STAY IN YOUR LANE, There are videos available for sale that show vehicles cutting the corners and taking chances that might appear “fun” while sitting in your easy chair. BEWARE ! This style of driving on the Dragon can cost you dearly. The challenge of the Dragon is to take the many curves in the best line possible and both lanes IS NOT “the line”. Drive Florida if you like to straighten out the curves.
Do NOT sightsee. The Dragon is to drive, not to watch the sights. I watch the roadway way ahead.
Look far ahead at the road, curves, bushes, other vehicles, etc. If you haven’t seen the hazards right in front of you, you are going to hit them anyway, so you might as well pay attention to what you have time to avoid.
We have seen deer, bear, turkeys, and wild boar on the roadway. Be ready to brake and slow. When we say brake we DO NOT mean slamming on the brakes. That will get you turned around in a hurry and it’s no fun looking at where you’ve been at any speed.
Maintain a “safe zone”. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. Watch your rear view mirrors for faster vehicles. If you see a faster rider/driver coming up behind you, pull over at a pull-off or slow down just a little, and wave them around. It is much safer to let a faster vehicle around you than to try to outrun them. NEVER stay left trying to keep someone from passing you. NEVER pull off the road onto the shoulder unless it is at one of the pull-off parking areas. It may be illegal to pass on the Dragon, but I’ll let a faster vehicle get around me to protect my safe zone.
There will always be faster drivers than you. Don’t try to be the King of the Dragon.
Drive the Dragon many times before trying to challenge it. Then you still need to respect it at all times.
DO NOT STAND ON THE BRAKES if you see danger ahead. You are much better off to tap the brakes and maintain control. Some 90% of the accidents on the Dragon are due to speed and then over-braking.
If you see another vehicle coming at you in your lane, hug the white line in your lane. In all likelihood you can avoid trucks and trailers if you stay alert and watch ahead.
DO NOT be spooked by other vehicles. DO NOT make sudden avoidance moves. You might have to adjust your line to avoid a car, truck, or bike, but DO NOT lay on the brakes or turn off the roadway suddenly unless that is the only out you have. Motorcycles might dent your car, but that is better than going off the bank and hitting a tree sideways. If a cycle is in your lane that is their mistake and problem … don’t let them force you into a worse situation for yourself.
Trucks are usually traveling at a very slow speed and you should have time to stop and back-up if you see one coming at you and taking the whole corner. Watch for signals from drivers/riders coming at you. Many times they will escort a big truck over the Dragon and wave a warning to you to pull over. DO NOT ignore these warnings.
Avoid driving hard on the Dragon in heavy traffic times. Weekends from 11 am to 5 pm are the busiest. These are the times to lay back and enjoy watching the “show” go by.
The early mornings (before 11 am ) and the late afternoons (after 5 pm ) have the least traffic.
ALWAYS stay 100% alert. You do not have the advantage of relaxing on the Dragon.
Make sure your vehicle is mechanically sound and that your tires are good.
Plan to make several runs, the first is always a nervous one …. then you can have fun on the second and third.
DO NOT over-use your brakes. Use your gears and DOWNSHIFT. A good Dragon driver WILL NOT use a lot of brakes.
Focus – do not daydream. Watch the road, your mirrors, and pay attention to other bikes/cars/trucks.
99% of the accidents on the Dragon come from the following:
- Too much speed
- Too much brakes
- Driving above your abilities