CBXes in Maggie Valley
Date: Friday, July 08 @ 21:43:08 EDT
Topic: Rally News
CBXes in Maggie Valley
This report is a collaboration of two of our members who participated in the recent meeting in Maggie Valley!
EMS: The sign on the side of the restaurant adjacent to our motel says “Maggie Valley Welcomes Bikers” and we will find out over the next three days that this is not an empty phrase.
We just rolled into the parking lot after a relatively uneventful 10 hour haul from Ohio, a trailer, loaded with DB_47325’s black “Sassy Six”, our ’81 Prolink and a slightly newer and more modern “back-up” bike, in tow.
We came down South I-77 to I-81 South. On to I-40 East to 276 and on to Soco Road into Maggie Valley.
Already there are DB_.(Dennis B), alimey4u2 (Larry) and LOUIS (Louis) , the latter making his presence known through the strategic placement of an impressive 28ft trailer, which sports a huge “CBX” logo on the side that will eliminate any doubts about what kind of motorcycle has the lead role at this location for the next couple of days.
“Trailers.” Although indicated otherwise by the innkeeper when reservations were made, parking of those things is NOT an easy thing. The lot in the front has no space to park a rig intact and truck and trailer have to be separated and an approbiate spot has to be found in order to be able to open the rear ramp door and unload and load the cargo. But with the cooperative support of the landlord, Jim, that could be managed.
Brief “Hellos” and “Glad-to-meet-you”s are being extended and exchanged and we settle in. After unloading and unpacking, we take a little more time to meet everybody.
Louis and his wife Karen arrived already a day before and thus were able to secure a perfect lot for the large trailer, right in front of their room, on the corner of the complex. They have friends living in the area, Dwight and Darlene, who are not into motorcycling themselves, but seem to enjoy the company.
Larry rode in from Henderson during the day on his GS1200 and he and Dennis B. have rooms next to each other in what the innkeeper later refers to jokingly as the “rowdy corner”
Soon after we talk and chat and discuss what may be ahead of us for the next couple of days, the only open item an the agenda for the evening is dinner. We follow (I think it was) Dwight’s suggestion and convene at J. Arthur’s, a place that caught my eye on the way in (I was already getting hungry then).They find a nice, large, round table for the eight of us in an upstairs section and a good meal is being had.
Back at the motel, we wind down from the day by telling tales, listening to jokes and looking at the motorcycles. Especially the ones Louis brought. He shows us his newly aquired Turbo CBX, which he has only ridden a little more than 20 miles so far.
He also has his other rider, the infamous “Hulk” with him as well as his four “collector” items a 79, an 80 an 81 and an 82, all low mile, pristine specimen.
Finally, it is time to retire and we return the bikes to their resting places for the night. This does provide us with an opportunity for some good natured razzing as the cover I give Dennis B for his bike, carries a big Harley Davidson logo. We make sure he does not live this down all too easy. At least it keeps the “Sassy Six” dry from potential rain or maybe the dew in the morning hours.
We agree to meet at 8:30 a.m. the next morning for breakfast and eventually get some well deserved shut-eye.
“Joey’s Pancake House” is the venue were we begin our Friday. Very busy place and some of the best pancakes ever, according to those who had them. I am trying to stay away from carbohydrates a little, so I have “Chipped Beef”, also known as “SOS” in some areas of the U.S.
Ignorant and obnoxious as I am, I spell out what I had when the lady at the cash register asks me how my breakfast was. Her reaction, as she lowers her eyes in embarrasment and disgust, lets me know that I, once again, stepped into it.
As we walk outside, Larry can’t help to chuckle as he overheard me saying it and we both wonder if we will be allowed to come back.
Returning to the motel, I call dsz1 – Dennis S. – on his cell phone in order to find out where he and his wife Barbara are on their journey. He is about 2 hours away and we decide to wait for them, so they can join us for a ride.
They pull in around 11:00 a.m. and after going through another trailer parking exercise, unloading of luggage and equipment, an introduction to everybody, we are ready to ride!
And what a ride it will be! Out of the parking lot we go, East on Soco Road. Louis, who is somewhat familiar with the area, leads the pack on his Turbo. This also provides him with the opportunity to “open it up”, whenever traffic allows without being “blocked” by a naturally aspirated CBX.
