It's been 5 long years , I made it to the end finally - a TAT tale

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by f650gsa, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    531
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    lake county , illinois
    First of all pardon my English and my grammar skills but I will do my best in telling this Trans American Trail tale as perfect as I can . I will screw up for sure but I hope all the pictures that I am posting will please you .
    It all started five years ago in 2008 when I first heard of TAT and from that moment I knew I had to do it . Took me five long years to finally see the Pacific Ocean but it was well worth the time !

    The year of 2008

    Back in 2008 I had very few off-road skills and with a stock 2002 BMW F650GS I decided to join two fellow riders from Alabama on their TAT quest - full ride report from them can be found at http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=374366 . The whole idea was great but I have to admit I wasn't ready for it . As it turned out , TAT was much more difficult than expected and I paid for it . With poorly off-road skills and a mediocre bike set up, I crashed multiple times . Luckily still in one piece , less the bike that suffered extensively- broken and bent subframe , bags , fairing etc etc . I had a full ride report done on f650.com with tons of pics but unfortunately with the new upgrade on the forum all pics are gone less the writing http://f650.com/forum/showthread.php?13698-Summer-2008-TransAmericanTrail-and-some-more
    Here are few pics from that trip that it started in Trinidad CO and ended in Baker NV .

    My first crash of the trip happened somewhere in between Salida and Lake City . While going down the mountain I got too much speed and couldn't stop in time at a sharp turn . Bike went down hard on some rocks and the whole headlight housing with handlebars were severely bent . Striped it and fix it on the spot with the help of a Nature Vice - a hole in a dead tree .

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    first attempt to straighten the handlebars

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    second attempt and success !

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    Second crash of the trip happened on Cinnamon Pass that caused the Moto-Sport racks to break badly . Bailed on the best part of the trip and returned to Lake City for some welding then meet the riders in Monticello UT .


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    On the way to Moab UT - Manti La Sal National Forest - Geyser Pass

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    This sandy hill got me and I had to bail again so I went to Arches National Park then to Green River UT where I joined the group .

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    The Black Dragon and Eagle Canyons - not easy at all but made it trough ! Dropped it at lest 10 times and went trough one gallon of water .

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    Jerry having a little fun on his 525 !

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    Just one picture of the ATV trail that runs from Richfield to Kanosh UT . I was so frustrated with it and had the pleasure to drop the bike at least twenty times . The worse was the down hill where the bike acted just like a sled . This section just sucked just as it sucked again in 2012 !

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    On the way to Baker NV where I had another major crash on a sand pocket . I was doing at least 30 miles/hour just few miles outside Baker where suddenly I got surprised by a sand pit . No time to react and I went airborne along with the bike . If I remember well I had sand even in my underwear ! After this crash I decided to return home with high hopes of returning a different year . I wasn't very pleased with my performance but I learned a lot from it that proved to be very helpful for my future trips . Not the least I have to say Thank You ! - Jerry and Brent - for teaching me some tricks and having the patience waiting for me .

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    Farewell Jerry( left) and Brent ( right ) . Thank You !

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    On my return home I took a detour to Grand Canyon and Four Corners to sweeten a little my disappointment !

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    #1
  2. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    531
    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    The Year of 2009

    Not really part of TAT but still a great riding year . Instead of riding TAT, I went on a two up trip on my 2003 Dakar along with my GF and my buddy Cat ( kion -advrider screen name ) . Total of sixteen days trough Badlands , Black Hills , Big Horn ,Yellowstone , Arches , Canyonlands , Bryce Canyon , Capitol Reef , Zion ,Grand Canyon , Mesa Verde , Pikes Peak and Rocky Mountains National Parks .


    to be continued .....
    #2
  3. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
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    :clap
    #3
  4. fastredbike

    fastredbike out riding

    Joined:
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    542
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    Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
    :lurk
    #4
  5. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    531
    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    The Year of 2009

    Not really part of TAT but still a great riding year . Instead of riding TAT, I went on a two up trip on my 2003 Dakar along with my GF and my buddy Cat ( kion -advrider screen name ) . Total of sixteen days trough Badlands , Black Hills , Big Horn ,Yellowstone , Arches , Canyonlands , Bryce Canyon , Capitol Reef , Zion ,Grand Canyon , Mesa Verde , Pikes Peak and Rocky Mountains National Parks . Just few pics from it to share with you guys !

    Badlands and our friend GOAT !

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    Mount Rushmore .

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    Devils Tower

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    Big Horn .

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    Yellowstone .


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    Tetons

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    Somewhere in Utah


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    Arches NP

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    Canyonlands NP

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    Bryce NP

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    Monument Valley .

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    Mesa Verde NP

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    Pikes Peak

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    Rocky Mountains NP

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    #5
  6. houndawgg

    houndawgg Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
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    New Jersey, USA
    Great pic's bro'. Hope all went smoother than last years tire problem in Salida. I had to pass my trip this month due to a healing broken wrist. The wrist is doing great, but my missed trip is killing me. Good riding.
    #6
  7. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Not really ! Still had flats and crashed few times . Stay tuned and you will find out a whole lot more about it . Thanks and it's never too late for another trip !

