Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tennessee Knock Out Extreme Enduro Aug 16/17

 This coming weekend is the TKO Extreme Enduro at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie Tennessee (just West of Chattanooga). The Trials Training center is one of the coolest venues to watch an event for several reasons. #1, you watch from any location you care to hike to, and #2 it could literally be a state park, it's that beautiful. Of course you are going for the racing, which is unlike anything else you will see off road. These guys go through, over, and down stuff you would have a hard time hiking over. Its the Tennessee Version of the Erzburg Enduro.
The Knockout format is unique as it constantly whittles down the field until only the fastest and toughest compete in the final money round. Amateurs race twice on Saturday, The first race is 2 laps over a 13 mile course with a 2 hour time limit. The fastest 75 advance. The second race is one lap over the 13 mile course with the fastest 40 advancing to the pro rounds on Sunday.. We actually have several riders from the Knoxville area giving it a shot. For all the specific details check out their website www.TennesseeKnockoutEnduro.com. If you can make it, I highly recommend it.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Kali Dirt Bike Helmet - Product Review

It's been a while since I've done a product review. Probably because its been so long since I've bought anything new, and anything that was worth talking about. I tend to wear my dirt bike helmets well past the point when they should be retired, and I finally got around to getting a new one. (By the way, I have a 15 year old MSR for sale. Only used on weekends)
What I found, and am tickled to death with, is the Kali Prana FRP. If you haven't heard of Kali, don't worry. I hadn't either until I saw them at Sportcycle KTM in Maryville, TN.
My requirements for a new lid were: Safety, Great Fit, Comfortable while wearing glasses, light weight, removable liner, Non-stupid graphics, and a reasonable price. The Kali nails all of these.
Kali uses a new technology / design for their helmets called Composite Fusion Plus. In a nutshell, what they do is make a helmet with two densities of foam that reduce the impact to your noggin. You can go to their website to get all the details ( www.kaliprotectives.com ). Their brain buckets are ECE and DOT rated, but not Snell. The lack of a Snell rating is no doubt because of their design which absorbs more impact. Not a bad thing. Also not a bad thing is the weight, only 1250 grams, or about 44 ounces.



I took these pictures after my first ride with the helmet, so if you see any scratches they are ones I put on myself. On this last ride we rode through some underbrush that could have stood a good chainsaw, but hey, that's what we do sometimes. The Fit and finish of the new helmet was super nice.




   
Also super nice is what all the Helmet comes with. It has a soft cover bag (not shown), and a vary nice carry bag (shown). In addition, the helmet comes with an extra set of thicker cheek pads to tighten up the fit if you prefer, and a set of Camera mounting hardware. The very middle piece of the visor is removable, and you can insert the optional piece to which different camera mounting brackets attach. Pretty sweet if you're a Go-Pro guy.



This helmet is available at Sportcycle KTM in Maryville (865-681-7895) for less than $200. Of course other colors are available. Kali makes Street bike helmets also.

Monday, June 23, 2014

AMA Outdoor National Moto Cross this weekend at Muddy Creek

This Saturday is the return of the AMA Outdoor National Motocross at Muddy Creek Moto Cross in Blountville TN, just outside of Bristol. Last years was the first AMA Outdoor National in the south in years, and the turnout was incredible. If you go back through previous post on Cycleblend you'll see some pics form last year. I was able to attend last year, so let me give you a few pointers. #1 Go Early. The roads getting in to the track are all 2 lane, and they back up. Get there as early as you can. #2 Bring a camera. The outdoor races give you lots of opportunity to get close to the action. It's GREAT! #3 Have drinks and food waiting for you at the car, and unless you leave early, just chill by the car and let traffic thin out when the racing is over.
 Admission for Saturday only (that's when the big boys race) is $40. If you want to stay and watch the amateurs race on Sunday too that would be a $55 ticket. If you are coming form Knoxville on I-81 you will look for exit 63. Coming from Bristol you want exit 69. For more info check out www.mxsportsproracing.com

