Anyone ride Deal's Gap / Tail of the Dragon?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Flashpoint, May 15, 2018.

  1. Flashpoint

    Flashpoint Member Charter Member

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    A friend and I drove to Deals Gap at the NC/TN border last week and road our bikes on the Tail of the Dragon, 318 turns in 11 miles. That's him behind me in the 2nd pic. If someone is behind you on the Dragon you are holding them up, lol. We also rode some gravel service roads, after all, we are riding dual sports so we had to get some off road in as well. Another fellow joined us so there were three of us in all. I'm on a KLR650, my friend is on a geared down WR250, and the other guy a DRZ 400. The KLR has great torque but is old school, modern bikes of it's displacement have twice the horsepower, still has the weight of a 650 though. ;)

    Having ridden motorcycles for all of 3 months, I was worried I wan't prepared for something this challenging. It turns out I was unprepared for how much fun was to be had. If you like to corner hard you must check this out. Speeds are not high but it can still be deadly so you must be certain you don't drive/ride beyond your abilities. 11 miles of double yellow and the written and unwritten rule is NEVER cross the double yellow, even when it looks safe to do so. Most people driving the dragon know the other rule which is if someone is behind you and they aren't part of your party, you pull off and let them by. Most have come hundreds of miles to drive these curves and everyone should get the chance to drive at their own speed..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There are photography businesses lining the road taking your picture so when you get home you just go to their website and find the pics of you. Anyway, I also wore a gopro and here's some of the footage I came home with:

     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
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  2. amnesia

    amnesia Habitual Trader Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I meant to take the Subaru STI when I loved in Asheville.

    I plan on taking the Vette this year. I must say that I'm jelly .
     
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  3. SPST

    SPST Member

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    Problem is , lots of guys do cross the double yellow. I used to ride it back in the '90's when there was no one there and the speed limit was 55 mph.
     
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  4. premise

    premise Member

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    Next time bring your poles, your beer, and hit up Santeelah. We camped there for a week, saw 1 wreck and 2 car commercials being filmed.
     
  5. Geezer

    Geezer Flatland Hillbilly Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I grew up in the mountains and there are a lot of curvy mountain roads without all of the traffic as the Dragon. Too many idiots and wannabe TT racers show up there now. It's a pleasurable ride until you have someone wanting to ride above their ability and you're in their way.. They should and enter at Isle of Man.
     
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  6. SPST

    SPST Member

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    At least everyone is going the same direction at the IOM! The best time to go to Deals Gap is early spring or late fall in the middle of the week.
     
  7. Majicmike

    Majicmike Overweight lover Charter Member Benefactor

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    There's a lot better roads around there with less traffic and less LEO's
     
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  8. Chihuahua Floyd

    Chihuahua Floyd Happy to be here

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    Try NC28 between Bryson City and Franklin and Waynah Bald road from Franklin to the Nanthala Gorge next time.
    CF
     
  9. SPST

    SPST Member

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    Don't be giving out alternative roads. It's like giving up your best fishing hole at the lake!
     
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  10. ES44AC

    ES44AC Happy to be here

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    I haven't been in a few years, but the Friday- Monday times were very dangerous. You have lots of kids trying to get themselves and you killed. I like mid week for that reason.

    Lots of fun ! Thanks for the pictures and Video. My wife likes for us to stay at the Robbinsville "treehouses" . Lots of roads to ride on in the area.
     
  11. dman24

    dman24 Active Member

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    I haven’t ridden the dragons tail yet, hope to get through there in the next year or two. I want to do it once just to say I have, and have heard lots of great things about other roads in the area that I would probably focus on. I would also like to go to the wheels through time museum in Maggie Valley.
     
  12. Infamous1

    Infamous1 River Roamer Supporting Member

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    I would like to ride the gap on my Buell at some point.
     
  13. BatteryOaksBilly

    BatteryOaksBilly A SHOOTER Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Last time I was on the Dragon was 2006. It's an experience motorcyclist need to have under their hat.
     
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  14. SPST

    SPST Member

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    Last time I went through, I got behind several cruisers that were dragging floorboards and pipes at every turn. They were going so slow, I had to keep going back and forth between first and second gear. I don't think they even knew there was anyone behind them! I still can't figure out why anyone on a low and slow cruiser even wants to go through there? I guess they want to tell their friends how they "slayed the Dragon"? Anyhow, like was previously stated, if you do go be courteous and let faster traffic go through.
     
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  15. KnotRight

    KnotRight Active Member Charter Member Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Done it 4 times. Twice on a Kawasaki Class 1500 and a Kawasaki Nomad but it was years ago. First time it was opening of bear or deer season and the hunters were letting their dogs run wild. Added an additional challenge to the first time rider of the gap.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  16. KnotRight

    KnotRight Active Member Charter Member Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Because it is fun. We had Gold Wings passing sport bikes riding 2-up.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
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  17. SPST

    SPST Member

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    It can't be fun going 10 to 15 mph on a HD that is dragging more chrome than a '57 Chevy has in every turn. They can go as slow as they want but they need to watch their mirrors and move to the right to let others by. That's why I only go really early or really late in the season to avoid all the "Dragon Slayers".
     
  18. NKD

    NKD Senior Member Charter Member Benefactor Kimberless

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    Uhhhg. Nothing more irritating than being on a sublime road and some tool riding at a walking pace and all over the road can't be bothered to look in their mirrors.

    But, meh, I have no respect for the double yellow so it's only a minor irritation. Quickly into the rear view mirror.
     