The rest of us follow: Dennis S on his almost too clean ’79 with all the SunDog goodies, his wife Barb on her Kawasaki Vulcan with a custom backrest. Dennis B on his “Sassy Six” with a barking set of Mac’s, Larry on the R1200GS, the perfect bike for these roads and Cindy and myself two-up on our ‘81X.
We leave town and climb the hill going East on a slightly winding road with some construction going on. It is still Soco Rd also known as Route 19. After we leave the construction zone behind, the road soon levels out and we pass the turn on to the Smoky Mountain Parkway and head straight towards Cherokee. As we start to descend again, the road throws the first real challenges at us with some fine sweeping turns and twisties. Motorcyle Heaven.
A stop every now and then to take in the fantastic view and stretch these old legs or have a smoke provides a chance to discuss how the curves behind us were negotiated and how the bikes are doing. Nobody seems to have a problem and everybody seems to be in really good spirits.
Traffic is still heavy, especially when we get closer to Cherokee. The town attracts a lot of tourists, not the least because of the Cherokee Reservation gambling facilities, run by the Indians.
We leave Rte 19 to the right and on the other side of town, it is getting a little better and we pick up some speed. No sense to try to ride in a close group, though. Ever so often, a gap in car traffic opens up and the front riders make a pass while the second half will have to wait for another opportunity.
Still, whenever we pull out for a short break to enjoy the view for a moment, everybody is right there together. After several miles of spirited leaning through the turns, we take off the main road to the left to make the run through Newfound Gap and uphill to Clingman’s Dome, the highest point in Tennessee.
Another awesome road to move a motorcycle on. It seems like all these 24, 25 and 26-year old ladies – CBXes that is - perform just dandy. Sometimes it requires a full roll on the throttle and a determined hold to get by a car and an RV on a short open stretch before grabbing quite a handful of front brake to make it safely into the next turn.
Arriving on the parking lot on top of Clingman’s Dome, we assemble for another attempt for a group photo with a camera set on self-timer yielding only mediocre results. We finally enlist the help of a hiker who assumes the temporary duty of photographer and we can get everybody in the picture. After some analyzing of the road behind us and the negotiating thereof we discuss what route to take back
It is being decided to turn back as a run all the way to Gatlinburg would not provide us with a timely return. We plan on taking the Oconaluftee back to a point where the Parkway turns off to the left and we can cut through the hills to meet up with Rte 19 again. Said and done. We almost miss to get the group that was pulled apart by traffic together again at the turn, but we manage. As we proceed uphill, the front catches up with a Park Ranger in an SUV. Speed limit is 45mph. She obviously knows the road and realizing that she has a couple of motorcycles behind her, she pushes the limit. She actually goes 50-55 through the turns without ever touching the brakes for quite a while as if she doesn’t want to hold us up! Finally an opportunity comes up and she sets her turn signal, moves over and lets us pass! That’s what I call considerate!
We finish the run back to Rte 19 – with some speedometers going into the three-digit section. – and back into the motel parking lot in Maggie Valley.
This evening, of course, the winding down and system adjustments from the adrenalin shocks during the day involve some serious medication. After a a high carbohydrate dinner in the restaurant at the corner of the motel complex, we take advantage of the fact that a place called ABC Liquor Store is conveniently located across the street. Need I say more. What a first day that was! ...
alimey4u2: The ride on Friday was eagerly anticipated by all, the details were previously masterfully covered by EMS (Mike) so I shall not dwell too much.
My cornering ability was limited by the high riding position of my BMW on narrow roads with outcrops to the right & car mirrors to the left. I noticed a Lady pushing a baby in buggy at a layby…when the two leading CBX’s passed, the "two year old's" head turned in disbelief. I have great expectations for that child…LOL.
I managed to keep up with the pack until Mike (riding with his intrepid Wife on pillion) & LOUIS (on his Turbo) decided to pass a row of cars ahead of me. I kept back but increased my pace only to catch them up, parked several miles down the road, awaiting the rest of the group. I had counted six cars now between us & I have no idea where or how they had passed them.
Two things impressed me was the fact that Mike and his 81 (with pillion) were in the hunt with the Turbo and LOUIS has “Orbs of Brass” !!
