Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cool Bike -1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma

Most people don't realize what this is when they see it, most think its just an older GSXR. This is actually a very rare machine that was never sold in the U.S. Market, and you will not see a cleaner one.  The unique engine, a twin crank,Square Four, 2-Stroke was modeled after Suzuki's Grand Prix machines of the mid-80's. The carbs are actually mounted on the side on the engine. This little machine weighs only 343 lbs, but makes 95 Hp.  

I've been fortunate enough to ride one of these, and there is nothing else quite like it. The engine isn't made for torque, but when the 4, 125cc cylinders come on the pipe the Gamma just jumps!  Kent, this bikes lucky owner, bought it in 2006 in Woodstock N.Y. with only 800 miles on the odometer.  Sweet!  Another cool ride seen on a Time Warp Tuesday night!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Appalachian Dual Sport -Renfro Valley

May 1st and 2nd will be the 2010 Appalachian Dual Sport Ride at Renfro Valley Kentucky. This is a 2 day event, but you can ride one day ($55) or two days ($100). Based out of the KOA campground off of I-75, exit # 62, this ride is heavy on the dirt side of dual sport, and knobby tires are recommended. AMA membership is required. Much of this route is through the Daniel Boone national Forest, and is only available for riding once a year. Day 1 is around 125 miles, day 2 around 80miles. Lunch is provided each day, and dinner on Saturday night with Door Prizes. For more info go to

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Asheville N.C Bike Fest May 13-16

Asheville N.C. is where the Honda Hoot originated, so the town is no stranger to hosting motorcycle events.  The Asheville Bike fest is based in the Western NC Ag center, and is part of the 75th Anniversary celebration of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Advertising a large vendor expo, demo rides, poker runs and self guided tours, this should be  fun event to ride to. You just can't beat the Blue Ridge Parkway. For more details check out

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Smoky Mountain Blast June 5th

June 5th there is a new Event coming to the Worlds Fair Park, The Smoky Mountain Blast is billed as a Southern Block Party that will feature a Live bands, a barbecue cook off, and only $10 admission. Adult beverages will be available. There is also going to be a drawing ($5 per ticket)for a new Harley 883 Sportster with the proceeds benefiting the Knox Housing Partnership. The website says more info will be posted as the date nears.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cool Bikes - 1956 Ariel Square Four

Seen at the Time Warp Tea Room this past Tuesday, this was this mighty Ariel's first time out with new owner Richard (who rode it down by the way). It was recently bought in Lake Elsinore California, and is an absolutely beautiful machine. The unique 1000cc Square Four engine actually has twin cranks, and was one of the first legitimate 100mph bikes. You just don't see bikes like this very often.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Time Warp Tea Room, Tennessee’s coolest motorcycle cafe!

Let me go ahead and introduce you to the Time Warp Tea Room, because you’ll be hearing me reference it a lot. The reason you’ll be hearing about it is because, #1, I hang out there all the time, and #2 it is the place to be if you like all kinds of motorcycles.

As you can guess with a name like Time Warp it has a heavy vintage clientele, (both bikes and riders), but you’ll find all kinds of bikes down there on a Tuesday night (a great blend, you could say). It’s the only place I’ve ever been where I’ve seen a Hyabusa parked next to a Vespa parked next to a BSA. The menu is simple: sandwiches, hot dogs, soups and chili, and the coffee selection is great. After all, it is suppose to be a coffee shop.  Warning… they sell some “High Octane” espresso. Drink responsibly.

One of the best traits of the Time Warp is that it is non-alcoholic. Now I appreciate a cold beer as well as the next guy (probably more), but since there is no alcohol, the people who come to the Time Warp come because of the bikes.  No posers here.

The proprietors of this fine establishment are Dan and Peggy Moriarty. For many years before opening the Time Warp, Dan collected really cool old furnishings from buildings in Knoxville that were being demolished. From the Bar Back to the wooden booths, everything in the place has a story.  Dan has also “accessorized” the place with old motorcycles and parts.

Check it out sometime. Park your bike on the sidewalk out front, and take a look around. It’s a great place for lunch too. Tuesday nights are the big bike nights, but there is almost always something going on.  Also, they have some really great live music, but that’s for someone else’s blog.

Time Warp Tea Room. 1209 North Central St. Knoxville TN 37917.  865-524-1155

March 20 Royal Blue Dirt Bike Ride

It had been so long since I had ridden at Royal Blue (now know as The North Cumberland WMA, Royal Blue Unit) that I couldn’t remember exactly who it was with or when. On this ride one of my long time riding buddies who had been riding up here recently lead the way. There were three of us taking advantage of the first 70 degree day of the year, and what we did was run a big 55 mile loop, exploring trails we hadn’t been on in a while, and generally getting reacquainted with the place.

If you go to Royal Blue (I refuse to call it North Cumberland, it will always be Royal Blue to me) be sure to get your OHV permit/ or hunting and fishing license with a WMA small game permit, because you can be ticketed. If you’ve never had the pleasure of a TWRA ticket, trust me, you’re much better off buying the permit.

Here is the quick and dirty run down on the trails. The closer you are to the parking area, the more use the trails get (brilliant huh?). What you will find is either hard packed, fast trails, or really slippery muddy trails if they are close to any creeks. Big ATV’s and Side by Sides tend to “rut-up” the trails when the ground is soft, and TWRA has to fix this by running a small bulldozer over them. So what was a muddy trail last month, could be table top smooth now.

I was quite puzzled by the thought process that TWRA had used when building a few of the trails. For example there is one brand new trail, near the old La Follette reservoir, that turns and goes straight up the mountain. Let me clarify, its straight up with a few harsh switchbacks. I suspect they started the trail from the other end of the ridge, and when they got to the edge they just dropped off. This was a hard climb in perfect conditions as it is. After a few months of spring rains, and the resulting erosion, this trail will be an absolute bear to get up, or down. Overall they do a good job keeping the trails up, which can't be an easy thing to do, and thanks to them for doing it.

Only when you get further away from the parking areas do you find the better trails. The only catch is many of these are not on the most recent map you can buy. (Maybe that’s why they are the better trails.) Logging operations have also created some new trails/roads. To make it even more interesting, trail markers are hit or miss. Sometimes trails are marked, sometimes they aren’t. Thanks to the GPS we had we always sort of knew where we were, but maybe not which trail we were on. But honestly, that was part of the fun.

Depending on the trails you choose, creek crossings can come into play, and if has been raining, they can get interesting. (You’ll find out real quick how bad your boots leak!) What’s unique about Royal Blue is that you can be on a powder keg dry trail one minute, and a sloppy muddy trail the next. In 55 miles we saw it all.

If you live for single-track trails, you won’t find them here. But if you want to just get out and ride some distance and explore around it’s a great place to go. This is one of the few areas left where you can ride over 100 mile in day and never hit the same trail twice, and we are blessed to have it in our backyard.