Thunder returns to the smokies

Steel Horses celebrating first year in business
By Jessi Stone Guide editor | May 01, 2013
Photo by: Jessi Stone Smoky Mountain Steel Horses recently celebrated its first year in business in Waynesville.

Smoky Mountains Steel Horses, a motorcycle and apparel store in Waynesville, just celebrated its first year in business and will be celebrating the Thunder in the Smokies spring rally this weekend.

Owners Camala and Phil Ferguson are motorcycle enthusiasts and have taken trips all over the country on their bikes. Phil, a Tuscola High School graduate, said he has been riding since he was 5 years old and always wanted to have his own bike shop.

“We’ve traveled all over the U.S. and seen all the Harley Davidson stores,” Camala said. “We’ve always wanted to own one.”

Owning a certified Harley store in Haywood County wasn’t a possibility with the market cornered in Cherokee and Asheville. But Camala said owning an independent store turned out to be the best thing for them because it allowed them to stay in Waynesville and carry more brands than just Harley Davidson.

“It’s nice not being a franchise because they mandate what you can sell,” said Operations Manager Denise Sheppard.

Steel Horses sells pre-owned motorcycles, mostly Harley Davidsons, and has a full service and repair center. The store is a Roadsmith authorized dealer specializing in trikes. Bring your bike to trade or sell.

“Phil puts a lot of effort into quality bikes and he wants to sell a good product,’ Camala said.

The store also offers customized bikes and will be customizing bikes for two of the “Moonshiners” cast members. Cast members Jeff and Mark will be dropping by the shop this weekend as part of the Thunder in the Smokies spring rally celebration.

Camala said one cast member wanted a camouflage bike while another wants a copper-colored bike.

The “Grillin and Chillin” celebration will be from noon-4 p.m. Saturday, May 4. Phil will be grilling out and there will be a live band playing.

“We’ve had a really successful first year,” Camala said.

Steel Horses does a majority of its business from April to October and always had a big crowd from the spring and fall rallies. The store also rents bikes, which “fills a large void for this side of the state,” Sheppard.

Owners are also proud of the growing selection of men and women’s apparel, which include big brands like Harley Davidson, Miss Me, Affliction and Vocal. Customers can find anything from boots, helmets, and sunglasses to even biker gear for your dog or baby.

“We want people to know that they don’t have to be a motorcycle enthusiast to come shopping here,” Sheppard said. “We have lots of jewelry and purses.”

For more information about Steel Horses, visit

Thunder in the Smokies Spring Rally will be returning to Maggie Valley Festival Grounds this weekend.


Schedule of Events

Friday, May 3

Gates open at 11 a.m.

Vendors all day

Torch performer all day

Live music 5-6:30 p.m.

Alabama Blues Brothers performs at 9:30 p.m.


Saturday, May 4

Gates open at 9 a.m. Saturday

Vendors all day

Tour ride leaves at 10 a.m.

Bike show at noon

Winner announced at 1 p.m.

$500 1st place bike games from 1-4 p.m.

Live band at 5 p.m.

Rachele Lynae performs at 7 p.m.

Matt Stillwell performs at 9:30 p.m.


Sunday, May 5

Gates open at 9 a.m.

Venors open

Free pancake breakfast from 9-10 a.m.

10 a.m. church service

Live music 11:30-3 p.m.

Close at 3 p.m.