2020 Retirement and the TAT Trip

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by T3/T4 Hybrid, Dec 13, 2020.

  1. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

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    I agree! Eric was having a run of bad luck but the only injury was to his bank account.

    We were all still having a lot of fun.
  2. Motochimp

    Motochimp Adventurer

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    Great update! I committed to taking a year off after dealing with the pandemic for far too long. I have a long list of bucket items that I'm hoping to click off in 2021. Doing the TAT is one of them and I've been doing a little research and stumbled across this website, then this RR. I'm really enjoying the pics and ride information, as you go thru the journey I keep getting little questions answered along the way. I really appreciate the recommendations as far as campsite and places to eat as well. I do have one question that I'm hoping to get some input on from anybody following this adventure. I'm fortunate enough to have 2 options for bikes to ride, can I get some input on pros and cons on each, I would really appreciate it. KTM 790 Adventure R or Husqvarna FE 350? I'm 56 year old, been riding off road bikes for 30 years.

    Also, I can't wait to hear about where you stayed and places you enjoyed while riding the Oregon portion.

    I'm so stoked that you made the effort to put this RR together.

    Thanks for your service and enjoy the ride!!!
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  3. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

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    Monday, June 29th 2020


    Who could ask for a better place to wake up in than the Rocky Mountains! The view out of my tent's door was phenomenal.

    Pict6.jpg

    I talked with Eric later in the morning and there was good news about locating a new battery for the KTM. A replacement was found in the town of Gunnison CO at the local O'Reillys Auto Parts Store about 55 miles away. I offered him to use my XR to make the run to get it but Eric already been in contact with a local auto repair shop. The owner "Renea" had a person picking up parts at the Gunnison NAPA the following morning so for a few extra $$$ they would pick up Eric's battery also. With the KTM issue being taken care off we took off to explore the town of Lake City. Later that afternoon we ate at a local Saloon called the Cannibal Grill/Packer Saloon; the food was really good and on my recommended list. We then walked over to the Lake City Brewing Company, which was only a short distance, for a few pints! It was a good choice plus we ran into the Commanding Officer of the NC Air National Guard Base in Charlotte NC. It really is a small world! We then walked back to the tents and called it a day. pict.jpg pict2.jpg pict3.jpg pict4.jpg
  4. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

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    I'm really glad that you are enjoying the RR! If you can handle the weight of the KTM 790 in a couple difficult spots on the TAT it would be a lot more comfortable in the majority of the route that you would be traveling. Eric was really happy with the change to his larger KTM 990 from the smaller Huskie. Eric is also 6'-3" compared to my height at 5"-11" so to me with my skill level it would be to big so I was really happy with my XR650L. If I were you I would load both bikes and test which one you would feel the best to be on. Also look at maintenance from oil/filter changes, air filter cleaning and tire replacements.

    Good Luck on your adventure!!
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  5. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Me too, super interested to hear about the camping spots and riding done (and if they veered off the TAT route to explore).

    @T3/T4 Hybrid - don't mean to hijack, but thought I'd throw something out there for @Motochimp to consider. The maintenance intervals of the 350 will suck for the mileage you need to cover, but if it were me, I'd lean toward something lighter than the 790 if you plan to hit technical stuff along the way. Nothing against the 790, but having watched a good rider not make a hill climb a few times on a failed ride of mine last year (long story), it has its limitations. That said, have read TAT reports of guys doing it on big bikes - but not solo where picking it up might be an issue. There's a great RR from a guy from TX doing the TAT on his WR250. Far better maintenance schedule, but doable on a small displacement single.

    As T3 suggested, load both of 'em up and head out into the desert to your south. I see you hail from Bend, I have tracks that'll take you from there to Summer Lake (near Paisley) on some pretty killer terrain if you're interested in testing.

    Sorry for the detour T3, now back to your normal viewing schedule :-)
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  6. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    i loved riding my 990 but didn't like working on it. Which I ended up doing far more than i would've hoped...
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  7. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

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    Tuesday, June 30th 2020


    This will be a two post day report due to the amount of pictures.

    The night had gotten a little cool and at one point there were ice drops pelting off of the tents. None of us were in to much of a hurry to get out of the sleeping bags until the sun came out and it started to warm up. The battery for Eric's KTM arrived around 10 o'clock so by noon we were packed and leaving Lake City CO. We didn't realize the total mileage for day would only be 60 miles but it was some of the best roads we traveled so far on the trip. Cinnamon Pass was first and while we ascended the mountain there was another group of TAT riders on trail too. We were passing each other through the different sections and at a couple stopping points we had some interesting chats with them. All of the guys seemed like good men of different age groups. The road/trail was rough in a few sections due to the avalanches they had over the winter but all of us motored our way through it and up to the summit of Cinnamon Pass.