I had promised Dennis (DB) that I would bring my exhaust gas analyzer to assist him in finding the problem of lean fuel air ratio’s on 1,2 ,3 & rich 4,5,6. On checking the “Sassy Six” we concluded that his plug readings were indeed correct as the analyzer supported his findings.
Without ear plugs, we checked LOUIS’s green monster (The Hulk) which had the South African manufactured 6 into 6 headers (no baffles) and found his carburation to be perfect…which he then reinforced by doing a wheelie in the parking lot followed by a black strip on braking !!! This was after he went out for a warm up session dragging through the main street of Maggie Valley, with a wail of the pipes that must have alerted every policeman in the station across the street.
I could visualize their dilemma: “Another bite of my Dunkin Donut or a noise infraction ticket ??” Seems like the donuts won the day as LOUIS returned without ticket.
We then checked Dennis’s (dsz1) masterpiece with a 6 into1 Kerker & supported our smokey findings that he was indeed rich across the rev band.
EMS (Mike) decided to check his stock 81 & we found also that there was also a lean tendency on 1,2 & 3. LOUIS’s turbo was checked & found to be perfect but our testing was stationary & compromised by the fact that the turbo was not under load, so the excellent results were compromised.
I was not keen to ride pillion with LOUIS on boost, reading the results in flight !!! Our only conclusions were plug readings are accurate !!
Saturday we decided to pay the “Wheels Through Time” museum. A superb collection of motorcycles & cars. Predominantly Harley Davidson but sugared with the odd classic Crocker & Henderson & other rareties (see Maggie Valley Gallery.)
From the top floor I spotted the ultimate !! Turning to Dennis (dsz1) I said: “(EXPLETIVE !!) That’s a Duesenberg !!” . We scurried back downstairs & drooled over our find, which was so stunning I forgot to take a picture. I would estimate it’s value at $1.5 million dollars…too rich for my limited funds but………..if only I were rich.
After saying our good-byes to Louis and his wife, who departed for Morganton, and their friends Dwight and Darlene, the afternoon was highlighted by a trip to a nearby Irish Pub.
After a nice lunch, complemented by draft cider, the weather became threatening so we rode back to the Hotel with Dennis (DB) & Dennis( dsz1) attempting the North Carolina land speed record down Maggie Valley mainstreet…...both bikes ran well.
Our misgivings on the weather were well founded as just as we parked....... The heavens opened & we took little pleasure in sitting under the cover drinking beer, watching the Tee shirt clad beanie helmeted cruiser riders pass by.........Sadly, looking like survivors of USS Indianapolis.
For the evening, we decided to have dinner at a close-by restaurant which featured a rib-eye steak special and due to the look of space in the dining room, we convened around a table in the lounge.
We were almost done eating and as I was facing the window, I managed to catch a glimpse of a passing trailer combination with the unmistakeable silhouettes of two CBXes, heading towards our hotel.
My suspicion proved correct when we returned to our quarters: It was indeed George (cbxtacy) whose arrival we had eagerly anticipated all day. Needless to say, that the evening concluded in another interesting round of discussions about motorcycles and the exciting things that can possibly be done with them.
Sunday morning I awoke fresh & perky & started to load the Beemer up with Hotel contents . George(cbxtacy) knocked on the door & said he would meet me for breakfast after a spin.
George returned shortly thereafter, with a leaking valve stem & a very hot rear tire. Breakfast was an education, as there were two “combo’s” (motorcycle and side car) one being a Honda Blackbird & the other a Suzuki Hyabusa.
Similar to this picture:
Both very trick with leading link front forks & center hub steering on small but very wide rubber.. George got the bug immediately & is now on a quest to modify his Chevy powered dragster.
The ride home was pleasant, passing a herd of Harley riders at speed, who’s riding apparel reminded me of a very windy day on my Mothers washing line.
I ran into rain just outside Raleigh NC & spotted an overpass within 200 yards. On my approach on the hard shoulder my ABS kicked in, saving the day. To those of you who are looking at a bike with ABS as an accessory….go with ABS…it’s a no brainer even at $1000.
Emergency flashers on, I donned my rain gear and was off home without further incident to a very pleasant weekend. Special thanks to Dennis (dsz1) and his wife Barb for setting all of it up!
Rumour has it, some may return next year...