Tail of the Dragon !

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Tail of the Dragon !

Post by Guest on Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:10 pm

How many has ridden the tail of the dragon here ? My wife and I and my inlaws are planning
a trip up there around April or as late as May this year. Gonna trailer the bikes up that way then ride.
I've watched many videos from there and sure looks dangerous as hell. I guess thats why Im wanting to go.

If you have ridden the tail whats your thoughts about it ? Would you recommend it ? I was reading
that it is like 11 miles long but has over 300 curves. I appreciate any imput or even stories anyone might have about it..


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Re: Tail of the Dragon !

Post by 01YZF6 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:07 pm

if you can, stay at the Iron horse motorcycle lodge.
jon and charlene are fantastic hosts, and have plenty of amenities for when you are not riding!
www.IRONHORSENC.com

if you are even slightly intimidated by sharp and steep curves, then go EXTRA cautiously! when ridden at its intended pace ( or slower) it is the only way to guarantee your safety !
there are literally dozens of alternative routes to ride that are just as curvy and scenic, but without the traffic and the hot doggers!
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Re: Tail of the Dragon !

Post by Dragon on Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:10 pm






318 curves in 11 miles.

Posted speed limit is 35mph.

Be ready to pull over for thrill seekers, which there are a ton of pulloff sections.

Ride YOUR ride, don't let anyone goad you into getting a handful of too much.





Nice (and affordable ) cabins around 30 min or so away at the KOA campgrounds. Then you get to take the skyway to the Dragon and get two scary rides in ( Skyway made me more nervous than the Dragon ) .


The shopkeepers tell me that pretty much any day of the week is pretty dead. Saturday is the worst, Sunday better but still crowded.

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Re: Tail of the Dragon !

Post by beachbum_ on Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:17 pm

like the earlier post said ride your on ride and the weekends are the worst time to do it the restaurant at the bottom is great and there is a lot of other places to ride like the cherahola skyway . wolf pen gap in ga etc
visit helen ga too

dont try to keep up just enjoy the ride and watch out for the hot rodders on them crotchless rockets

ps pack extra drawers

i love it up there and have made four trips that way and rode the dragon about twenty times and still dont feel secure on the thing

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Re: Tail of the Dragon !

Post by jughead on Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:40 pm

The Dragon is great, just give it every bit of respect it deserves. It is not a ride to sight see on.

I have also made it in my car with the family. The wife and son both got motion sick from the turns. There were a few times that I almost ran into the back of my car because the curves were so sharp. Very Happy
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Re: Tail of the Dragon !

Post by DirtFreak on Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:43 am

I went last fall. The roads are not the biggest danger, it's the other vehicles crossing the center line. Motorcycles, cars, 18 wheelers, & guys pulling boats all got in my lane. Just be safe & pull over to the right side & wave the fast people around so they don't risk everybody's safety to pass.
Every gas station in the area has free maps of the popular routes. The dragon was the only tight road to me. You might want to ride over to the BRP & ride the best part.
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Re: Tail of the Dragon !

Post by jmunsey on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:33 am

We rode it a couple years ago...with the sidecar rig.
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Re: Tail of the Dragon !

Post by DirtFreak on Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:24 am

Here's a video that makes it seem a lot worse then it really is to ride.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K16YnmJN0fc&feature=youtube_gdata_player
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Re: Tail of the Dragon !

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:59 am

Thanks everyone ! I watched several videos of it and some were really kool and others well they showed the dangerous side of it. Had a few bikes on the ground. I have to be honest Ive rode for years but this does make a little nervous. Maybe that will make it a safer ride for me.

My wife on the hand isnt looking forward to it. So Im thinking she isnt going to ride her bike and will just ride with me. So that is my next question. Is it
safe to ride double on a bike on the dragon ?

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Re: Tail of the Dragon !

Post by Dragon on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:51 pm

I seen several go double. But I would make sure you are a ride "Fit" as you are going to be doing nothing but throwing the bike into yet another curve and she will need to be doing a lot of leaning.


It is not all that bad. Unless you drive it like an idiot. Like had been mentioned, semis make that run too. My worst problem was coming up on CARS going way less than 35 and not pulling off for others. I had to pull off myself a couple times and let them get way ahead. This was on a Saturday and yes there were several wrecks, nothing major from the looks of it but careful of surprises around a corner. LEO are also all over the place on the weekends running radar.

The skyway getting there was more stress for me than the Dragon, as it has long sweeping curves that once you commit it is pretty much ride it out and they are so long that I found myself thinking I was never going to stop turning. geek
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Re: Tail of the Dragon !

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:54 pm

Thanks everyone, looks like alot of things need to be considered before taking on the dragon..... The wife doenst think she wants to even attempt it so may just me and my paw in law. That might be the best way anyways for the first time.

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Re: Tail of the Dragon !

Post by 01YZF6 on Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:29 pm

Tractor trailers are BANNED from most the Dragon now.....new legislation finally saw it fit to do something about it !


North Carolina has done what Tennessee won't do ...... ban trucks heading to the DRAGON. It is now illegal for trucks longer than 30 feet to operate on US 129 anywhere from US 19/74 all the way to the NC/TN State Line. They are also banned on NC 28 from NC 143 all the way to US 129. Also on the ban list is the entire Cherohala Skyway in North Carolina.

New signage will be erected to advise of the Restrictive Routes.

Want to hear what Tennessee says about banning trucks?

