Ghilly TAT 2009 (from the beginning)

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

  1. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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  2. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    Longcliff,
    This was a trip of many many ups and downs. Sometime the stress was hard to deal with and sometime that came after it was all done. I could have never guessed how hard this trip would end up being or how you could never prepare for everything that was thrown at me. Then again I could never have imagined just how amazing it was either. The almost running out of gas was a nutty situation for sure. I prepared for that happening as best I could but still did not want it to happen.

    Tomichi pass I think is the worst stress I was under the whole time because once it started there was no let off for a few hours. On some of the other stuff there was times where I still was having fun but worried. On Tomichi I was hurting like crazy and my bike did not work for crap. Add to that the fact that that trail is just plain nutty. By the time I was able to pull off and find a flat spot my nerves were just about shot for a while. I needed a mental and physical break for a bit. Now for those who know me well they know I deal with stress VERY well and have been in action that would make many poop there pants. So for me to say I was stressed is saying a lot.

    Taking pics is all part of it. Looking at my pics now I think I did not take nearly enough and my video sucks. Next trip will be much better for camera gear. It has been fun doing this report and I hope I inspired some riders just like I was by reading DonnieJ's ride report.

    I am not sure where the tiger trap is exactly but it is about day 2 of Nevada I think. If you look at my pics you will be able to know when you are getting in that region. Just be carefull to not ride real fast through that deep grassy stuff. Glad you at least like my report and not sure just how popular it was. There is still a bit more to come to finish off this trip then 2010 trip ride report. :evil
  3. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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  4. GoMotor

    GoMotor Been here awhile

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    I was a week or two behind you starting at Jellico in August. Just saw the last few bits of mud in Arkansas.

    I noticed that you mentioned several times a "large loss of power" at high elevations. I was on a heavily loaded Kawasaki KLR650 from Houston and the thing that surprised me was that I did not notice "any loss" of power even going over those 13,000 feet passes. I know that if there is 30% or so less oxygen your max power has to be 30% less, but on those rocky curvy jeep trails it is hard to get going fast enough to need that last 30%. I had no trouble restarting after stopping on the steepest part of Hancock Pass without slipping the clutch. Not like you can hear in your video at Hancock Pass. You don't need power like blasting up a steep pass at 80 MPH on an asphalt road.

    I had put in a new clean air filter in Salida, CO before heading into the high country. In Nevada about 15 miles before Denio Junction, I noticed the bike loosing huge amounts of power to the point that I actually could not make it up a medium rocky climb. I found the air filter totally clogged with that poofy powdery dust from those goat trails through the sage brush. You know what I mean. Right there half way up the rocky hill where the motor gave up, I cleaned the air filter with some shampoo form my shaving kit and drinking water. The bike finished that hill climb like it was at sea level.

    So, I wonder could your bike have been jetted a little on the rich side at your lower home elevation or could some trail dust have accumulated on your air filter?
  5. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    We had a guy on a KLR and he did not think there was much power loss either on his bike. I was very good at keeping new or at the minimum very clean air filters on my bike. On top of that I was the lead bike and never really ate any ones dust. Another rider we picked up in CO (Todd) also was ridding a DRZ and he complained of exactly the same issues I was having if not worse. I would say my bike had about 20% of it power at 13,000 feet compared to home at 800 ft. A good person to tell more about it is Notar. He is a master carb and bike guy and got to ride my bike at 10,000 ft. He could not believe I could get up the climbs I did the way my bike was running.
  6. NOTAR_520

    NOTAR_520 Been here awhile

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    Ghilly always had a clean air filter, and a maintained bike. On top of the high altitude, we also had warm temps screwing up the air density.

    More than likely his bike was very lean from the dealer and jetted for sea level.

    Ghilly asked me to ride his bike at 10k feet, before I jumped on, I was thinking it probably was running a little bit rough, WOW I was just glad it started, and at 13k I was stoked he was able to get over the passes. More than likely the stress of leading the group, bike issues , large rocks,and the gorgeous views accelerated the Altitude sickness. When I linked up with him on top of Hancock, we both knew he needed to decend right away. The backside of Hancock is a fun trail, the baby heads keep even the best riders on their toes.

    Some guys don't need to rejet, and the larger bikes get away with even a little bit more. I think a JD jetkit is cheap insurance for a big trip like the TAT. I had spare jets and needles for our 2 DRZ's but we were running with FCR carbs and werejetted for a much higher elevation, and we didn't need a re-jet.

    Ghilly is proof though, that it can be done. I love the above Video's, I always crack up when I hear the commentary, you can tell in his voice that he was happy to make the summit. What a day we had, and we both will see the top of Hancock later this summer. We all are going to do a serious roost in Ghilly's corner(where he stalled leaving the tree line). That same corner is where Maverickchick roasted her clutch.
  7. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    NOTAR 520....I am in Southeastern NC; have acquired a 2007 DRZ400s from a guy who also lives in NC, had it re-jetted for the heights of Pikes Peak which he has scaled with the bike. Currently "my" bike gives poor mileage(135 miles on a 4 gallon tank) which I find terrible for the TAT without having to haul another can of gas. I was told by a local guy to go back to stock needle and jetting; and leave the 3X3 mod alone and enjoy much better gas mileage locally and while transitting the eastern TAT in August. Then when coming to the higher altitudes of Colorado pretty much close the 3X3 with duct tape and hit the heights for some richness(power) over Hanncock and Tomichi..then remove the tape when descending later into Utah and Nevada..Oregon with much better fuel economy! Do you buy this approach??
  8. TavisB

    TavisB @TavisB

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    That sounds backwards to me...wouldn't your bike need MORE air or less gas at altitude?
  9. NOTAR_520

    NOTAR_520 Been here awhile

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    Your thinking is correct Travis. Bikes get REALLY rich at altitude and need smaller main jets, and needle(could just be a clip change) and pilot changes

    My TAT bike was jetted around 5k, and when we descended toward the ocean in Oregon I had to put tape over the 3x3 holes. Our bikes were fast,lol, but we were lean.

