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Old 04-03-2013, 02:14 PM   #1
His Pistolship OP
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Trans Eastern Trail - South (TET-S) on a Husky 610

Howdy All,

I thought I would get this started. The trip is done (March 8, 2013 - March 15, 2013), so I apologize that this won't be one of those "live" RR's.

I choose the TET-S for mainly three reasons: 1. to serve as a shake down run for this summers TET/PCQ/TOI trip, 2. to get out of the city and away from law school, and 3. to get into some warmer weather. 1 and 2 were accomplished, but 3 only marginally so. Florida's day temps barely reached the 70's, but morning and night temps were still hovering around freezing.

The TET-S is a 1600 mile loop around Georgia, but it also takes you through 4 other southern states; North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Alabama. The creators of the TET did a great job making sure you do as much dirt as possible, and what little pavement there was, it was bodacious mountain passes that made you wish you were on a sportbike. Seriously, the pavement sections in TET 4 were some of the most exhilarating roads I have ever been on, and they came close to being the most memorable part of the trip (the 100+ ft creek crossing was first, also on TET 4.)

The southern part of TET-S is almost all sand, about 500 miles worth, but it only gets deep in parts. I was still able to stay in top gear on these sections, keeping about 65 mph or so. I covered the most ground per day on these sections. I hadn't done much sand before this trip, but I learned quickly to just stay on the throttle, keep your arms limp, and steer with your butt. Every once in a while I had to twitch the handle bars to keep the front from washing out, especially on turns, but it wasn't hair-raising. Being on the Husky must have helped because I thoroughly enjoyed the sand days, even though I was on the streetable Pirelli Scorpion MT 90's. Surely some knobbies would have kept the front from washing out, but it wasn't a show stopper.

Also, the leaves hadn't come out yet as it has been a pretty cool spring.

Here are some pics before I start rambling:

South Carolina, just north of Augusta, GA. The misty look comes from smoke from prescribed burns. Wonderfull smells:



On one of those radically awesome mountain passes in Dillard, GA:



The 100+ foot creek crossing on the TET 4 section. It got pretty deep towards the end. Water was coming dangerously close to the airbox, and I was hard on the throttle and bouncing around everywhere on the rocks below. The road sort of doesn't come out unless you go around to the right of the clump of trees, so I had to gun it to get up out of the creek and on the bank. When I got to the other side I laughed, like I do when I escape danger after doing something stupid.



Here is another pic of the crossing:



Much of the sand roads looked like this (GA):



Alright, I got to head to class so I'll try to finish this later tonight.

Later.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:21 PM   #2
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Sweet!

Quote:
When I got to the other side I laughed, like I do when I escape danger after doing something stupid.
I know that feeling very well
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by HBN View Post
Sweet!


I know that feeling very well
Thanks Man.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:36 PM   #4
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looking forward to more, so another new bike? U gonna make LF in a few weeks...still won't achieve #3 in WV
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DCrider View Post
looking forward to more, so another new bike? U gonna make LF in a few weeks...still won't achieve #3 in WV
Yes I Plan on LF. Ha, yes, the LF RR's look cold...and wet. I could use some global warming about now.
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:22 PM   #6
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Great start; love that picture of the creek crossing!

Can't wait to see the rest. Good seeing you again this past weekend.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:06 PM   #7
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Hello again,

I'm going to post some overall thoughts on the trip before I do anymore pics. I know pics are the juiciest part, and there will be more, but I wanted to get out some useful info first.

Ok, here it goes.

How did the Husky do?

It did great. It didn’t have any trouble pulling me and all my gear. The only mechanical issue I had was a loose tail light connection, caused by the bumpy roads, that was easy enough to fix. The loose connection caused a short which blew my bulb, but it was easily fixed by visiting a local auto parts store.

I changed my oil about 700 miles in and it didn’t look too beat up. I was just running Mobil 1 10w-40 full synthetic stuff at first, then after the oil change I used Mobil 1 20w-50 full synthetic, because it was the only stuff I could find in the small town of Abbeville, AL.

When I started this trip the Husky only had 3000 miles on it. The suspension hadn’t even fully broke in. It was still a new bike pretty much. All I had done to it was the Power Up/Transistor Mod and an Uptite Racing muffler. These mods had the effect of increasing seat-of-the-pants horsepower by what seemed like 30%. Almost no one runs the EFI’ed 610’s in stock form because they are so choked up and lean. Before I did this mod I was having problems with the bike flaming out when I would chop the throttle. It happened four times while on the freeway, and multiple times while stopped at a stop light. After I did the Power Up Mod (makes the EFI default to a richer “race” setting) I didn’t have any flame out issues. My gas mileage dropped from 55 mpg to 43 mpg, but I didn’t care.

