CannonRide - Big Bikes on the Kentucky Adventure Tour (KAT)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cannonshot, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Just finished up nine days of riding fun that included an Iron Butt and a fantastic ride on the Kentucky Adventure Tour (KAT). First and foremost I want to thank inmate Jeff@TheQuadShop for putting this ride together. It was about 900 miles of non-stop fun.

    I'll share some pictures, video, and information here that hopefully will help other riders plan a trip of their own. I strongly endorse this path as a very worthwhile ride for big bikes or small. Jeff has some great riding in this thing!

    Since we were riding big bikes, we skipped the alternate hero routes. We found plenty of challenges on the main route though. :evil

    The route tours southeast Kentucky and spills over into neighboring states. It takes in beautiful mountainous terrain.

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    My friend Critic rode his KTM Baja 990.

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    I rode my Yamaha Super Tenere.

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    Both bikes were a bit big and heavy for some of the more rugged sections of the path. They were certainly a hoot on the twisty pavement which makes up much of the route. No matter what bike you choose, there will be a compromise between the paved and the rugged. My DRZ would have been an excellent choice for the off-pavement sections.

    We had a little unexpected snow that shut us down for a day.

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    The water crossings and creek paths were fine. We had good water levels. We did hear a news report of a watercourse near the area that went up 16 feet in just a few hours on the day we got the snow and rain. Something to keep in mind.

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    Some of these surfaces get pretty slick when they are wet and muddy. Seems like the best approach is to ride this during dry weather.

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    Best to keep those tire pressures up. Lots of rocks to pound your rims.

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    Some sample riding. The steepness doesn't show. Lots of loose rocks and erosion to deal with in some areas.



    Thanks to my pal Critic for joining me for most of the KAT! :thumb
    #1
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  2. TOTim

    TOTim Been here awhile

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    Looking forward to another great ride report. Subscribed.
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  3. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    In of course !
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  4. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    I've been looking for some new rides this side of the Mississippi. I'm in!
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  5. mbabc

    mbabc Curmudgeon trainee

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    Good to see you riding in the Commonwealth Bryan.

    Looking forward to this.
    #5
  6. jmckeown88

    jmckeown88 Been here awhile

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    Looking great!
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  7. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    The Red River Gorge Scenic Byway isn't part of the GPX that Jeff provided, but it adjoins the KAT right about where we planned to start. I included it in this trip because it is 40 miles of fun riding and interesting stuff. We arrived in the area later in the day so this was a perfect way to pass the time until we hit the KAT first thing in the morning.

    It starts in Stanton and ends on the KAT at Slade.

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    (As a side note, I am including the KAT GPX track as a grey colored background track as I post my own track and the maps in this thread. This is to eliminate any confusion as to what is reported here that may not have been part of the KAT file. I left the "hard" hero sections as red tracks in the background. We did not ride the red tracks.)

    As we pulled out of Stanton we came upon this combination drive-in movie theater and car wash that is still in operation. My bet is that many of the readers here have never experienced a movie at a drive-in.

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    Projection house and snack bar.

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    Kind of a lumpy looking screen.

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    You would get the sound through these speakers that you hung on your car window. This modern facility also has a low power AM transmitter so you can get the sound through your car radio. Back in Wisconsin, the speaker poles also had corded heaters you could put in your car during cold weather.

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    The Nada Tunnel is one of the first interesting features of this loop.

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    Back in the early 1900s, a logging outfit from West Virginia got hold of 2,500 acres of land to log in this area. The outfit was named the Dana Lumber Company. The town and tunnel got the name "Nada" as a variation of Dana.

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    The one-lane tunnel is 900' long, 13' high, and 12' wide. It was built for a train to pass through. This outfit already owned a standard gauge engine and rails so they built for that size instead of the usual narrow-gauge that was used in these situations. Narrow gauge can make tighter turns and costs a bit less.

