2008 Honda Hoot Preview

June 13, 2008
Adam Waheed
By Adam Waheed
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His insatiable thirst for life is only surpassed by his monthly fuel bill. Whether rocketing on land, flying through the air, or jumping the seas, our Road Test Editor does it all and has the scars to prove it.

The North Carolina end of Deals Gap. Which reminds me  why do some cruiser riders act like they’re driving tank trucks. Show some love.
On Wednesday, there is a ride on the Cherohala Skyway which passes through Deal’s Gap, North Carolina, the site of 318 twists and turns in just 11 miles.

With the start of summer just days away, it’s officially time to pull out that motorcycle that’s been gathering dust in your garage and ride. But choosing a destination that’s going to entertain you after you lower the kickstand can be just as important as the journey itself. So if you’re itching to log some miles, explore some cool places, and hang out with thousands of like-minded motorcycle enthusiasts, then make the trek to the 15th annual Honda Hoot motorcycle rally.

This year’s Hoot kicks off Tuesday, June 17, and runs week-long through Saturday, June 21. MotorcycleUSA will be making the pilgrimage eastward to enjoy its festivites and provide readers with updates from the event. And with the seemingly endless list of activities both motorized and non. Having fun doesn’t seem like its going to be a problem.

Playing host to this year’s Hoot, for the eighth consecutive year, is the city of Knoxville, Tennessee. And if you have yet to visit this historic Appalachian mountain city, we can think of no better way of discovering its unique charm than riding the hundreds of miles of twisty landscape it has to offer. Not to mention its world-renowned southern hospitality.

Things get started Tuesday evening with a welcome party at the Knoxville Marriot hotel. The party will feature live music, dancing, food and of course drinks! But don’t stay up too late, as the fun starts early Wednesday with a scenic ride to a mountain top Wild West theme park. But if “Wild West” isn’t your style, meet up with some friends and take a spin on the famed Cherohala Skyway.

The Skyway is a National Scenic Byway that gently meanders through Tennessee and North Carolina’s beautiful countryside. The Skyway will impress you with its long sweeping corners, and its breathtaking scenic overlooks. In the afternoon cool off and indulge in some ice cream while watching the Knoxville Police Motor Corps riding exhibition at the Ice Cream Social held in Chilhowee Park. In the evening, take a ride over to the Hoot & Holler at Cotton Eyed Joe’s. There’ll be good eats and drinks to keep you from running on empty, plus a live band, dancing and if you’re a gambler some blackjack and Texas hold ’em.

On Thursday, there’s the Capes and Cavern Ride in which riders will get a rare chance to explore some amazing underworld geology in the form of cool, dark caves and caverns. However, if you are a bit claustrophobic there is always the Cumberland Gap Ride. This includes motoring past beautiful countryside and experiencing a Civil War reenactment when you arrive at the historic site. Yet another option if you are a Honda Riders Club of America (HRCA) member is to check out a baseball game between the Tennessee Smokies and the Mobile BayBears.

Thursday night cruise on over to Bike Night at World’s Fair Park in downtown Knoxville. In addition to the Metric Motorcycle Show there’ll be a live band, great southern cooking and cold, wet beverages as well as carnival rides and fireworks for the kiddies.

The Chilhowee Park midway was central to the Honda Hoot and even provided emergency ice cream service.
Over 16,000 motorcycle enthusiasts will converge upon Knoxville, Tennessee for the 15th annual Honda Hoot motorcycle rally. And despite what you would think, you don’t need to be riding a Honda to join in on the fun.

Come Friday, Hoot guests will have three awesome rides to choose from and if you’re like us you’ll probably end up choosing them all! The first ride is a charity poker run in which money will be raised for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. The second ride is to Lenoir City and Fort Loudon Dam where riders will be treated to some water sports on the lake. The final ride option takes you to the Bush Beans plant in which guests will be able to take a tour of the factory. After all that riding make sure you save up some energy for Friday evening’s party on the banks of the Tennessee River. There will be of course more food, more drinks, more music, and an all-out fireworks show.

If you didn’t get a chance to go on Friday’s charity poker run, you’ll get one more opportunity Saturday, followed by the Best Dam Ride and Fish Fry, in which, you guessed it, there will some tasty deep fried catfish in front of the Norris Dam. Saturday night goes out with a bang as country singer Wynonna Judd will go on stage at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum.

And if that’s not enough, each day there is a whole slough of other activities to choose from. Everything from riverboat cruises, Honda motorcycle demo rides (driver’s license with motorcycle endorsement, helmet, closed-toed shoes and long pants all required), white water rafting on the Pigeon river, stunt and trials show will all be there for you to take advantage of.

And, finally if all the festivities weren’t enough, at the end of the week one lucky person will win a trip for two to the world-famous Twin Ring Motegi racetrack in Japan for three days racing fun during next year’s MotoGP World Championship.

The Honda Hoot is open to all riders regardless of their motorcycle brand, so as long as you’re on two, or even three wheels you’re good to go. The various rides and events are reserved for pre-registered riders, however, if there is room, would-be participants can register on-site. Daily passes are $13 for HRCA members and $15 for everyone else, which includes a one-day pass to the vendor expo, demo rides, and access to other activities within the park. Hoot activities begin at 9 a.m. at Chilhowee Park and will take place rain or shine, so bring appropriate gear. See you there.

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