I&G plans for the Trans America Trail by CCM GP450 & Honda CRF250L

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Drumbrakes, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. jondirt

    jondirt City rider

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    I don't think Sam includes anything on his maps that is really super technically challenging - people ride the TAT on all sorts of bikes. And yes, by CO you should have your sea legs. Plus what is adventure for. Go for it!

    On permits - as 35xj suggests, I think you will be fine without permits for trails. I did have my exhaust checked once by a ranger to make sure it had a fire arrestor and that it wasn't too loud, that's about all. With UK bikes and plates, just a smile and apology...
    #61
  2. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    Same with insurance - just get the minimum needed. If you even were to do something which somebody wanted to sue you for, you'd be home by the time the papers were served and they can't touch you across the big pond.
    #62
  3. pinball1008

    pinball1008 Been here awhile

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    I've read back through the thread, but can't find mention of what tyres will be on the bike when you ship it and what arrangements you've made for replacements on route? I'm assuming that you're ordering in advance to ensure you have what you want at a particular point. I know TommyTurtle had work done at Gunnison, which we used for tyres when we did the Continental Divide. I recall it wasn't cheap for the changeover, but they let us use their workshop to take the wheels off ourselves to save a few dollars.
    Iirc, be had our tyres done at Sunspots although we did use Gunnison Motorsports for some other bits and pieces.
    #63
  4. Drumbrakes

    Drumbrakes Been here awhile Supporter

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    At the moment I'm thinking of new tyres around Colorado (probably Gunnison), along with an oil change and general service. I was intending to stick with the Hiedenau K60s, until they need replacing. They seem pretty good to me for the large variety of surfaces we'll be on. I have little experience, but would expect any tyre that is much more knobbly would suffer on the 1000 or so miles of tarmac we need to cover before the start. (Edinburgh to Manchester, then Charleston to Andrews)
    #64
  5. Tommyturtle

    Tommyturtle Been here awhile

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    I know tyres are a minefield and everyone has their views/favorites/pet hates but......... I think K60's are going to be next to useless on the mud and sand and slop that will be widely encountered on the TAT. If it were me, I'd be ditching the K60's before getting into Missisippi. (I had 644 front and E09 rear for the East but switched to 606's in Colorado Springs). They are widely available in the U.S. and I'd plump for themas early as possible, maybe from Tellico Plains but definitely before Missisippi. They wear well on tarmac too, but are vastly better on gravel, mud, sand than K60's.
    #65
  6. Drumbrakes

    Drumbrakes Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks for the tips,
    I'm having to google all of these.
    644 is a Mitas XT-644 "Army special"
    E09 is also Mitas, but has larger knobs?
    A 606 is a Dunlop D606.
    They all look pretty much the same to me, all wide spaced square knobs, probably about an inch across, perhaps the E09 rear knobs are up to 2" . I'll need to find somewhere local that stocks these things so I can see them in the flesh.
    The k60s have less space between the treads longitudinally, and a lot less across the width. I'll also re-read Minky's tyre comments again, and some other TAT reports.
    #66
  7. Tommyturtle

    Tommyturtle Been here awhile

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    Yes that's all correct.
    The Dunlop 606's are available in the USA in the right sizes and as a regular 'knobbly' they won't clog up as badly as the K60's in the mud and gloop but are still good on road - and very good on gravel. I think they would suit your needs. All the ebst, Tom
    P.S. they are DOT approved too, so legal.
    #67
  8. Drumbrakes

    Drumbrakes Been here awhile Supporter

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    So, this seens to be a big gap in my planning so far. Will need to sort something out.

    I presume Mitas won't be DOT approved as they are not sold in the US. The E09s appear to be what Clive at MotoScotland uses on his bikes, so that's the tyres I've done most of my serious off-roading on and been happy enough on all surfaces.
    They'd be a good starting choice, but unable to get replacements during the trip. The whole bike is not DOT approved, so I'm not worried about that, as long as the tyres aren't stamped with anything stupid like "Not for highway use".

    Pirelli MT21s looking like a good option from here: available and road legal in both countries.
    Of course the actual tyres i buy here will probably not be DOT stamped, and any I buy in the US will not be EC marked, so all slightly irrelevant, except: I'll be able to get like for like replacements part way through the trip. If I'm happy with how they perform, that's what I'd like to do.

