TAT Trip Planning

Discussion in 'Americas' started by LateNate, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. Tompound

    Tompound M.M.S. Tommy

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    mid sept. would be iffy october would be pushing your luck
    #21
  2. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    By mid-September you might start hitting snow in Colorado.... the first time I went over Hancock/Tomichi (on the old route) was September 14th and it was snowing... 2" of wet heavy snow. Doable, but a mess. Slippery too!

    Then I did NV/CA/OR in mid-late October.... had 1-3" of snow all along the mountain ridge north of Battle Mountain, NV. But it got worse... the mountain you go over in CA gets up to 7500 feet or so... it had snowed hard a couple of days before I got there... so I was running out of daylight (gets dark at 6pm that time of year)... running out of gas (no gas in Ft. Bidwell)... and I hit a foot of snow on top of the mountain in the pines before hitting the Dismal Swamp. What saved me was that somebody had been through in a pickup truck and left me a groove.... this was definitely NOT the way to do this! :eek1

    So, the latest you can probably start and make it for sure is around the 1st of September, if you are willing to wait for weather, you maybe could start a week or two later... but it's dodgy then.
    #22
  3. LateNate

    LateNate Been here awhile

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    I am going to check that GA route out. That sounds like something we would like to do. I just am not real familiar with my GPS right now, but I'll give it a shot.
    #23
  4. LateNate

    LateNate Been here awhile

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    Yes we are still planning, mostly time for Art and I to finish up the school semesters. Holidays are on there way.

    I was also hoping someone might be able to help mw with my Garmin and Basecamp. Would really like to get this thing figured out over a cold beer with someone that knows what they are doing with it. Preferably close to me here in MO.
    #24
  5. roaming_art

    roaming_art In transit...

    Joined:
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    Well finally got the SW Motech Center stand in the mail and got a chance to install it today, and so far it seems to be a good purchase! Pretty easy to get it on the stand using the sidestand technique that I read about on this forum and it gets the rear wheel off the ground about 2 inches...Only issue is that I cant seem to get the front wheel off the ground rocking it back, it looks like I might need to set the stand on a piece of plywood to get it up a bit higher for the rear leg to meet the ground. Other than that it looks great. Got those springs on using a piece of line tied in a loop, hooking one end and pulling them over the other. $30 saved on the spring tool.

    On a sidenote, with the introduction of Shoei's new Neotec this year, I found a steal on a brand new Multitec which I am very much enjoying. ($266 shipped) Aside from the liner not being removable, I think the helmet is perfect. Still deciding if I'll take it on the TAT...might end up using my old Bell full face just to keep the Multitec new and pretty for me when I get home

    Next stop, progressive fork springs and a fork oil change.



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    02 by
    #25
  6. roaming_art

    roaming_art In transit...

    Joined:
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    Long Beach, CA
    I thought I'd post some pictures on how I plan to load the bike up for the trip. These are some rough pictures, I didn't even bother to put the side panels back on for the photo-op as I was just taking everything back off anyway. I simply wanted to make sure my vision for the bike was in tune with its application on the bike. I purchased 25 yards of black polypro webbing on Amazon for about $7.95 in order to make the 4 straps that will secure my North Face duffel as well as the 4 straps that will bind my Tent/Sleeping bag/Tarp contraption, and secure it to my bike.

    So here I have my trusty Walmart sleeping bag rolled around my Eureka Apex 2XT (which I LOVE by the way, got to test it out camping on San Onofre beach last weekend) and I'm using a TEKTON 6'X8' tarp to keep everything dry and ~safe from falls. The tarp was ~$13...seems to be pretty heavy duty stuff. We'll see how it works out.

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    Once everything is rolled nice and snug, I secure it with two nylon straps, and I get something that looks like this....


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    Using two longer straps that are ran underneath the seat I cross and double knot them up...very secure, and quickly removed.

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    Instead of purchasing $30 ROK straps I decided to incorporate my nylon webbing into the North Faces already built in loop system, and again I have a very secure set-up, that will be removed in a pinch when necessary.

    [​IMG]

    In time I will trim all of the excess line and make sure that the lengths are what I need and nothing more. The finished product will look something like this...

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    I'm extremely happy with how this simulation went, I've got plenty of space to sit, the pack is extremely light, waterproof, plenty of storage space for my purposes, I'll be able to take everything off of my bike in 30 seconds when inclimate weather occurs, and it should do alright with the occasional dirt nap. Plus, I'm saving tons of money and weight without boxes/racks. (A necessity for a poor college student)

    Feel free to comment or make suggestions!
    #26
  7. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    Location:
    Itasca, IL
    I rode a portion of the TAT (OK, NM & part of CO) a few Summers ago.

