Recently the Discovery Channel did a show called “Hell Roads”. One of the roads in the show was a stretch of US Highway 129 in North Carolina and Tennessee that’s know as “The Tail Of The Dragon”. The stretch does have 318 curves in 11 miles. If you’re inexperienced and push your speed too much, the road can literally jump up and bite you.
We ridden the road a number of times and didn’t get killed. On a big touring motorcycle like the K1200LT if you keep your gear low and your revs high you can have plenty of fun on The Dragon and barely exceed the speed limit (if you even do). But for entertainment value, take look at the clip from the show.
Personally I thing the biggest problems with the stretch of road are (and in no particular order):
Trucks (take a look at them in the video)
Vehicles of any kind not maintaining their own lane and crossing into oncoming traffic
Operators of any vehicle exceeding their own abilities or that of their vehicle or motorcycle
Speed (Don’t give me the argument that YOU know what you’re doing, because the rest of the motoring public probably doesn’t.)
Those who treat the stretch of road as a personal raceway. It is a portion of a public highway. Go attend a track day!
North Carolina has also recently restricted trucks from using the stretch of road before they even get there. But that doesn’t do anything about them coming in from Tennessee which doesn’t restrict trucks.
That being said, Ride Safe!