    Continental TCK80s look quite tightly spaced, probably not much better than the K60s.
    #68
  9. pinball1008

    pinball1008 Been here awhile

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    A friend of mine used D606's for both his TAT rides and really rated them. Unfortunately, as you're aware, you can't get them in Europe which is a shame.
    My interest in tyres is that I'm hoping to do the Spanish side of the Pyrenees this year and there's a fair bit of tarmac to get to the start and then back home after the finish. Last year we did the French aide coast to coast on full knobblies and they were stuffed when we got back and weren't comfy on the long tarmac legs.
    Perhaps the E09's will be a good choice for me.
    #69
  10. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    Mitas are easy to get in the US, but the D606 will be more readily available in many dealers.
    http://www.twistedthrottle.com/brand/mitas-tires/

    Don't worry about whether tires state whether they are DOT approved, or even stamped OFFLOAD ONLY. No police checks on tires here and you don't need to do safety inspections like in Europe, especially as a foreign-plated bike. Plenty of dual sports in the US run offload tires, even if it is technically illegal.
    #70
  11. Drumbrakes

    Drumbrakes Been here awhile Supporter

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    Tyre choices are still pending, MT21s are the Mitas tyres mentioned are an optionn for the starting point, and MT21s again or the dunlop tyres after a 1/2 way change over. I do also need to consider the tyres I finish with will still be fitted to the bike when it arrives back in the UK, so I'll have a few 100 miles of UK roads to do before the bike gets home. If I was stopped here, two tyres stamped "Off-Road Use Only" means a big fine and 6 points on my licence.

    I've just done a trial pack. If Tapatalk for windows will play nicely, here is a what I expect to have in my bags on a normal day:
    [​IMG]
    Starting from the bottom right, going left, then up.
    Spada Thermal Layers
    "Civilian" trousers, T-shirts & socks for off-bike wear.
    wash kit, contact lenses and medical supplies.
    Spare boot socks lightweight for hot weather
    Riding mig/base layers
    travel towel.
    waterproof linings for riding trousers and jacket ( Jacket liner can also be used as a normal raincoat without the main jacket)
    seal skin waterproof socks
    spare underwear, an android tablet & mobile phone.
    down jacket in stuffsack.
    wallet, phone chargers (charges up to 4 of at phones tablets, helmet bluetooth units, action camera, & sat navs at once)
    Crocs or other alternative shoes,
    maps and roll charts, & a budle of paper representing other documents - EPA forms, passports reg keeper docs, insurance etc
    Alarmed disk lock and cable.
    first aid kit,

    What have I missed?
    Here's the CCM luggage I have.
    [​IMG]
    A lot of people have suggested it's weak, won't hold up to a few falls and the waterproof liners are useless.
    The waterproof liners aren't great.
    There's no roll tops or any other fastening, I won't be using them.
    I'm going to use smaller roll top dry backs and Eagle Creek compression bags for the side pckets, and some other roll-top dry bags inside the upper ones.
    If it lasts a few more trips without showing any distress, I'll take them with me. if they start falling apart before then, I'll find something else.

    I've packed the clothes into 2 compression bags (except the waterproof liners)
    Maps & roll charts are in the left red compression sack. the larger documents, a whole of USA road map, tablet & have gone in another red dry bag. wask kit etc has gone in the blue bag.
    [​IMG]
    That all fits into the two side panniers of my bags, along with on waterproof liner tucked in at the top. The lock has gone on one rear pocket, and the first aid kit in the other.
    That leaves the two top bags empty, and 1 pair of crocs left to pack. Wight for the lower bags - 11.1 Kg (24.5 lb)

    I have tool tube that will take most of the tools. I'll need some space for spare parts - inner tubes etc. There should be room for those spares, a full 4 litre water bladder, 2 empty 5 ltre fuel bladders in the rear bag, leaving the front bag empty.

    So, what have I missed?
    #71
  12. msteward

    msteward Long timer

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    Those wet toilet wipes or maybe baby wipes.

    You never know when that ticking time bomb in your gut may go off.
    #72
  13. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    Don't worry, cash at Walmart can cure any needs.
    #73
  14. Tommyturtle

