Tail of the Dragon Overrated?

Discussion in 'South East' started by Dr. Dolittle, May 7, 2008.

  1. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Got a friend with a Road King from Chicago coming down for a visit next week and he wants me to plan some day trips. Everyone from the Southeast constantly talks about "the Dragon" like it's the Holy Grail or something. We're cruisers, not racers, so if we went up there we'd motor along at the speed limit and just enjoy the ride.

    I guess my question should be reworded to, "From a risk/reward standpoint, is the Dragon overrated?" I've heard the horror stories about aggressive riders running you off the road or coming into your lane from the opposite direction. Miata's, Corvette's, 18 wheelers, and RV's too.

    I just feel like there's plenty of beautiful roads in North Georgia/Tenn/NC/SC without exposing yourself to the volume of danger not of your own making on the Dragon.

    Other experiences and opinions, please!
     
  2. Crazyfrog

    Crazyfrog Active Member

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    If you have never ridden it, I say it's a must do. If you go during the week, it's not too bad. There is another section of road not far from there called Hell bender, and it has some nice longer sweeping curves. All of the roads in that area are nice though, Like going thru the park, and the Cheroholla skyway. I've been there 3 times, and want to go back again, but want to spend more time exploring than riding the Dragon.
     
  3. Fourdogs

    Fourdogs Junior Member

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    I rode the Dragon as a novice rider...was exciting enough...was told that its best to do during the week. Was told by a EMS guys who go up in the chopper. They say they have taken many a body off mainly on the weekend. If you never done it..Then I agree with others its a must. However the Million Dollar Highway from Durango to Ouray to me was 10 times scarier. If thats what your looking for. No guard rails no trees to break your fall...11,000 feet up..
     
  4. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Scary is exactly the opposite of what I'm looking for! Took some curves around Lake Tahoe on a rental Road King when I was pretty new - big drop, no rails - had to change my shorts after that!
     
  5. bikermonkey

    bikermonkey Active Member

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    I've ridden it about 75 times over the years. Last month I rode it with three friends who had never ridden the Dragon. One of the riders was Slickrick from this site on his new 1200 sporty. The Dragon for most parts is what you make it. Take it at your own pace and you'll really enjoy the ride. Slickrick and I arrived 6 minutes or so ahead of the other riders. So don't make it a contest, just a ride. The Cherohola Skyway is another awsome ride just a few miles from the Draqon, loaded with scenery and sweeper curves. Every trip I've made to the Dragon I've seen a bike in the ditch or worse, but on the same note, it has always been the result of one's own over confidence.
     
  6. Les Williamson

    Les Williamson Member

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    The Blue Ridge parkway that goes into North Carolina is a good ride, beautiful scenery. Brain buster helmets are outlawed there though.
     
  7. AugMan

    AugMan Account Removed

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    I am planning on this ride sometime soon. This info makes more a little more comfortable about the ride. I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  8. waterdog

    waterdog Active Member

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    I rode the Dragon and surrounding roads for a summer back in 76 (I worked at Fontana Village that summer) when it wasn't even called "The Tail of the Dragon". There was hardly no traffic on it back then, and it was a great ride.

    From what I hear about the traffic on it now, and how idiots try to make it a time trial run, I don't think I would ride it except on weekdays when traffic was lighter.

    It is a great road though! But there are many others in TN and NC that are great also.
     
  9. crow

    crow Member

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    If your close by then you have to ride it. I agree go during the week.
    Many great roads in the area to ride. Enjoy the ride.
    I am hoping to find a few people to ride down that way for a few days.
     
  10. bikermonkey

    bikermonkey Active Member

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    During the summer an ambulance sits at the foot of the run by the lake like a vulture, he waits, may be the only run he gets all day. I live about an hour and half from the Dragon and there is always a group wanting a ride there. Yes, expect the nasty little crotch rockets to zip by in the middle of a curve, so don't take it personal when they hump your fender, just keep right a little and they'll find a spot to zip by. Take the curves at your pace. The crotch rockets eat it once in a while but from my experience it's the cruisers and baggers that try to get just a little faster,,and bite it on some two stage curve that did not seem that tight, at first,,,,,,, or speed up in a short straight and the curve is a 10 mph turn then snatch a handfull of break. Reverse steering is the friend of a curve freak. Enjoy the ride :bigsmiley12: