Going for Broke: TAT 2011

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by simonpig, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,227
    Location:
    NYC
    SADDLEBAGS: Wolfman Enduro E-10 Saddlebags (9 liter capacity each)
    These bags are nice and compact. If you can't fit what you need into then, then rethink what you are packing

    LEFT side bag (when seated on bike)

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    (Following in 8 liter waterproof BLUE compression sack)
    - 1 long sleeve safari button up shirt
    - 1 long sleeve ems crew
    - 1 camping pant (zips off to shorts)
    - 1 North Face Hoody (used alot)
    - 1 swim trunk
    - loose plastic bag for separating dirty clothes

    - MSR 1 liter fuel bottle
    - Left shoe (not shown, but was a New Balance MT101 — a really lightweight shoe)


    RIGHT side bag (when seated on bike)

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    (Following in 8 liter waterproof GREY compression sack)
    - 3 Ex Officio Moisture wicking underwear (1 worn on body… in retrospect, could use 1-2 more)
    - 1 Patagonia capeline 1 long underwear
    - 2 moisture wicking t shirts (1 worn on body)
    - 4 pairs of standard EMS moisture wicking socks (1 worn on body)
    - flip flops in plastic bag
    - loose plastic bag for separating dirty clothes

    - MSR 1 Liter fuel bottle
    - Right shoe (not shown, but was a New Balance MT101 -- a really lightweight shoe)
  2. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,227
    Location:
    NYC
    TAIL: Wolfman Duffle
    This is where I keep heavy stuff and tools

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    - Acer Aspire in Neoprene zip in 13 liter waterproof stuff sack
    - Jetboil

    Tools (In Black Cordura Bag)
    - Aluminum Trailstand
    - Motionpro T6 22mm Tire Iron
    - Motionpro T6 27mm Tire Iron
    - Motionpro Steel Tire Iron
    - 15 mm mini combo wrench
    - Hex ball/Standard magnetic allen wrenchs (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 mm)
    - Combo Phillips/Flathead screwdriver
    - 15 12" Zipties
    - (4) M6 bolt/washer/nut
    - (4) M8 bolt/washer/nut
    - rag
    - Aerostich mini compressor
    - Tire pressure gauge, Nail clippers, both on a key ring

    Tools part 2 (In Army Cordura Bag)
    - Spare HID bulb
    - rag
    - Slime plug kit
    - Motionpro T6 Chain Tool (breaker and press tool)
    - 3 masterlinks (O ring type)
    - T handle with 6, 8 , 10, 12, 14 mm hex bits
    - Rescue Tape
    - Leatherman Juice multitool
    - 10mm combo wrench
    - 12mm combo wrench
    - (14mm wrench… shoulda brought one, but was able to use 15mm with the masterlink clip as a shim to turn a 14mm nut)

    Electronic stuff (In silver bag)
    - SAE to 12v cigarette plug
    - Acer plug
    - EZPass
    - mini 12v power invertor (110v outlet + USB charging outlet)

    Green Cordura Bag
    - Toothpaste
    - Dr Bronners Bio degradeable soap
    - Floss
    - Tube of toothpaste
    - razor
    - Toothbrush
    - Spork
  3. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,227
    Location:
    NYC
    TAIL: Sea to Summit Compression Sack (20 liter, I think)

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    - Big Agnes Fly Creek 1 man tent (tent footprint, stakes, and poles in stuff sack)
    - Thermarest inflatable sleeping pad (half size)
    - MSR camp towel
    - Vaude ultralight 200 sleeping bag
    - 12 packs of Mountain house foods
    - 2 collapsible Platypus bottles (collapsed when packed for the eastern TAT)
    - Jet boil extra fuel canister
  4. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,227
    Location:
    NYC
    Camelbak

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    - Purell
    - AA Batteries
    - AAA Batteries
    - Petzl Headlamp (mas importante)
    - Scissors, and tape (was for roll chart… didn't use the tape, but scissor came in handy)
    - Spare Keys (important, locked myself out of my friends apartment one day and was able to bust out the spare keys to continue my day)
  5. SR1

    SR1 Back in S. Korea

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,542
    Location:
    Seoul Survivor

    Thank you.
  6. oldtrucks

    oldtrucks Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    NorCal
    Quote:
    <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody><tr> <td class="dg-bbcode dg-bbcode-quote"> Originally Posted by simonpig [​IMG]
    Nevada is epic
    </td> </tr> </tbody></table>



    Shhhhh.......nobody else needs to know!
  7. rpet

    rpet Awesometown

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    820
    Location:
    Brooklyn, California
    Thanks for the great report and the gear rundown afterwards.

    Would love your thoughts (including criticisms) of the WRR for this trip. Looks like you got through with minimal mechanicals, but am interested in comments on handling, power, overall suitability of the machine, etc.
  8. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,227
    Location:
    NYC
    Handling: Fantastic (keep it light).

    Power: OK, for me. I'm not heavy, and my gear isn't heavy. In the mountians and the high desert, you can feel the power drop, for sure going uphill. Just ride it a gear lower than you normally would in these situation to compensate for power loss.

    For me, this bike is fantastic for a trip like this. Its fuel efficient, civil, quiet, powerful relative to its class. Maintenance is a walk in the park.

    The word that I alway use to describe the WRR is CIVIL and OBEDIENT. It doesn't ever annoy you with it vibrations, its exhaust note (very nice sound even with the stock exhast), its power delivery. It's obedient in that if you wanted to ride it more aggressively, it'll alllow you to do that. Treat it like a 2 stroke and ride it higher in the powerband.

    Like a 2 stroke, you'll be shifting it alot more than a big thumper but that just makes you a better rider. Once you get use to it, your wrist muscles will be ripped and then its ok.

    I used to have a KTM 690 enduro and that bike would've been fun on the TAT. Tapped out on that bike in the forest highways of the Ozark or the straightaways in Oklahoma would've been fun, and maybe a bit scary since the front end on that bike is twitchy (before steering damper) than the WRR, but that's a risk I'm not willing to take being on my own. I'm sure that bike would make it as well. And the 525 chain on the 690 would probably last longer than the 520 on the WRR (I did around 11.5K, to and fro). I remember my KTM 990 having 14,000 miles on it's chain before I totaled it.

  9. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,227
    Location:
    NYC
    10/3 – 10/15
    THE RETURN

    The intended return trip to NY was a swift efficient ride back on the interstates or at least highways that ran parallel to it. Las Vegas was to be the next destination that I was curious to experience, even if for an evening. Many a friends had gone and really enjoyed it, and so I had to go and see for myself.

    In the spirit of swift and efficient, I present an expedient retelling of the return.

    On the way there going on the highway going through the desert, I stopped by the Dumont Dunes OHV park. Never seen Sahara type dunes before. Very cool. Would love to come back at somepoint and enjoy more of it.

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    Feasting my eyes on those delicious dunes

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    Explored some of Sperry Wash at the Dumont Dunes

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    Back on the highway as there were threatening storms on the horizon. That and I didn't feel like exerting energy on flats or off road mishaps.

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    The distant glow beckons from over the hills and as I get closer, the city lights peek through the mountains eventually bathing the entire horizon with glittering gold.

    Las Vegas is a very impressive city to ride into in the dark of night. The whole experience is very futuristic.

    It was storming most of the evening, so I just took a ride up and down the strip in the rain got some food and went to bed. It's my regret to inform everyone here that in this instance, I didn't use my WRR as colateral for a wager at the tables.

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    Next morning… Visually disappointing, I like Vegas at night, better.

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    Posh.

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    Back in NY… Pysche!!!

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    2 rainbows are better than one. Most of the day's ride from Vegas into New Mexico was stormy.

