Recently (October 2020) I made the massive family move from California back to my home state of Alabama. It’s been 36-years since my previous residency in Alabama, so its all new again! With the move comes new riding terrain and new possibilities!
While checking out the Yamaha TW200 World Facebook Group Page, I saw the post for the TW200 Rally event held on November 16-18. The event was based out of the Mountain View Motorcycle Campground in Elk Park, North Carolina, just a scant 400-miles away from my new central Alabama location. Just one little problem…
The Project #TDUBHAULER 1994 Ford Ranger XLT 2.3-liter truck that was apart of my new location had not been ran for a few years and is in need of a water pump and a few bits before attempting any movement, much more a distance-trip! But with my brothers help and a couple of days thrashing on getting the truck ready, it was GO TIME!!!
Due to my “schedule” of time and timing of getting the truck ready, I made the drive up on Friday, the events first day of riding. My trip called for six and a half hours of driving and I did not want to push the truck or my luck so I took it easy on the drive up as I wanted to at least get to ride two of the three days! I told the wife if the truck broke down I would leave it somewhere and ride the TW200 up to the event!
I arrive on site to the Mountain View Motorcycle Campground just in time to get my tent set up before sundown!
The following morning I awoke to a nice crispy everything as we saw a low of 32-degrees.
While #VanLife is a thing, it’s cool to see each end of the spectrum of Van life at the TW200 Rally! Which one is the TW200 owner? The other one is about to be! hehehe
The campground is so awesome, I had to pop up to the top of the hill and get a little TDUB beauty shot! The Yamaha TW200 looks nice in this surrounding!
The ride starts with our first stop – BREAKFAST! Smoky Mountain Bakers is the PLACE – Breakfast, lunch and especially dinner! What’s their dinner specialty? PIZZA!!! Go back and click on that Smokey Mountain Bakers link and read their ABOUT!
We did our first little out-and-back road and it was such a cool road! leaves, leaves, and more leaves! The color this time of year in the Appalachian Mountains is SPECTACULAR!!!
This TW200 community is simply awesome! So many walks of life, so many personalities! It’s cool talking with all these guys and learning what got them into motorcycling and why they choose to ride the Yamaha TW200!
I finally get to have an in-depth conversation about the ATV tire on a TW200 “thing!” Yes, it’s a thing and a thing that I very much understand now! This TW200 belongs to Gabe Hyatt of Tennessee.
Basically, he can put his TDUB into some very mucky-stucky muddy spots. Like way off down in a deep ravine, and throttle his TW200 out of the sticky situation! Maybe he will air down to 3-psi, but it will easily lift the TW200’s front tire like a tractor! We talked about adding a small wench to the front forks of the TDUB for extra-special spots, but he said he has yet to get into something that he could not get out of! Same time, his bike road incredibly well on the Sunday tarmac day too! I was very surprised by his TW200’s overall versatility! I thought that by adding the larger ATV tire to the TW200 it would have made the bike a “one trick pony.” Surprise – SURPRISE! All I know is that I now want to go ride with and FILM GABE IN ACTION ON HIS ATV’d TW200!!! May sure you watch the video posted at the top of this blog post as I have a couple of segments following Gabe on dirt and tarmac.
Just in case you want to go the soggy bottom way of the Duro Power Grip Radial Tire 26×8-14.
One of the many – many – many epic views that you will see in and around these mountains!
This whole trip could have been a moto – photography trip! It would have moved much slower, but it would have been just fine with me, had I had my camera gear with me.
Colors – colors – colors!!! The colors of fall are in full spectrum!
Oh it was very tempting to ride down! The locals would have not been happy with us. But the views are what we came for and it was spectacular! But can I shuttle my TW200 up the lift?
Back to the Mountain View Motorcycle Campground and guess what time it is…
THAT’S RIGHT – PIZZA TIME! Not not just any pizza… pizza from the folks at
Smoky Mountain Bakers!
While stuffing pizza and talking shop, I noticed a couple of guys wearing this HWK brand of gear… Upon my return home, I looked up the brand and they seem to be a new company making very economical gear. Only issue is, they’ve sold out of most of their styles. With what is currently available, it’s only a few sizes available; Medium, 4X, 5X etc. The one I have my eye on is the Adventure/Touring Motorcycle Jacket For Men Textile Motorbike CE Armored Waterproof Jackets ADV 4-Season. I’m sure I will fit the size Large..
When the fire is so good and the chill is so chilly behind you, you resist to retire for the evening… But you know what tomorrow brings!
So it’s off to bed for the evening!
Next morning we assemble what is left of our TW200 Rally as a couple left the evening before and Gabe is on his way over to meet up at a rendezvous point. L-R: Chopper Charles, Rex Lilly (TW200 Rally Host), Ric “DOC” Jablonski, Lewis “Honey Bee” Cauble, Rodney “GCRad1” Wills.
That guy on the far left… Who is that guy on the far left?
That guy on the far left is Chopper Charles, the guy who started the TW200forum! he no longer own’s it due to work overload that the forum presents (when it’s popular) and he heard that we were gathering at the Mountain View Motorcycle Campground. So he rode down to meet up with us and this was a very nice surprise!!!
For our Sunday portion of the weekend, we will mainly be riding tarmac today, so I put my tires back to “street pressure.” Chopper Charles asked if I wanted to try out his Motopressor air compressor. Why yes sir!
The Motopressor air compressor worked great! The official name for it is Rocky Creek Motopressor Tire Mini Compressor Pre-Select Tire Pressure 100PSI • This is a great little pump. ULTRA compact The Mini is a stripped down pocket pump weighs in at only 1 LB and fits in the palm of your hand. Built around a custom modified 12 volt inflator. MotoPressor Pocket Pump has a 2 ft. long inflator hose, a 6.5 ft. long power cord with an SAE fitting on the end and a hands-free, screw-on delivery valve that fits all bikes. Included is a battery cable with an SAE fitting at the end for you to connect into. All this packs small into a heavy duty neoprene pouch.
Gabe shows up with his “freshy” TDUB CLUB 196cc sticker in place! THANKS DUDE!!! I know – I know! I need to get more stickers back in stock on the SHOP page!!! This new country life has me busy!!! It’s not all butterscotch and apple sauce…
Day-2 for me, Day-3 for the rest of the TW200 crew has us on some very nice roads! And no, we didn’t do all tarmac all day either!
The dirt roads get us to very scenic overviews!
We jump from one peak to another peak, just to touch a little piece of the AT Trail! What a treat for me!
See that river way down there? Yea, we about to ride our TDUB’s down to there!
Over the river is this cool cable bridge!
As we road by, this yard has a bunch of purposefully “wrecked” rusted cars and trucks around his grounds.
Carvers Gap Elevation 5,512 Ft
Just the sights of the side-roads…
106-miles for Sunday! We did 114-miles on Saturday.
I think this might be my favorite image of the trip! I simply sums up the whole trip while also letting your imagination run… TDUB ON MY FRIENDS!
Hopefully you don’t need any other excuse to make your way to the Mountain View Motorcycle Campground before next year or prior to the Second Annual North Carolina TW200 Rally 2021!
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