Two Rats on the TAT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ratsGoneRogue, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. vegemanNZ

    vegemanNZ Been here awhile

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    Sheesh, another holy shit moment. Everytime I read your post, it's another holy shit moment...I don't know if I want to read tomorrows. You guys are supposed to be filling me with confidence!

    Seriously though, am pleased that you are both ok. The bike will be fine. For me, I don't know what it worse ...drowning the bike, or being towed by the wife and a DR200 at that. You know Amanda will remind you fooooorrrrreeeeevvvvveeeerrrr
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  2. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    I thought that too, towed by wife part, I was trying to give him a little break.
    Serious though if you get it running right away and don't let it sit. A watered out bike is not a big of deal. You need to change oil 2 or 3 times until it's no longer milky.
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  3. ratsGoneRogue

    ratsGoneRogue Adventurer

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    Post #26

    September 14-15, 2017
    Moab, UT
    The Work Begins


    The parking lot of the Gonzo Inn in Moab, UT wouldn't be my first choice to tear into a bike, but it'll have to do for now. And while we may have screwed up a number of things on this trip, I'm confident that the tool kit isn't one of them. We've got a lot of stuff.

    I hose down the bike very carefully and get the sand off. We revisit the airbox, and make sure that everything there is spotless. In unscrewing the radiator cap, I hear sand surrounding the opening. We flush the radiator fluid. Everything looks fine to me. I open the fuel tank. I see some debris in there. We empty the fuel tank and get rid of the fuel at a nearby gas station. We wash out the inside. I make the call and decide that the fuel pump is going to go; I think there is sand throughout its internals and I'm not sure I can flush it all. In replacing the old fuel pump, I see that the fuel pump's filter is near black (new, it is near white), and the fuel pump screen has a smudge of mud on it. New fuel pump filter, new fuel pump screen, new fuel pump. I follow the fuel line to the in-line fuel filter. It looks fine, but I can never tell when those are dirty anyways. It's a $0.99 part. We replace it. In thinking this through, I think I've cleared everything in the fuel line except the injectors. I know I need a special tool to do that. Electrical, miraculously, seems fine. Turning the key seems to bring all the systems online, and I hear the new fuel pump loading up. A couple of turn signals don't work, but those are plug and play. I can probably use my arms to signal anyways, we see so few cars every day.

    Then comes the oil. We flush the bike with 2.5 gallons of oil. Change all screens and the oil filter. I keep going until I don't see any sediment. On the last change, probably close to 5 oil changes, the oil is clear except for the very last dribbles out of the drain plug. I still see traces of sediment. I am somewhat deflated. I was hoping see just the clear golden honey colored oil.

    "Can the filter get that," asks Amanda. I really want to say yes, but I know the answer is no. It's too much. Or maybe I'm too OCD about my engine fluids. Maybe the filter can get what I see. I make the call on the belief that even if we manage to get the bike started, I'm going to worry about what's inside the engine case. I'm going to worry that engine internals, maybe a seal or a case bearing, will get damaged and give out in the middle of nowhere. We need some help.

    We are fortunate in that we have family here in Utah. Up in Ogden, Amanda has a cousin that we were planning on visiting, just under different circumstances. Thankfully, he and his family are more than willing to take us in for an unspecified time. They seem genuinely excited to see us. Ogden is also strategically located close to 3 KTM dealerships, and perhaps more importantly, close to Rocky Mountain ATV's warehouse. If we need parts -- and at the very least I'm thinking we'll need a new set of seals/gaskets -- we can drive over and get them same day.

    Moab, UT is one of the bigger towns we've stayed in. But it's still small. The local neighborhood UHaul dealer only has 26' box trucks. "That's all we got, so it's that or nuthin'," says the UHaul lady. We load the bikes.

    File_000 (56).jpeg

    The bikes and our gear occupy a pitifully small portion of the truck, but it was this or nuthin'. We make the drive. On the drive to Ogden, I am happy to report that the mood is constructive. I'm on the phone with dealerships. I'm calling mechanic buddies to get insight. We switch drivers. Amanda tracks down a used phone for me. She goes through the list of folks that were expecting us at a certain time. We are trying to get the ball down the field, even if it's just a few inches at a time.

    We've decided to exhaust all options and opportunities to get back on the trail. We both really want to do this. I guess we will find out all this in the next few days.





  4. vegemanNZ

    vegemanNZ Been here awhile

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    Nice work in flushing and checking it all out. I don't think many riders are that capable especially as you mentioned, when it's in a car park...I could be wrong with rider abilities...but that's my experience. I'm also impressed that you had that many spares on you...I to am carrying filter, pump and injector in case the unmentionable occurs. Since I've had my bike awhile. I have already replaced bolts and components related to the fuel system that can be done with the tools I carry. The injector removal is a simple hex key, and the hoses that clamp to the fuel pump are also normal hose clips...not those stupid factory ones that need a special tool :loco

    Best of luck, you're definitely having an adventure...and we all appreciate you updating the forums as well...I know when its hot and your tired and having a drama like this - updating technology, can be a right pain in the butt - which is why I'm having a rest day.
  5. WilberMaker

    WilberMaker Adventurer

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    You two are awesome! My wife passed away New Years day and we had the same bring it on, take on the world attitude I see in the both of you. Just wanted to let you know also you two are enablers! Just got off the phone ordering the first of three CRF250Ls. My two daughters are fired up reading your post and planning the TAT in two years when she graduates college. They both have a CBR250 now and this will be their first dirt bikes, besides a 4 wheeler. Can’t believe I’m 55 and buying a dirt bike! Don’t think I need to grow up, I think the rest of the world needs to wise up and live because you don’t know how much longer you’ll be here.
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  6. 1stgenfarmboy

    1stgenfarmboy The Sherpa Man

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    I have people all the time say " are you ever going to grow up " I say I'm as grown up as I'm gonna get. 51yrs old by the way.
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  7. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    That's a good point. My Dad always said if you want to do something and it's not going to ruin everything, you better do it. One day you will not be able to or you'll be gone. I'm 63 and still playing with motorcycles.
  8. Alfred_Bham

    Alfred_Bham Been here awhile

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    I'm 70 & am thinking of it on my CRF250L!! :muutt
  9. Kawikazi

    Kawikazi Been here awhile

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    Great report and looking forward to the next phase of this adventure. I'm 65 and had a bad off on an early season trail ride back in March. Broken scapula and pulmonary emboli (blood clots in the lungs).
    Wife said if I get back on a dirt bike she's gonna leave me. I told her I was gonna miss her:)
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  10. vegemanNZ

    vegemanNZ Been here awhile

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    Lol

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  11. ratsGoneRogue

    ratsGoneRogue Adventurer

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    Just a quick note here. I've just yelled this question into the other room where Amanda is. Her response is, "yeah, just fine. It's perfect for me."

    In the comfort department, we made two significant mods to the bike. First, we put a sheepskin seat cover on top of the OEM seat. This is a must-have. Before the TAT, I rode this bike around and found it to be slightly uncomfortable after about 4 hours. We are on the bikes all day, most days, so it likely would have been unbearable.

    Second, I thought the bike was a little vibey. (She didn't.) So we put some flexxbars on the bike. That killed some of the vibes and also solved the additional problem of a low handlebar.

    Combined, seat cover and bars, I think we've got something that she can ride all day for many days. As for "how's it doing on the trails," I'll say "quite good." The low weight of the bike makes technical sections a lot easier. Surprisingly, it's got enough power to tractor through everything we faced, even at altitude. It is by no means exciting to drive, but for our use case, we weren't looking for "exciting". We were looking for "easy to ride" and "reliable" and "field serviceable". Finally, she routinely gets north of 80 miles per gallon, and it's always fun at the gas station finding out what kind of mileage she got. She's had more than one tank at 98 miles per gallon. The tank is 3.3 gallons. That's some impressive range.



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  12. ratsGoneRogue

    ratsGoneRogue Adventurer

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    Let me take a stab at helping out your future TAT self.

    First, what are you in for if you do Oklahoma? It took us three solid days to get through Oklahoma. (Staying in Bartlesville, Alva and Liberal.) Faster folks than us did it in two days (half-day to Bartlesville, Bartlesville to Alva, and half day out of Alva). I'd say the average rider is closer to the 2 or 2.5 day number. Maybe that's not much time if you are considering a month long trip, but I certainly get the motivation for bypassing this part of the trail.

    Here are some other ideas:

    To ditch Oklahoma completely, call this the "Nuclear Option", it might be easy to bail out of the TAT at Mountainberg, Arkansas. Take 49 south and get to 40 west from there. Somewhere around Amarillo, Texas, you'd want to start making your way north to get back on the trail. The 70 mile sliver of New Mexico is small, but I wouldn't want to have missed it.

    My recollection has the end of the Ozarks at around Elgin, Kansas. (The trail briefly crosses into Kansas from Oklahoma, then goes right back into Oklahoma.) The Ozarks were cool and worth staying in. Call it the "Ozark Bailout": you could take off north from Elgin, get on some interstates, and get over to Trinidad, Colorado.

    If Elgin marks the end of the Ozarks, then Bartlesville marks the end of anything cool (rolling green hills, non-straight roads) in Oklahoma. After that, it's pretty much straights-ville with nothing much to see and only downside if its been raining. Call it the "Bartlesville Bailout": it looks like you could take 60 west from Bartlesville and stick on highways all the way across the panhandle.

    Finally, after doing almost all of Oklahoma, we briefly considered cutting off the last part by taking 56 south to Boise City. That wouldn't cut out much, but it would have taken the edge off, after being on straight roads for so long. So call it the "Take the Edge Off" option. We probably should have done that.

    All this said, the small part of New Mexico into Colorado was great, and the small part of Colorado into Trinidad was worthwhile, with BLM land galore, wildlife and great views. Or maybe it was so cool because we had been in such a dark place for so long. Hard to tell.

    Just some ideas, should browsing turn to buying.



  13. ratsGoneRogue

    ratsGoneRogue Adventurer

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    What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing.

    A word to the two daughters from another female rider. I began this trip in Andrews, NC with 252 miles on the odometer. That plus a handful of lessons was my riding experience. Now I'm towing "experienced" riders with broken bikes out of rivers. If I can do it, anyone can do it.



  14. ratsGoneRogue

    ratsGoneRogue Adventurer

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    We are back on the road. I could use some help. The KTM is now running very lean: heavy popping on deceleration/zero throttle and some flameouts at low rpms. I'm getting ridiculous gas mileage, like 70mpg plus, when I usually get around 55.

    It's a 2014 KTM 500 EXC, that has been de-smogged. New fuel pump, fuel pump filter/screen, new inline fuel filter, injectors were cleaned three days ago. I think the fuel line is clear, best guess.

    My intuition is that the mechanic who worked on the bike may have moved the throttle position sensor back to a stock position (multimeter indicating 0.57) when the TPS should be getting something like 0.65 on the multimeter. I don't have data to back this up, but it's what I'm thinking now. I am trying to get in touch with the mechanic to confirm.

    What else am I missing? What else can I do? We are likely to be in Delta, Utah tomorrow (September 23).

    Thanks for any ideas.

    Steve


    .
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  15. msteward

    msteward Been here awhile

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    Should be easy enough to confirm with a meter, if you have one. A parts store may have one they could loan you to check it and adjust it to what you need.

    I think there maybe a local MX race in Delta this weekend also while your there.
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  16. BSTT

    BSTT Been here awhile

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    Hi you two! You are doing a nice RR with adventures popping up in the rain :(.
    Amanda your doing a great job backing up your man from the water crossing.
    Thanks for taking us along.

    ciao Gero
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  17. Kawikazi

    Kawikazi Been here awhile

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    I ride a KLR so not the best source of technical information when it comes to sophisticated electronic gadgetry, but would it help to restrict airflow somehow?Maybe pick up an air filter skin or two and slap it on until you can check that TPS or would ECM just sense the lower airflow and restrict fuel even more?
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  18. Alfred_Bham

    Alfred_Bham Been here awhile

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    I know nothing about your KTM but if it has a TPS then it must be a Fuel Injected system!!

