The Smoky Mountain Crawl, now in its third year running, has become America's biggest festival of fun for the small-bore set, featuring a day of displays and a day of riding mayhem. The "Crawl" was created by the owners of MNNTHBX—Greg Hatcher and Kevin Estep—two well-educated and respectable fans of Alice in Chains, who year-round manufacture and sell a healthy list of custom parts for small-bore machines. With the "Crawl," these two have become the alerting pipers in a forest with echoes of laughter and a bustling in the hedgerow... Oh no, wait, …totally wrong rock-lyric reference with that one. Sorry.

Smoky Mountain Crawl, Groms, Rukus, Honda
The Look Out is the classic west end of the Tail of the Dragon, if not the official end of the Tail’s 318 curves.Peter Jones & Sylvia Keita
Smoky Mountain Crawl, Groms, Rukus, Honda
The buzzing hoard swarming in anticipation of becoming an 2-mile-long rolling traffic jam for 80 miles. It was awesome.Peter Jones & Sylvia Keita

The Smoky Mountain town of Townsend, Tennessee is party-central for this annual "Crawl," and it has fully bought into the event that in just three years has outgrown the grounds of its Friday schedule of displays, games, raffles, races, and general hanging-out. There is even a dyno contest for trophies and hoots, featuring Groms that pump out 29-plus horsepower. For the uninitiated, that's triple a stock Grom's numbers.

Smoky Mountain Crawl, Groms, Rukus, Honda
A fair amount of bad, but polite, behavior, about to explode.Peter Jones and Sylivia Keita
Smoky Mountain Crawl, Groms, Rukus, Honda
It’s impossible to pick a favorite machine when each one is so well personalized and detailed.Peter Jones & Sylvia Keita

This event is far from the usual scooter event in that nearly every machine attending the “Crawl” has been wildly modified, from performance parts to slammed and stretched, to complete engine and drive train replacements, to exceptional paint and cosmetic customizations that include leather seats, alloy wheels, and everything in between. In contrast, the events for old-school scooter kid are generally a narrow mix of vintage two-strokes and modern twist-and-go models, where the word scooter is basically the English translation of the Catholic word Vespa.

Smoky Mountain Crawl, Groms, Rukus, Honda
The plywood jump and guitar playing at the Yoshimura-sponsored Creek Bottom Classic Races was a hoot. Yes, people crashed. No, nobody was hurt.Peter Jones & Sylvia Keita

Friday's goings-on at the "Crawl" ended with the Yoshimura-sponsored Creek Bottom Classic off-road (on grass) mini-road race (with plywood jump), featuring a Le Mans style start. Of course, the race was serenaded by a live performance on an electric guitar because… well, because that's how you do it in Tennessee. These guys very much like their rock and roll and know how to have fun.

An estimated 600 diminutive two-wheelers showed up this year, with likely three times that number of humans in attendance, which is a dangerously huge growth from the initial year of about 90 machines.

Smoky Mountain Crawl, Groms, Rukus, Honda
The infestation complete. The resort did an awesome job handling the huge number of cheeseburgers ordered by unannounced small-bore riders, but that’s normal life there on a summer Saturday.Peter Jones & Sylvia Keita

Saturday’s feature doings for all was an 80-mile round-trip ride to the Tail of the Dragon Resort. The ride looked like an alien birthing day of biomechanical scooter pups, racing en masse to the woods like turtles to the sea. 600 tiny buzzing bikes is a sight worth seeing. The ride included all of those famous 11 miles with their famous 318 curves, ridden in both directions.

In celebration of the "Crawl", MNNTHBX built a custom Ruckus for the Chief of Police of Townsend, Kevin Condee, which shows how much this community appreciates this crazy event; just don't ride on the bicycle paths. Looking over the field of machines prior to the ride, Condee noted that the event; "Looks like a Harley rally that was left in the dryer too long." Though maybe a bit more colorful.

Smoky Mountain Crawl, Groms, Rukus, Honda
Townsend Chief of Police Kevin Condee and his MNNTHBX custom Ruckus.Peter Jones & Sylvia Keita
Smoky Mountain Crawl, Groms, Rukus, Honda
Maybe it’s not just a Storm Trooper custom, but an actual Storm Trooper’s personal Ruckus. Or, maybe not.Peter Jones & Sylvia Keita
Smoky Mountain Crawl, Groms, Rukus, Honda
Vintage cool for meeting the nicest people.Peter Jones & Sylvia Keita
Smoky Mountain Crawl, Groms, Rukus, Honda
Want. More fun than a Camry with its rear tires E-braked on two McDonalds trays. No, forget we said that.Peter Jones & Sylvia Keita

Something pushing the interest in small-bore machines is that people can buy them without debt or regret. Contrarily, big bikes, due to their expense, are about having, while these things are all about doing; with lots of change left over for doing a whole bunch of the doing. This year's event saw Kawasaki and KYMCO participate with displays, while Honda joined those two in the raffle where a Z125, K-Pipe, and Grom were awarded to three lucky winners.

The mix of people were on the younger side of motorcycling demographics, with a healthy number of female riders added to the brew. One participant rode his Grom to the “Crawl” from California, repeating his trip from the year prior. Another flew in from Norway, while others trucked in their machines from far and wide across North America. For each, the mantra was, “Ich bin ein Smoky Mountain Crawler.”