December 2008 Update: After 15 years, The Honda Hoot is offically over. Honda attributes the decision to "the current economic crunch", but look to "take this time to seek out new and innovative ways to engage with our customers so that we can continue to ride together."
And the story read… Motorcyclists defined by the brand they favor may be somewhat startled to see a manufacturer present a flagship event with an all-inclusive mission. The Honda Hoot, however, is far from your average motorcycle rally. Fifteen years have confirmed this five-day festival as one of the most satisfying biker’s holidays anywhere.
The Hoot, originally set in Asheville, N. Carolina, and now in Knoxville, Tenn., proposes more than just the spectacular riding country offered by the roads that curl throughout the Smoky Mountains. "The idea was to offer a real destination for motorcyclists with a complete menu of riding and non-riding activities," Jon Seidel, Asst. Manager of the Motorcycle Press Dept. at American Honda, explains. "That’s why people keep coming back year after year." In fact, it has become an annual pilgrimage for many of the 15,000 annual attendees, many astride other brands than Honda.
Special guests have included last year’s Grand Marshal, off-road racing legend Malcolm Smith. "There are so many roads to ride here, and a unique natural beauty," notes Honda’s Bill Savino, who manages the Hoot program. "With our vintage motorcycle concours, 250-strong Vendor Expo, multi-brand demo rides, day touring, whitewater rafting, riverboat cruises, concerts, street parties, fireworks, our Ride For Kids event, and more, there’s something for riders of all kinds."