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Bit By the Dragon

Deals Gap Video

by: Enthusiast Productions
DVD ($24.95 + $5.00 S/H), 35 minutes
Filmed on location by the participants.

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Deals Gap has an unbelievable 318 turns in 11 miles.  This is some of the twistiest, craziest motorcycle blacktop on earth, and it’s free and open to the public, courtesy of the taxpayers of North Carolina and Tennessee.

Only “discovered” in the early 1990’s, Deals Gap (or Deal’s Gap, depending upon who you ask) has become something of a must-do destination for Sportbike riders.

Originally, it wasn’t patrolled by the Police, and all manner of motorcycles, ultra-Sportbikes and barely legal racing bikes can be seen brutally carving up the narrow and dangerous “Dragon”.

Which gave Michael “Shakes” O’Reilly, Matt Coleman, Dr. John Wittner (who came up with the original idea) and their band of crazies an inspiration: instead of filming yet another over-the-top gangster video of chromed-out Kawasakis, how about a couple of over-the-top Supermotos taking on the Dragon?

Now if you’re going to get offended at blatantly outrageous, illegal and, quite frankly, wacko motorcycle riding, then go get a copy of Roustabout and watch Elvis putt-putt around with Ann-Margaret on the back of his Honda Dream.

But if you want to see some sick jaw-dropping action and total disregard for life and limb, Bit By the Dragon is for you.  This is not a long video at only 35 minutes, but it’s enough to make the point.  Take a couple of KTM 525 Supermoto bikes, trick ’em out for racing but throw on a license plate to make them barely legal and blast an all-out attack on public roads and decorum.

The opening shot of O’Reilly’s 5-mile-long wheelie is legendary and it goes on from there.  After a little bit of practicing laps and crashes at the local raceway, it’s off to Deals Gap for fun and games.  I won’t tell you what happens on the very first day, but it’s scary enough to put your heart squarely in the back of your throat.

There was a story recently that made the rounds of the medical journals that basically says that young people lack some piece of brain structure that keeps them from being scared of death.  That’s why 19-year-olds have been cannon fodder for the world’s wars for centuries.  Well, let’s just say it’s certainly proven here.  I’m not sure there are any other motorcycle DVDs with more outrageous action on public roads.

Bit By the Dragon is short and sweet and at about a buck-fifteen a minute, it’s kind of expensive, but worth it.  Great music that really fits the scenes, fast action, decent camera work and good editing make it a surprising treat.

Review Date:  March 2005

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