2016 TAT, Solo, Ocean to Ocean, Plan vs. Actual, Lessons Learned

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by KenCM, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    696
    Location:
    Near Dade City, FL
    I was asked about riding gear...

    I reached Port Orford at sunset and stayed at a motel in town that night. Port Orford only has a couple little motels and I was lucky and got the last room. This was not the first time I'd been told I was getting the last room and the first couple times I wondered if that was just a ruse but, the No Vacancy sign came on in each case. On only one occasion (chronicled above) did I have to drive to the next town for a room.

    The next day I rode to Eugene where I was picking up my bike for the ride home.
    I photographed everything I was shipping back. Photos below of the Klim gear and boots I wore riding west.

    Last year, my wife and I trailered bikes to Colorado as I had never ridden in mountains and I wanted to see what I was getting myself into.
    I had decided to purchase tires and gear locally in order to hopefully get advice from someone who rode there.
    I purchased the jacket and slacks below at that time and have used them since.
    I'm stupid so I fall a lot. There are many small tears in that suit which I repair by hand with the nylon thread shown earlier. I have never had an issue with any of those repairs.

    These have had the armor removed and have been washed in preparation for shipping home. They were MUCH dirtier as I didn't wash them at all during the ride (with the exception of blasting the pants, along with the bike, at a car wash after that unholy Arkansas mud fest).

    KlimGear.jpg

    My Falco boots worked well. These are actually boots they sent me to replace a "lesser" pair under warranty.
    The buckles are riveted, but the "reciever" for the buckles are screw-in pieces and shortly after getting these one of the screws backed out.
    I removed all the screws and put them back in with LocTite.
    Boots.jpg

    I didn't know what a properly fitting helmet felt like until I put on a loaner Schuberth SR1 at a California Superbike class. I bought one on the spot and that's what I wear on the street.
    The only thing I don't like about a full face helmet is never being able to get my glasses on exactly right after the helmet is on.
    So when the Schuberth E1 became available, I got one and love everything about it except the visor mounting mechanism.
    When carrying or otherwise transporting the helmet the "dials" that hold the visor tend to rotate and I've had one side of the visor come loose several times and once the entire visor flew off.
    #41
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  2. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    696
    Location:
    Near Dade City, FL
    I live in central Florida and it is swampy. No matter how shallow the standing water, you can't see the bottom. This means you never know how deep a puddle may be.
    Three of us approached that puddle in the immediate background. Notice the stick coming out of it. We stopped. I said "How deep can it be?" My buddies said "Go for it!" And I did.
    It swallowed me and the bike up to the seat.
    This is why I now walk through all water unless I can see the bottom.

    That's us trying to get my bike started again.
    That's the bike I rode on the TAT.
    The engine had to be replaced because once we got it started it was running rough so when I made it to the main hard-packed sand road I opened it up.
    The piston came through the front of the cylinder at 80 MPH and the back wheel locked up - the few seconds after that were quite a ride.
    WetBike.jpg
    I said I was stupid and this incident is evidence.
    We'd been riding in sand all day and so the air cleaner was covered with it.
    Then I ran it into water and gunned it until the engine refused to run on the water being inducted.
    All we did was tip it up to get the water out of the exhaust - never thought to squeeze the water out of the air cleaner.
    Then we exhausted the battery trying to start it.
    Then we exhausted ourselves trying to kick-start it.

    During the kick start effort, the starter crank went through the bottom of my nearly new Falco "Adventure" boot.
    The dealer sent the boot back to Falco who sent a new pair with thicker soles and a message that "Adventure" bikes do not have kick starters.
    The dealer gave me both the old and new boots.
    I repaired the sole of the lesser boot with Shoe Goo and still use them - just not for kick starting :)

    Since we couldn't get the bike kick-started we towed it until it started. That took a while, but it finally ran.
    Of course, the wet sand went through the foam air filter and into the cylinder lickity split and the rest (and the engine and transmission) was history.


    I mentioned that my wife and I took some bikes to Colorado last year. We spent time initially in Lake City and after I rode everything around there we decided to move to Crested Butte.
    By coincidence, KTM was having their rally there so I signed up.
    This is a photo snapped of me on a ride the first day. Notice the tires. I did put the bike in "Enduro" mode :)

    DucatiDirt.jpg

    The next day I took my KTM 450 and did a 120 mile ride led by Andy Short. That Klim gear got a workout. I received several comments from the folks repeatedly picking me up off the ground that while my tenacity was admirable, I might want to stop while it was still my choice. I finished the ride, but it took a week or so to recover.

    That Ducati's suspension took a BEATING. Following Andy Short and Paul Krause the next day - who were riding KTM 1190 Adv Rs - I saw what the 1190 was capable of and traded the Ducati in on an ADV R the day after I returned home. About a week later I was at the Ducati dealer and they said they knew I'd sold my Multistrada because a guy had brought it in to have the blown front shock seals repaired.
    #42
  3. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Here are the contents of my pack.
    The big plastic bag in the middle is my First Aid kit, which contains Alieve in packets. I bought the bottle of Alieve and kept it in the side pocket of the pack so it would be readily available.
    I kept the Repel 100 (% Deet) in a pocket not visible at the very top of the pack and that was a good choice. The couple of times I needed it, I needed it quickly.
    There are actually two bladders full of water and those went by themselves into one of the two main pockets to reduce the chance of puncture.
    That aluminum bike stand ended up in the pack for two reasons - availability and that's one of the few places it fit without significant potential for poking through something.
    I purchased the green cloth in Lake City, CO because it was getting cold and wore it around my neck every day after that. When it warmed up it went in the top of the pack with the extra gloves.
    In the lower right is a "Pak Hat" that is almost the color of the carpeting.
    I used everyting in this photo except the "Frontier Straw", emergency matches (because the one time I needed fire, I used a lighter), wire saw, striker, and First Aid kit.
    The shiny rectangle top center next to the bottle of Alieve is a package of razor blades. I bought those along the way to trim the plugs I was putting in the tire.
    I am very happy that I put these things in the pack as the one time I needed to abandon my bike I was able to just grab this pack and go. I put on the deet, the Pak Hat, had water (almost all of which I drank), and was able to make a fire).
    Pack.JPG
    #43
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  4. juno

    juno Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
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    2,090
    Location:
    Jupiter
    Wow! Very thorough.
    How come you did not choose some dedicated motorcyle luggage besides the wolfman fanny packs to carry all that stuff?
    #44
  5. Proud Highway

    Proud Highway one hand waving free

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    282
    Those engines are quite durable and long-lived in DS applications. That kind of wear with 6,500 miles of DS riding isn't normal.
    #45
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  6. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Philly, Yo!
    IMO, it would be typical. Most guys I know riding those change oil / filters every 200 miles or so. The bike holds under 2 qts of oil.

    Also, known for soft valves that are prone to wear if care isn't shown in regard to the cleanliness of the air filter. Valve check / adjustment interval is every 1000 miles.

    The 450 XC wasn't designed as a true dual sport, but as a "race ready" enduro.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #46
  7. DC950

    DC950 Microadventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Seattle and Las Cruces, NM
    very useful write up. Thanks!
    #47
  8. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    696
    Location:
    Near Dade City, FL
    Here are the contents of the yellow bag, one of the three bags contained in the large bag straddling the seat.
    My laptop in a Pelican case
    small otter box with computer stuff
    large otter box with personal hygeine items
    deoderant (added during the trip as previously described)
    foot powder
    soap (used only the one night I camped)
    washcloth (again, used only once)
    laptop charger
    the plastic bag to the left contains dirty clothes (when I had more dirty than clean, it contained the clean clothes)
    plastic bag containing usb charging cords for phones, GPSs, and DeLorme InReach
    jeans and shorts (look closely and you can see the 440 cord belt that saved weight and space
    some socks, underwear, and T-shirts

    YellowBag.JPG

    This was all the clothing I carried:
    3 pair of Darn Tough knee high socks
    3 pair of Klim underwear
    3 shirts (1 Klim, 1 Underarmour, 1 First Gear)
    shorts, jeans, and a quick-dry underarmour shirt with collar

    To this I added in Gunnison, CO a pair of long Klim slacks and a long sleeve Klim shirt to wear under my Klim riding gear to stay warm.
    I also carried a Patagonia fleece, which I kept in various more handy places.

    I washed what I was wearing each night in the sink with hotel shampoo and laid it out to dry. This was always the first thing I did upon check-in in order to help ensure the clothes were dry by morning.
    #48
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  9. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

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    One of the mistakes I made was not fully packing the bike before I was ready to go.
    I originally intended to use only the Wolfman duffle in addition to the other Wolfman bags.
    But when I tried packing everything the day before leaving... well... Plan B was initiated.
    #49
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  10. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Ouch! I wasn't aware of any of that.
    I changed the oil every 1,500 miles :(
    Never did a valve check.
    In my defense, I spoke with the mechanic at my KTM dealer at length about preparation for this trip and he assured me I didn't need to worry about the valves. Of course, he also didn't warn me about the shock seals.
    I don't think anything got past my air filter. I watched that pretty closely what with blowing up the previous engine on the bike at 3,000 miles because of that.
    #50
  11. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

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    Forgive me for saying, but that's because you took WAY too much stuff.

    Going over all that you packed, I would have elected to leave almost half the stuff you took along - especially considering the choice of bike for the trip. You packed more for an overland trip across the African continent, then a ride across the US, IMO.

