Contemplating renting road bikes to tour the Smokies, I came across GSM and gave them a call. The attraction of GSM is the ability to ride trails in addition to pavement. This turned out to be best decision I made. I have been to the Park numerous times but never did I see it on the trails carefully selected by Deb and Dan. Just a wonderful experience and one my nephew and I will repeat. There is no better way to see the park than on a ‘overlander’ cycles that GSM provides. Hit the trail with GSM, you will not be disappointed!
Overall, one of the best days of riding I've ever had. Thank you! "I'm not sure what to really say about my experience with GSM Moto Rentals; except that it was one of my best days of riding. The diversity in terrain, and the self guided tour delivers a huge value to the rider in search for a large serving of solitude. At times I found myself laughing at how removed I was from the rest of the world. In my book, that is epic! The GSMmotorent website barely scratches the surface on the experience to be had for some East coast riding. The wildlife you encounter and the views make it that much better. The black bear I nicknamed Mary (I ran across her on the trail) was definitely one of the highlights! Overall: awesome ride, awesome location, and awesome company who was willing to rent me a bike even after they had closed down for the season! I will definitely come back. Jakob Crouch, Software Engineer, Florida.
There is a long list of reasons why my experience with GSM MotoRent was excellent. I went from being nervous about trying to rent a vehicle to astonished at the ease and enjoyment of the whole experience. I am a young girl from Canada and I was completely green to the Mountain Riding or Off-Road experiences with motorcycles. My boyfriend suggested that I try some real motorcycle riding up in the mountains. Since I don't have a motorcycle in the US, we were going to have to rent one for me. I was really worried about renting, since I am under 25 (which usually means TONS of extra fees) and since we had to drive 5 hours to get to the mountains and I had no idea if the motorcycle I wanted would be there! However, when I called to inquire, I was greeted by an incredibly friendly woman who answered all of my questions and said she could reserve the bike I wanted no problem. Since we were driving such a long way, we ended up stuck in some traffic and arrived later than I had indicated, but the motorcycle was still reserved no problem! I was delighted to find out that a 1-day rental was indeed a 24 hour rental and it was no problem for us to return the bike the following morning. While I was filling out paperwork to finalize the rental, Dan was talking my boyfriend through a bunch of suggested routes we could take to make sure I got all of the off-road and mountain experiences I came for! The owners were both incredibly helpful with route planning and even leant us a waterproof tank bag with maps and directions in it for our route! I had an absolute blast riding around in the mountains, definitely something I am going to do again! It poured rain on us a few times but it was still a great ride! When we arrived back to return the bike it was still raining and Dan greeted us, asking how the ride was in spite of the all of the rain, and we had a good chuckle over the whole experience. Having looked up prices before leaving, I knew that the rental was going to be $124 and had estimated spending about $200 after all the insurance fees and taxes had been applied. After the experience I had, this would have been a completely reasonable "price to fun" ratio. However, the icing on the cake of this whole experience was seeing my bill at the end of it all, $123.95! GSM is a down to earth rental place operated by genuinely good people. With no hesitation, I recommend this experience to everyone! If you are trying to plan your vacation next summer, make it a motorcycle trip to the mountains, and rent your bike from GSM!
Stephanie, Sept 2012
If you want to have the most interesting experience possible then just past the glitter and neon of Gattlinburg is GSMotorent in Townsend Tn. (about 18mi away)There you'll meet up with Dan and his wife at their awesome shop. They will hook you up with great bikes and an insiders look at the park. I came down with my girlfriend and we went on a 200 mile trip (on separate bikes) thru the mountains that I will always remember. Dan and his wife made us feel right at home, asked us what type of riding we were looking for and set us up with turn by turn instructions that will get you there and back. I highly recommend this experience and plan to go back as often as possible!!!
Very Sincerely, Bob Burriss Sept. 2012
I just wanted to Thank You for putting together some awesome routes through the area. Me and a friend came down from New York just after Labor Day and bought some route sheets from you. I must tell you that this was one of the best trips I've taken yet! We rode our KLR's on the Park Loop and Cherohala Loop and couldn't have been happier. By the way we did the detour to Buzzard's Roost and were definitely impressed. We also took another detour on Flat Branch Rd. which was great! Thanks again! Maybe we'll see ya again at Big Bend.
Matt, Sept 2012
Just wanted to let you know that I had a great time on your Tenere recently. I just wish I could have had it for a few more days. I would also like to compliment you on the way you have it outfitted. The aftermarket parts make a good package even better, both in looks and performance. The only thing that would keep me from being a repeat customer is if I end up buying my own. Maybe before that happens, I should try out your new Triumph. I also liked the route directions you gave. I had a great ride ride. Even though gps tracks would have been easier to follow, the written directions you gave were more involving and made for a better experience. Keep up the good work.
Steve Fox, August 2012
Okay, to preface this, I got back into road motorcycle touring 3 years ago when my buddy and I decided to do the ultimate guy trip (to try and supplant our epic post college trip of thirty years ago) and spent a week on rented BMW’s exploring Scotland. Between that country and my home state of Washington, I thought that I had covered some of the best biking roads on the planet. Then I found GSM Motorent and the Smokies of Tennessee and North Carolina! Further preface: since getting back into motorcycling after 30 years, things have changed! A 1000 cc is medium-sized?? And there is this new class called: “Adventure bikes”, which are huge touring enduros which you can take almost anywhere?? It just so happened that the bike that I rented in Scotland, and became very familiar with was the famed: BMW GS 1200. Fell in love with that bike, despite not being a huge Beemer fan, but in Scotland, like most rental bikes places, you aren’t allowed to take them off road like they are meant to be.
Well, not only does Dan and Deb at GSM Motorent let you go off-road, but they specialize in it, encourage it, and they know the Smokies like the back of their hand and will tell you places to go that you would have a hard time finding yourself. Their hospitality and advice is the best and they planned some of the finest riding that we have ever done. Not only that, but – being a Yamaha fan – I was ecstatic when the inventor of adventure bikes with the smaller bore Dakar winning Ténéré, came out with their bigger-bore Beemer competitor a couple of years ago - and Dan has one in his fleet (fully customized by “Twisted Throttle”). That gave my buddy and I a chance to swap back and forth between the Super Ténéré and the GS 1200 through our 500 mile weekend of twisties and forest service roads and got a great chance to really compare these two top-rated machines. The verdict: the Ténéré feels taller and narrower, smoother and more stable both on the asphalt and off. The Beemer is noticeably a little squatter and lighter, but seems to be more squirrelly on the gravel. Certainly more character, but my personal preference is for a bike to be so functional that you forget that it isn’t a part of you. I like them both and they are both excellent and fun rides, but my Yamaha bias has me dreaming of owning an ST someday (trying to get that one by the “Fun-Police”). Where else could you really take these bikes out and do such a “magazine-style” comparison on and off -road?
GSM Motorent also has a great cabin on the river to come back to each night. Sipping on some Tennessee bourbon (“George Dickel’s”) on the deck to the sound of the river babbling by below and recounting the day’s adventure, and tomorrow’s ride plans was special. Ride tip: if you think the famous “Rte 129: Tail of the Dragon” is the ultimate ride (11 miles and 318 curves), go try R.#32 at the Northwest corner of the park for a great stretch of “twisties”.
Thanks, Dan and Deb, you guys were fantastic.
We will be back.
H. Mitchell Kirkland, WA April 2012
I live in Nashville TN and have been riding in the Smoky Mountains for 15 years. After purchasing one map and a 20 minute converstion with Dan, I had far and away my best weekend of riding yet. Little did I realize how many good roads I had overlooked/missed.
From now on, all riding in the TN/NC mountains start in Townsend TN after directions from Dan. Thank you Dan for a great weekend!
Richard, April 2012
I must repeat my expression of enjoyment. My friends and I had an absolutley fantastic time. We could not have enjoyed ourselves more. I assure you that we will return and hopefully will bring more friends with us next year.The equipment was in very nice condition, maps were a great help.
Until the next time, stay safe and may God bless you and yours,
Dean, Independance, KY
I had owned a KLR previously, but had sold it due to lack of time to do many dual sport rides where I live. Well, I decided to try renting a dual sport bike from Dan and Debbie, to scratch that dual-sport itch that still remained. What a fun day! The bike itself was in great shape and very well maintained. Dan set me up with a recommended route, based on what I wanted to do. He had every turn, every road, and every mile marker (down to the tenth of a mile!) all written down, on an easy-to-follow sheet. There's no way I would have ever found all these forest service roads by myself, and it was quite a fun time getting to explore the Cherokee National Forest using his directions. Thanks Dan and Debbie! I'm sure I'll be back next year.