    Terrible gas mileage, not a good sign. If it were me, I would write down the current jetting, and get some info from the thumpertalk Jetting forum. I was running an open pipe, FCR carb and averaged mid 40's, and I'm a big guy. Ghilly was always using less fuel than I. You must be running really lean now, do you have lots of backfiring? I got all my jetting info from the thumpertalk forum, I'm not a guru, but I did do some internet research before the ride :)

    Once your jetted, and still have issues, other things can be looked at, Valves, rings, airbox, seals, etc..
  10. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    Thanks guys, will give Thumbertalk a ring. Bike has only 2200 miles and runs great, strong...reliable and idles perfect..only the gas mileage suffers.
    Cheers Amigos....ride safe. Thanks again!
  11. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    Moab

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  12. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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  13. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    So we did some hiking and some scouting out some nice rivers. This day we are going to go white water rafting. We are hitting a river called the umqua or something close to that spelling. At this water level it is mostly class 3 with some solid class 4 and a few class 5 rapids. For those who do not understand this a class 3 is pretty standard for a raft trip with a guided tour. You may get a few class 4 rapids but not a lot of tours do class 5 with the danger involved. I have a back ground in white water kyaking and rafting as does my friend who was a guide on the New River gorge years back. We have spent a day or 2 on the river before. :D. So we are heading out and the water comes down out of the mountains and if bitter cold in Aug. I did not have the proper wet gear and had some cold times for some of the trip. This is not a guided trip and we are just with a group of rafters and kyakers my buddy knows. We hit the river and have some good times. Later we go out on the town to eat and check out some local band. Late nights, good beer and some interesting females in Oregon.:evil

    So i did some rafting and then I end up in a kyak one day and I am in full neoprene this day so I can deal with the cold water now just fine. In the flat sections I am goofing off and playing. I do some surfing in the rapids and having some fun. We are heading up to a nasty set of rapids in the class 5 range and I have not ever paddled a yak in 5s. This will be my first and here I go. So we scouted it and decided my best way was to NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO do not get out of the boat in the first rapid called gator. This is because the directly next rapid in called pin ball and you are the ball. Pin ball is set up so there can be no way to rescue you until you are out of the rapid. If you swim you are on your own till you make it out. So again stay way right and DO NOT SWIM gator. The first raft made it and sets up. I have a paddle raft behind to sweep and is watching me. Off I go. Staying right and getting banged up properly. Now can anyone guess what happened next??? Of course you can. I got beat up and got tosssed out of my yak. That is correct, I am now swimming the rapid gator and not in my yak. The noise is pure thunder from the rapids and very loud. Some how I managed to hang on to my paddle in one hand and the yak with the other. The whole time I am thinking "THIS IS VERY BAD" and need to get back into the boat right now and in a hurry. Gator is nasty but pin ball will beat me senseless. I am out of my yak for what seemed like FOREVER and getting banged up a bit. I have a very short time before things are going to really heat up for the worse. I get my ass back in the yak and get my paddle set. You will never know just how happy i was at that moment. Now that I am set again I soon figure out I am leaving gator and starting to enter pin ball but facing up the creek. My next important task is to swing this thing around and hit the rapid. Once spun around I hit pin ball and a take a little heat but paddle through.

    So I have made it out an finish the river now time to stow gear and head back. When the gear is cleaned and stowed it is time to go get a pizza, drink some beer and BS about the day on the river. The raft behind me says they have never seen someone get tossed out of a boat like that that in a blink of an eye get back in it. :rofl. I had a lot of reason to do so. The day is over and my shoulder starts to bother me a little but not biggy.

    The next day we goof off and my arm is starting to hurt a bit more as we are heading to CA to see the redwoods.
  14. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    Red woods here we come. So we are heading west to the coastal highway and going through a town in my buddies big truck. Up ahead or me coming our way I see 2 bikes loaded up pretty well and look a lot like TAT bikes loaded for bear. As they started to get closer I am looking very close at the bikes and they start looking very much like TAT bikes. Then I start to think I know these bikes. All of the sudden a black DRZ is close enough and its Brad and Alix heading east. We pass them and they are gone before we can turn around and catch them in traffic. I sent a text to Alix asap but she is not gonna get it on a bike till later. They were heading home and it was pure joy to see them still riding after our rough trip.

    So we get to the coastal highway and head south. If you thought the trees in OR are big just look at these things.

    [​IMG]

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  15. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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  16. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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  17. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    These things are freaking big!!! The redwoods can get to 300 ft. tall and up to 22 ft. in diameter. The ferns look normal till you stand next to them too and they are 4-5 fts tall themself.

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  18. wade23fleming

    wade23fleming Adventurer

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    Amazing RR....keep it coming please. I plan on doing this trip next summer so all this information is greatly appreciated.

    Keep riding and make sure to enjoy yourself.

    Cheers
  19. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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  20. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    So we get to drive and walk around in northern CA in the redwood forest. It is just unreal how big these trees are. It does not even seem possible. The funny thing is the redwood trees are babies compared to their close relatives the giant sequoias. Those trees are a tad shorter at around 280 feet but up to 40 feet in diameter. Forty freaking feet in diameter. Most houses are that wide. I did not make it further south to see the big boys but the redwoods are still plenty big. Here is the park I was at.



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