion the biggest issues with the road are: (and not in any order)
  • Trucks
  • Vehicles of any type crossing the center line and driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Inexperienced drivers and riders of all vehicles
  • Speed (don't give me the argument that you know what you're doing because the rest of the motoring public probably doesn't)
  • Those who treat the stretch of as their own personal racetrack. It's a public highway. Attend a track day.

I've been there and heard a guy say "When I came down by the river I was doing a buck and quarter!" (figure it out) That's insane.
 

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RT1200-290 said:
I have ridden the dragon a dozen times and have yet to see a truck (cross my fingers). IMO the most dangerous thing on that stretch of road, as well as any other road, are inexperienced cyclers. If you go there ride to your abilities, not someone else's.

I have ridden/driven the Dragon since '76 and you're right, IT'S THE OTHER guy that you have to watch for, that is the only reason that I haven't ridden the Dragon in a year or two.. .....too many inexperienced riders/truckers/cages :mad:

BTW, North Carolina has now banned truckers on 129 (see www.tailofthedragon.com); don't know if that will keep the truckers off the Dragon coming from Tennessee.

You can also watch a documentary on the Discovery Channel called "Hell Roads", they are now doing re-runs; on this you will see the "famed" Dragon and the "famed" Million Dollar Highway (comoing out of Ouray), as well as other roads in various countries.
 

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I rode the Dragon on my way back to Tucson in early Dec. I didn't slay it. But I had a ton of FUN.

My LT was fully loaded, running Metzlers instaed of sport tires, with my bike raised an inch by after market shocks.

While I love twisites, just don't have them here, I never go faster than I can see ahead. As mentioned I used a low gear with the RPMs high. When approaching a corner I could back off the throttle ride through the corner near the speed limit and easily drag the foot pegs on either side.

Unfortunately, I finished the Dragon just before sunset and still had some miles to do to get to where I wanted to be. Otherwise, I would have turned around, ridden the Dragon back to where I started on it, and turned around to ride it back again.

When I was done and riding by the lake at about 5 over the speed limit, someone flew by me like I was standing still.

While I was in the area I rode The Devil's Triangle. Some places there werent any signs reducing the speed limit before some great 160 degree turns. I wen't thru those a little below the speed limit on prior curves.

The only time I had to stand on the brakes was when I came around a corner and a BIG dump truck full of gravel had drifted into my lane.

If I had a video camera on my bike, my ride would not have been part of the video you saw.

I'm already day dreaming about riding around in that area for 2-3 days just enjoying all of the winding roads that many would call back roads, but they are well maintained because they are the only way to get from one place to another.

Best from Tucson
Bob

Pixs are on my way to The Dragon. I stopped for lunch at a small pull out.
 

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Bob,


how did you get the apple and coffee mug to stay on your floorboard?
 

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Both the cup and my thermos lean against the fairing with the apple leaning against them.

I can place my cup on the tip over wing to fill it up.

Best from Tucson
Bob
 

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When I was younger . . . I rode and drove Deal's Gap (the Dragon) a lot. In the good old days the traffic wasn't as bad. I have no desire to ride it again. That said, if you decide to ride it do it during the week. Avoid weekends and definitely avoid big weekends like Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day. On the big weekends you will get stuck behind a Harley Parade.

There are so many better places to ride in that region. You just have to know where they are.
 

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I ride that Dragon generally on 'Black Friday' ... the day after Thanksgiving, with Dave Cwi and a few Raiders. There are no cops, no trucks, few souls stout enough to brave the cold. Its a great ride, but the Cherohala Skyway, the road to Suches, GA and others are just as good or better. That whole region is a bikers dream. :dance:

If you are going to ride the Dragon, ride it with care the FIRST time. Once you get the feel for how it flows, your next loop can be more aggressive. Don't get over confident, don't cross the dotted line. Be prepared to deal with idiots and slow Harleys. :histerica

Ride within YOUR comfort zone. :bmw:
 

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...and make sure your riding pants have knee sliders, it helps you when you lean it over and have your knee out
 

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I am planning on riding the Dragon both directions on May 3rd. I'll be riding up with at least 4 other riders out of Suches, Georgia. They all ride Harleys and all have ridden the Dragon but one. There is a rally in Maggie Valley that weekend. About 30 riders from around the country will be there. Most are from the Intruder Alert site which is a Suzuki owners site. I'm hoping it will be a good time for all. One of the organizers of the rally is from Suches, Georgia. I'm riding up via Lake Charles where I'll meet up with some friends. From there we ride up to Tuscaloosa and the next day on to Suches. I'll add a few states to my ride map and some 3K miles give or take. I hope the weather cooperates............. :D
 

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Been there done that, first wander in sometime in the 80's.
When you hear the old timers swapping tales of fantastic rides, on the Dragon, elapsed times and dancing with the devil! Someone always brings up the Tail in the Hail story, About how 4 guys left the gas station, the space under the pump canopy packed with riders, and set off into 1/2" sized hail storm. I lead that group;) You wanna live forever?
 

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pkpr1998 said:
I have ridden/driven the Dragon since '76 and you're right, IT'S THE OTHER guy that you have to watch for, that is the only reason that I haven't ridden the Dragon in a year or two.. .....too many inexperienced riders/truckers/cages :mad:

BTW, North Carolina has now banned truckers on 129 (see www.tailofthedragon.com); don't know if that will keep the truckers off the Dragon coming from Tennessee.

You can also watch a documentary on the Discovery Channel called "Hell Roads", they are now doing re-runs; on this you will see the "famed" Dragon and the "famed" Million Dollar Highway (comoing out of Ouray), as well as other roads in various countries.
I'm thinking of heading that way this year, is their a good time of year to plan to be in the area? July? or later, more like September?

Dale
 

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I was there October last year. The fall views were spectacular. But it was very wet when I rode it, which increased the pucker factor.... All the roads around there are beautiful and picturesque. I would say September would be best from my POV. But I still had a great time even in October with all the fall foliage.
 
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