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Old 04-17-2015, 08:21 AM   #1
sockMNKYparade OP
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SHAKA 650 does the TAT...(at least part of it)

Well here it goes another TAT thread. Hopefully this one will be a little different seeing as the trail will be tackled in parts and we will be using Kansas City as are starting point for all trips.

Lets start with a little background.

The name?
SHAKA is the combination of all our motorcycle names mashed together.
We have:
Joey (myself) riding a 1999 Honda XR650L
Nic (nic_kline) riding a 2006 Kawasaki KLR650
Danny (Danimo) riding a 1997 Suzuki DR650

See mash the names together and you get SHAKA...and all the bikes are 650's. So there you have it.

I figure the other members of the party can chime in and give specifics on bike upgrades and farkels.

History with the TAT:
Nic and Danny rode some of the TAT two years ago but it rained the whole time and they were unprepared for how crappy Arkansas mud is. So it sucked for them.

A year ago we decided to trailer bikes down to Arkansas and do a base camp and ride during the day with no luggage. Needless to say it was AWESOME and we knew that we needed to take the next step and try and ride the whole thing. We started planning this years trip in the car on the way back last year (that's usually how it goes). If you want a better look at our history with the TAT you can go to Nic's blog (he also rode to Alaska) http://twowheeledadventure.blogspot.com/

That brings us to today. Because all three of us have jobs that don't allow for 20+ days off in a row and two of us have small kids (Nic and I) we have decided to tackle the TAT in parts. We will leave from KC (where we all live) on May 20th and drive south to Fayetteville AR. From there we will head east on the TAT camping along the way. The only plan that we have is to get as far as possible by Sunday the 24th. Then we will hit slab the whole way home on Memorial Day (and eat at the Oark General Store ).

There you have it. All three of us have read tons of reports and are experienced riders and campers so I can't wait to head out. We will try and update along the way as well as update this thread with build information and background.

sockMNKYparade screwed with this post 04-19-2015 at 05:26 PM
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:16 PM   #2
sockMNKYparade OP
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Pissed Wrenching away

So as the day gets closer we have begun a more frantic pace of preperation. It is funny how you can plan a trip for 10 months and it still seems like everything comes down to the last 3 weeks.

Since the begining of the year we have had a standing work night at Nic's garage. Most times we end up just watching youtube videos and drinking beer. But the last few have been pretty productive.

Danny did chain maintenance, I (joey) changed my oil and routed backup clutch and throttle cables and Nic changed his oil and one tire...

Funny thing about Nic changing his tires. We got his front off and changed no problem. Then we tried to get his back one off and couldn't break the bead. So we did what any group of reasonable people would do.... we made a bead breaking device out of 2x4's and used a car for leverage. It didn't work. After trying for 2 hours we gave up and Nic took it to a shop. Thus confirming what we already knew. Changing rear tires is impossible.

18 days left and I can't WAIT!!!!


Our awesome work space, where motorcycles rule all!


Danny and Nic doing chain maintenance



Nic feeling good after changing the front tire. This posture didn't last long.
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:37 PM   #3
nic_kline
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Packing

So I've ridden through 49 of the 50 United States. I road from Kansas to Alaska and camped along the way, on this same Bike I'm taking to the TAT. Yet somehow... SOMEHOW... I still manage to convince myself that I need more gear, and more unnecessary upgrades.

In a whirlwind of adding superfluous auxiliary lights and repairing an accidentally-stripped oil drain plug... The KLR is ready to go! Should have left myself more than 2 days to figure out how to pack it all on the bike.
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Old 05-19-2015, 03:50 PM   #4
Danimo
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No worries here

My trusty steed, a 1997 DR650 with just over 5,000 miles is ready to go. After replacing the original tires, upgrading the seat, gas tank and upgrading the suspension Suzy 3 is ready for the TAT. Last year I managed to conquer the TAT on a V-Strom DL1000, I anticipate a much easier journey this time around. Bags are packed (with room to spare) and the gas tank is full. Come on 5 o'clock!!