    But, you made it - so there's that.
    #51
  12. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    The small otter box from the picture above.
    Foldable mouse, a bootable Tails USB stick with wireless adapter (apparently no driver for the Apple wireless in my Tails distro), a 1-to-2 USB adapter, and a spare USB drive.
    I purchased the super glue at a gas station to repair my glasses and threw out the container I had opened to minimize the chance of super gluing something I didn't want to. This unopened one I saved in this otter box but it went unused.
    SmallOtter.JPG
    #52
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  13. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

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    No offense taken - but tell me what you would leave behind? I traveled solo remember.
    #53
  14. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

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    Well, theres a pretty telling statement.

    I don't want to bash KTM - but people just do not understand what some of the bikes in their lineup were intended for. There's no "magical formula" for getting 50hp out of a 450cc thumper - it just involves a VERY high state of tune.

    Having such also dictates a load of maintenance, and shortened life span. I've been inside enough KTM singles to know.

    But hey - orange is sexy (I guess).
    #54
  15. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

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    Here's an example of stuff I put inside of a box.
    The boxes never lasted more than a few days due to crushing and motion but they served their purpose.
    Tow strap
    Tool kit
    KTM bolt kit
    some nuts and bolts in a bag from left over from my headlight modification
    RAM cell phone mount
    BoxOfStuff.JPG
    The lid of the KTM bolt kit is smeared with Silicone rubber as a side-effect of being used as a clamp in a tube repair which I shall chronicle later.
    #55
  16. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

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    The blown engine was entirely my fault due to my own ignorance - I wrote about it above near the picture with 3 guys standing next to water.

    KTM's manuals do show a VERY high tempo of maintenance. My dealer indicated that wasn't necessary unless I was racing. But I probably ask a little more of the bike than most folks that just putt around trails on 'em.
    #56
  17. Proud Highway

    Proud Highway one hand waving free

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    The 500exc thread here is accumulating a significant sample size that indicates otherwise. My experience with three 2012+ KTM engines from this lineup and many thousands of DS miles squares with this.

    ETA: My solo load out ~40lbs luggage. KenCM may be x2 that.
    [​IMG]
    #57
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  18. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

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    Inside the big bag straddling the seat was a Wolfman duffle. Inside that was this grocery bag containing:
    roasted coffee beans
    coffee grinder
    coffee filters
    collapsible drip coffee filter holder
    collapsible pot for boiling water
    collapsible cups
    some jerky
    some dehydrated food
    some large zip ties
    a spare oiled air filter
    filter covers
    gloves
    Antigravity battery for charging via USB (this went entirely unused)
    length of tube to siphon gas (unused)
    spare front and rear TuBliss high pressure tubes
    rim grease for air cleaner
    bag of cable ties
    the blue bulb thing in the lower right is a ear wax irrigation syringe which I procured to inject Ford ATF fluid through my front shock vent holes after the seals started leaking until I could get them repaired

    PublixBag.JPG
    #58
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  19. juno

    juno Long timer

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    Yeah, I did the eastern TAT last year and waited too long to order the Reckless 80 system. I ended up using two 40l bicycle panniers and a 60 liter dry bag on my 690. I packed too much stuff. I just flew out to CO a week ago and rented a bike to knock off the CO portions out to Moab and still brought too much. Third time is the charm! Hopefully I can bring the right stuff when I ship the 690 out next year to finish the TAT!
    Nice detail on everything you packed!

    #59
  20. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    You asked...

    Extra Fuel - You didn't need it with the bigger after market tank already on the bike.
    Sewing Kit - nuff said
    Nail Clippers - You weren't gone long enough for your nails to grow
    Pillow - That's what dirty clothes are for
    Camp Chair - not unless you are riding a GS
    Rope & Z-Drag kit - I know you used it, but a 450 XC weighs like 250 lbs. you could have just removed the luggage first.
    3 Pairs Gloves - really?
    Fuel Filter Bag - The reason for the KTM injector failures is not due to dirty fuel.
    2 GPS Units - 1 too many, you also had a cell phone.
    Hatchet - Any decent knife and a rock would do
    Trowel - There are better ways to hide your poo
    Extra Rim Locks - Not necessary due to you already running the tubeliss system
    "Survival Kit" - We are in the continental US. Outside of a very few places (none of which you traveled through) "survival" does not come into play
    Laptop - Cell phone would do
    Computer Stuff - see above
    Laptop Charger - see above, above
    Tow Strap - you were solo, who's towing you?
    First Aid - WAY too many of the same items, here. You were never more than a couple hours away from a Walgreens.
    Bungees - A couple of decent Rok Straps would have served you better than that multitude of useless rubber cordage.
    Spare Air Filter - You could have just cleaned the old one at anytime.

    It all adds up quickly, and that's just the stuff you posted so far. By the look of you bike, I'm sure there is more to come.
    #60