TAT ; No Reservations

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by LXIV-Dragon, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. LXIV-Dragon

    LXIV-Dragon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    St Cloud, FL
    Did your TAT start in Jellico?

    For me it was well before that! In 2006 I was relocating to Florida. With me on the flight was a book by Dan Walsh, "These are the days that must happen to you" Dan basically got up went on a world tour on his XT. A great read.

    At that time I was bike-less having just sold my CBR600F in Germany. Had thought about a few street bikes but had not considered a return to dirt. Last dirt I had was an XL250S when still in my teens! When I came across mention of the TAT in Dan’s book I dog eared the page…….. no idea why!

    A few months later I had bought a Speed Triple and In April 2006 attended a RAT rally in NC. While there we did a trip to Tellico Motorcyle Outfiitters in TN. There was a group of ADV guys and that made me think of the TAT again. FF to 2009 and I buy a used ’07 DR650SE with a view to doing the TAT in 2010.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the spec as I got her :-

    Acerbis front fender (since removed, wrecked in crash)
    Front fork brace
    Magnetic drain plug
    Braided S/S front brake line
    Skid plate ; Utah Motor Sports or Happy Trails Skidplate
    12 volt cigarette plug
    K&N air filter
    Fram crank case vent filter
    Stage 2 Dyno
    Yoshimura exhaust (since removed)
    Gas filter
    Clarke gas tank
    Moore hand guards (since removed)
    Pro Taper Henry /Reed handlebars
    Corbin Seat
    Suzuki rear tool pouch (since removed)
    Dealer lowered ; front & rear

    I then set about my own mods :-

    Barkbuster VPS hand guards
    OEM rear rack
    OEM fender replaced (Acerbis wrecked!)
    Wolfman pannier racks
    Screen ; Screens for Bikes (since removed!! Destroyed in minor wreck)
    Oxford heated grips (just coz I had them)
    RAM GPS mounts
    GoPro Mount
    D606s
    Engine Guards
    Skid Plate extended (4”x6”)
    GSXR can Air box mod ; a la Jesse
    Jesse mid pipe
    Agri Tool Box
    Eibach 0.47 Front Straight Springs & reverse lowering Rear Brake Braided SS line
    Rotax 2” Bar Raisers
    FMF Spark arrestor
    FactoryPro needle
    Twin Air Filter
    IMS 4.9 Double
    Take Mirror
    Rotopax fuel and water cans

    And probably some other crap….. Here she is just before the off on 13th July (yup that would prove to be an unwise date!)

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. LXIV-Dragon

    LXIV-Dragon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    St Cloud, FL
    Central FL to GA. En route to Tellico Plains TN to replace the 606s with MEFOs. I am told these will complete the whole TAT and still bring me home. Lets see! I stopped over night just in to GA having only left CFL at 17:30. Loaded up and all seemed well. The plan is meet up with fellow ADVer FlashbackMac in Jellico late on the 14th and start the TAT on the 15th....
    #2
  3. LXIV-Dragon

    LXIV-Dragon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    St Cloud, FL
    Set off good and early. North of Atlanta, about 5 miles on from Canton I lose all drive while buzzing along at 75mph. Not the best start.

    Mac is not far and can come to the rescue :)

    [​IMG]

    While waiting I made a few calls.

    It was clear that the clutch was fried - why? Own fault!! A few months ago I added bar raisers and failed to adjust the clutch. It did not feel like it was slipping but clearly was. Dahhhhh!!

    The rescue took a couple of hours. In that time one KLR guy stopped (they are not all bad - lol) and a couple of HD guys - and to be fair they seemed really great guys. One was actually heading south and went to the next junction and turned around! Thanks guys and great talking to you!