    I'm guessing there are some sort of clamps that may be between the TB & the head & the TB & the Air Filter!!

    Check for loose clamps & the resulting Air Leaks at both sides of the Throttle Body!!
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  19. ratsGoneRogue

    ratsGoneRogue Adventurer

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    You were right. This was the problem.

    Thank you!
  20. ratsGoneRogue

    ratsGoneRogue Adventurer

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    Post #27

    September 22, 2017
    Castle Dale, UT to Ephraim, UT
    On the Road Again
    Daily Miles: 66.1
    Cumulative Miles: 3,331.5


    First day back on the road, and we wanted a short day as a sort of shake down ride for the bike. Had we completed our last day of riding, we would have made it to Castle Dale, UT. We were short by about 30 miles. We can't leave the UHaul (our third of this voyage) at the intersection of Interstate 70 and Temple Mountain Road, so this city is the next best thing. We thought of going a bit down the trail but (1) I want to feel like we "did" the TAT and (2) this part of the trail sets us up for the Manti-La Sal National Forest. The national forests have been a highlight of the trip, starting with the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee. We don't want to miss them.

    We proceed with a few more constraints. First, after repairs to the KTM and one extra week of time in the trip, the budget is now a bit stretched. If something else unexpected and expensive happens, we may have a tough choice to make. Second, and perhaps more importantly, my mother-in-law has a 70th birthday party on October 7th. This was put on the schedule last week. Amanda reads the Evite to me. She looks at me after reading the date to me. This is a line that I shall not cross. We are going to that birthday party. I hope we can finish the trail by that time.

    It's a short ride to Ephraim through the Manti-La Sal National Forest, and the views do not disappoint. The land switches from dry desert to wooded forestland. There is a reservoir in the middle of the forest that creates a wonderful backdrop to the scene. And there is yet another transformation underway: of course, from point to point on the trail, the topography and geology and the plant life changes. But now, as we ride, we see that fall has arrived.

    File_000 (57).jpeg

    The trees are turning brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red.

    File_000 (58).jpeg

    With the change of season comes a new challenge: the cold. While it seems not long ago that we were sweating in the near 100 degree temperatures of Moab, today we are shivering in the 45 degree temperatures of Ephraim. Of course, that was in Ephraim. The trail descends from 10,000 feet at the top of the pass into Ephraim which is at 5,000 feet. At 10,000 feet, I'd guess that the temperature was a little lower than 45 degrees. Add to whatever that figure is, the wind chill factor. We hadn't expected the cold this early in the trip.

    "How is it going back there," I ask Amanda over the radio.

    "My hands are a little cold," she says as we ascend up the Manti-La Sal Pass into Ephraim. That was her first response. Here was the response to the same question asked three other times along the trail.

    "My hands are starting to hurt they are so cold."


    "You don't want to know, please go faster."

    "Dude. Really?"

    We get into Ephraim and the first order of business is to get more clothes. We have tried to pack light for this trip, and we assumed that we could buy the clothes as we had the need. We walk into the Walmart Super Center in Ephraim looking for something to layer on/under our gear. In the men's/women's clothes section, we find nothing of use. A lot of cotton, and I'm not a big fan of cotton. No gloves, maybe a lame scarf that could maybe work. Nothing seems appropriate. We walk over to the sporting goods section of the store, and presto -- the hunting section has what we need and even has items in KTM orange! Amanda gets some wool thermals, gloves, and a neck fleece. I get the gloves and the fleece. This may work.

    File_000 (59).jpeg

    File_000 (60).jpeg

    "You guys going huntin' this weekend," asks the Walmart checker with some interest.

    "Nope," Amanda responds. "We're goin' dirt bikin'." The checker looks confused but lets it go.