DRZ400 chases a Husky FE501 across America: The TAT backwards

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ClutchDumpinDan, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. yellowrubicon

    yellowrubicon Dave

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    So.... what happened to the thong ??
  2. SplitLanesLikeMOSES

    SplitLanesLikeMOSES ....................

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    Great Job on everything guys!! Enjoyed it.
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  3. sweins

    sweins Adventurer

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    What a fantastic read. And I'm really digging the Husky. Came close to buying an FE570. Still on the hunt for something before April. Do you think the FE701 would of been just as good on this trip as your 501?
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  4. Downhill502

    Downhill502 Been here awhile

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    Bit of a different animal. Would definitely depend on what terrain you want to ride. Want a bigger, heavier bike to munch down the miles, go with the 690/701. If you like to try all the hard options, hidden creek crossings or just go off on a side trail that catches your eye? Go with the 500/501. I never wished for a bigger bike during the trip just maybe a bit more foam on my seat which is easy to fix. You can not make a 701 smaller or lighter.
    MXJEEPDOG and Dolly Sod like this.
  5. ClutchDumpinDan

    ClutchDumpinDan Go do

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    Fear not, I don't think we've seen the last of the adventure thong :evil
    MXJEEPDOG and yellowrubicon like this.
  6. ClutchDumpinDan

    ClutchDumpinDan Go do

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    Alrighty, post trip data dump...

    Door to door bike shipping with HaulBikes $625.00

    Plane flight $212.20

    Gas $389.35 @ 31 days that equals $12.56 per day

    Food $755.96 (eatin' good I was!) @ 31 days that equals $24.39 per day

    Lodging $493.62 @ 30 nights that equals $16.45 per day

    Sight seeing, souvenirs and stickers! $180.33 (I got some killer hats and stickers)

    Misc. cost: This is mostly stops at Walmart for oil change stuff, toiletries, Bob Ross T-shirts, and food. $366.78 (of that, $175.00 is for rear tires and $25 for a gas station phone charger after I thought I lost mine...found it in my pocket :fpalm)

    That's a grand total of $3,023.24 for the entire trip. Damn you $25 charger for putting me over 3k!


    Places to save money:


    That's easy, drinks. I like sweet tea, a lot. Figure 2 bottles a day at around $2.00 a bottle most places, is $120 just for freakin' tea! And water. I like my water cold, and from a bottle (yep, I'm one of those sissies). Probably spent another $120 easily on water, wouldn't surprise me if it was far more than that. Grabbing a gallon at Walmart/Grocery store when you can find one is a huge money saver. It's only 83¢ for a gallon at Walmart. Food, we hit restaurants/country kitchens whenever we were near one. Lots of Cliff bars and jerky for breakfast and a few Ramen noodle dinners but for the most part, we ate good...and plenty. Lunch at a restaurant was rare, almost never near one...except when we left at lunch time :lol3

    Another place to save, tires. I was on my third rear when I got home. Not knowing the terrain ahead or the lifespan of my rear tire (just recently switched to the MotoZ Desert H/T), I changed early. I could have easily run them longer and switched at the 3,000 mile mark halfway in and only used 2 rear tires. The front tire, a Pirelli Scorpion Rally, I ran for the entire 6,000 miles. And it's still got some life left but you gotta stay off the front brake on pavement. These front tires are awesome! It makes the Dunlop 606 I used to run feel like a street tire off road. I never once lost the front and crashed...should have a number of times. But the front will wash and then hook up asap once it passes whatever made it wash. Looking back, I did stupid shit here and there and that front tire really saved my ass...certainly wasn't skill :D. The TAT could easily be run on less aggressive tires that would last the entire trip. However, that would require riding in a more civil manor and where's the fun in that :flip

    Obviously, you need not buy souvenirs. You can just take home rocks...I did that too.
  7. Blossem12

    Blossem12 Adventurer

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    You Guys better start planning another trip soon because I need a good read to get me through a Working Day :thumbup
  8. ClutchDumpinDan

    ClutchDumpinDan Go do

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    Now for my favorite part. The gear!

    The weight includes the bag it's packed in and the gear is listed from left to right, top row to bottom row...

    Wolfman front fender bag: 3.6lbs and has 21" heavy duty tube, 3 motion pro tire spoons, stick on tube patches

    [​IMG]

    Wolfman small expedition tank bag: 2.3lbs and has the all important good luck travel token American flag, water bladder (will hold 2L and still fit), stickers!, quick access spork for lunch and self defense, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, mini vasoline, battery tender to USB adapter for backup charging, microfiber cloth, registration/insurance/$20 in emergency gas money so you can back track and find your wallet, a free pen that turned out helpful as most campgrounds don't have one at late check in.

