Driving the Tail of the Dragon - 2015 Dodge Viper GT Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited September 2015 in Dodge
imageDriving the Tail of the Dragon - 2015 Dodge Viper GT Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds drives its long-term 2015 Dodge Viper GT on the Tail of the Dragon during a 3,124-mile road trip from North Carolina to California.

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  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Member Posts: 606
    I don't begrudge motorcycle riders their fun on twisty mountain roads, but it is frustrating when you're stuck behind a group in touring mode who don't let faster traffic pass. Of course, that's the benefit of driving a car with strong mid-range power. I can't tell you how many times I've been behind a dawdling group of bikers who thought they were kings of the road tooling along at 65mph, then a straightaway opens up and-- BAM! I walk 'em at 90. It's always funny, too, looking at the shocked expressions on their faces... faces which I can always see, BTW, because that sort of biker tends to wear the least protective helmet permitted by law.
  • quadricyclequadricycle Member Posts: 827
    No helmet at all required here in AR, yet you can get a ticket for not wearing a seat belt. Makes sense.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    I am pretty sure that where the car was parked is the Tail of the Dragon (as the sign says) the road is just The Dragon. Also, isn't the speed limit on pretty much all of the road about 35mph and strictly enforced?
  • tomkozskitomkozski Member Posts: 39
    While speed limit is 35mph, people seem to communicate well on whether police are in the area. I did the Dragon about a month ago in my BRZ, stopped by the KillBoy store, and was immediately told by other drivers about the police situation (present in morning, gone by afternoon). Also, I didn't see many spots where the police could hide. And other drivers and bikers were very good about using the turnoffs to let me pass... :)
  • millemanmilleman Member Posts: 19
    Yes, if I had all of SoCal roads available to me living there I'd have little reason to go to the Dragon. But living in New England there are NO truly twisty roads anywhere, nothing anything like those throughout the Appalachians, West Coast and elsewhere. Until Northeasterners actually go drive/ride a 'proper' twisty road, they don't understand.

    But you're right, the Dragon has become a victim of its own mystique. It IS a great road in a vacuum, but the problem as you noted is too many yahoos coming to drive & ride it at a casual pace often because they don't know how to negotiate a twisty road (see New England, above. And Harley riders too.). You would have far better served to drive it a couple times while you were there and hope at least one pass was a clean run. When I was first shown it in 1987, nobody but the locals knew of it.

    But you're also right, there are hundreds of similarly great roads winding all over the place within a 100mi radius of the Dragon that are free of traffic, cops, Harleys, fanboys. I make a 1-2 week pilgrimage every few years on two wheels to the Asheville NC area and have generated a list of hundreds of miles of twisty roads to satisfy my lean angle (or lateral Gs in a car) for days on end. Find your own Dragon indeed...
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