Upcoming Events – May 2017

Here are the events I’m aware of for May 2017, primarily occurring in the slightly modified South (basically on/below a line from Kansas to Maryland as indicated below) since that’s where our club membership is based and most of our current readers are located.  I have gone through each of these listings and when possible posted only the actual page the info is on, bypassing any “intro” pages that take up your time and/or only advertise a dealer or sponsor.  Please follow links provided with each entry to determine admission fee (if any), pre-registration procedures, possible minimum age requirements, and any other pertinent information.

Activity Report Region For Dixie Riders™ MC

If you know of any other events please send me the details, including a valid website or online-flyer link, so I can add them.  Events without their own website, or a substantial information page or flyer, will not be added.  I also do not list “events” that are basically only advertising items for sale at motorcycle dealers or parts stores with only a reference to some brief, purchase required, customer-grabbing event.  I’m not against these retailers, some are close friends, however this type of “event” is considered to only be for the benefit of the retailer.

If you’re looking for an event to attend, but not finding quite what you’re looking for, check back here periodically.  I add new events as soon as possible after I’m informed about them.

We have added a proprietary map of the events listed below.

Click HERE to view full size interactive map.

3rd – 7th, Wed-Sun –  Panama City Beach, FL – 19th Annual Thunder Beach Spring Motorcycle Rally – Contests, live entertainment, bike parade, over 200 vendors, motorcycle stunt shows, poker runs, bikini contest, and much more – https://thunderbeachproductions.com/rally-info.html

4th – 7th, Thur-Sun – Fort Walton Beach, FL – Emerald Coast Bike Fest – Bike show, poker run, motorcycle giveaway, live music, classic car show. – http://www.emeraldcoastbikefest.com/

4th – 7th, Thur-Sun – Atwood, TN – Boogie Hollar Motorcycle Rally – Great food, field events, live music, contests, vendors, and more – Party Rain or Shine – * Must Be At Least 21 Years Old To Enter *http://www.boogiehollar.com/

4th – 7th, Thur-Sun – Depew, OK – Bike Stock Oklahoma / Route 66 Biker Rally – People games, bike games, live musical entertainment, wild contests, air-conditioned bars, on-site camping, and more. – * Must Be At Least 21 Years Old To Enter *http://www.route66bikerrally.com/

5th – 7th, Fri-Sun – Fredericksburg, TX – Hill Country Run Motorcycle Rally – Bike shows, bike games, live music from 4 different performers, vendors, rides, and more. – http://www.hillcountryrun.com/index.html

5th & 6th, Fri&Sat – Lebanon, TN – 3rd Annual Spring Redneck Rumble – Motorcycle show, swap meet, camping, live music, and more. – http://www.bothbarrelspromotions.com/

5th – 7th, Fri-Sun – Maggie Valley, NC – Thunder In The Smokies Spring Rally – Bike games with cash prizes, live music, tour rides, vendors, and more. – https://handlebarcorral.com/

6th, Sat – Charlotte, NC – Officer In Need Poker Run – Poker Run, 50/0 raffle, Motorcycles and 4-wheel vehicles welcome, prizes for best hand, 2nd bet hand, and worst hand, starts/ends at Indian Motorcycle of Charlotte – http://www.bknc16.org/bknc16_002.htm

7th, Sun – Apex, NC – NC Triangle Ride For Kids – Benefits the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation – Motorcycle Ride, entertainment, and food. – Riders on all makes and models welcome to attend. – http://pbtf.convio.net/site/TR?fr_id=2817&pg=entry

12th – 14th, Fri-Sun – Kenedy, TX – Texas Iron Rally – 50/50 Benefits Bikers For Bikers Foundation, Bike Show, bike run, live entertainment, games, door prizes, free camping, vendors, and more. – * Must Be At Least 21 Years Old To Enter *http://strokenproductions.com/

12th – 21st, Fri-Sun – Marion, SC – Swamp Fox Spring Biker Bash – Live Entertainment, lots of great vendors, amazing food and drinks. – Tent and RV Camping available. – http://www.swampfoxentertainmentcomplex.com/event/1375718-swamp-fox-spring-biker-bash-marion/