    I would think you'll be better served with a DOT knobbie than you would with the K761s. Those tires will be great for the ride East and thru TN (since there's a lot of chip seal now). But, once you get to MS and AR (and the dirt/gravel starts in earnest), you'll want something with a little more "bite" (esp. if you encounter rain and/or mud). I rode a DR350SE on a set of Pirelli MT-21s. They were great (IMO) both on and off pavement, in the dry and the wet. You have several alternatives, too: Dunlop D606, Shinko 244, IRC GP-1, Kenda Trackmaster II, et. al.

    I used a Seattle Sports dry bag to hold all of the stuff that's sensitive to water. It fit nicely on my Turbo City rear rack. You may need to carry fuel. If memory serves, there's one section in Nevada where you'll need to cover 180 (??) miles. Otherwise, buy the maps from Sam so that you have the latest updates. I understand there are quite a few changes in Oregon (perhaps other places, too). Consider transferring all of the data into a GPS. Roll charts can get old after a while (IMO).

    Consider tanking a SPOT or something similar. You can rent them if you don't think they're worth the price and yearly activation fee (that is if you won't get your money's worth by using it, a lot).

    I don't think I encountered any nearby camping in the three states I traversed. So, be ready to stealth camp or motel it. There are quite a few good, clean, cheap motels in those states. My method was to pull into to town and stop at the local gas mart. Usually the person behind the counter was a local and knew where the "good" motels where (esp. if that person was female - guys weren't so sure).

    Here's a LINK to my ride report, if you're interested (it's not long).
    #27
  8. roaming_art

    roaming_art In transit...

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
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    Hey, right on man. I didn't plan on running the K761's on the trail, just to Savannah, we'll be doing a swap somewhere out there. However, I rocked the 761's on the White Rim Trail few years back and they handled nicely. Even when the rain started coming down as I was heading up the Schafer switchbacks at the end of the trail. :eek1 But damn these make for a great street biased dual sport tire. I'm getting ridiculous mileage out of them too, like 10,000 miles plus crazy on both front and rear! Front definitely developed a weird wear pattern by the end, but hell, can't complain with that kind of service.
    #28
  9. roaming_art

    roaming_art In transit...

    Joined:
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    Spring break is here, and I’ve been using this time to finish up some maintenance and mods for the ole KLR. Finally installed the Progressive fork springs, what a difference! Coupled with a fork oil flush and re-fill the bike handles and feels like an entirely different bike! I can’t emphasize that enough. Once everything was all buttoned up and I sat on the bike, I instantly realized that I couldn’t push into the bike’s front end to get it moving out of my parking spot.

    On the install, very cut and dry. Progressive sends you the PVC pipe, you cut it into the recommended 3” length (as per instructions), or whatever length you find works for you. I’m 5’9, 160lb, the 3” spacer along with the standard 135mm air space from the top of the fork (fully compressed, w/o spring) seemed fine on my short test ride, more testing to follow. Tightly wound spring goes up (as per instructions, don’t understand why this is debated if it’s noted in their instructions). The biggest headache I had was figuring out how to safely lift the front end off the ground…putting my text books to good use solved that issue. Lord knows I’m not reading them. Hahaha.

    Also managed an oil change yesterday and will be changing out my sprockets and chain either tomorrow or the next day. I have some Sunstar sprockets that I’ve read good things about just waiting :) Aside from that, I’m just trucking along, we’ve had some scheduling difficulties which pushed off our starting date to the 23rd of June, and we will be riding straight from Branson, MO to Tellico Plains, TN to start the TAT their instead of starting from Savannah. Hope all is well!

    The required liquids:
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    First oil change using the center stand, man that is convenient! Not having to "guess" whether it's standing upright to read the level correctly. Money well spent!

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    Pretty significant difference in the stock and Progressive springs! The stock spring and spacer are the two bottom ones, half the damn fork was pre-loading the nub-like spring! No wonder her nose would dive at stop lights, stop signs, even if I so much as looked at my front break the nose would dive.

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    Here is a classic shot of me putting my textbooks to good use! Look ma! I'm learning!

    [​IMG]
    #29
  10. LateNate

    LateNate Been here awhile

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    Nice job Art!
    #30
  11. LateNate

    LateNate Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
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    Location:
    Walnut Shade, MO
    Just like Art I have been adding some items as well.

    UNI filter
    K&N filter
    Emig Racing Triple Clamps
    Emig Racing Steering Stabilizer
    HWDB Hand guards and top clamp
    KTM Heated Grips
    Powerlet Plug
    Auxiliary cooling fan
    Front wheel bearing
    [​IMG]
    #31
  12. roaming_art

    roaming_art In transit...

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
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    Long Beach, CA
    In my efforts to cut down costs for this trip I went ahead and ordered a 16oz food thermos ($19). I plan on bringing along about 20 servings of rice and another 15 servings of oats in zip locked bags and setting my "meals" to cook early in the mornings with either boiling water acquired from gas station sinks or coffee stations. When that isn't available I have a very small stove, 2nd link, that I will try to use sparingly to conserve fuel. Can anyone comment on the gas stations encountered on the TAT and whether hot/boiling water will be available? I'm wondering if the stove and more so the fuel will be a waste of space or not. I know a warm meal, even if it's primarily grain will be important at the end of the day. Rice and a multivitamin! What else do you need? I'll be experimenting with thermos cooking later in the week when mine arrives. If you've never looked it up do a quick Google search, pretty interesting results. I'm reading 1 part grain to 4 parts hot water for ~8-10 hours...experimentation to follow.