The commissioner (John C. Schroer) added that TDOT provides enhanced safety advisories in regards to potentially dangerous roadways and that it is the responsibility of motorists to exercise a greater amount of caution when traveling winding mountain roads.

So in Tennessee the signs warning trucks are actually aimed at other motorists telling them to DODGE THE TRUCKS THAT WILL BE IN YOUR LANE !!! Leave it to Tennessee to even make such ridiculous statements. The commissioner ought to be FIRED !!!

How about just banning the TRUCKS like North Carolina !!!! Now it is technically illegal for trucks to cross the Dragon and enter North Carolina. But they can legally turn around at the state line and return northward back across the Dragon as long as they stay in Tennessee. Great thinking Tennessee.


Map showing roads that Prohibit Trucks Over 30 feet long.
The DARK BLACK ROADS INDICATE THE BAN


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Re: Tail of the Dragon !

Post by Dragon on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:30 pm

Glad to hear it, they have only been fighting the truck issue forever. Very Happy

My point was more that if they can get semis through there, bikes are far easier. Laughing

Unless you ride like an idiot.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tF5Cttoi7dY
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Re: Tail of the Dragon !

Post by beachbum_ on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:33 pm

my wife rode with me one time and she is probaly the most non bike lover here on the way down she held a video camera and when we got to the bottom she wondered what all the big talk was about, after lunch going back up she didnt have the camera and accused me of taking a different route and was scared shitless lol i had probaly made 10 plus runs before taking her and with out a doubt i was a lot more scared than her being afraid i would drop her. absolutly the weekend is not the time to try it the first time solo or otherwise allthough my first time was after 9 hours on the road and on saturday afternoon. and it was on the second day of ever riding a scooter in any kind of mountain setting. all i can say is i love it

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Re: Tail of the Dragon !

Post by Paladin on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:39 pm

I haven't had the opportunity....



YET.
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Re: Tail of the Dragon !

Post by Scadoodle on Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:34 pm

I went there on my way home from my Daughters, it was fun, I got there at a good time, most of the crazy's went home. I hope to get there again for a week or two and ride around. Beautiful country. I may ride thru there on my trip in May. I'm riding to Ohio to see my folks. I road North trying to ride fast, then road south trying to do the speed limit, My Nightster scrapped a lot, it's hard to do the speed limit safely. I changed brakes and muffler bolts when I got home. Any way, a fun ride, lot's in that area to do. A well worth trip
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Rode it twice

Post by TheOldGuy on Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:51 pm

The most important thing about riding "The Tail," is this: Do NOT get the sausage patty at the restaurant for breakfast! I've never eaten the sole of a pig farmer's boot, but it can't taste as bad or be as tough. And the eggs will be cooked less than you order them.

Okay, that out of the way: An inexpensive, time-capsule lodging alternative to the biker dens, should you want one, is the Tuskeegee Inn (they spell it that way, with all the e's) on 28 east across the mountain from Robbinsville. It's pure 1950s Mom-and-Pop motel but clean, biker-friendly, and the coffee in the store is good. 28 from there to Deal's Gap is . . . interesting . . . itself.

I rode it the first time both ways with Bride up behind me, on Fat Lady the Valkyrie. We rode our own ride; scraped the kickstand only once or twice; got passed by a bunch of squidders; had a good time. Rode on a Sunday. Not too bad, but I've also been told and believe the weekdays are better.

Second time I rode alone with a buddy riding a cherry Honda Super Magna, circa 1987. We stayed at the Tuskeegee Inn, rode into Tennessee on The Tail, continued well beyond it, turned left onto Hwy 72 to US 441, turned left to Telico Pains, ate amazingly good fish (who'd a thought, so far from the Gulf?) at a little restaurant on a road that runs parallel to 441 a block east, that you get onto by making the left turn toward the Cherolola Skyway and immediately turningn left again. You can see the restaurant from 441 as you approach the light at the left turn to the Skyway. Then we rode the Skyway (highly recommend it, beautiful ride, beautful road, challanging but as someone said more sweepers and more opportunites to look at scenery, and far less traffic) back to Robbinsville. From there south on 129 to US 74 (VERY DANGEROUS INTERSECTION--crest of hill, curve, bridge railing blocking view, fast traffic on 74), left turn, about two miles, right turn onto Wayah Road (watch closely for it). Wayah Road is more challenging than The Tail, and goes on for a long, long way, comes down onto US 64 west of Franklin, NC. From Franklin, back up "Moonshiner 28" to Tuskeegee Inn if you need a closed loop trip. This is an ambitious but very doable one-day ride.

If you don't need a close loop, you can turn right on 74, which is also 19 and 129,go to just short of Murphy, turn left following 19 and 129, and take that to Dalonega, GA, following 19 (splits from 129 ina left turn at Turner's Corner). I was pulling Fat Lady on a trailer behind the cage when I discovered that road, and in my opinion it's the best of all of these. Constant curves like The Tail, wild elevation changes like The Tail, but wider, sweeping curves and for some reason most of the southbound route is two-lane. Absolutely beautiful biking road.

Y'all do The Tail. It's a lot like owning a Harley -- it's not all about the ride, it's also about the mystique, the peripherals, the "society." Well worth it whatever you ride.

Oh -- gas available at Deal's gap; also lodging, but I bet it's booked way in advance and more expensive than it ought to be.

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