    While waiting I ordered the clutch which would be in place by 13:00 the next day at the same place that I was getting the MEFOs fitted, albeit now a day later....
    #3
  4. LXIV-Dragon

    LXIV-Dragon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    St Cloud, FL
    [​IMG]

    Here is Ron at Champion Cycle & ATV in Tellico Plains doing a great job. Excellent service at very reasonable cost. On the upside - It was better to happen now than in the middle of no-where!
    #4
  5. toolhorder

    toolhorder Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    178
    Location:
    SW Wisconsin
    :lurk

    Good luck on your trip. I'm along for the ride.
    #5
  6. LXIV-Dragon

    LXIV-Dragon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    St Cloud, FL
    Thanks. I enjoyed your RR....
    #6
  7. LXIV-Dragon

    LXIV-Dragon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    St Cloud, FL
    I managed to leave Tellico Plains at around 18:30. GPS said it was a two hour trip.

    Mac had gone ahead the evening before and would be camping in the State Park. I called and said I was en route.

    About half hour into the trip the heavens opened :confused but no worries I was on my way to starting the TAT :evil

    As it happens the rain got heavier and heavier until I almost could not see what was ahead. The postive thing was that the Klim Traverse kit was doing a top job! Excellent!

    I finally rolled into the camp ground three hours later. Called Mac, "Brit don't go there" he said....

    Turns out the tornado warning sirens had gone off and the site was washed out. Mac got soaked through so bailed and headed for the Days Inn. Fellow campers brought all his kit.

    Drying some kit off

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. LXIV-Dragon

    LXIV-Dragon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    St Cloud, FL
    Just before the off. Mac and a couple of very clean looking DR650s

    [​IMG]

    At mile 10 (ish) my GPS stopped being nice :puke1

    Long storey short I got out the roll charts (still in the sheet form), cut add added to the roll chart holder and we were back on our way.

    As everyone will tell you there is a good degree of slab one this section but it is a great introduction to the TAT.

    I found the roll charts easy to use and we made reasonable time.

    As you come into Sparta the is one of the best BBQ places ever! Doesn't look like much but ummmmmmm :evil


    [​IMG]


    Close up of the info


    [​IMG]


    We went on to camp at
    <table style="WIDTH: 416pt; BORDER-COLLAPSE: collapse" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="555"><colgroup><col style="WIDTH: 416pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 17760" width="555"></colgroup><tbody><tr style="HEIGHT: 63.75pt" height="85"><td style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 416pt; HEIGHT: 63.75pt; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0" class="xl66" height="85" width="555">Rock Island State Park
    82 Beach Road
    Rock Island, TN 38581-4200

    which is on the trail.

    </td></tr></tbody></table>
    #8
  9. LXIV-Dragon

    LXIV-Dragon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    St Cloud, FL
    We were meeting the final member of out group that evening at the David Crocket State Park.

    This time I had prepared all the roll charts and the route went well. A lot of slab and if I am honest a touch too much.

    Not too much to report......

    We camped at
    <TABLE style="WIDTH: 416pt; BORDER-COLLAPSE: collapse" border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=555><COLGROUP><COL style="WIDTH: 416pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 17760" width=555><TBODY><TR style="HEIGHT: 76.5pt" height=102><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; WIDTH: 416pt; HEIGHT: 76.5pt; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0" class=xl66 height=102 width=555>David Crockett State Park
    1300 West Gaines (Highway 64)
    Lawrenceburg, TN 38464-0398

    Site was fine but no washing machine.....
    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    #9
  10. LXIV-Dragon

    LXIV-Dragon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    St Cloud, FL
    Got up at 04:00 as I really wanted to fix the GPS (anything to save me cutting the roll chart sheets :evil

    Figured out my screw up and resent the tracks to the GPS. Success :clap

    I will bore those interested later in what GPS etc I used. My error was in track points (500 max, my routes had 2,000 as an average, just slit it into 500 sections, job done!)

    My front pads were shot so an other early job...

    [​IMG]

    On the DR this is really a ten minute job :D

    Then we were off.

    THE water crossing..... no matter how many times you read this it is not enough

    Mac going about it the right way....

    [​IMG]

    Pete - likewise

    [​IMG]

    Me? I dumped it.... and then again at the next one :cry

    Slick rock with algae makes for a sad DR.