    #7
  8. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
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    This has been the year when I had the GS converted into a Dakar and to fully tested the ability's of the new suspension I went on Continental Divide Trail and some parts of TAT on a solo ride . I will add just a few pics to this report but a full story can be found at http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=618648

    Great Sand Basin - WY

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    Colorado wipe-out


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    Alpine Loop - radiator smashed

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    Moab

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    Colorado -shortcut

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    Baxter Pass


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    Dinosaur National Monument CO

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    #8
  9. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    The year of 2011

    This has been the year when we did the Eastern part of TAT , all the way to Ophir Pass in Colorado . Same bike but with the WP suspension kit from Touratech . More details about it at http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=729563

    Tennessee

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    Oklahoma


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    Mississippi

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    New Mexico


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    Colorado



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    #9
  10. Mudclod

    Mudclod Mojo Moto

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    Great images, man, loving them all!
    #10
  11. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
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    Thank You and will be more to come as I am working on 2012 RR .

    #11
  12. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    The Year of 2012

    I think I have bored you enough with my previous rides and all the confusing links that will get you in many places , so it's time for the real deal .
    To make sure that we and the bikes are prepared for the challenge we did a little four day ride trough Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail . Nothing to extreme and I have done it way too many times . But I would not underestimate it as challenges always pop up . The worse part of it was my front tire that wore out faster than expected as you will see later on .

    Self Portrait - Catalin . Look how handsome I am !

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    Taking a little brake !

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    Corn Fields !

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    One Horse Power ! Amish Country .


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    My little friend from Oregon WI .


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    This part of the trail has been closed recently and I went around it . Haven't seen any posted signs but I think is not worth the trouble .


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    Sand and it's time for some play ! No expert in it but I am getting better at it .


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    Kion in action !


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    This could have been disastrous , a good 50' of loose wire on the gravel . Went over it at 50 miles and hour with no time to react and it looked to be part of the electrical fence that the farmers is using . Coiled it and strapped it on some dude fence . Lucky !!!


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    Almost ran over it !


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    There is a lot of this and I love it !


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    This FLY was incredible or maybe my hands were too sugary from the berry that I've been picking up . Will not move and I even pet it on the back .


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    And more of this !


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    Made it to Lake Superior . Kion is taking a smoke brake .


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    By now my front tire is wearing out at incredible pace and there are no dealers open or none have any tires for sale . I am still 700 miles away from home and increasingly worried about it . Called home for a replacement one and the Emergency Crew ( my GF) is ready to drive up with a spare tire . Then a brilliant idea struck my brain - look on the back side of any motorcycle dealer where they trash their used tires . Done deal and behind an Arctic Cat dealership found the Holy Grail ! Lucky again , except the fact that in the process of replacing the tire I pinched the tube .

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    #12
  13. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
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    Nice counterbalance !
    #13
  14. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    It got the job done ! Since I have got the Touratech conversion I've been having some trouble with the balance . The worse is having the bike on the centerstand -too short . I've been using two hokey pucks when I travel in case I have to work on it . Nothing but pure fun !


    #14
  15. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    Day 1 . http://www.salidacabins.com/

    I think the older I get the wiser I am , at least that's what I am hoping . The plan was to trailer the bikes to Salida CO , ride to Port Orford OR then back to Salida and then drive back to Chicago . As a trailer we used a Shorelander 3 rail borrowed from our fellow ADV member Paul ( pkbinder) that worked great and as a place to keep the car/trailer we left it at my good friend Bill H. that has a great place as you will see in the next pics . In fact if any of you guys are planning to stay in Salida he has at the moment two cabins for rent and a lot more details can be found here http://www.salidacabins.com/. This is all private propriety with a great view and very peaceful. Many thanks to Paul , Bill H and Joe H. !!!!


    Suby is ready to roll !

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    Bye bye Chicago ! You will not be missed !

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    Just passed Denver .

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    Made it to Salida and there is a party going on . Some of Joe's friends are over from Chicago Burbs .

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    Hey Bill !

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    Hey Joe !

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    #15
  16. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day 2 - Salida CO to Ironton CO

    This day had to be the greatest of the whole trip . We went over Marshall Pass, Los Pinons Pass , Cinnamon Pass , California Pass , Hurricane Pass then Corkscrew Gulch at night due to a flat . We crashed , hailed on and had a flat while a wolf was watching us . All in a long 12 hour day !

    Kion crashes on Marshall Pass . Broken mirror , turn signal and a serious scratch on front fender . He's OK and ready to roll in no time .


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    Los Pinos Pass


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    Cinnamon Pass


    more coming - working on it
    #16
  17. pkbinder

    pkbinder Kissing Moose

    Joined:
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    Great rr Cat. But no photo of the wolf? pk
    #17
  18. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

    Joined:
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    555
    Location:
    Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
    Great report and an awesome ride! Just goes to show that there is a helluva lot of adventure here in the USA. Except around Chicago, unfortunately. I know--I live here. It's a great city, but I love seeing it disappear fast in my mirrors. :D
    #18
  19. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

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    Same felling here about Chicago - great place but can't wait to get out of it and go riding . Thank You and when you get back send me a PM . I would love to hear more about your South American adventure - I'll buy lunch !

    #19
  20. f650gsa

    f650gsa de la Mobra la BMW

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    The wolf was smart enough to stay hidden and besides that it was getting dark . We could hear him howling closer and closer to us while we were fixing the flat but couldn't see him . I don't think Kion was in the mood to meet him anyway !

    #20