    I have a couple unedited videos of us traveling up Cinnamon Pass. The video can be kind of boring without any music but it gives you a good idea of the trails.





    pict.jpg pict2-.jpg pict1.jpg pict3.jpg pict5.jpg pict6.jpg pict7.jpg pict4.jpg


    After Cinnamon Pass we made our way to the old abandoned mining town of Animas Forks along with The Frisco Mill and Bagley Tunnel. I've seen pictures of the structures in other ride reports but you really don't get a proper aspect of the area until you have experienced it for yourself.

    I found a good web page on the areas history.

    https://savingplaces.org/stories/ghost-of-a-chance-animas-forks-colorado#.X--rCdhKiUk

    pict11.jpg pict9.jpg
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  8. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

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    pict10.jpg pict23.jpg pict12.jpg

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    The next summit to cross over was California Gultch which was a hell of a road! It was a beast for our loaded motors and the near 13,000 FT summit. All three of us was picking up motors in different sections and helping each other. It really took the wind out of me and I had to rest for a few at the top. I thought we were just being soft until I noticed the other group of TAT riders were scattered all over the trail also picking up motors. I wish I had the GoPro recording for this but the battery was dead. :( The views made all of the hard riding worth it! pict21.jpg pict13.jpg pict14.jpg pict16.jpg pict17.jpg

    We finally made our way to HWY 550 (The Million Dollar HWY) and was looking at route on the GPS. It was getting late and we had checked the weather report before leaving Lake City. It was calling for a low of 30 degrees so it was unanimous about find a hotel room with heat for the night. Silverton was the nearest town so that was our destination. There we found a good meal at the Handlebar's Restaurant & Saloon along with a hotel room Triangle Motel. After waking up the next morning with ice in our Gatorade bottles which were left on the motors we knew it was a good call.

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  9. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

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    Hey no problem on giving good information. I also have an older Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom and after taking a few trips with it to the NC mountains. I knew that motor was going to be way to heavy for me on the technical roads in this route. I had a KTM 640 Enduro for many riding seasons but the bottom end let go outside of the U-Wharrie NF so I was scrambling for a replacement. My friends rode XR650L's and they rarely had an issue so I knew what motor was going to be it's replacement for this trip. I did a few week long trips and found that right setup.

    I do miss my old KTM 640.. :(

    ktm pict.jpg
  10. bomose

    bomose Long timer Supporter

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    I just did maintenance on a friend's 640E. Great bike, but boy does it vibrate.
    P1030384.JPG
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  11. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

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    After a while you got use to it being a paint shaker!
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  12. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    Great Pics, I have some good memories of riding up those passes.
    I don't know about everyone else but I prefer natural sounds in video over lame approved music.
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  13. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    I miss my old 640 Adv. That's it in my avatar pic, I wish I'd never sold it. Yes, it vibrated but my hands never went numb like they did on my previous BMW F650 Dakar...
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  14. eb1562

    eb1562 Lone Wolf

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    John, I just wanted to add to your RR and say that you forgot to tell everyone that we ate at an awesome place called the Trinidad Smokehouse in Trinidad CO, and I wanted to give a shout out to Apex Sports in Colorado Springs, they were awesome. I was there waiting on them to open at 0900 and there were a couple other customers in front of me. The service manager saw I was from NC and asked where I was headed to. When I told him the TAT and to Oregon, he pulled one of the mechanics off a job he was already on and told him to make my bike a priority. The Service manager Erik helped me pick out my tire I needed for the rugged part of the trip, a Motoz Dessert HT and he then had his mechanic do a complete check of my bike knowing it was new to me after telling him my story of how my Husky blew up. I was there for about 2 hours but walked away with a new tire, needed brakes and a clean air box. After my Service I hit the pavement and met back up with the two Johns and we headed into the high peaks area.

    Excellent RR John, making me remember so much i have forgotten about already and making me want to hit the trail as soon as it warms up a bit and the snow is gone. View attachment 2729756
  15. eb1562

    eb1562 Lone Wolf

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  16. eb1562

    eb1562 Lone Wolf

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    Let me chime in since I started on a Husky and ended on the KTM. I can tell you there are more KTM shops and part availability for your 790 and in addition to that, I would much rather have the 790 for those long stretches of asphalt when you hit them as well as all the gear you will be carrying if you plan on camping most of the way
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  17. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

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    I'm glad that you are liking it. Chime in if you see anything that I missed.
  18. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

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    I'm glad to not be the only one who normally turns the volume down or off on most videos.

    There is a guy on youtube (Ride on Amigos) and he does just a simple commentary. I prefer that over the lame music selections which most seem to have.

    Watching him tackle Marshall Pass with an overloaded BMW GS told me to look at a smaller motor for this trip!
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  19. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Safety Second!

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    Agreed. Music is not required for a good engaging video.
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  20. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Safety Second!

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