Tail of the dragon

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by slickrick2085, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. slickrick2085

    slickrick2085 Member

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    I rode the tail of the dragon for the first time sunday. rode down to Tn with bikermonkey and a couple of his friends, we had a great ride, made some new friends and rode the curviest rode I have ever saw(318 curves in 11 miles) and I cant wait to do it again:D.
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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  3. Ozoneman

    Ozoneman Active Member

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    Sounds like you had a blast!

    What route did you take from Corbin, KY? I'm planning to go down there with the wife and my son maybe in mid July. We want to ride the dragon and a few other roads down there. I'm planning to go down through Kentucky and need a good route.

    Also, how much experience do you think someone needs to ride the Dragon? How fast and how slow are the turns? Are any of the turns so tight that a rookie would have a hard time riding two up?

    Where did you all stay?
     
  4. dangerdan

    dangerdan Junior Member

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    The Dragon is one of those places I refuse to go. I have heard to many horror stories.

    Had 3 crazy buds on metrics who wanting to try The Dragon. These guys loved to ride twisties. Only 2 of them came back with their bikes. The other one spent 3 days in the hospital. He lost it in a blind curve when an oncomming rider got in his way, he and the bike went over the edge . He got real lucky because a tree caught him in mid air. He lost his bike , had a few broken bones.

    I would rather got to the dentist then ride The Dragon.:bigsmiley10:
     
  5. ekw13Fatboy

    ekw13Fatboy Active Member

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    Tail of the Dragon is an experience. They have a web site. www.tailofthedragon.com. It has News, Events, and even tips for riding the Dragon. Speed limit through there is 45 i believe. Sheriffs and HP is a presence. Two important things, ride within your comfort zone(to hell with the crotch rockets)and ride the right side of the lane as much as possible.

    Been there more than once, everytime not a scratch. I was cautious and heeded warnings.
     
  6. bikermonkey

    bikermonkey Active Member

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    I’ve safely ridden the Dragon likely 70 times, each and every time there has been one or more bikes in the ditches, or worse. In the summer I’ve often seen an ambulance parked at the bottom, like a vulture, his time will come, just a matter of when. On this trip, Slickrick and I helped push a big ol Yamaha out of ditch, he was lucky as only his cases were broken or something underneath causing a stream of oil to pour out. Slickrick and I lead the way for our group, each Dragon virgins, and there were no problems. It is what you make of it. I doubt anyone who goes there, is surprised to find one curve after another but what does surprise them, is the brief straights where they pick up speed, then all too soon fade into a two or three stage curve, so hit the breaks “a no no” and slide out into the abyss. Anyone capable of riding a motorcycle can safely run the Dragon, just be cautious, and take it easy. Slickrick and I arrived at Deal’s Gap about 7 to 8 minutes ahead of the others,, but they were smart to take it at their own pace and level of experience. I drag the floorboards once in a while, fun and controlled but I’ve never had a close call caused by my error on the Dragon.
    Ozoneman, if you get in our area and I’ll gladly ride there with you. But, to answer your question: from I-75 in Tn, pick up I-275 in Knoxville Tn, you’ll soon find Rt.129 South. Follow the signs. Rt 129 becomes the Dragon about 20 miles south of Maryville Tn.
    Google Deal’s Gap or Tail of the Dragon and maps are everywhere.:bigsmiley17:
     
  7. Mosko

    Mosko Member

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    I live nearby, and have ridden the Dragon who knows how many times. I years past it was much more dangerous than it is now. The problems with traffic accidents and congestion has "peaved" the local residents to put it mildly. So many of them, have been hit by a bike in a curve on the wrong side of the road.

    Through their complaints to the local authoroties, the police presence has drastically increased. As well the accidents have also decreased. The speed limit is 30 MPH in the Blount County TN segment, and you will see several police cruisers sitting on the route, both county and THP.

    At 30 MPH, floor boards on my road king drag 12 to 15 times in a trip, and it has not been lowered. I myself couldn't ride it any faster than thirty! I remember when the limit was 55 mph. That was because it's a US hwy (129).

    I recommend it to riders like us, 30 mph requires an experienced rider, with every second paying attention, an exciting ride!

    Ride 30 or less even in the straights where a higher speed is possible (thats where the cops are). STAY ON YOUR SIDE OF THE ROAD! Many tickets are written for crossing the "double Yellow". Also lately TN has started a more rigid policy against Non-DOT helments, especially in the Dragon area.

    You will hear a lot of gripes and war stories, but for the good of us all, safety and co-existance with the residents, had to be put in place, it's actually much better now, just obey the law, and you'll have agood ride without any problems.
     
  8. Fourdogs

    Fourdogs Junior Member

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    We rode the Dragon my second year as a rider. I don't think I ever got over 35 mph. Down shifted many times. Held my breath a few as well. Did see a fatal accident. Fellow on a metric. Did not see the actual accident just the after math. Felt bad about it. Was during the Knoxville rally and we were told by a fire fighter not to ride it on the weekend; being we were new riders...We rode it on a Thursday, and still was a bit crowed. However to be honest I think the ride from Durango Colo. to Ouray Colo on the Million Dollar highway( Hwy 550 ) was much more of a rush than the Dragon....no trees to brake your fall...ugh!!!
     
  9. Ozoneman

    Ozoneman Active Member

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    BikerMonkey, so you just go by Interstate? I was thinking about taking state and county roads. I was thinking about going down through Frankfort, Harrodsburg, and then Somerset and then through Oak Ridge. Most of the way would be on 421, 127, 27, and 62. We were thinking about taking it easy and do two days down and two days back. On the way back I was thinking about going through Middlesboro (Cumberland Gap), Barbourville, Corbin, and back to Somerset. That would mean we would travel back on 25E, and 192 before we hit Somerset. Are these roads good bike riding roads?

    When we go down, we will also spend about 4 or 5 days there to enjoy other rides and the scenery. Do you spend the night there? Where do you stay? Is Bryson City a good place to get a motel?
     
  10. bikermonkey

    bikermonkey Active Member

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    Ozone, when we ride the Dragon, it’s normally a one day trip, and we rack up over 350 miles, so the back roads there, and back would not be practical for a one day round trip, hence the interstate.
    From Corbin it’s a good ride to Middlesboro picking up 33 thru Tenn, down to 640 and hooking up with 129 in Knoxville, good roads too as is 192 , an excellent road choice, I ride it a lot. We do take two day trips too, in which case a must ride is the Cherohala Parkway, which is south of the Dragon, that is some premium riding there.
    Also the Foothills Parkway is a short connect from 129 over to Townsend for some great river riding along the Pigeon River into Gatlinburg.
    When you get closer to taking your trip, let me know and I’ll send you a suggested route or gladly help in anyway possible. There is some great riding around here.