I rented a KLR from GSM MotoRent in Big Bend, TX. Wow! Not only did Big Bend produce a great ride, but GSM MotoRent provided quality motorcycles and superb, knowledgeable, friendly service. The bike started first time, every time. Thanks again for making the vacation fun and effortless.
Fernando Herrera, Houston, TX
If you want to do something fantastic, if you want an experience you will not forget, check out a trip with GSM Moto Rent to Terlingua Texas. Where the hell is that you say.....as did I! It's in the Big Bend area of Texas. Dan Dickie and his lovely wife Debbie are hanging their shingle in the amazing town of Terlingua Texas for a portion of the year. Why you say? as did I. Because as they showed me, it is one of the coolest places on earth and it near some of the most amazing riding I've ever seen. The asphalt roads are great and scenic, the surroundings are beautiful in a way that cannot be described, but lets talk about the 60 mile river road trail that absolutely blew my mind. Dan and his good riding buddy Karl tooks us on this road that challenged all my riding skills and then some. It is truly like another world. But when the going got to rough, Dan was right there helping me through it with a smile. In fact, it seems that Dan always smiles.
In my life, I go after amazing experiences. I kite board, race shifter karts, whitewater kayak, surf kayak, climb and in general try to leap tall buildings with a single bound. It is all about the great adventure for me. Well, that few days with Dan in Terlingua and the Big Bend area were some of the more amazing times in my life. When is the last time you camped in the desert at night. You need to! When is the last time you heard a silence so quiet that it hurt your ears? It is another world and you will love it.
Dan, Debbie and their company GSM Moto Rent have been showing me a great time in the Smoky Mountains for a few years now. Their excellent motorcycles and great attitudes have made numerous great trips possible and a great amount of fun. I greatly appreciate them including me on this preview trip of the new area for their business and I know you will have an amazing experience if you partake of that experience with them. You've gotta do this, you gotta see this place. I am hoping that Dan will put this letter on his web site and I am hoping he feels free to put my contact information in as well. I will gladly talk to you and personally tell you that you should go to Terlingua Texas. If nothing else, how many people have ever been there?
Enjoy and great adventures to all.
John Ritter alias
Wow! What a blast, it was the best time I had on my ten day trip to Townsend.
I had not ridden in years and always loved to ride in the Smoky Mountains. I was a little nervous at first when we first took off but it soon changed into pure enjoyment. I am sold on your business and keep telling everybody that it is a "must do." I can't wait to come back to GSM because there are so many other places I would like to ride on your KLR. They really are a smooth ride. Cades Cove was beautiful, next time I'll take a different tour that is longer. It really is a unique way to experience the mountains up close. Thanks for the new memories and fun. I will see you on my next trip up.
- Dave Shotwell.
Three friends and I visited GSM MotoRent earlier this year. We arrived much later than expected, tired, wet, and hungry from a long miserable rainy day on the road. Dan and Debbie waited up for us and cheerfully greeted us. Debbie asked if we had eaten and when we said no she gathered up some fresh greens from her garden to go along with the fresh muffins and snacks already in the cabin. The food really hit the spot! They didn?t worry about check-in or payment but told us to have some food, get some rest, and see them in the morning. The cabin was very clean and cozy. We thoroughly enjoyed sitting on the deck listening to the river run past and slept very well. In the morning Dan was very efficient and helpful about getting all our paperwork done, explaining the bikes, and suggesting routes. The bikes were in great shape and well maintained. We had an unbelievable day riding 180 miles of excellent paved and unpaved roads in and around Smoky Mountain National Park. We arrived back at GSM in the late afternoon very happily tired. We all agreed it was one of the most enjoyable motorcycling days we?ve ever had. This was our first experience with GSM MotoRent and it could not have been better. Dan and Debbie are wonderful people and run a top-notch outfit. We?re already planning to do it again.
I had the pleasure of renting a Kawasaki KLR from GSMMotorent yesterday. Dan and Debbie were great about working with our travel schedules and riding plans. They seem like great folks who really enjoy motorcycling. The bike was almost new. It appeared to be well maintained and in great shape.
