Harley Tail of the Dragon Crash Teaches an Important Lesson

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Harley Crash

Navigating the Dragon’s 318 turns requires two hands, which this Russian Harley enthusiast found out the hard way.

We’ve all been there. You get a little too confident, maybe even cocky. And that’s when disaster strikes. But few of us have been as forthcoming about it as a fella named Nikita Apalikovru. The Russian Harley enthusiast was quite simply living the dream when he visited the infamous Tail of the Dragon recently. A road most of us are rather familiar with. And everything was going just fine until he made one very critical error in judgement.

Apalikovru was on an epic journey from Miami to New York on the back of a Harley Electra Glide. So of course he had to make a detour through the Great Smoky Mountains. He was obviously enjoying the Dragon’s many dramatic turns when he came across a roadside photographer. So he did what a lot of people might do – he threw up his left hand to wave for the photo op. And that’s when things went horribly, horribly wrong, as Apalikovru explains on his Instagram.

A post shared by Nikita Apalikov🇷🇺Жизнь в пути (@libertybrothers) on

“The bike is shaking the right footboard, the steering wheel starts to guide. I do not have time to check it with one hand and the bike is falling on the right wardrobe,” Apalikovru recalls. “Next, I just push off from the bike, braking with my hand and ass, the bike straightens and dives right into the cliff! Rolls 50 meters and stops 10 meters before the slope.”

Thankfully, our Russian Harley enthusiast wasn’t severely hurt. And it seems like he learned a very important lesson, too. One that he’s selfless enough to share with us!

A post shared by Nikita Apalikov🇷🇺Жизнь в пути (@libertybrothers) on

“Running a bike always requires a left hand to press the clutch into the free zone at the time of filling up and give gas at idle speed. This straightens the bike. When my bike in the turn kicked the footboard (and it always happens on sharp turns), the pressure of my right hand on the steering wheel filled the bike even harder. And the effect of the lever on the running board was created. Due to which the bike lifted the rear wheel and fell on the right gear case.

If my left hand was on the steering wheel, then I immediately pulled out the clutch, gave the gas and the bike would obediently enter the turn, giving the spark a step with the asphalt!”

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Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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