Ghilly TAT 2009 (from the beginning)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Ghilly, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
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    996
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    PA
    I June or July 2008 I first read a post on bike forum by Donniej about his solo TAT ride and that is where the story begins. The TAT or Trans American Trail was made up by a guy who likes to explore on bikes here is a link to explain what the TAT is.

    http://www.transamtrail.com/

    From that point I have been researching and putting together all the gear needed to make this happen. At first I wanted to just buy a used DRZ for a few thousand dollars. All my research told me that this bike was a great bike for that ride. After looking around for a while it was easy to see that this was not going to be easy to find one on the cheap. So I called around all the bike shops and told them my story about me taking the ride across the country on a bike I might by from them and they could do what ever they wanted for advertisement if they either helped out or at the minimum gave me a great deal on a new bike and all the gear.
    The one shop I went to was Cycle City in Erie Pa. I talked to the sales person and she appeared to be all kinds of excited for the whole thing and got all the managers in on it. Now I told them I wanted gear head to toe (helmet, jersey, boots, gloves etc plus the bike). They told me they were going give me a great price and get the owner involved to put this on a bid type thing. They told me to give them 2 days to get the price in order and they would email me all the details. Two days go past and no email. I call up and they said they got busy so it would be to me by 1200 the next day. the next day at 2pm no email. So I call them up again and they said by 5pm I would have it. The next day I still did not have it so I talked to another dealer and got a price of $5,700 OTD for a new 2008. The next day I called Cycle city back to see what the "special price" would be. They took all this time and made all this BS to offer me retail price on the bike. Not a single dollar off the list price. I told them I had a OTD price cheaper than there "special price" and to basically get bent. Needless to say I will never do any business with them.
    I in Aug. 2008 I pic up this shiny new toy.

    [​IMG]:D

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    #1
  2. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    Now I liked the color of the bike as it was but as I drove around that summer I noticed that dark color bike are Very hard to see at night. The bright ones are Much easier to see at greater distances. Being that I would like to keep my odds of getting smacked by a car down as much as possible I decided to change the color of my bike a week after I brought it home.

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    Here is my bike as it has been changed over to yellow plastic and tank . The bike was only about a week old to me when I changed the plastic.

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    #3
  4. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]

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    #4
  5. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    Here it is after the Moose hand guards have been installed. The other goodies were ordered but at that point they were either not shipped yet or I just had not put them on the bike

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    This is some of the gear I have gotten either through trading with friends, ebay or by getting stuff online while on sale.

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    #6
  7. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

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    sanity?
    :lurk
    #7
  8. arroyoshark

    arroyoshark Needing some space

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    While you're busy keeping our national economy afloat... :lol3 ....you might want to swap out your o.e.m. steel handlebars for some aluminum ones. They tend to be much stronger and morel likely to survive in a biff.

    Protaper makes a nice bend, a Suz./KTM bend that is nearly identical to the stock bar bend. It's also a 7/8" dia. bar, same as stock.

    Switching the rigid stock mirrors for a Ken Sean folding dual sport mirror might save your front brake master cyl. perch.


    Looks like you got the image posting thing down pat. :thumb
    #8
  9. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

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    you might consider a set of Devol radiator guards, some CFC or similar case guards, and the skid plate of your choosing. 3 basics that will protect the crunchy parts of your bike in a tip over or obstruction encounter.
    #9
  10. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    Oh you mean this stuff? :D

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    #10
  11. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    The guards I have so far as seen in the above pic are a Thumper talk bash plate, crank case guards and a unibiker radiator guard. I need to get them installed before my riding season begins but I will have them on soon.
    As for my bike riding experience, I started years ago on a YZ80 and rode the crap out of it. Later, I stepped up to a CR250 and YZF400. My off road time is decent but not a lot of street miles. I also have had racing 4 wheelers for years and put hundreds if not thousands of hours on them in the nastiest of terrain.:D
    #11
  12. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

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    there you go. :rofl
    #12
  13. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    Last year I decided that the stock seat would not be a great idea for a long trip. After some research I found that Renazco make a pretty nice seat that is very well respected. Soooo I put in an order and had them build me a custom seat. They needed a full seat bed so I bought one off ebay and sent it to them while keeping my stock seat. Here it is.
    [​IMG]

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    #13
  14. rpritch

    rpritch Adventurer

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    Ghilly

    Read the same post last year and convinced myself needed a bike... expecially made it more reasonable was mpg i was getting in my truck vs bike... Wishing you good luck w/ your trip and when you know when you will be comming through the Oklahoma Panhandle area let me know... Have a place if you need to tinker w/ bike... and who knows if works may take off ride a day or so w/ you into colorado... Good Luck and enjoy your trip!!!
    #14
  15. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    #15
  16. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    The author makes some silly mistakes and uses some poor decisions at times but works his way through what ever mess he ends up it. He also does a great job of telling his story. At times you can tell he is a city dweller but I love his story.
    #16
  17. Vinnie the Snake

    Vinnie the Snake Long timer

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    Couple suggestions, get a much larger aftermarket gas tank, you will need it out west. Put on some good tires, I run MT21's but many have run the 606's with much success. Need a good rack for the back, and soft bags for luggage. Invest in a good GPS and input the routes yourself, a good way to work the maps out before you leave. I carry maps as a back up. Make sure you have good tire repair capabilities as in many place you will be ALONE.

    Travel as lite as possible and enjoy what the TAT has to offer. If you are going alone, I might also suggest a SPOT Tracker, just incase you get bucked off and need some help, works well. Happens to the best of us.

    Might want to give our Vintage Ride a look see. It shows many hurdles we encountered. Some we conqured, some kicked our asses.

    Good Luck.
    #17
  18. Sourjon

    Sourjon TAT'erd

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    At first that bothered me. The whining about smells and how people looked. But after a while it became amusing. His take on cows and farming and rural life in general. I am sure he is a better person for taking the trip. Good read.

    John
    #18
  19. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    I will be picking up a clark tank and may make some sort of rack system unless someone make a nice one already. My GPS is a Garmin vista CX and seems like it will be fine for what I want. I am thinking about getting a SPOT but have started thinking about a sat phone. Anyone have much experience with these? I am still looking for the soft bags the fit me but have no brand picked yet. What type of tools should I bring? I want to be light but HATE having a tool to fix something but it is sitting at home when I need it.
    #19
  20. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    Here I am on my bike right after I swapped out the black for yellow.

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    #20