    [​IMG]

    Left side Giant Loop tank pannier: 5.3lbs and has compressor/valve cores/valve caps, trail stand, axle wrench, quick steel, dielectric grease, masterlink, specialty tool to take carb out, multi screw driver with a vacuum cap to stop it from poking holes, necessary wrenches/sockets, electrical tape in plastic bag to keep stickiness at bay, are, zip ties, vice grips, fuses, towels, not pictured is a couple pairs of plastic gloves (I used them all)

    [​IMG]

    Right side Giant Loop tank Panner: 3.6lbs and has 18" heavy duty rear tube, baby powder, 2 spare spark plugs, locktite, tire pressure gauge, air filter, carb needles/parts, countershaft seal, clutch lever, 12v USB outlet (last one broke easily)

    [​IMG]

    Wolfman Ultralight Enduro Duffle: 19lbs and has extra set of cold/wet weather riding gear (heavy!) in a compression sack, lightweight rain jacket, lightweight pullover rain pants, cold/wet weather gloves, gloves someone gave me (thanks dude!), Nemo Salsa 30º down sleeping bag in compression sack, tent poles.

    [​IMG]


    Duffle part 2: Columbia zip off pants (best pants ever), Costco base layers (upper and lower, killer stuff for $9 each), cheap fleece (clothes usually rode in right saddlebag but ended up in duffle on last day), go pro battery charger (waste of space, i just charged battery in camera at night), jumper cables for li-on jump pack, fresh ear plugs, back up iPhone 4 phone charger, spare 12v to USB adapter, plug phone headphones in case my Sena died, extra straps/buckles, shoes (clipped to back of duffle), Gecko pod phone/gopro holder, peanut butter and usually jelly and tortillas.

    [​IMG]

    Wolfman Enduro Dry saddlebags (last model) Left side saddlebag: 10.5lbs and has Alps mountaineering Lnyx 2 man tent, rainfly, tent tie outs/clothes line/tent pegs, Big Agnes insulated Air Core Ultra sleeping pad, Alps mountaineering inflatable pillow, Tyvek welcome mat for tent (waste of space, dirt between your toes is fun), headlamp, pump sack to fill sleeping pad without passing out, patch kits.

    [​IMG]

    Right side saddlebag: 9.5lbs and has toiletries, tent patches, 3 pair quick dry undies (I took 2 and thought I lost a pair so I bought a third, then found the lost pair :fpalm), 2 pairs Costco merino wool socks, 2 pair calf length cheapo poly socks off Amazon, clear glasses for when goggles aren't needed, short sleeve quick dry shirt, long sleeve quick dry shirt (keeps bugs off and arms warm if they dangle out of sleeping bag), li-on jump pack/charger, charger for said pack, saw, beanie (works well to block morning sun), hot hands and toe warmers, go pro (seldom used), bug net for head (never used, should have used to net some fish), stove and pot. Not pictured, camp towel, it was hiding in the bag.

    [​IMG]

    In my pockets: iPhone 4 for backup GPS, $3.87 multi-tool from Walmart (spoiler alert, you can't fly with a Leatherman), sunscreen, multi charger thing made by the gods, $25 gas station phone charger :nah, extra ear plugs

    [​IMG]


    Total weight of everything on the bike: 53.8lbs plus my water bottle (2lbs empty I think). That doesn't include food (carried it in tank bag) or water carried as it always changes.

    I weighed the luggage separate after emptying it, that's 9.8lbs of it!


    What I wore:

    I like cheap gear because...I'm cheap. So cheap in fact, I once owned a KLR.


    • AFX 39 helmet, no complaints for the $75 I paid for it brand new
    • Sena SMH10, priceless
    • Cheapest Fox goggles you can get, did fine, I've never had fancy goggles so don't know any better
    • Leatt 3DF airfit upper body protector. Like! Easy on/off, can't tell I'm wearing it, dries quick after washing and somehow doesn't get really smelly? My previous armor was a Forcefield Adventure harness, super protective but a hassle to get on/off.
    • Cheap MSR jersey, it's a glorified shirt, whats to say?
    • Klim Mojave ITB pants. I resisted KLIM stuff for along time. These are really nice pants though, I see where the money goes. I've run them hard long before taking this trip and they still look like new. ITB is the only way to go for dirt riding in my opinion.
    • D30 hip armor I added to the pants
    • Alpinestars Vapor knee guards. Strap on type I can wear with whatever pants. They've taken some hits and saved me pain. What they won't stop however, is over extending your knee. I learned this earlier this year and walked funny for a couple days.
    • Forma Terrain TX Boots. Picked them up for $168 new on Ebay after a tip from @michdave I am super happy with them, I'd be happy if I'd paid $300 for them. Thanks again Dave!
    • Cold/wet weather jacket is a Firstgear Kilimanjaro, it was waterproof for a good while after buying it. It leaks on the inside of the elbows now. No big deal with that light pullover jacket when really raining.
    • Cold/wet weather pants are Firstgear H/T overpants. I've beat the crap outta these for a few years, still going strong but no longer waterproof. The butt soaks through instantly on a wet seat. No big deal with the lightweight pullover rain pants.
    • Mesh gloves are Cortech HDX 2, I splurged $37 for a new pair for this trip. My last pair is 5 years and 15,000+ miles old and staring to show some wear.
    • Cold/wet weather gloves are a pair of Firstgear something-or-others. Insulated top and leather bottom for heated grips. They're super waterproof for now, only about 6 months old. Bought them cheap, no complaints.


    Stuff I sent home:

    • Camp chair. Most days you need a shower, campgrounds have picnic tables. No table to sit on? Go to sleep, it's late anyways.
    • A pair of cotton riding socks. Cotton makes for a poor adventure sock.
    • Quick dry t-shirt. Need 2, not 3, could get away with 1 easily.
    • Water bottles in my bottle holsters. I washed them and the cap gaskets picked up a soapy smell/taste I couldn't get rid of. Just put regular bottles in the holsters after that. And trash, they make good quick trash holders.
    • A bunch of hats, shirts, stickers and rocks I picked up along the way.

    Stuff that broke or sucked:

    • Not having my Leatherman. It was too late to ship it by the time I realized I couldn't fly with it. Walmart multi tool and gas station nail clippers just weren't the same. You ever opened a can without a can opener? :baldy
    • My Wolfman Duffle got a couple small holes rubbed in the bottom really quickly. It's the ultralight material so I can see how. I put a towel between the duffle and rack and that solved it. Haven't contacted Wolfman yet, curious what they'll say.
    • My luggage rack sucked even though it made it. No subframe on an E model DRZ so my luggage rack uses the seat bolt tabs (small and aluminum) and one little support to the muffler bracket (also small and aluminum). It got floppy about mid trip, I assumed it broke the seat mount tabs but didn't wanna look. Checked it when I got home, yep, broke the threaded inserts out. Glad we were done jumping sandy whoops in the desert at highway speed at that point :augie
    • Arkansas, the state, it sucked.

    Stuff that kicked ass:

    • The people we met.
    • Costco merino wool socks. $15 for a pack of 4. Don't get stinky for a few days and keep your feet warm even when wet. I just bought another pack yesterday.
    • TCK poly socks off Amazon. Cheap for calf socks and still look nearly new after 6,000 miles and many sink washings. Dry quickly too.
    • My Li-on jump pack/charger. It'll charge all my electronics twice and then I put it in the tank bag to charge off my bike while riding. And it jump started Daves bike...a couple times...so I didn't have to leave him behind and ride home alone.
    • Sena, that's a given. I'm not riding all day without some tunes.
    • The Zed. It never failed to start right up, never hiccuped once. I never even had a passing thought it would give me any trouble. Every single morning, all I wanted to do was pack up so I could get on it and ride. I love that little bugger.

    I think that answers all the questions posted? :ear
  9. ClutchDumpinDan

    ClutchDumpinDan Go do

    Joined:
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    Knew I missed a few.

    DRZ was killer. Everything you could want in a bike for this trip, except being able to hit 100. I like the pumper carb even more after this experience, won't run a CV on anything ever again.

    Wish I had the 990 a few times on some more open stretches, but was glad to have the DRZ more often. I think the 990 would do 90% of the trip without any trouble. The sand in NV and OR would be the only part I'd fear as I've never ridden a big bike in the sand.

    Only trip prep the bike got was to be re-jetted and add the adjustable fuel screw. I put on an electric fan as well, but wanted that since I got it.

    During the trip, I changed the oil at 1,500 miles. Oil and filter at 3,000 miles. Oil again at 4,500 miles. And it's ready for an oil and filter change now that it's home at 6,000 miles.

    First rear tire went on at 2,000 miles in, had tread left but we were getting ready to hit "the rough stuff" and I wanted all the help I could get. Wish I'd ran it a few miles further, it would have been fine and I could have avoided a second rear tire replacement. The second rear tire went on around 4,800 miles in.

    I had no flats but Dave used the 18" tube I had, so glad I had it.