I installed a Seat Concepts seat and added an Airhawk too. My butt only got sore towards the end of the day, after I had already done 200 miles or so.
I installed the latest generation Pivot Pegs – wow! One of the best mods I have done to any of my bikes past and present. They save the feet when standing all day, and the pivoting motion even helps when sitting too. Why haven’t I done this sooner to my other bikes? I don’t know.

The stock Husky 610 headlight is a hazard, and it should properly be measured in candles rather than lumens, if you catch my drift. I only rode the bike at night twice when I first bought it (last October) with the stock headlight before upgrading to a Baja Designs Squadron LED unit. The Squadron puts out more lumens than a regular car does with its highbeams on, and it is not DOT approved. Baja Designs offers a dimmer switch but the two they sent me both failed. No worries though, as I just wedge some twigs in the rubber headlight harness which aims the headlight down when I’m on the street. People rarely flash their brights at me at night, but I think it is because they are bewildered by the sight of this thing, not because they can properly see. It is amazing how something the size of a playing card can put out sooooo much light. I did do some night riding during this trip and the light still let me stay in top gear on the dirt.

The stock tank on the Husky is 3.5 gallons, giving me about a 150 mile range. The longest I went without gas on this trip was 130 miles. On average the TET-S brings you near a gas station about every 70 to 130 miles, which is pretty good in my opinion. On my longest day I did 300 miles and filled up twice without issues. I’m glad I didn’t opt for the 5.5 gallon Safari tank because it would have been a lot of useless weight on the bike, especially in the sand section, which lasted for about 500 miles or so.

I also added a cigarette lighter to run my GPS and charge my phone. I used a Garmin Oregon 450 which did excellent. It only has a USB outlet for running without batteries. No worries though, as I just went to an auto parts store and got an adapter that would charge two USB devices off of a cigarette lighter. I spliced the lighter into a connector that fits a battery trickler so I could easily disconnect the cigarette lighter when I needed to. The previous owner of the Husky fitted at battery trickler device, which was nice for this setup.

Oh, my little cheapo plastic Ram Mount failed on the last day, which made me bypass about 80 miles of dirt. This was the $23 strap-on plastic balled Ram Mount, not the nice metal clamp version. Otherwise I do like the Ram Mount for the Garmin 450; I’ll just be sure to get metal version in the future. Pics to follow.

By the way, other RR’s have mentioned how nice it is to have a smart phone on a trip like this. I’ll second that. It helps with finding hotels and food and auto parts stores.

I also added Rox Rizers as I am sort of tall. Makes standing a breeze, even at high speeds.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:11 PM   #8
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Other Husky gremlins?

As far as the other Husky gremlins, I didn’t have any issues either. The rear sub frame didn’t crack even though I must have had over 35 lbs of gear hanging on there. But then again, the way the weight was situated, I don’t think most of it was hanging on the rear sub frame. Knowing this was a weakness of the Husky design was what helped me decide to use the Giant Loop Great Basin Saddle bag, as it seems to ride the bike where a passenger would ride, which is closer to the seat than the tail light. I even caught some air a couple of times with this set up and still had no cracking.

The battery tray didn’t crack either, even though I still had the stock battery. What is funny is that I ordered a Shorai for this trip but it showed up just yesterday after I had to do some calling to find out why I haven’t received it in over a month. The Shorai battery saves at least 3 lbs. Even still, I didn’t have issues with the battery tray cracking.

I didn’t have any issues with the clutch cable because I replaced it with a Motion-Pro well before the trip. I’ve had a clutch cable go out on a KLR in the past and that really sucked because I was sort of far from home. I wasn’t going to let this happen again. It was the first thing I replaced on this bike. The stock cable is still in good condition and is zip tied in place next to the Motion Pro.

I didn't have any internal clutch issues either. The chain and sprockets look great too, and they are still the original ones. I'm sort of a chain/spockets hawk though.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:14 PM   #9
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Luggage?

I used the Giant Loop Great Basin Saddlebag and the Giant Loop Fandango Tank bag. In general these bags did great; they kept the water off my gear and carried my stuff just fine. However, the Fandago tank bag was too big for my bike because it interfered with my standing position. I won’t be using it on my next trip, and nor do I think I’ll switch to the smaller Diablo Giant Loop offering. I think I’ll go with some Wolfman tank panniers instead, if at all (I’m not taking camping gear next time). The Husky’s tank fairing goes pretty far forward and I think some tank panniers would accommodate nicely.
Also, the Giant Loop zippers are tough to operate and they made my fingers raw by the end of the day. This started to get really annoying towards the end of the trip. I’ll keep the Giant Loop saddlebag because I think it fits the Husky nicely though.

