Is the dragon's tail dangerous to ride? - Harley Davidson Forums: Harley Davidson Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 86 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Is the dragon's tail dangerous to ride?

I am thinking of riding the dragons tail this week. How long does it take to finish it? Also, I have been riding for a handful of years and am taking my SG on the ride...obviously, I don't want to wreck and I don't ride like a maniac on a crotch rocket. I really have no idea what to expect....so anyone have any info that would suggest if I should do it or not? Thanks!



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post #2 of 86 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 05:05 PM
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I don't usually direct people to other sites but check out Adventure Rider dot com.

There is a thread on there entitled Dragon Failure fest or something like it in the Face Plant section.

I think its somewhere between 4-5 hundred pages long.

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post #3 of 86 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 05:24 PM
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Not sure if my dozen or so trips on the Dragon qualifies me to give advice, but I'll do my best to give you the benefits of my experience and observations. First, if you can avoid being there on a weekend, by all means arrange your schedule that way. It seems to me that Saturdays and Sundays is the time when you find the largest percentage of crotch rocketeers trying to break the "record" for the 11 mile run or little sports cars such as Miatas coming around curves usually taking their half out of the middle of the road.
During the week, it can still be crowded, but it seems to be a lot more sane. Since you said you ride conservatively, bring that attitude with you. There are some pretty hairy turns of every description on the Dragon, and until you have a feel for the road and your abilities on your bike, take it easy. On some of those hairpins, if the speed limits says 15 mph, do 15mph. That is the best way to avoid having parts of your scoot from hanging on the tree of shame.
Be careful not to oversteer the curves because you will be pretty close to dragging the boards, and if you're not ready for that, you could dig into the asphalt and dump the bike. Best advice is to take your time on the first trip across the Dragon and enjoy the ride and the scenery. Once you get to the end, you'll have a better feel for things and your confidence will be where it will need to be to make another try at it.
The Dragon is NOT a dangerous road, but other vehicles do raise the danger factor more than anything else. One more thing you hopefully won't have to deal with is some 18 wheeler trying to force his rig around some of those turns, and they usually need the entire road to accomplish that feat. Don't be surpirsed coming around a turn too fast and have to lock up the binders because a big rig is in front of you. Above all, enjoy. It is a fantastic ride.

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post #4 of 86 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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I might just forgo the tail this year. I have been reading a lot of forums about people's experience and crotch-rocket guys trashing HD guys and vise versa, but maybe I should just give it a couple years till my skills are increased before riding it. I've only been riding my bagger for a year now. It's just hard to imagine why a road would be so hard to ride...but I understand the risks imposed by others as well.



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post #5 of 86 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 05:37 PM
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If I ever ride it (which I probably won't) I will start at the crack of dawn on a weekday during the off season. Maybe I've watched too many youtube videos of all the a-holes riding it and crashing -- and not just the sport bikers.
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post #6 of 86 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kicker0927 View Post
I might just forgo the tail this year. I have been reading a lot of forums about people's experience and crotch-rocket guys trashing HD guys and vise versa, but maybe I should just give it a couple years till my skills are increased before riding it. I've only been riding my bagger for a year now. It's just hard to imagine why a road would be so hard to ride...but I understand the risks imposed by others as well.
It's a mountain road, so the curves could not be avoided. The alternate route around the mountain is 3 hours long.

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post #7 of 86 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 06:05 PM
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It's a fun ride,just go at your pace. There's not much scenery except for curves and trees. There's other good riding in the area also.
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post #8 of 86 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ogre3239 View Post
It's a mountain road, so the curves could not be avoided. The alternate route around the mountain is 3 hours long.
I was reading that it used to be an old Cherokee trail or something that eventually got paved. I also heard that they no longer allow semi-trucks to drive it (not sure if that is true or not)...but I've seen videos of semi's on there and they have absolutely no business on that road!



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post #9 of 86 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 06:11 PM
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I was reading that it used to be an old Cherokee trail or something that eventually got paved. I also heard that they no longer allow semi-trucks to drive it (not sure if that is true or not)...but I've seen videos of semi's on there and they have absolutely no business on that road!
I may be wrong but I doubt if a semi has ever hit a motorcyclist on that road. Now, I wouldn't be surprised if motorcyclists, flying around a blind curve, have hit them.
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post #10 of 86 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 06:20 PM
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I may be wrong but I doubt if a semi has ever hit a motorcyclist on that road. Now, I wouldn't be surprised if motorcyclists, flying around a blind curve, have hit them.
Tim,
Check out the site I mentioned and look at some of the photos. There's some crazy chit that goes on.

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