    Great lunch here

    [​IMG]

    Bumped into a group of about 12 Brits later that day. No photos but I am sure we will see them again. We also hear there are four Kiwis ahead of us!

    We are currently 'camped' at the Americas Best Inn. All good and for $5 the guy did our washing :clap

    It will be several days before I post again. Later....
    #10
  11. Dr.Z

    Dr.Z 6Sigma Knuckle Shflr

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,456
    Location:
    Central FL
    Looking good so far despite the issues Pete!

    Good luck on the rest of the journey. :clap
    #11
  12. Al Tuna

    Al Tuna doldrums

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    14,407
    Location:
    Hot
    :thumb
    #12
  13. KimPossible

    KimPossible XT Diver!:)

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    816
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Okay, I am with you in spirit! Enjoy the ride!:thumb
    #13
  14. Cornbread82

    Cornbread82 Sir Crash A Lot!

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    379
    Location:
    Georgia
    Ruff start but it can only get better for you, good luck and have a good trip:freaky
    #14
  15. LXIV-Dragon

    LXIV-Dragon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    St Cloud, FL
    Am in Clinton AR.

    Front seals have gone and will need to order new ones.....

    Any TATers got te info for dealer en route so I can forward order? I had Valcom Motorsports in Trinidad but think they are no longer there.

    Everything else is AOK except Mac bailed on us......

    Have got fork oil so can just top up til repaired!

    TIA.
    #15
  16. Al Tuna

    Al Tuna doldrums

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    14,407
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    Think duct tape Pete. :deal

    :lol3
    #16
  17. LXIV-Dragon

    LXIV-Dragon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    St Cloud, FL
    Yup - been advised to do that to stop the oil getting on the disk......

    Have bought 1 ltr so should be good til the repair :evil
    #17
  18. Al Tuna

    Al Tuna doldrums

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    14,407
    Location:
    Hot
    #18
  19. LXIV-Dragon

    LXIV-Dragon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    St Cloud, FL
    ....a day with drama...

    All was going but we were moving a touch too slow - at least for me. by 17:30 we had only hit mile 160 and idealy had an other 100 to go.

    Mac & Pete felt that they were not up to it and called it a day. They wold go on ahead to TN-MS boarder. Sort out a camp site / motel etc.

    Thought that would work out well so I could arrive to a nice cold beer........ yeah right!

    Out of TN and into MS we met a group of Brits

    [​IMG]

    There map said left, mine said right. I had the new one and they had the old one! Given all the GPS work they had done they decided to go the old route. I am sure we will see them again.

    A few shots of MS

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I actually made really ggod time and rolled into the end point. Got out my phone and expected to see a text with the meeting point - or not. Nada, zip from from the boys - WTF?

    Made calls texts.....still nothing. I crossed the bridge into AR. No camping anywhere :cry

    Motel? Suddenly I realized this place might not be such good news. Already dark by now I looked for food and then continued my search. Bike failed to start! Crap.

    Cop swings by and asks what is what. Think I have a carb issue and may have to push the bike to a motel - he says NOT to leave the bike. Gives me the number of the motel but it is full. I opt to push the bike to the only 24 hr gas station. It is now around 10pm!

    Give the starter a final go and barrr, barrrr and then she fires. Put some new gas in and I am good to go :evil

    Finally heard from the guys who decided to stay put and just forgot to text me. Really???? I was pretty pissed!

    I then make a mistake. I had seen an other motel just as you come across the bridge. Did not look too hot but needed something.

    Checked in. Guys says I am best to put the bike in my room! OK exactly what message are you giving me here?

    Rough place with rough clients. NEVER stay here or visit West Helena!

    [​IMG]

    And here is what I saw in the morning - yes this is actually part of the motel!

    [​IMG]

    My room was bottom left :rofl
    #19
  20. Al Tuna

    Al Tuna doldrums

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    14,407
    Location:
    Hot
    Sweet! :rofl:rofl
    #20