12th – 21st, Fri-Sun – Murrells Inlet, SC – Myrtle Beach Bike Week Spring Rally – Coastal Motorcycle Tours, bike shows, bike nights, vendors, stunt shows, live entertainment, event merchandise, and more. – http://www.myrtlebeachbikeweek.com/

12th – 21st, Fri-Sun – Murrells Inlet, SC – 78th Annual Spring Beach Rally – Ride Planned For Vets, kick off party, meet and greet ride, 50/50 raffle to benefit DAV, free trailer parking. – http://www.springbeachrally.com/

13th, Sat – Villa Rica, GA – Badge Fest Atlanta 2017 – Proceeds Benefit First Responders – Variety Of Entertainers, raffles, Circus attractions, Memorial Ride. – https://www.badgefestatlanta.com/

17th, Wed – Surfside Beach, SC – Crude’s 7th Annual Meet and Greet Ride – Proceeds Benefit Disabled Veterans – 180 Miles Round Trip, 50/50 raffle, discounted drinks at end of ride. – http://www.springbeachrally.com/crudesride2017.pdf

19th – 21st, Fri-Sun – Grady, AL – Shine In Lapine Rally – Adult Games, trophies, live entertainment, free camping, and more. – * Must Be At Least 21 Years Old To Enter *http://www.shineinlapine.com/

19th – 21st, Fri-Sun – Huntsville, AL – All Female Ride – Meet & Greet, Cook-out, Pool Party, Guest Speakers, and more. – http://alabamafemaleride.weebly.com/

20, Sat – Murfreesboro, TN – Middle Tennessee Ride For Kids – Benefits the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation – Motorcycle Ride, entertainment, and food. – Riders on all makes and models welcome to attend.http://pbtf.convio.net/site/TR?fr_id=2808&pg=entry

20, Sat – Stafford, TX – Bikes, Bugs, and Brew IIX – Benefits the Epilepsy Foundation Texas – On Stage Entertainment, silent and live auctions, motorcycle raffle, bike wash, celebrity appearances, and more. – http://bikesandbugs.org/



A New Battery

[Originally Written 13MAY2013.  Misplaced and forgotten about, then found and published 04FEB2017.]

It happens to all of us at one time or another.  We go out to our bike all excited about the ride we’re about to take, turn the key, hit the start button, then either nothing happens or our pride and joy gives us a pitiful little “help me” whine, then nothing.  The battery is dead.  😦

The normal course of action is simply to go to a local motorcycle shop or dealership to by an exact replacement, or take a cheaper (less desirable) route by purchasing one with the same rating(s) from a discount store.  I decided to “upgrade” this decision a little.  I’ll tell you how, but first I need to give you some background information.

When I first purchased my bike (see “Starting From Scratch“) I had to replace the battery since the bike had sat un-ridden for at least 3 years, and I’m suspecting it was closer to 6 years.  Even with the new battery I still noticed what appeared to be a charging problem, especially when negotiating long stop-and-go traffic jams.  My bike’s built-in voltage meter showed a substantial reduction in voltage, down to 9.5 volts in some cases, when encountering these types of slow downs.  The voltage would gradually get back to normal after an hour or so of riding under normal conditions afterward or when putting it on a charger at the end of a ride.  Knowing the battery was new I replaced the voltage regulator which, according to my voltage meter, had slightly reduced output.  This did not resolve the problem.  Next I searched the online forums for a resolution to the problem.  One theory was it was due to a failing Stator.  I doubted this because the maintenance records I got with the bike showed it had been replaced just before it got parked by the original owner.  A check by the local repair shop showed it was operating properly so I had to rule that out.  After more searching of the forums I found a “remedy” that involved removing and hard-wiring select connectors.  There was a substantial number of favorable reviews by people who had tried this method so I did that also.  It helped the problem but did not completely resolve it.

During all of this time I had a nagging feeling the problem was caused by the battery itself, but refused to allow myself to believe it since the problem had always been there and my battery would hold a charge between rides.  Well, one day while doing some other maintenance work I accidentally shorted out the battery so replacing the still new battery was not an option.  This takes us back to where we started, choosing a replacement battery… again.

While checking prices online I stumbled across what was called a “Glass Mat” Battery.

