2017 TAT, Ocean to Ocean in 12 days, Planning

Discussion in 'Americas' started by KenCM, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

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    Last year I rode mostly off-pavement from the Atlantic to the Pacific in 22 days and posted about it here: 2016 TAT, Solo, Ocean to Ocean, Plan versus Actual, Lessons Learned

    This year I plan on doing the same route in 12 days and am soliciting feedback on my plans.

    Here's the route:
    2017TATRoute.jpg
    Basic Information
    ===========
    * There are two of us riding, each on a Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin (mine a DCT, his has a manual clutch)
    * The route is approximately 6,000 miles, so we need to average about 500 miles per day
    * We depart Jekyll Island, GA on Saturday, August 5 and plan to arrive Port Orford, OR on or before Wednesday, August 16
    * I think I've largely figured this out and will be posting specifics to be vetted in the coming days
    #1
  2. debaisley

    debaisley Long timer

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    Wow , pretty ambitious. You going to be in trouble if you aren't in Oregon by 8/16 ?
    #2
  3. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

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    Most folks like to hear about other's self-induced failures, so I'll start with one of those...

    Packing was not one of my strong suits last year.
    BikeGearEalry.jpg

    So I started working that out months ago.
    Settled on AltRider's pillion and rear luggage racks and Mosko Moto's 80 L Reckless bags and used them on some overnighters with great success.
    The bags hang over the pillion rack and I bolted a Pelican case to the rear rack.
    They hang quite nicely because I sawed off the passenger handles.

    Well... we went on a spirited ride through Ocala National Forest this past weekend and discovered that without the additional support of the handles, the cantilevered weight on that rear rack is too much.
    My tentative plan is to remove the entire rear end and put the tail light, license plate, and turn signals on a piece of aluminum or some such.
    I'm pretty sure it's not going to be pretty, but equally sure it'll be functional.

    DSCN0389.JPG
    #3
  4. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

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    Not exactly.

    The original plan was 14 days but my riding buddy can only get 2 weeks off work.
    Since we need to ride back, we reduced the outbound journey to 12 days.

    If he's a day or two late it won't be a major deal.
    #4
  5. EnduroRdr

    EnduroRdr Woods Racer & D/S Rider

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    Sounds very ambitious to me, unless you have a lot of slab mixed in.


    Let's see, (2 weeks is 14 days) 12 days out , are you planning to fly home or turn around and ride back?

    I think your partner is most definitely going to be late retuning from vacation


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #5
  6. FASTRacing

    FASTRacing Pant Antler

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    Subscribed !!!
    #6
  7. MoHitch

    MoHitch Adventurer

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    Sounds pretty serious and ambitious! I'm in and rootin' for ya....
    #7
  8. DiggerD

    DiggerD DougFir from SuperDuke Days

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    How many drivers licenses and plates are you going to take?
    #8
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  9. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

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    If we make it out in 12 (8/5 - 8/16), that will leave us 4 days (8/17 - 8/20) to slab it back.
    Also, he says he *probably* won't be fired if he's a day or two late :)

    Not that we won't be going fast where we reasonably can - that certainly figured in the bike selection - but, the plan is for long hours more than high speed.
    Last year, my actual average was 38 MPH based on engine time and miles covered - on a KTM 450 XCW.
    Our plan this year calls for an average of 40 MPH on Africa Twins.
    #9
  10. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

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    TIRES
    Before we leave, we are spooning on new Tractionators on the rear. Haven't made a final decision on the front. Probably TKC-80s.
    We both have the tires that came on the bikes new and will be shipping those to a dealer on the West coast with whom I have made arrangements so we have fresh street tires for the slab back.
    We're also shipping a set of the same tires we start with to a location near the KS/CO border so we have fresh tires starting in CO.
    We won't have worn out the tires by that point, but we want fresh tires heading into the mountains.

    FUEL
    The AT has a 200 mile+ range, but there are a few spots out west where that can be close and due to the long hours we'll be riding creating the potential for arrival after hours, we're each carrying extra fuel.
    I will be using the same Giant Loop 1 gallon Gas Bag I used last year.
    My buddy is planning on using a yet-to-be-acquired dromedary.

    NAVIGATION
    Last year, I started with one Garmin Montana and purchased a second along the way because I kept crashing while monkeying with the GPS trying to zoom in and out using the touchscreen (the second one allowed me to keep one zoomed in and one zoomed out).
    This year, I will be using a single Garmin 276Cx. It has a larger screen and buttons.
    I'm loaning one of my Montana's to my buddy and packing the other as a backup.
    Conveniently, the Montana and the 276Cx use the same mount.
    We'll be following Sam's route and have photographed the paper maps as a backup so we don't need to actually carry them.

    PROTECTIVE GEAR
    Last year I wore Klim Badlands jacket and pants.
    They were a bit warm on occasion.
    I wrangled a 40% off Klim gear coupon at March Moto Madness in Telico Plains this past March and used it for the Adventure Rally Air Jacket and Pants.
    Even at 40% off they were pricey, but that mesh is much better in the heat - as long as you are moving.
    I also got the Gore-Tex Over-Shell jacket for rain protection up top.
    If it rains, I'll live with the bottom half getting wet.
    Alpine Stars Toucan boots.

    COMM
    Only taking one cell phone each this year.
    Last year, I had one on Verizon and one on ATT.
    I found that there was no cell coverage the overwhelming majority of the time and when there was, each carrier had equal coverage along this route.
    Taking the DeLorme InReach.
    I procured the InReach specifically for the ride last year and found it to be useful for both tracking and emergencies.
    I am NOT taking any computer equipment this year.