We rode through Cade's Cove, out Parson's Branch, and up the Dragon. Then we hopped over to the Cherahala Skyway and dropped down to ride some of the primitive roads in the Cherokee National Forest. We worked our way back through Knoxville, then rode some more in the National Park.
Dan and Debbie will be my first choice next time I need a dual sport in the East Tennessee area.
Thanks for everything. Be sure to call whenever Debbie wants to trade bikes. I really liked that red one.
See you soon,
What a great chance to see the Back Country and areas rare to visitors in the Park. The KLR's looked like new and were freshly serviced. These bikes are very comfortable for a day in the saddle and handled great on the twisty's too. Dan & Debbie are true motorcyclist and it shows in their enthusiasm for the sport. I'll be back next year.
Kayaks loaded! Mountain bikes loaded! Fishing poles packed! Hiking gear packed! Camper loaded and ready to go! My husband and I are geared up for our annual Smoky Mountain camping trip.
We look like a rolling sporting goods store clipping down I-75 South. This trip however, would also include one more activity that we were both excited about. My husband had been researching the
Kawasaki KLR 650 dualsport motorcycle for sometime. We both ride our own street bikes and have been riding off and on for years, but dirt and gravel were something we avoided. My husband's desire
to hit some back gravel roads and to explore new territory led us to GSM Motorent in Townsend Tennessee, just 7 miles from where we would be camping in Cades Cove.
Dan and Debbie Dickie own Motorent with most of their inventory being the highly revered KLR, (great on gravel, great on highway-hence, dualsport).
The morning we arrived we met Debbie and Sam the dog. Deb gave us a quick orientation on the bikes and suggested areas that we may want to ride.. After we signed enough papers to keep the lawyers happy we set out for Parson's Branch Road, exiting the back side of Cades Cove to intersect highway 129, the infamous Dragon. From there to Robbinsville with plans to ride some gravel roads off the Cherahala Skyway. As we rode deeper into the back country, the more it rained. Luckily these bikes do there job very well, so it didn't matter if it was raining,dry,pavement or gravel. Dan had upgraded the suspension and brakes on the KLR's, which enhanced the ride even more. It was a fantastic experience to ride these bikes in the beautiful Smoky Mountain area.
There was only one drawback to this whole experience- Time. , or the lack of it. It was getting late and we still had to ride back to camp. As I rode up beside my husband to turn around, there he sat on his 650, a gleam in his eye and a smurky little grin in the pouring rain. "We've got to get a couple of these", he said. Oh my goodness,I thought, I've seen that look before! (This was Thursday. By Saturday afternoon we were sitting on our own new Kawasaki KLR's)
After having a very enjoyable riding experience on the KLR's, we turned the rentals in Friday morning and my husband became a possessed man calling every Kawasaki dealer east of the Mississippi. He contacted Tommy's Motorsports in Clinton Tn. just 50 minutes from our campsite. Tommy gave us the best deal and lowered my motorcycle with no extra charge! Everyone at Tommy's were very helpful and professional and made our purchasing experience very enjoyable. Tommy, the owner has a great sense of humor and fun to talk with, but has a no nonsense approach to selling motorcycles,which also added fun to this crazy midlife crisis ordeal!
We rode the 650's back to Cades Cove and spent the next 4 days exploring places where these bike excel. When the 650 is lowered, the kickstand becomes too long and needs to be shortened. Dan at GSM Motorent cut about an inch and a half off my kickstand, rewelded and painted it for $20.00 and it looks like factory!
The KLR's consumed us. The kayaks never saw water, nor was there a fishing line wet. Bicycles never left the rack of the camper and our backpacks and hiking boots took a rest this trip. We had put 600 good break-in miles on the bikes by Thursday . We stopped at Tommy's to buy oil filters and pick up some paperwork on the way back home.
Our thanks to Dan and Debbie and Sam at GSM Motorent for all their help and the try before you buy plan! Thanks to Tommy and the guys at Tommy's Motorsports, who made this a most memorable vacation, with 2 great souvenirs to take home.
P.S. Our street bikes are for sale!
Once we made it home safe and sound, driving down our driveway, my husband looked over at me grinning like a possum and said " The Kaw's have come home".
Jerry and Mandy