Having never heard of that type of battery I did some research.  I found out its technical name is Absorbent Glass Mat Battery or AGM battery.  The more I read the more I liked what I was seeing.  Among other attributes AGM batteries have very low internal resistance, are capable of delivering high currents on demand and offer a relatively long service life, even when deep cycled. AGMs are maintenance free, provide good electrical reliability and are lighter than the flooded lead acid type. While regular lead acid batteries need a topping charge every six months to prevent the buildup of sulfation, AGM batteries are less prone to sulfation and can sit in storage for longer before a charge becomes necessary. The battery stands up well to low temperatures and has a very low self-discharge rate.  I also learned that AGM batteries are the preferred battery for upscale motorcycles because since they are sealed there is a much reduced chance of acid spilling in an accident, they lower the bike weight for the same performance, and allow installation at odd angles.

I was sold so I ordered one online and anxiously awaited it’s arrival.  As soon as it arrived I checked to be sure it matched the specs I gave when ordering it.  It did.


To install this battery on my bike, a 1985 Honda Goldwing GL1200 SE, I had to first remove the battery cover on the right side of my bike.  The photo below shows a “Battery Tender Plus” which I highly recommend.  I’ve used this model on other bikes, and a lot of repair shops, not to mention tons of bikers, recommend this over other chargers as well.

Next, after disconnecting the negative wire from the left side of the original standard lead acid battery, I had to remove one (1) bolt from the combination swing-arm/hold-down bar that holds the battery in place.  I’ll say more about this later.  Once this bar is released the battery can be tilted out, the positive (hot/red) wire disconnected from the right side of the battery, and the acid overflow tube disconnected.  After this battery removal is pretty straight-forward, just slide the battery straight out and carefully place it somewhere it won’t get knocked over.

I typically take a few seconds at this point to clean the area around and behind the battery since one doesn’t typically have to open the battery cover under normal conditions unless you need to access the primary fuse-able link.  Now is when you have to make a decision if you opted to go replace a standard lead-acid battery with an AGM battery.  Do you remove the acid overflow tube or cap it off and tuck it in for possible future use?  I opted to remove the tube from my bike.  It is not difficult to replace latter should I decide, or for some reason have, to install a Lead Acid battery at some future time.

Next, simply slide the new battery into the box leaving it tilted out slightly.  Attach the positive, then negative, cables onto the top of the battery, then push it into place while being sure there are no wires being pinched behind, or beside, the battery.  Now, while holding the battery in place with one hand, swing the bar into place against the battery and replace the hold-down bolt.  I’ve added an additional step to this on my bike as the picture below will illustrate.

If you’ll look closely at the bar you will see I’ve added a padded strip between the battery and the bar.  In this case I used a piece of non-slip matting from my woodworking shop.  This strip allows a snugger fit for the battery so it does not vibrate so much in the compartment and reduces the chaffing of the battery against the bar.

Once this is completed all that is left is snapping the battery cover back into place.  I recommend taking your bike for a ride afterwards.  Why?  Because it’s fun!  🙂


For those accessing this blog through the URL (.com address) rather than directly through Word Press – Our .com address has changed. You now need to access us by using this link – http://www.dixiesriders.com (that’s with an “s” between Dixie and Riders)

A Longer Ride

The ride described in this post occurred on Friday, 07SEP2012

A Longer Ride – AKA Popcorn Overlook Ride

Business has now slowed down to the point where I can spend more time riding my bike.  Last night I went over the chrome with a soft rag to remove the little spots left by the rain splashing in the mud next to the bike’s cover.  If you don’t remember my discussing the cover you can click HERE to catch up on that.  Once I was satisfied I got them all I put together some snacks for the upcoming ride, made sure my rain gear was in its place, checked tire pressures, the oil level, and the lighting.  I also checked to see if I had placed the little repair kit I had put together in the side bag next to the Honda tool set, and made sure the spare oil and brake fluid were in the other side bag in case I needed to top something off while I was out.  Everything was as it should have been so I shut off the lights, came inside and went to bed.

After a restless night’s sleep, probably due to my excitement about the upcoming ride, I got up at 6:30am, had breakfast, then double checked the bike’s lighting.  I know I had checked that last night, but since I was starting out a little before dawn, in fog, I felt it wise to make sure I hadn’t missed anything.  I also put on my lime green safety vest with wide reflective strips.  I felt a little silly wearing it, but safety comes first, pride second.  Before I took her off the center stand I reset the previous trip information in the travel computer, turned the key and pressed the start button.  She fired right up as I expected her to, revved up a little to add some more charge to the battery, and warm the engine, then slowed to its normal idle speed.  Time to ride!