    Replacement parts? Nope, it's a DRZ :lol2. I took a spare clutch lever and counter shaft seal. I've heard too many stories of loose counter shaft sprockets killing counter shaft seals. Didn't need it though. Countershaft sprocket never loosened, which surprised me.

    I've got a fair amount of practice with my luggage setup so I'm pretty pleased with it. Tossed in the washer and it looks new aside from a few cactus scratches. Tank panniers gotta mount with zipties to get them just right so they don't hit my knees, pain in the ass to take off/on because of that. I rubbed a hole in my duffle, see above post. I need to get a better luggage rack, an S subframe or keep at least one wheel in contact with the ground.

    Can't think of anything I'd change...except the route through Arkansas :dhorse
  10. sweins

    sweins Adventurer

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    Fantastic post. That should give any rider a great idea as to what to plan to take and what worked/didn't work. Can't wait till my trip to Moab.
    ClutchDumpinDan likes this.
  11. Ludicrous Speed

    Ludicrous Speed Been here awhile

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    I loved reading through your adventures, very well written. Probably my favorite thing was the AAR. I'm a noob to bike riding, but i already know that i want to buy a smaller dual sport and do the TAT at some point. Your report on what you took, what worked, what didn't and changes you would make/made during the course of the ride are invaluable insight into how to prepare.

    Awesome job!
  12. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    Awesome------was grinning all the way.
    Glad you stopped at the TAT shak----------I see Sam Correro a lot and I always ask him if he knew about the TAT SHAK. He's never been there and it's been there for years. I've always tried to get him to put waypoints on his tracks he sells for neat places--------he won't do it.
    In fact Sam has never ridden the entire TAT or ever camped off his bike.
    He's always done little pieces of it here and there---------tried to get him to buy camping gear-------and realized it ain't gonna happen.
    Road with him and his son Phillip in Utah just a couple months ago-------Sam has lost his mojo riding ----I guess I will to someday. It sure appears to me his son Phillip is going to carry on the legend. He took me on a hell of a ride out of the 3 Step Hideaway this year. I didn't think he could take me anywhere out there that I hadn't been----------I was wrong.
    Thanks so much !!!
    BigDog
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  13. ClutchDumpinDan

    ClutchDumpinDan Go do

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    The 3 step is where they were base camped when I went through. Like you mentioned, Philip was out showing a couple riders around and Sam seemed content hanging out at the ranch. I spent a fair amount of time adding sights/side routes to the TAT track before leaving. It goes right by a TON of cool stuff, wish they'd at least drop a pin on a few of them. When we got to TN we learned that we had passed within a few miles of the Capulin Volcano, wish we'd known about it.

    Capulin Volcano: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capulin_Volcano_National_Monument

    I understand it's just suppose to be an off road/back road route across the country. But to ride across the country without SEEING it, in my opinion, is kinda dumb. But I suppose finding the stuff yourself is all part of the adventure.
    SmilinJoe, MXJEEPDOG, BLucare and 3 others like this.
  14. chudzikb

    chudzikb Been here awhile

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    That's the kind of talk that gets one into a whole lot of work! A guide as it were, to sights on and or near the TAT. Sounds like something that needs to be done. And I might add a most excellent idea.
  15. BLucare

    BLucare Ambitious, but rubbish

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    What was the make/model of the charger?
  16. WaywardSon

    WaywardSon Long timer

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    Somewhere East of Omaha....
    Just a hell of a ride report! Well written and a great style...thanks for taking the time.
    ClutchDumpinDan likes this.
  17. ClutchDumpinDan

    ClutchDumpinDan Go do

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    I've got waypoints and tracks to/from the TAT track to every place we went. Did it all before we left. Anybody wants it just let me know. :thumb

    Would be neat to see others add to it as well.
    SmilinJoe and Dolly Sod like this.
  18. ClutchDumpinDan

    ClutchDumpinDan Go do

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    This one: https://www.costco.com/Lithium-Jump-Starter-And-Portable-Power-Bank-.product.100312116.html

    I picked mine up brand new on eBay for $45


    Thanks! Glad ya liked it and I'm glad we took the time to do it. I've already re-read it once :shog It was like doing the trip all over again.
  19. DrHeinrich

    DrHeinrich Adventurer

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    This RR was for sure the super best. And thanks for the gear evaluation after. Simple and right.
    dedave likes this.
  20. hennikerjd

    hennikerjd I am Jack's wasted life

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    Awesome report, really enjoyed it!

    Question on the husky - how was the vibration? I've got a 2017 fe501 and it's pretty buzzy, much more than my drz.