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  • Tips for Riding the Dragon on Your Motorcycle – #3 Consequences

    3) Recognize the Consequences

    Before you grab that handful of throttle and screech out of the parking lot to prove your manhood, consider the consequences if your motorcycle ride on the Dragon doesn’t go as well as planned. While surprisingly few accidents on the Dragon are fatal, be aware, it’s a long way to the nearest hospital and an expensive trip to get you there if it’s needed. Deals Gap is a remote and isolated area. If you need help, it will likely be an hour before it arrives. That’s a long time to be hurt, broken, or worse yet bleeding.

    Photo-motorcycle crash

    Rescues at the Dragon are neither easy nor quick.

    Maybe, you low side into an embankment as you blow a turn. With luck, you miss a rocky face and slide into the hard and stoney dirt. With the right armor, gear, and luck, you walk away. Maybe your bike is rideable to the repair shop, or maybe they winch it up onto a flatbed on it’s side compounding the damage and expense. The “Tree of Shame” at the Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort is hung with the detritus of years of accidents, some quite serious. It’s no badge of honor to add your own.

    Kiss your bike goodbye if you go off the sharp edge of the road, it’s most likely totaled. There are no soft and forgiving run-offs into the grass. The terrain is steep, the drops are long, and the mass of a moving bike carries it a long way as it caroms off trees and rocks on the cartwheeling tumble down into the dense woods. If it’s not totaled going down, it will be when the tow truck drags it back up with a long cable.

    Motorcycle crosses double yellow at the Dragon

    Crossing the double yellow is more common than you’d think – don’t be tempted

    Worst case you meet another vehicle. Crossing the yellow lines is deadly. While there are times when visibility is good and you may feel it’s safe to cut that corner and straighten out the curves, don’t do it. It’s the #1 way to meet a law enforcement official, they do not tolerate it with good reason. Big brother has been known to station observers in the woods with cameras and radios. Live by the rule “Never cross the Double Yellow Line”.

    Traffic enforcement at the Dragon at Deals Gap

    The police are there to keep things sane. Maintain control and you’ll be fine. Cross the double yellow, and you will get personal attention.

    Worse yet are those who stray across the line unintentionally. If it happens to you, you find yourself across the yellow line despite your efforts, you deserve a time out and a penalty break. Pull off and settle down at the next paved spot and take time to contemplate your mortality. You were riding beyond your limits, and fortunately this time you can tell the tale. Adjust your mind and ease off when you get back on the road. When the Dragon bites, it’s serious.

    wayne busch - Smoky Mountain Motorcycle

    Wayne Busch

    – Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here –

    Total Rider Tech Logo

    Learn Total Control

    Wayne is an advanced motorcycle instructor for Total Rider Tech teaching Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Rider Courses. Isn’t it time you looked into advanced rider training to ride more confidently and safely? It can transform your mountain riding experience.  Total Rider Tech



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    3 Comments to “Tips for Riding the Dragon on Your Motorcycle – #3 Consequences”

    Very good info Wayne.
    We mentioned in a previous post a very good tool called a GPS. With it zoomed in, it will give riders a heads up on a up coming curve and how sharp it is.
    Hope to see you in Oct. I’ll be on the dragon on the 6th, can’t wait.


    Thansk for ALL your efforts with “The Dragon”. Been reading articles and checking out your photos. for awhile now. This week will be my first to Deals Gap, the Tn. State H.O.G. Rally is bringing me to the area, my riding cohorts have been there several times. THANKS again for your time and tips. Be Safe, Ray

    Don’t leave your head in the hotel and you will do fine. I do not recommend watching a gps watch the road, stay in your lane, and drive with the brain the good Lord gave ya in-gauged in what your doing! lots of other great rides in the area. Great area see ya there soon!