Oh, I almost forgot that I used a Giant Loop handle bar bag. I really liked this as I could put my phone, cigarette lighter (which ran my gps and phone), chapstick, sunscreen, a candy bar, and whatever else I wanted in it. Great little piece of kit.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:17 PM   #10
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Did I camp?

No. But I spent so much money on lightweight and compact camping gear, and just totted it along the whole 1600 miles. Hotels averaged $40 per night. There were two nights I actually planned on camping but when I showed up to the campsite, there was no campsite. Granted I was using Google to find campsites and not using the ones supplied on the TET-S gpx files. Also, it was dipping below freezing on many of the nights, so after a long cold day of riding it was nice to have a warm bed to sleep in.

I won’t be taking camping gear on the TAT or anything else this summer. It just takes up too much space and weight. Hotels are cheap in rural areas. I’ve heard many other RR’s from the TAT and otherwise say the same thing - “don’t waste time, money, space, and weight with camping gear” and so on. But I thought I was going to be hardcore and camp. I think it is a better idea to bring more finances and do the hotel thing.

Also, I wish I would have brought more clothes. I did have a laundry day down in Florida, which was nice because I used the wait time to fix a tail light, but I realized that I like having clean underwear and socks when doing motorcycling, especially when it is cold. Fresh undies and socks keep you warmer on a cold day on the bike. I brought 3 changes of undies stufff, but I think for the TAT I’ll take 5 changes. Laundry takes time, and I am sort of a Miles/Day whore.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:24 PM   #11
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Lots of riding in northern GA looked like this:













Alright, got to head to Trusts and Estates class, where I will probably just continue with the RR.
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:02 PM   #12
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:52 PM   #13
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Looks like a blast! Thanks for the RR so far and the Husky review.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:57 PM   #14
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Anything negative to say?

I was surprised at how slow the miles came. I averaged about 200 miles per day even though I was on the bike solid. Granted, this was March and the sun was only up for a total of 11 or 12 hours a day, plus it was really cold in the mornings too, which meant I wasn’t on the bike real early. I had one 300 mile day, but this was also a day with the straightest roads.

What really slowed me down was the amount of stops and turns. Many of these dirt roads are actually county roads with residences on them. I feel like I would accelerate through the gears then mash the brakes for a stop sign, then accelerate hard again. Don’t get me wrong, the creators of the TET did a good job manipulating the dirt/forward-progress mix of this trail, but I wasn’t prepared for the amount of stops and turns and little pavement connectors to yet another one mile stretch of dirt.

Being from the West, I expect dirt roads to last for over 20 miles before making a turn onto another dirt road. During this trip, only a few sections down in Florida were thusly so, but most everything else was 3 miles of dirt here, 2 miles there, 2 miles of pavement, 1 mile of dirt, 2 miles of pavement, 5 miles of dirt, and so on…

The section that was the most maddening in this respect was TET 3. I think I averaged 50 miles every three hours on this section, and it wasn’t because the roads were technical, it was just that I was endlessly coming to a stop and turning. It made me long for western dirt roads.

Also, there are too many trees in the South, and in the East in general. Again, I grew up in Idaho and Arizona, so this skews my preferences. There were times on the TET-S that I felt like I was riding in circles. Even when I was in the tops of the mountains in GA, the leaveless trees were still so thick that I could barely see the adjacent mountain vistas. So, in otherwords, I was passing thorough 5 different states but the scenery was largely the same; trees and brush 10 feet to either side of me, and trees as far ahead as the next turn. The road surfaces did change, from sand to crushed granite, and the elevations changed a little bit too from Florida to Northern GA, but I was still surrounded by trees.

Out west, the scenery changes about every 10 seconds. There is a new angle on a mountain range or a canyon, or a copse of trees or some sagebrush. I can tell that I am getting somewhere out west. Plus there are sunsets out west. In Idaho there are times when I can see some mountains that I know it would take me two hours to reach in a car.

I knew I was going to be surrounded by trees on TET-S, but I didn’t know I was going to be surrounded by trees on TET-S. Almost every pic you will see of the trail on this RR, is surrounded by trees.


Here is a good example of the "too many trees" argument:




One of the residences on the many county roads on the trail:


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Old 04-04-2013, 05:10 PM   #15
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Here are the nice guys at the Farmers Mechanic Shop in Abbeville, AL. The guy on the right regularly participates in Hare Scrambles. He rides a KTM 300 EXC.






Here is one of the little local eatery joints in AL. Got lots of stares here.


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