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    A fearsome western sunset.

    http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb361/simonpig/2011%20Transamerica%20Trail/P1020423.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo P1020356.jpg"/></a>
    From Las Vegas to Socorro, NM on HWY 60, I stop at a gas station in the town of Magdelana and discover the chain on the bike is stretch beyond adjustment. A local, Ron, who owned a tire shop down the road was gracious enough to help out. His shop was down the road just off the highway on a dirt road. Being a solo adventurer and in the dark of night, it sounded a little dodgy, so I turned on my Spot Messenger... Juuussst in case.

    We discover the masterlink clip had fallen off at some point. Maybe earlier on, but the side plate was intact due to the pin welding itself to the plate.

    [img]http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb361/simonpig/2011%20Transamerica%20Trail/P1020432.jpg

    After some grinding and cutting we take off 2 links and I am back on the road. I thank Ron and give him some dough for his efforts.

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    I make it to Socorro and stay the night. Grab some food and off to bed.

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    In the morning I head to Albuquerque to R&S Yamaha. Sure enough, no parts in stock so I order a chain, sprockets from Rockymountain ATV and have it overnighted to the shop. The next morning the parts arrive and after a little over an hour, I have my bike back. For the amount of work that I know it requires for a job of this type, they charged a kings ransom.

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    Some good reference

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    Back on the road on highway 66 / I-40 mostly

    http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb361/simonpig/2011%20Transamerica%20Trail/P1020457.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo P1020356.jpg"/></a>

    [img]http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb361/simonpig/2011%20Transamerica%20Trail/P1020459.jpg

    From New Mexico to Western Arkansas, I was bombarded with rain on and off for 3 days. The riding was cold and wet, and I was happy when there was a lull

    The Klim suit did its job, mostly. I put on my balaclava to soften the sting of the rain hitting the exposed skin on my face.

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    100 miles west of Memphis Tennessee and my chain breaks off. Thankfully this was right after a lunch stop and I decided to take a smaller road. I had 2 spare masterlinks in my toolkit and was able to continue on. Paranoia ensues the next 140 miles but measuredly, I made it to my parent's home.

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    After a couple of days in Mississippi wrenching on the bike and purchasing more masterlinks, I continue onto I40 heading west towards Nashville. The intention was to stop in Nashville to see my friend Casey and have dinner and drinks. As the sun was setting, I had gained more confidence in picking up the speed and was doing 70mph when all of a sudden, the revs climbed to the moon and I loose power. I know immediately what has happened and let the bike roll to shoulder. Luckily, it is at an exit and I can see a Holiday Inn sign close by. I walk back in hopes of finding the chain. After walking back a quarter mile, it was dark and so I push my bike up the exit ramp and into the Dickson Inn and Suites.

    In the morning, I walked the interstate again in hopes of finding the chain, but to no avail. It had disappear into thin air. Strange.

    This is where I broke down the night before

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    Maybe my chain was flung off into the the median

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    Or did it fly off to the other side of the road?

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    I would stay in Dickson for 2 nights laying in wait for mail order parts to arrive from nearby Southhaven MS vendor, Motosport.com. Friday morning and I answer the phone. The front desk tells me my parts have arrived. Swiftly, I go down to collect the box and spend the next couple of hours wrenching. The hotel was kind enough to let me stay beyond the 11 checkout time. Upon closer inspection, it looked like some teeth on the rear sprocket was bent and that was forcing side pressure to the plate and pin causing the chain to break apart. A brand new 49 tooth rear sprocket should remedy that.

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    Taking joy in the fact that I was now back on the road, I head over in hopes of at least having lunch with Casey. I had burned too much time and was now antsy to turn the jets on in getting back home. I was only able to stop in to slap high fives before leaving.

    Casey throws a leg over.

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    From Nashville, I make it 40 miles past Knoxville. All the hotels close by were booked so I had to go farther past the city due to the Tennessee Vols football game to take place the day after. I think they were playing Virginia Tech.

    The next morning was crispy and fall like, and I get back on the interstate. My destination was to see a friend in Maryland.