As I turned onto the 4-lane highway the brisk morning air felt good.  It’s been hot here recently and the brief coolness was welcomed.  My bike accelerated quickly to the speed limit, then purred softly as our speed evened out.  Being on the road this early in the day is nice.  There’s not a lot of traffic to contend with, and one can hear the rushing of the water in the nearby river along with the soft song of the tree frogs and insects.  As contented as I was to dwell on these thoughts it was now time to decide what today’s destination would be.  I prefer to just ride and go where my thoughts and desires take me, but this time I wanted to time my return to a time I could meet my bike’s PO (previous owner) since he was wanting to see what I had done with his former baby.

I already knew I wanted to head South, but did not have a particular destination in mind.  After considering the different ride times to/from several points of interest I decided upon visiting a place called Popcorn Overlook in North Georgia, a few miles West of Clayton, GA on US-74.  Since I’ve been past there a number of times in my car I knew the ride on my bike would be especially scenic once the fog lifted.

Popcorn Overlook is a nice little rest area that overlooks the Southern spine of the Appalachian Mountains, more specifically the Blue Ridge Mountains.  There are 2 concrete picnic tables and some “interpretive” signs.

When looking out over the split-rail fence, if it were possible to see through a few ridgelines, you would be looking at Fontana Lake somewhere near the hydro-electric dam.

As I pulled into the parking area I was greeted by a Harley owner who was en route to the Georgia State H.O.G. rally a few miles further to the West in Hiawassee, Georgia.  After exchanging pleasantries, and looking over each other’s bikes, he headed off to enjoy the rally, and I decided it was time for a drink and a couple of the snacks I’d packed.

Fifteen or twenty minutes later I cranked up my bike and headed back to Clayton, GA.  A few miles West of the city limits I stopped at the Jones Bridge Overlook near the shore of Lake Burton.

The overlook is actually a tiny picnic area with only two tables, one on either end of the parking area.  What the overlook lacks in size it makes up for in its view of the lake.

After watching a couple of fisherman ride past in their boats I continued my journey toward Clayton.  At the Western edge of the city limit is an old abandoned elementary school the town has put to good use as a City Hall, Police Department, and several other city offices.

A little further along, at the edge of what locals would call “The Square”, which is Clayton’s downtown area, is an appliance resale shop.  This isn’t just any resale shop, it’s one that specializes in antique appliances.

The items for sale there have been restored to like-new condition.  This shop is a “must” for those who are decorating their house, or business, retro style.

From here I went to the local McDonald’s for some sweet tea, then resumed my trip home.  All in all, fog aside, it was a great trip with little traffic and some wonderful views of the Appalachian Mountains and Georgia farm lands.  The weather cooperated nicely with the temps averaging around 75 degrees Farenheit and blue rain-free sky dotted by a few non-threatening clouds.  I could ride a lot with conditions like this!  🙂

Click HERE For Full Size Photos, And Other Photos Of This Ride Not Posted Here

Happy (and safe) Biking!

Road Ready


After months of repairing mouse-chew damage, electrical malfunctions, and rust-frozen mechanisms my bike is finally road-ready!  Yes, I know, some of you are thinking, “It’s about time!”.  LOL  I finished up all of the repairs that were needed to be able to put it on the road, did a quick cleaning, and loaded it on a trailer to take to a local motorcycle repair shop for a safety check.

Before you ask… I didn’t ride it there because one of the repairs involved the brakes.  I trust my repair abilities, and a cursory check of the brakes showed they were working fine, however it’s been years since I’ve rebuilt a brake system from the reservoir down, and most of my riding for the next couple of months will be in the mountains.  There’s a time and place to be brave, macho, and self-assured, but mountains are not the place you want to hope there isn’t some little thing wrong that a second set of eyes may catch.  A second opinion could keep that little thing from becoming a major thing while headed down a steep grade or around a sharp curve with a 500 or more foot drop only a few inches away from you.  There’s not a whole lot of time to come up with an exit-strategy in situations like those.

