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Tail of the Dragon

7678 Views 37 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  vabuckeye
I will be driving this road in a few weeks, and would appreciate hearing from anyone who has done it, i.e. things to watch out for, gearing, speeds, special attractions, etc.
For those unfamiliar, the "Tail" is U.S. 129 going from east Tennessee into west North Carolina. Over 300 curves in a distance of about eleven miles. Thanks.
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To be clear, the motorcycles that slow you down are cruisers and Harley's, not the sport bikes. I've driven that area in sports cars and everything from a V-Rod to a K1600. You can go stupid fast on an R1 :)

I'm in that area every summer and honestly, it's not even close to my favorite road. Most of the roads leading into it are more fun and faster.

Regardless, the C7 enjoyed it ;)
Just for grins, here's me going "down" the dragon on my K16

Land vehicle Motorcycle Vehicle Motor vehicle Motorcycling

And here's me going "up" the dragon in the C7

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Sports car Supercar

This one with a tad more G loading (note the left front suspension compression)

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Sports car Corvette stingray

It's all good :)
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Driving TheTail of The Dragon seems to be a popular
destination. However, I just don't get it. Why look
forward to driving at slow speeds on a road full of
curves and then deal with bikes.
I for one prefer the open straight road which
allows for breathtaking acceleration. I know how
this car handles curves so no need to
validate it again. Just my opinion.
If you all drive it be safe.
Geo Vette
The area is great for exploring on a bike or in a sports car. The Dragon is a destination but no one drops in without experiencing the surrounding roads. You make a run there because it's a well known destination and because of that you can get some great action shots from the photographers that have taken up residence, that's the only reason I take the time to run 129, it's a boring, slow speed run that unless taken on a weekday morning is a total waste.

We happen to vacation every summer in the N. GA mountains so we usually take a day to cruise NC which invariably runs by Deals Gap. 90% of the time we are on bikes but N. GA was our destination from the NCM after picked up the car so there really wasn't a better way to get there but to go over 129 out of Knoxville.

NC28 south out of Fontana through to Franklin is a much nicer run.
Not sure I agree with the "dream come true" analogy. For me the dragon the car equivalent of a par 3 "executive" golf course vs. a championship layout like the Angeles Crest Highway in CA or even NC28 north of Franklin, NC.
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