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    Decided to take the Blue Ridge Parkway for about 30 miles before minding the time and heading back on to the Interstate.

    http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb361/simonpig/2011%20Transamerica%20Trail/P1020497.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo P1020356.jpg"/></a>

    The blue ridge parkway is absolutely gorgeous in the fall. I can't speak for how it looks in other seasons, but in the fall, I couldn't help but think of pumpkin pies and thanksgiving as I meandered through that glorious stretch of road admiring the toasted golds and buttery browns of the turning leaves.

    [img]http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb361/simonpig/2011%20Transamerica%20Trail/P1020498.jpg

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    Made it to my friends house at around 8:30.

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    In the morning, we all decide to go to Frederick, MD to a trendy cafe downtown.

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    After posting this picture in front of Cafe Nola in Frederick, MD to my Facebook account, my old roommate from the college days commented, "Everyone loves Fredneck." Very cynical, but funny never the less.

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    On the occasion of my arrival to their happy home, my friend's little girl drew this storyboard depicting the events that took place the evening before.

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    Delicious omelette

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    Happy family

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    After lunch, I take off and around 9:30 I make it back to NY.

    The End.
  10. Baja Ho

    Baja Ho Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    803
    Location:
    Central Coast, CA. USA & Cabo San Lucas, Baja Sur
    Great solo report. :clap:clap:clap Thanks for all your hard work in posting.
  11. Roam

    Roam If you want to

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,092
    Location:
    NoVA
    Wow, My buddy who I did the TAT with in 2010 just sent me a link to this. I dumped my WR250R/X in the same place but locked up the front and crashed before I went through the gate. My head stopped just a few inches away from the rock/post thing. They gate was completely unmarked and I didn't realize it was a gate until I was half way down the hill. We ended up tying some brightly colored paper ribbons around it but I'm sure they were gone by the time you went through.

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    The caption on my webpage is "An unmarked barbed wire fence that tried to take me out"
  12. Johnny55

    Johnny55 Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    401
    Location:
    Right Here, Right Now
    Am I mistaken or is there no fence attached to the other side of that gate post?! I see a gate but no reason for it since there is no fence!!!



    Also, what happened to your right side hand gaurd? It is not on the bike in the above picture:lol3
  13. GaryHarris

    GaryHarris I bent my Flounder

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    192
    Location:
    H-Town Texas
    I'm up to page 21. :clap
  14. SR1

    SR1 Back in S. Korea

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,542
    Location:
    Seoul Survivor
    Thank you very much for the ride report. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and learned a lot. As you know, I'm preparing for my own TAT assault next year, and your RR was invaluable.
  15. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    850
    Location:
    Oregon
    You have the gift of adv mojo simonpig. Really enjoyed your quality report.

    Now about those pickles, no retailers in the NW? :ear
  16. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,227
    Location:
    NYC
    Yeah, doesn't look like it really needs to be there. They should put a sign next to it that says, "Over _____ (number of riders) served". I'm sure it must be alot.

  17. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,227
    Location:
    NYC
    Got a message from Bill, the gentleman with the fabulous Ford hot rod I met in Union Creek, Oregon. I think I would've passed out and fallen off the bridge if I was up there.

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    "WOW, looks you had one helluva trip.
    We just got back home a couple of weeks ago, after about 4500 miles of Nor Cal and Oregon backroads, thanks to pashnit.com.

    I got the private tour of the Golden Gate Bridge, thanks to a Harley rider we met on the trip, who is a painter on the bridge." &#8212; Bill
  18. leftystrat62

    leftystrat62 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,000
    Location:
    Little Rhody
    Bump for those who haven't read one of the better TAT ride reports out there.
  19. Rutsref

    Rutsref Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    California
    Funniest statement yet!!:lol3

    "The TAT is defarkling my bike. To date I've lost my zeta heel guard, a rear zeta disk guard and both my handguards. Lost the left one on this spill."
  20. rudyunknown

    rudyunknown Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    726
    Location:
    Phoenixville
    yeah dude where the heck r u....after TAT never heard back from u....hope to see u arnd at rides here in NE, r u doing the PB300??