When I got to the shop the owner helped me unload my bike, then we discussed what I wanted them to check.  When I finished, he explained what else he would want to address.  I was glad to see he took an interest in my bike, and not treat me/it like it was just another job.  I had talked with him many times before about parts and repairs and felt comfortable leaving this job in his hands.

I headed home with an empty trailer as well as an empty feeling.  I was leaving my baby “alone” under the care of somebody else.  Later that evening when I looked out on the spot my bike normally occupies I felt sort of like a parent whose child was away for their first sleepover.  The shop called about mid-day the following day to let me know they had finished and I could pick up my bike.  When I got there my bike was sitting outside waiting for me.  If bikes could give you the look of “you left me with a stranger”, I would have sworn she did, but I know it was my own mind regretting having to temporarily part with her.

The report was great.  Everything is in good working order with the exception of the throttle.  It works okay, and is not a safety hazard, but it’s not springing back quite as fast as it should.  A new cable will correct that, but it’ll have to wait until I can save up a few extra bucks.  This winter sounds like a good time to do that.  😉 The owner even told me he wouldn’t hesitate to hop on the bike and head off for California.  Not bad for a bike that’s 27 years old!

Unless I’m doing a ride report I’m not typically one to recommend a person or service, but I’m going to do so in this case.  As I said before I’ve had many discussions with the shop owner about parts and repairs.  As picky as I am about my bike(s) I’m not one bit uneasy about recommending this shop, so if you’re ever in the Eastern TN or Western NC area and need to have something done to your bike check with the folks at Precision Cycle Motorsports on US-23/74 in Sylva, NC.  Of course you can always check them out HERE as well.  I guarantee you will be glad you did.

Happy (and safe) Biking!

Patience Revisited

For those of you who read my “Patience” post, the solution to the problem was guess number two.  😉  I had indeed put a wire in the wrong place… on the Solenoid.  I guess my memory isn’t what it used to be.  I thought I remembered 2 wires on each of the two 1/4″ posts.  There wasn’t.

One post, the right one, is only supposed to have one wire attached to it.  This goes to the starter.  The left one is supposed to have two wires, one comes directly from the battery and the other provides power to the CFI (Computerized Fuel Ignition) circuit and a couple of other places.  I had placed the CFI lead on the right post instead of the left.  The right post only receives power when one is actually starting the bike with the start button.  When one presses the “start” button it completes a circuit feeding power through the two small wires attached to the flat lugs at the front of the Solenoid, tripping a relay inside the Solenoid which in turn supplies power to the right post, activating the starter.  When the “start” button is released the power to this post is removed, so any time other than when starting the bike the post is “dead”.  The terminals have been left uncovered for the sake of the photo.  Everything was properly sealed after the photo was taken.

I can’t take all the credit for catching what the problem was.  I had posted a question on one of the Goldwing owner sites about my bike not starting after doing wiring repairs .  A member made the comment that he wondered it there was some sort of “fu-fu” with the Solenoid wiring.  This comment caused me to rethink the setup and take the time to go back to the photos taken when I first started this part of the electrical repairs.  Of course when I looked at the before and after photos the mistake stood out like a sore thumb.  Perhaps I should start checking the original photos more often.  😉

Happy (and safe) Biking!

Removing Excuses

As many of you who are following this blog know, I have been slow completing the restoration/repair project on my bike.  The primary reason has been my employment, and the primary excuse has been the weather since I currently do not have an inside place to store or work on the bike.  Short of giving up my occupation, which I am not about to do anytime soon, there’s not much that can be done about that conflict, but I can, and have, done something about the weather issue.  No, I haven’t learned an anti-rain dance!  😉  I purchased a “gazebo cover” to put over my bike.  Yes, I should have gone with the next larger size, but this one will do ok.  I even have a couple of ideas to make it more weather resistant.  I’ll post those if they work out as planned.  It doesn’t matter anymore if it’s raining during the time I have free.  Before, I just looked at the rain and sighed.  Now I get the needed tools together and continue with the repairs.  She’s coming along nicely now, so not only will I be posting more repair procedures as soon as possible, the next ride shouldn’t be too many days away… I hope!  😀

Happy (and safe) Biking!

Added Rope Lights To The Roof Support