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

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    K-Town NC (BSG-62)
    Friday, July 3rd 2020


    The weather was perfect overnight with a temperature in the low 60's along with a good lower temp to start the morning at before entering the desert. This was also deceiving because it was going to get hot with what I learned later was called the dry heat. Being from the southern part of the USA we have humidity and you know how hot you are by the sweat in your clothing. The desert we found to be a lot different with that dry heat, it evaporates your sweet so we found out you can over heat quickly if your not careful.

    We topped off the fuel on the motors and grabbed some supplies from the local convenience store. While in the parking lot this guy pulled up in a desert modified 1967 Ford Galaxie XL coupe. It's the blue car in the pictures above that Eric posted. The owner was in a hurry getting to where he needed to be but stopped for a few minutes to talk with me about the car. Pretty much he runs it on the desert roads and has a hell of a good time with it. He asked about my ride so I pointed to the XR and gave me the approval smile. I wish we could have talked more being the motorhead that I am but we both needed to be making miles.

    Once getting back to our campsite JW was putting the final touches on packing up his campsite with his new soft Tusk Panniers. He was extremely happy to be changing out from the hard panniers. If you wonder how much? He left it sitting next to the dumpsters at the campground. Kind of reminds me of the old 80s song once bitten twice shy. LOL While JW was packing I went across the roadway and took some pictures of the Colorado River which was very close to our campground. All I can say is majestic!

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    We traveled North on US HWY 191 and near Arches National Park we made a left turn away from it onto a dirt road. When I looked back at the traffic starting to back up a good bit at the Parks Visitor's Center Entrance I liked the direction we were heading a lot better. It was to far before we pulled over to take a few pictures of the landscape. It was completely different from any place which I had experienced. We ran Sam's route which was the middle of HWY-191 and the Green River. We crossed over I-70 and run on a section of dirt road which paralleled the Interstate. It was funny looking at some of the passengers in the cars watching us. The kids took the most interest in us so we gave them a few waves which we could tell made their day.

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    Once we reached the town of Green River we topped off the tanks for the motors and grabbed a few more drinks from inside of the convenience store. I finished off a Gatorade because the temperature was already starting to rise quickly. We then turned out of the town and back into the desert. The road was hard compacted dirt but there were many sections which had sand had covered it which made it very slick. We really needed to keep a good focus on the road. At one point while I was in the lead there was a lizard which ran out in front of me like the squirrels back East.

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  2. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
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    K-Town NC (BSG-62)
    Part 2

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    Before crossing over I-70 a second time JW had another flat on the DR. After talking with him we found out that he had only purchased another 21" inner tube for his spare replacement and didn't by or replace out the 17" inner tube needed for the rear tire. We knew this was going to cause issues for him. Anyway we helped him to get that inner tube replaced. We looked at the tire but couldn't find anything causing the inner tube to loose air.

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    Once we got moving again we were making good time towards the San Rafael Campground on Buckhorn Draw Rd. There was a rather large rock in the middle of the road so I called out over coms to warn Eric. Unfortunately he was behind JW so he did not hear my warning due to the distance. Eric centered the rock with the front tire on the KTM. His view was compromised from the dust with the two motors being in front of him. It blew out his inner tube but luckily it didn't cause any real damage to the front rim or tire. So we had flat tire number two for the day to change out. I was just happy that Eric didn't crash. He was carrying an 18" spare inner tube and I was carrying a 21" so I gave him my spare. We had it changed out in less than 30 minutes. The center stand on the KTM was nice to have.

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    After changing out the KTM's tire it was starting to look like rain and we could tell part of the road had already had some rain due to its wetness. With the muddy roads we continued on past San Rafael Bridge Campground which appeared to be completely full. While riding North we could see the engravings on walls at the Buckhorn Wash Pictograph Panel. I wish we would have taken some pictures but it was pretty slick through there with the wet road and we needed to keep the motors moving. Before entering Castle Dale the roads cleared up and we were making good speed again. A stop at Fatty's Pizza and Grill filled us up so we didn't need to fix dinner at the campsite tonight. After looking at the GPS and iOverlander we found some campsites on the TAT route near Jose Valley Reservoir. We decided to fill the motors up again at a convenience store along with purchasing a few adult beverages for later.

    We set up camp on a section of BLM land above the reservoir with an awesome view of the area. When the moon came out later that night it was extremely bright. I didn't care that it lit up the tent because after 260 miles today with the heat I was completely wiped out! The picture taken below was taken at 2200 hrs!

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  3. Ohiodeere

    Ohiodeere Adventurer

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    Where there some areas that looked interesting in the desert area that you could ride off the road and go check out? are you allowed to ride anywhere besides on the road?
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  4. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
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    I do not know the answer to that question. We stayed on the marked roads. Maybe someone on here from Utah can answer it.
  5. jdub

    jdub Dawg bytes reel gud Supporter

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    I was glad to read of JW getting rid of his hard panniers in favor of soft ones. Being a victim once of a hard pannier during an off-road spill (ankle injury, and I learned my lesson), I cringed every time I saw a picture of JW's hard panniers on this trip.

    And I'm loving this great ride report! :clap
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  6. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
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    Fantastic update @T3/T4 Hybrid, really enjoy seeing all the pics of the dessert and the different terrain you guys covered! That red sand is crazy looking, reminds me of pics I've seen from Mars. I know there's lots of sandy washes in Utah, but didn't know there were dunes like that.

    The flats seriously suck, have endured my fair share of 'em out on rides. Not judging, but surprised each of you isn't carrying a spare of each size. I don't like carrying the weight of both, but have run into issues stuffing a 21" into an 18" rear on longer rides (though I do only carry a 21" spare on my trail-only bike). Can't believe the size of the nail that made its way into JW's tire - looks like a damn 16 penny framing nail...lol.

    The camping spot you guys found above that reservoir is sweet! And nice capture of the moon; there's nothing quite like a bright moon in the desert when the atmosphere is clear.

    Appreciate the extra pics and your write-up is great. Look forward to what comes next fellas.
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  7. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    K-Town NC (BSG-62)

    I thought the same thing about the red sand and Mars!

    I was only carrying the one inner tube because I was using the Tubliss System on the XR. With that system you only need tire plugs which I was carrying both types. If I would have had a puncture then a quick plug would have lasted me through the day until we got to a stopping point later in the evening. I would have taken the tire off at camp then put on a more permanent mushroom style plug. All of those along with some tube patches and hand air pump fit in the front fender bag well. The Tubliss System really worked well for the whole trip.

    Attached Files:

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  8. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
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    K-Town NC (BSG-62)

    I agree those hard panniers are dangerous!! Eric and I were very happy when JW changed out to the soft. He was riding extremely cautious after the injury in the Eastern Section of the TAT.

    I'm glad you are enjoying the RP. It was an amazing trip and glad to share it with everyone. Hopefully I will get to ride it again because there are many sections to still explore!
  9. Motochimp

    Motochimp Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2020
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    12
    Location:
    Bend OR
    Thanks for the info on the Tubeless system. I'm really enjoying the updates and pics but every time I log off I think to myself, "damn, so many people getting flats so often". It seems it could be a real issue and to be honest I've never changed one myself so I have some studying to do. If anyone has any other input on proper tires, tubes, systems, pressure, anything to minimize flats it would be welcome.

    Your pics have been so awesome and inspiring, can't wait for July.
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  10. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    K-Town NC (BSG-62)
    Saturday, July 4th 2020


    That morning after waking up from a good nights rest I was still feeling tired. I contributed it to the heat from the desert heat travels the day before. I noticed that Eric and JW were moving slowly like myself but after a few cups of instant coffee and breakfast; we finally found the inspiration to break camp and start making some miles! The trek over Ephraim pass had more breath taking views from the high top vistas in the Manti-Las Sal NF. The summit was approximately 10,300 ft which was just a few feet below the Colorado Rockies. The scenery was just as majestic and the roads were considerably wider than what we were use to which had it's positives and negatives. We could make some good travel time but there is always that someone who has to go faster and push the edge of safety. This was that day for the Evel Knievel wanna be in a pickup truck with a Utah tag. He was tailgating us pretty close so we pulled over an let him pass. Like a champ he had to drift past us spinning gravel; luckily we didn't find him over the roads edge wrapped around a tree and having to call 911 to collect up the pieces of his dumbass.