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  19. LizardKing

    LizardKing Alright Alright Alright Charter Member Supporting Member

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    It's a public road. If you want to go fast through the twisties, go to the track. It really shouldn't be a surprise if you get held up by a criuser if you're on a "sport" bike, as it is no surprise to me when a "sport" bike passes me in a corner.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  20. SPST

    SPST Member

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    Yes, it's a public road and everyone has a right to be there. Having said that, everyone knows why they are there. They are there to go fast through the twisties. Knowing that, it's polite to move to the right of your lane and wave faster bikes by. It'll only take a second.

    I don't pass in corners, even when being waved by. I will pass on the double yellow but only after the bikes in front of me have failed to be polite. I give them 2 "straights" to be polite and then it's bye bye. I give them 2 turnouts on their side on the BRP before it's see you later over the double yellow.
    And I don't ride a sport bike, mine's a 740lb pig but it will roll along pretty good.
     
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  21. LizardKing

    LizardKing Alright Alright Alright Charter Member Supporting Member

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    So why not go to the track if you want to, "go fast through the twisties?"
     
  22. SPST

    SPST Member

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    I don't have to, I can just go to the mountains. Besides, I don't ride anywhere near track speeds on public roads.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  23. VA_GENTLEMAN

    VA_GENTLEMAN Gone Galt Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    If you go to Deals Gap and don't leave with a piece on the tree of shame... it was a good trip!

    I like the following:
    1. Tail of the Dragon
    2. The Snake (421)
    3. 181N from Morganton
    4. Rt 16 from Taylorsville to Bishop VA

    217795_1023124300290_8813_n.jpg
     
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  24. KnotRight

    KnotRight Active Member Charter Member Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Not sure where I posted that I was going 10 to 15 MPH and at that speed if you are dragging your floorboards you are going to hung up. I find it pretty cool to see sparks coming from the floorboards.
     
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  25. SPST

    SPST Member

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    I don't know how fast you go. I was referring to the speed of the cruisers that we're in front of me.
     
  26. SPST

    SPST Member

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  27. KnotRight

    KnotRight Active Member Charter Member Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    If you are going up that way and want to camp. In Suches, GA there is a campground called T.W.O. campground (Two Wheels Only). We used to camp out there and ride to the Gap. The food was very good too.
     
  28. LizardKing

    LizardKing Alright Alright Alright Charter Member Supporting Member

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  29. NKD

    NKD Senior Member Charter Member Benefactor Kimberless

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    Who said anything about being "surprised" or "sportbikes"?

    I have been riding street bikes for over 30 years, so nothing surprises me anymore, and I don't ride sportbikes.

    The thing about newbs in pirate outfits going a terrified 10 under through the twisties is this: I don't want to get asspacked by a newb in a WRX who just watched "Fast and Furious" because I am stuck behind someone who can't ride and check their mirrors once in a while.
    But mostly its just boring and annoying.

    I ride how I ride for a reason: experience. Hundreds of thousands of miles of it. Cheers.
     
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  30. ES44AC

    ES44AC Happy to be here

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    Goldwing on the Dragon.
     
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  31. SPST

    SPST Member

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  32. Stick Man

    Stick Man Armed Infidel Charter Member

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    Hell yeah, taking the big dog through the curves. Another plus 1 on the snake 421, and 181. Great roads.
    I went twice to the gap with friends many years ago. First time was on a hopped up FZR 600, when I was young and full of pee and vinegar. Survived that one unscathed. Second time was after I started road racing on my race prepped R6. Put some little round fog lights in the front, and a brake light in the back. Trailered it up there, and road once and said eff that. After being on the track, the street scared the hell out of me.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
     
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  33. backwoodsshooter

    backwoodsshooter There’s no such things as ghost guns or ghost Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Answers in red. I like riding up and down 115 between Wilkes and Statesville. The back way through windy gap is fun also. I wanna fun brushy mountain road also.
     
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  34. foopid stucker

    foopid stucker Active Member

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    Plenty of nice roads here in NC. I’ve done the dragon, cerohala skyway, brp, the rattler, devils whip, copperhead loop, shiners28, and a few more... 2 up with the wife. Too many idiots make the dragon dangerous. Saw 2cars kissing when I was there .
     
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  35. beamernc

    beamernc LTC - Liberal Tear Collector Charter Member Supporting Member

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    First time I road it on my Ultra Classic, I was behind a friend and his wife on his trike. Going through the hairpin turns, I was dragging floor boards. When we got to the top, his wife asked me if it was me dragging or if it was them on the trike. We still give her a hard time about them "dragging floorboards" on a trike.

    Last time I rode it, my son was with me on my Lowrider. On the next to last hairpin turn, he was looking at the edge of the road and laid it down. He only got a few scratches but did quite a bit of damage to the bike. It was still ride able and he rode it the rest of the long weekend.
     
  36. HMP

    HMP Well-Known Member

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    Been on it before, rode my dads Electra Glide.
    Fun stuff!
     
  37. LizardKing

    LizardKing Alright Alright Alright Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Whoa man. Didn't mean to strike a nerve...
     
  38. Gator

    Gator Parts guy Charter Member

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    ..............................................................................................

    Never mind...........................

    ...
     
  39. BASIL

    BASIL Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Slingshot?
     
  40. KnotRight

    KnotRight Active Member Charter Member Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Needles Highway was not as radical as Deals Gap but has it share of switch-backs and needles turns. With the Gap when you get to the end you most likely have to just make a U-turn and ride back to the Cross of Time. Out there you end up at Mount Rushmore.
    A friend was riding my Nomad and I was on the Classic. He was in front of me and I was watching him follow the tail-lights of the bike in from of him but did not make the last switch-bad and saw the tail-light of the Nomad ride down to the bottom of the hill. Dropped the bike and cracked a couple of ribs doing maybe 5 MPH. Had about 10 people pushing the bike back up to the road.
    If you ever get a chance to ride the Bad Lands and Sturgis area do it! Made Devils Tower but ran out of time to make Jackson Hole.
     

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