Friday, May 23, 2014

AMA National Dual Sport at Windrock / Coal Creek, East Tennessee

June 14th and 15th there will be a round of the AMA National Dual Sport series at Windrock Park (formerly known as Coal Creek) in Oliver Springs, Tenn. (just outside of Oak Ridge). The trails will be a combination of ATV trails, Jeep Roads, and very little pavement. The advanced sections will be single track. The campground has cabins, RV sites with full hook-ups, and tent camping also. For camping info contact windrockpark.com , or call 865-435-1251.
The ride is over 2 days, with 100 miles on Saturday, and 70 miles on Sunday. This is going to be a very "trail heavy" dual sport. Knobbie tires are highly recommended, don't try the advanced sections without them. It is a dual sport ride, not an adventure ride. From what I am hearing from the guys who made the route, you may not want to bring a big BMW on this ride.
 2 day pre entry is $100, day of the ride $110. 1 day pre-entry is $55, day of the ride $60. A  $17 Windrock Park permit is also required. If you ride you will need a route sheet holder for your bike.
For info contact Steve Lewis at 865-986-0103, or at llewis3066@aol.com , or John Strange at 865-322-0193, or at jbsaki@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New place to Ride Dirt - Durhamtown Tellico


Located just across the Tennessee / North Carolina state line,near Murphy N.C. Durhamtown Tellico is a new, 3000 acre, privately owned, pay to ride area which incorporates some of the old trail system that was popular years ago. If you aren't familiar with Durhamtown Plantation in Georgia, it is one of the most popular, and well run riding areas in the southeast. I think it is very promising that the same model is being used in the Tellico area. Years ago the Tellico area was wide open for riding and off roading, but over time overuse of trails by larger vehicles contributed to the closing of nearly all trails in the National forest on the Tennessee side.

Durhamtown Tellico is just getting started, and it appears that its main appeal is to Jeeps, Side by Sides, ATVs and of course dirt bikes. 

The park is open only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and at this point only primitive camping is available. For dirt bikes the price is $21 for the first day, and $16 for the second day. A map is provided when you check in. According to the website they have over 40 miles of trails. 40 miles may not sound like much, but if its as rocky and steep as I remember, you aren't going to be running a very fast pace. The original Durhamtown Plantation has really nice amenities, and my guess is they have some big plans for Durhamtown Tellico.Check out their website for updates. www.durhamtowntellico.com

Vintage Bike Show this Saturday at Honda of Knoxville

This Saturday, April 19th, there will be a Vintage motorcycle show at Honda of Knoxville on Clinton Highway. Time is from 10:00am till 2:00pm. Last year was the first year of this show, and the turnout was great. Not only was there support from the local Time Warp Vintage Club, but there were several people who brought out bikes that hadn't been seen in local shows before. Some real quality old stuff was on display, and 99% of the bikes were ridden in. There is no charge to show your bike, or to spectate.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

New Beta Dealer in East Tennessee


Knoxville now has a new option for high quality Enduro bikes. Knox Enduro, a Beta dealer, recently opened. For those of you who may not be familiar with the brand, Beta is an Italian manufacturer who has been making motorcycles since the 1940's. Famous for their Trials bikes, they have recently really stepped up their game and now have a full line of Off Road, Enduro, and Dual Sport bikes, both 2 Stroke and 4 Stroke. American Cody Webb is racing, and winning, with Beta's in the Extreme Enduro series events around the word.

At a recent Volunteer Riders club event Knox Enduro owner Gary Pugh was giving test rides on his personal 250 RR 2-stroke, equipped with a Rekluse auto clutch. Against Gary's better judgement, he let me make a lap. The trail I tested the bike on was some really nice, well ridden in, single track with lots of roots, rocks, off camber, and was always either uphill or downhill. Pretty much a taste of everything. It wasn't the type of trail you typically want to test ride a totally different machine on, but I had nothing to worry about. This little Beta is SWEET! Super linear power delivery, supple suspension, and the Rekluse clutch was everything they are billed to be. To top it off it this 2 stroke even has electric start!
 
Knox Enduros showroom is under construction,but they are taking orders for, and delivering, new bikes. Gary will be happy to find you the Beta Enduro, Dual Sport, or Off Road bike that you need. Gary can be contacted at pughrace@bellsouth.net , or you can call him at 865-308-0330. The website is www.knoxenduro.com. You can find more info on Beta at www.americanbeta.com