I started looking for a bike that would be suitable for the TAT on Craigslist and the first day I found an XR650R that was already titled in the state of TX. My mind raced as I could think of no better bike to make a street motard out of eventually and the luggage available for TAT travel was second to none so I immediately called and locked in the SCREAMING deal. The guy selling it sounded legit so I drove to San Antonio and grabbed it as others sat there with cash in hand, but the guy stuck to his word! I love people like that!
As I bought it...
Here it is with most of the luggage configured as per our journey complete with new swingarm bearings, the Valdez equivalent of a fuel tank, and other bits needed for real TAT travel.
I rented a minivan and tossed my bike in the back with the wheels off, which turned out to work supprisingly well! Then I drove 1100 miles straight through and got home to meet Kyle. I am still very pissed that I don't have a picture of the bike in the fan, it was quite funny. So after Kyle's KLR disaster/moving disaster/crappy ride down to WNC in the rain, we met up at the Tsali campground to test out our gear and play on the Dragon and Cherohala Skyway back to my place in Chattanooga to do maintenance. In college I became a burrito connoisseur
out of necessity and made some awesome ones at camp to make up for Kyles rainy trip of doom.
Parallel to the Cherohala, didn’t like the street tires much... Also, we didn’t really like the Maxxis M6006 tires either, the Dunlop D606's we switched to in CO were much better, even if they do suck compared to a Maxxis IT...
BTW, this site is a great resource when planning the TAT when you want to camp instead of do the hotel deal, we still have mixed feelings about if camping or hotels are the way to go for the TAT.
The advantages that we saw for camping were that it was cheap, and you can really camp almost anywhere on the TAT so you can have longer/shorter days if need be. However, all our luggage really made a profound difference in how you could ride the bikes, not really in the weight difference but in how much you could move around on the bikes. Maybe the luggage saved me from really pushing it at times, which could have saved some major crashes, but I had my share of those anyway.
Thus we did miss the first 312 miles of the TAT since we started in Bell Buckle TN, but I went back two weeks ago and completed that section. More to come in the morning...