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    Once we entered the city of Ephraim it was time to wash off the mud from our motors and for Eric to find an air pump. He still didn't trust my hand pump. LOL

    Eric was really drained from the desert's heat so a decision was made to by-pass the Western section around the Great Salt Lake which would have dipped us into the State of Nevada. I was kind of sad because I have never been to the state of Nevada but I remembered this was group trip. Plus I would be making the TAT trip again in a few years so we looked at the map and found an alternate route which brought us along Utah Lake. It then took us through the city of Salt Lake. Being in a large Metropolitan Municipality was a complete 180 degree turn from the last three weeks of travel. We made it to North Ogden before settling on a hotel room. There was a discussion about finding a campsite but with the 100 degree heat, AC was at the top of the needs list. It also gave us and opportunity to do some laundry. The trek through the desert with the muddy roads had really soiled our riding gear. I was surprised to find my riding jacket was able to fit in the hotel's washing machine. It was nice to have clean riding gear again. I also took advantage of the hotel's hot tub to soak my tired muscles. Eric and myself grabbed a somewhat healthily meal at a restaurant attached to the hotel. In all it was a good day.

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  11. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
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    Enjoyed the update @T3/T4 Hybrid - great to see the ride go smoothly aside from the heat induced issues from the previous day. It's so cool to see the different topography you guys traveled through - Mars type dunes one day to waterfalls to snow on the side of the track. I love the wide open shots of grass covered plateaus - reminds me of my travels near the Owyhee.

    Not sure if you've read other reports from folks riding NV, but it really is an amazing place to explore. If you have extra time during your next TAT adventure, head off into BLM nirvana.

    And I hope you don't mind a slight side discussion for @Motochimp. As to Tubliss, tires and the like - lots of discussion on pros and cons of the Tubliss system. For me personally, I stick with tubes as it's what I prefer...even with the damn flats...lol. Tubliss is definitely nice as plugging a puncture is easier (normally) than swapping or patching a tube. My concern is riding rocky, desert areas where a sidewall puncture occurs...and that's where I like to ride. For tires - I've had great success with Pirelli rallycross tires. Several friends use the Motoz desert h/t tires and those wear like iron and offer great grip, I'd use 'em on my WR, but they don't have the ride size for me (if memory serves). The great news is there are tons of excellent options in dual-sport and ADV tires now - need to find what works for you, your bike, and the type of riding you'll do (ie 50/50, 80/20, etc).

    Looking forward to the next update guys!
    T3/T4 Hybrid likes this.
  12. billytyo

    billytyo n00b

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    Great report, thanks for sharing!! Questions:
    1) What is the fuel range on your XR and did you have to carry any fuel?
    2) Is that a Reckless 80 that you are using, and do you think you could have done the trip with a Reckless 40?
  13. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    K-Town NC (BSG-62)

    I could get 200 miles on the XR but anytime I was over 100 miles on the tank and there was a gas station close we were fueling up. I didnt want to take a chance running out of fuel. Eric was carrying an extra gallon of fuel on the KTM for safety.

    I am running the Reckless 80 for the extra space. I may have been able to make the trip with the 40. It would have been hard to decide which comfort item to leave behind. Sleeping on an lower comfort pad, smaller tent along having a chair in the evening to stay off the ground were luxury items but it made the trip more enjoyable. The one set of items most people don't see are the tools and spare parts. I carried probably more than needed but a lot of those items helped to keep the XR fresh and going each day. The air box and filter was getting cleaned out every other day and we were keeping the chains lubed up at the start of each day. There is a lot of dust!