    Thermos Stainless King 16oz Food jar

    Amazon, search Ultrulight backpacking camping stove $7.99
    #32
  13. OKlr

    OKlr 25mph gate inpector

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
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    Location:
    Ponca City Oklahoma
    if you need a place to ship tires i'm in Central Oklahoma about 20 miles off the tat. we also have a kawisaki dealer here too.
    #33
  14. roaming_art

    roaming_art In transit...

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    Long Beach, CA
    OKlr thanks for the offer! If we can't source a shop closer to the trail head in TN that will either stock our tires or hold onto a shipment we'll gladly take you up on the offer. I have confidence in the Kenda 761's if I had to run them through TN/AR. :thumb
    #34
  15. LateNate

    LateNate Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    361
    Location:
    Walnut Shade, MO
    What tools are we bringing?

    Any recommendations?

    For both KTM and KLR. I am sure each will need its own special set.
    #35
  16. OKlr

    OKlr 25mph gate inpector

    Joined:
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    good thing about having multiple bikes is you can get rid of double tools. For instance, there may be no need to have 2 12mm wrenches. and there will be extra storage for tubes and stuff.
    #36
  17. roaming_art

    roaming_art In transit...

    Joined:
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    Long Beach, CA
    I'll have to post up some picks of my tool roll that I've been putting together over the last 4 years. In other news, I did get the TAT maps and roll charts in the mail today! :clap Haven't started digging through those yet, in due time. I did get a few other items in the mail that will be joining my pack on this trip that are new to me and somewhat experimental. We'll see what happens.

    First off will be the Granite Gear 2 gallon collapsible bucket that I hope to wash my clothes/dishes maybe even backwoods bathe with if the opportunity arises or becomes necessary. But lets be honest, it'll probably just end up storing ice to keep our beers cold :D Weighing in at 5 oz. she rolls up nice and small. No leaks yet!
    [​IMG]

    Second will be the 16 oz Thermos Food jar which I mentioned in an earlier post. I am currently experimenting cooking some brown rice with this little guy, 1/3 cup of rice, 1 cup of boiling water…I love that it has a collapsible spoon built into the cap and the lid can double as a bowl. Seems like it will do the $19 I spent on it justice.
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    The emberLit wood burning stove seems really well made and packs really, really small. The Hunter S. Thompson novel is there for size comparison. I debated on bringing along a butane/propane fuel & gas stove set-up and decided on this little guy since Nate is bringing his gas stove along. Ran me $40 shipped and I can either use it with an alcohol fuel set-up or simply burn wood found around our campsites. It’ll also be handy when the zombies invade and propane becomes hard to come by :D
    [​IMG]
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    Lastly, the 100w inverter will plug into my 12v socket. Instead of sourcing a 12v charger for my netbook, camera, and iPhone, I decided this was the more cost efficient route to take. We’ll see how it holds up on the trail.
    [​IMG]
    #37
  18. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
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    3,091
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Make sure you have wrenches for the axle nuts.

    The KLR tool kit is pretty good, but it doesn't have a wrench for the front axle nut. At least mine didn't.
    #38
  19. roaming_art

    roaming_art In transit...

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    226
    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    [​IMG]


    Deep breath:

    3 tire irons
    27, 19, 17, 12, 10mm wrenches
    Motion pro T-handle w/ electrical tape wrap
    8, 10, 12mm sockets and assortment of bits
    Crescent wrench
    Couple cotter pins for rear axle removal
    Medium strength threadlocker
    Assorted Allen keys
    Bent nose pliers
    Locking needle nose pliers from Harbor Freight
    Crazy glue
    Assorted zip ties
    Duct tape
    15w fuses
    Slime patch kit
    Loop of mechanics wire also wrapped with electrical tape
    Small LED flashlight
    Mechanix gloves

    Most items fit into my tool wrap and then will be stowed in the tool tube that I have just installed in front of my skid plate.

    What’s not listed:
    I have an assortment of solderless electrical terminals that I need to include
    Spare nuts and bolts, 6, 8, 10mm thread size
    Obviously some spare 10w40
    & lastly WD40 for chain maintenance
    And maybe some gear oil in an empty Coors aluminum screw type bottle

    Still need to source a spark plug socket, I was relieved of mine when my last tool tube was stolen off the bike. Hence the lockable pelican case, so now the tool tube will sit empty unless I’m out on a longer ride.
    Gotta love the ghetto LBC!
    #39
  20. roaming_art

    roaming_art In transit...

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    Long Beach, CA
    Aww hell, why not. Here's the new tool tube:

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    [​IMG]
    #40