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Old 05-19-2015, 07:47 PM   #5
nic_kline
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Packing some Wolfmans

Like I said, I should have given more than 2 evenings to pack it all up. But getting the kids to Grandma's and the wife to her flight took priority. Anyway, I think I'm ready!



So back in February I pre-ordered the DrySpec D68 luggage from Revzilla. Back then it was a steal at $180 brand new. They expected to ship at the end of that month. But then it didn't happen. Ok, so until the end of March... nope. Anyway I waited until a week ago and they admitted it would be later this summer. So I while staring at my luggage rack and came up with all sorts of ways to just tie stuff on there and hope for the best. Thankfully I checked the ADV flea market and some Wolfman's had just popped up. And huge thanks to neanderthaler for the super-fast response and shipping time! I got them a day earlier than I needed them!

It's clear why people love these Wolfman Expeditions. The material is similar to what you would find on any heavy dry bag, but the strapping system is just precisely what you need for a secure fit. They are a little small, but that just means I'm trying to take too much stuff (as you can see with the 2 ton top bag in the pic above. We are excited to compare my Wolfman's ($190) with Joey's custom dry-bag setup ($60) with Danny's used Nelson-Riggs ($55). More on that soon.
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:57 AM   #6
mceee
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Good luck guys, stay safe and enjoy Our group is also having to break the TAT up into sections due to the same reasons.
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:43 AM   #7
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Of Course

So I have been hounding these guys to post something on this thread since I posted the first intro. And of course they didn't do it until the day we leave. Oh well something is better than nothing.

Here are some pictures of my ride mostly loaded up (just missing my tank bag).

I am simultaneously cheap, inventive, frugal and dumb so I made a bunch of stuff myself.

Mods include:
Corbin seat (pretty blue)
Acerbis 5.8G tank
Acerbis Enduro hand guards
Dirt Racks rear racks/protectors/subframe support
Windscreen (homemade - we will see how it works)
Triple dry bag set up (attached with homemade straps)
12v plug
Highway pegs (homemade)

I think that is it....

Can't wait to leave and of course today is the one day this week it is raining and 50 degree's...oh well.

 photo IMG_1208_zpsuyltgc69.jpg

 photo IMG_1209_zpsutwkfytm.jpg
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:17 AM   #8
juno
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Very clean packing job sock monkey!

Sounds like a great ride!

Can you guys log mileage every day? I may have to break her up in pieces also and want to get a feel for time.
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:37 AM   #9
sockMNKYparade OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juno View Post
Very clean packing job sock monkey!

Sounds like a great ride!

Can you guys log mileage every day? I may have to break her up in pieces also and want to get a feel for time.

For sure we can. If we do not get to it on the trail we will do a breakdown when we get back by day. Including miles, stops and anything exciting that happened.
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:07 PM   #10
juno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sockMNKYparade View Post
For sure we can. If we do not get to it on the trail we will do a breakdown when we get back by day. Including miles, stops and anything exciting that happened.
Thanks!

you guys are going to have an adventure for sure!
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:10 PM   #11
sockMNKYparade OP
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We are here

Well we have arrived. Took about 5 hours with stops. Staying at the beautiful super 8 motel in Springdale AR.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:19 PM   #12
Danimo
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Beautiful?

I don't know what Super 8 you're staying in but it smells like an armpit...
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Old Today, 08:17 PM   #13
sockMNKYparade OP
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Wow

Wow today was amazing. We did 200 miles of dusty, fast gravel through Arkansas. We got into Beebe AR around 4:30 and started to look for a place to camp. Little did we know that RV parks in the area don't allow tent camping. So after trying to find stealth spots and Danimo getting stuck in some Jurrasic style mud/grass we were fortunate enough to to run into a local who suggested the Lake DesArc camp ground. It is amazing and a great place to stop. It is free and there is even a liquor store on the way! Which is a miracle in dry county USA (aka Arkansas). We should be in Tennessee tomorrow! This is an amazing adventure for sure.
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