    MEALS
    We are not carrying any food or food preparation gear.
    Since we must stop for fuel periodically, we will eat at those times and select as best we can from what is available.

    ACCOMODATIONS
    We're carrying camping gear and will decide between camping and a hotel based on what is nearby as our riding for that day nears completion.
    Expectations are that in the East we will stay in motels more than camp but in the West we will need to make a point of getting to a motel every few days.
    #10
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  11. Aces 6

    Aces 6 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

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    Check out this thread.
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threa...ed-enhancements.1171785/page-32#post-32608412
    Removable handles and believe they have two in stock.
    #11
  12. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

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    #12
  13. waybill

    waybill wayward

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    I'm watching this, that'll be an impressive feat to get there in 12 days. Doesn't the TAT stop/start in WNC, I'm just curious on your route from Jekyll Island to there, how you determined it? I made a dirt route up the eastern side of Ga. years ago and just recently continued it on to the Everglades, it goes by Dade City. It's not a beeline, built more for scenery/fun roads, but you're welcome to it if you wanted to continue down the peninsula, maybe at a later date.
    #13
  14. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

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    So I unbolted the pieces associated with the rear rack and discovered that the rack portion had broken along a convenient line.
    DSCN0391.JPG

    So I just eliminated that tail piece and bolted everything back together.
    DSCN0395.JPG

    There is a gap between the pillion rack and the tail light, but I'll find something to cover that with.
    DSCN0396.JPG

    I snapped the side plastic pieces back on, mostly because the left side holds this thing:
    DSCN0393.JPG

    I'll order that ATO rack if I can get one in time.
    Otherwise, I'll just go with this and forego a rear rack.
    #14
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  15. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

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    I simply extended the trail from SW NC by drawing a straight line from the TAT start to Jeckyll Island and then using DeLorme Gazetteer maps to find candidate unpaved roads verifying them using Google Maps satellite view.
    There were a few locations where I ran into closed gates that weren't visible on Google Maps, but that technique worked for about 90% of the distance.
    #15
  16. KenCM

    KenCM Been here awhile Supporter

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    HEADLIGHT PROTECTION

    My understanding is that if you break a headlight on the AT, the smallest replacement assembly costs over $1,000.
    So I bought these Lexan guards that attach via Velcro to the headlight lens from an Australian company for about $40.
    The Velcro are those three white dots seen on the lens on the left side of the picture.

    This past Sunday while riding a gravel road, the guy's bike in front of me threw up a roughly 2" diameter rock that hit one of those guards so hard that the guard was knocked off.
    I noticed it was gone when I glanced down to see about damage, went back and found it, and popped it back on.

    Later in the day, after riding through some trails with heavy brush on the sides, I noticed the guard on the other side was missing :(
    I figured I'd just order a replacement set and run some kind of retaining strap or wire, but the price was up to $70 so I've ordered the AltRider guard instead.

    Since the guard was gone and a new style is on the way I removed the Velcro from the lamp on the right of the picture below.
    The AltRider guard is about twice as much, but it bolts on.

    So, if you have the Velcro style of headlight guards and ride in brush, you might consider running some kind of small retaining wire to them.

    DSCN0399.JPG
    #16
  17. waybill

    waybill wayward

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    Good job, there's some nice stuff in that part of the state especially above I-16.
    #17
  18. Dyrden

    Dyrden Been here awhile

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    Good luck! It does sound ambitious but that's what makes it fun!
    #18
  19. mwatson

    mwatson Haz-Mat

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    Woohoo I see good times ahead for y'all........time is speed..speed is time...
    it will be tuff but doable.. good luck grasshopper...
    I just got back from New Mexico.. BDR/CDT hybrid just over 1800 miles in four days....85% dirty..
    the riding was great and fast... the camping and livings off the bike was a bitch!!...
    riding in to the night.. finding a place to throw a quick bed roll eat, sleep, coffee, pack up and get rolling...
    the time wasted doing this will eat into the days...a lot ...
    pack lite.. really lite.. eat while fueling... the most importance of all is keep hydrated if your thirsty you not drink enough water... it will help to stay focus on lay down miles....
    wish I chasing y'all.. always like a good challenge..
    DUN 606 upfront and Metzeler Enduro 3 Sahara rear..
    HAZMAT 2017 a.jpg
    #19
  20. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    Let me checkpoint the math. Assuming you have a rolling average of 35mph (which I think is ambitious for a TAT-type route), you're looking at 14.3 hours in the saddle for 12 days straight. I would think you'd have to add at least 1.5 hours/day for food/gas, so you're at looking at rolling at 6AM and shutting down at nearly 8PM (and dodging wildlife). In reality, you're probably going to have a bunch of days where you're riding deep into the night and shutting down at midnight or later. And there is absolutely no contingency for repairs, maintenance, tire/chain changes, breakdowns, getting lost, bad weather, road closures, crashes, sickness, etc.

    This sort of trip is possible, but only with a lot of luck, planning, and probably some logistical support and pre-running. Your idea to use Delorme and Google to do a backroads route from the coast to the TAT start is almost surely going to have a lot of phantom roads, dead ends, unanticipated gates, etc. You could easily take ten days just getting to the start.

    Ambition is all well and good, but it needs to be grounded in reality. My guess is that you'll either have to scale back or bail to pavement early and often.

    - Mark
    #20
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