    The one thing I could have left behind was the Chromebook and waterproof case which would have let me use a smaller top bag.
  14. billytyo

    billytyo n00b

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    I think my range will be about 120 miles, so will there be sections where I will have to carry fuel?
  15. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
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    Location:
    K-Town NC (BSG-62)
    Sunday, July 5th 2020



    After having a decent hotel prepacked breakfast we had the motors loaded and started heading towards the TAT route. Our goal was to merge back onto the TAT around the HWY-83 area which is North of the Great Salt Lake. About 30 miles outside of N. Ogden, JW had another flat on the rear tire of his DR. Eric and I knew it had to be something with the 21" inner tube he was running in the 17" tire. After disassembly the inner tube was inspected and we were correct. The inner tub had a hole in its side from it rubbing on itself. Once the tire was was fixed JW decided to back track to N. Ogdon to get a couple new inner tubes at the Cycle Gear Store and see if they might have a new rear tire. Eric and I were going to continue traveling on the TAT heading West and JW would catch back up with us later in the day once he got the inner tube issue resolved.


    Not to far away from departing with JW we came across the Northrup Grumman rocket test facility so a stop was in order to check it out. It was an interesting find and something I did not expect to run across so it got two thumbs up in my book. Afterwards we were in the back country of Utah and crossing the state line into Idaho. The dirt roads between all of the farm lands were very quick and we made some miles. We continued to run across large fields of purple flowers which had a strong but with a pleasant aroma. Later I would learn that it was Alfalfa and was being grown as feed for the cattle industry. I couldn't get over how many large fields of alfalfa which we passed on this day.

    We rode late into the day and stopped in the town of Burley ID for dinner at the A C Dive-in. I couldn't help myself so I had to get a double cheese burger which was really good. While there we looked on the GPS along with the iOverlander APP and located some BLM campsites not to far away on the Snake River near the Milner Rec-Center. We texted the camping spot location to JW who we hadn't heard much from which was worrying. After setting up camp we heard back from JW and he was heading toward our location. Once he arrived we found out that Cycle Gear didn't have a tire but he was able to get a spare inner tube. While traveling to us JW had another flat tire so he was beyond aggravated! Luckily an Idaho State Trooper had stopped by to check on him and had also assisted with changing out the inner tube. JW told us he had a friend in the city of Boise so tomorrow he was heading there to get the tire replaced because he thought something inside of the tire was also causing the flats. I really felt bad for JW because the trip is hard enough without having all of the extra problems.

    While enjoying a few adult beverage Eric and I started talking about our trip. The original plan was to ride for six weeks and hopefully make it to South Dakota. Instead we decided to end the trip at the Pacific Coast like the original TAT Route use to be. I guess after being on the road for 24 days we were both getting worn down. We also decided to find a spot to take a day off of the TAT route and relax.

    It was hot that evening so once the sun had gone down we all crashed out pretty hard!

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  16. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

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    You will need to carry extra fuel or install a larger tank. There was a couple sections where I had to switch over to reserve.
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  17. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

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    I have read other ride reports and want to explore that section of NV along with the western part of the Salt Lake! It will be on my next TAT trip!

    I also like the Pirelli Rallycross tire. I wish it would have used it for this trip over the Tusk tires.
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  18. jeffmackvision

    jeffmackvision Boob man Supporter

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    sunset, SC
    great info and enjoying it. making my TAT trip with a buddy in August.... taking notes. Keep it coming!
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  19. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
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    Not to belabor the tire bit, but wanted to throw this out for others. I installed the Tusk tire (rear) for a solo ~1100 mile trip in June and would not do so again; at least not on something like the WR with a "small" back tire. Hardest tire I've ever spooned on a rim in my life (ended up buying a heat gun to help) and then I was totally disappointed in how it rode and the traction (lack thereof) on my bike. While it wore very well, the lack of confidence whilst riding the outback in SE Oregon was no fun. Back to the Pirelli's for me; or the Motoz desert h/t if I can find the right size for the little mule.

    That discussion aside, really enjoyed the update from July 5th @T3/T4 Hybrid! Looks like you guys scored a sweet camp spot next to some water, is that on the Snake River?

    Look forward to the next one man, so great to see the blue skies and open areas you guys traversed!
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  20. Motochimp

    Motochimp Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2020
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    Bend OR
    Liv2day,

    Thanks for the info on HD tubes vs Tubliss. I've always had good luck with adding slightly more tire pressure (14-15psi front /12-13psi rear) and have logged many many miles here in Central Oregon with only a couple of flat tires in 10 years.