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    They built the tunnel during the period December 1910 through September 1911. By 1912 trains ran through it. They used dynamite, steam drills, and hand tools to build the tunnel. A man and a dog were killed when a guy tried to thaw frozen dynamite a little too close to a fire.

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    One can't help but wonder how they logged this rugged terrain. Even today, looking at an active logging site in this rugged region is interesting. Back then they used horses, mules, and oxen to drag logs to streams. From there they used splash dams to float logs to a rail head or the Red River. Logging and milling ran up until about 1921 when things shut down. In 1934 the federal government got the land for part of a National Forest.

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    Soon after the railroad shut down, cars and trucks were using the tunnel as they are today.

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    Here is a little footage of a ride through the tunnel and on the road that winds around on the other side of the tunnel. Fun riding!

    #7
  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks Tim! Hope you enjoy the report as much as we did the ride.

    Hi Frank! You and your posse would have a blast on this one.

    I had a really nice time on this ride and heartily recommend it for others.

    I really like the area. I was stationed down that way and this trip reminded me of many of the things I enjoyed back then. I have to admit that even though the dialect and expressions were familiar, I had to listen more closely as people spoke - especially in the more rural areas. Hope you enjoy the report!

    Thanks for following along!
    #8
  9. no

    no dreaming adventurer Supporter

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  10. joenuclear

    joenuclear Long timer

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    Another Cannonshot RR!

    N! :lurk
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  11. keeponriding

    keeponriding Been here awhile

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    More...we need more!
    :super
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  12. RicT

    RicT Adventurer

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    Looking forward to some updates.
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  13. Torquer

    Torquer Hey, watch this.....

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    Can't wait to get another set of wheels to ride this!
    #13
  14. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

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    Looks to be another great RR. And in my neighborhood!
    #14
  15. BARCODE

    BARCODE Commercial Tool

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    Looks pretty awesome Cannon! :clap
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  16. Collarbone

    Collarbone Been here awhile

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  17. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Truffle

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    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
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  18. bluestar

    bluestar sheep shagger

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    :lurk :lurk Looks like fun to me. :clap
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  19. 2Wheels4Soul

    2Wheels4Soul Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

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    A trip before Easter! You are a rock star! :clap
    #19
  20. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    A few housekeeping details before I move on.

    Someone asked about the orange helmet I was wearing. It is the new AFX FX-41. For me it replaced the dual sport helmet I had like the one my friend Critic is wearing. It is cut a little differently around the shoulder and chin. The fit is pretty standard. The vents are fine. It has an embedded flip down sun visor that is handy sometimes. It is quiet and I had no bill trouble but I have to qualify that by saying I have a large windscreen on my bike. It worked well on the highway and on the trail. The only thing I don't like about it is that the tabs on the flip up visor are more into my field of view than I like when the visor is in the up position. That, and it doesn't work well with a viewfinder camera (obviously). When it was hot, I really would have preferred wearing the Klim helmet I have as it is super vented. But then again, it got down into the twenties one night which may have been a little too cool for a few hours in the morning. This helmet was fine in the cold.

    I did maintenance on my Tenere today. Took a while to get all the mud and gravel dislodged.

    The bash plate took a beating again on this trip. There were numerous flip up rocks that clanged the bash plate but I also took a few hard hits when I was bouncing down some steep rocky slopes where I didn't always have enough control (or options) to pick a line that didn't involve some rock strikes. I guess the same thing was true charging up some steep rocky slopes. Hard to see what is ahead sometimes. It wasn't nearly as bad as the beating it took on the Colorado trip where I had to take it to a friends place to reshape the thing on his press. I guess the message here is to have a sturdy bash plate or you could easily break a case.

    Looks like I shipped a teeny bit of water through the vent in my final drive on some of the deeper crossings. It wasn't bad, but I changed out the final drive lube as a matter or routine.

    Had to really scrub down the engine to get the mud off the oil filter so I could change the oil.

    I also retorqued the spokes as they really needed it. Probably should have done that after Colorado. Easy to do on the Tenere - torque wrench with a long shaft hex socket.
    #20
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