    Tommyturtle Been here awhile

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    Iain, I changed my tyres at Colorado Springs, not Gunnison. CS has a great bike shop: Apex Sports. (327 S Weber St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903,.Phone:+1 719-475-2437).
    The folks there are all amazingly helpful, the service department is the domain of Jim Leidenheimer and he and his team was amazing. They spooned on a set of D606's for me and gave me a 'Nutter Brit' discount too! (I took some ridiculous trails in an incompetent and lost detour high up around Saint Charles Peak trails. When the guys saw my GPS and where I'd been they told me that trail is only ridden once a year by their dirt bike club in perfect conditions and were pretty incredulous I'd been up there and got through. I DID drag the bike for what seemed like a very long way through deep gloop - liquified mud - in parts, and wobbled a fair ways up/down single-track knarliness too, so I guess they were right to think me pretty mad.) Anyway, Apex is where I had my bash plate mounts welded up and the bike generally re-fettled after serious abuse in the St Isobel National Forest! I planned to go via Colorado Springs because I wanted to do a route out from there via Old Stage Road and Gold Camp Road to Victor and Cripple Creek, (Pikes Peak too) then down via Shelf Road to Canon City, to then head west and link back up with the TAT route. This was recommended by inmate Jen and it was amazing. If you're planning any TAT deviations/side trips I recommend this.
    #74
    Etch-a-Sketch and Drumbrakes like this.
  15. Drumbrakes

    Drumbrakes Been here awhile Supporter

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    Some more tools in today.
    I did have a very good comprehensive tool kit, just a wee bit heavy, and missing tyre levers.
    When I found Motion Pro T6 tyre levers, I reconsidered the whole approach.
    a 27mm 1/2" socket and a 1/2 to 3/8" adapter weigh 215g.
    My beautiful Clarke extending 3/8" ratchet weighs 450g
    775g to undo the rear axle.

    The Motion Pro T6 27mm combo wheel spanner & tyre lever weighs 90g.

    The MP adapter to let the 27mm combo lever take any 3/8" socket weighs 35gs. That would completely replace the ratchet, even if i keep the other 3/8" sockets.
    It may not extend, but it's rated beyond the highest torque either bike needs. (for a likely trailside repair)
    It doesn't ratchet, but the axle nut is not a nylock and its only 10 turns max to get it fully off.

    650g saved, without considering the tyre lever aspect.
    I've never changed a motorbike tyre in my life. (I will before the start of the trip). Some say the T6 levers aren't great as levers, other reviews have people choosing to use them at home in preference to proper workshop levers.
    (I'm treating levers and spoons as interchangeable terms, if there's a difference, I don't know what it is)

    A set of two T6 levers (27mm & 12/13mm) and a "Bead buddy" weighs 180g.
    The Buzetti steel trail tyre levers, recommended by the guy who doesn't rate the T6s, come in a set of three identical levers, ranging from 150 to 160g.

    I've bought a light bike with a fancy aluminium frame, I'd rather not lug several kg of extra metal across a continent, and have to pick that up every time I fall, but I need to fix a puncture, preferably quickly and easily with minimal knuckle rash.
    I'm going to add one of the buzetti steel levers along side the 2 T6 levers and the bead buddy. There's two of us, so we will have 4 hands if needed.
    #75
  16. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

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    on the puncture repair side of questions.......who makes a decent tubed tyre puncture repair kit? most of the ones i see in the UK look as if they are suitable for Pedal cycles only.
    #76
  17. wianbiggar

    wianbiggar Been here awhile

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    Drum brakes
    Def the right thinking - think light!
    May have to try it myself - once I get my bike next week yeah!
    Ian
    #77
  18. Drumbrakes

    Drumbrakes Been here awhile Supporter

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    I've bought one from adventure spec.
    http://www.adventure-spec.com/default/tools-adventure-spec-puncture-repair-kit.html
    Looks like a pedal bike kit, works the same way, but the patches are much bigger and thicker.
    I was also contemplating sliming my tubes, but if that's anything like on pedal bikes, you can't re-use the tubes if you change tyres, as the valves get blocked when you let the air out. (suppose you could put a new core in?)
    #78
  19. TATbyCCM

    TATbyCCM n00b

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    I'd echo Tommy's recommendation for 606s, easily sourced, but recommend phoning a couple of days in advance.

    Also highly recommend looking for a way to lift the front mudguard.

    This is the top of Engineer Pass, Colorado (8th July last year) still on TKC80s from the UK. It was the one and only day I wore a jacket.

    [​IMG]
    #79
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  20. Drumbrakes

    Drumbrakes Been here awhile Supporter

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    My toolkit's getting lighter. I've spent the day taking my wheels on and off,(swapped the ccm 30mm rear wheel nut for a 27mm husky one - same size as the klx!) and checking that everything in my kit fitted something on one of the bikes.

    3 tyre levers:
    1 buzetti steel lever
    1 Mothion Pro T6 lever with 12 &13mm spanner built in.
    Motion-pro T6 with 27mm spanner. This fits the CCM now, but is too thick for the KLX, as the chain adjustment plate gets in the way. might pad that out with some washers or get a bigger nut.
    3/8" socket adapter for 27mm lever.
    Motion-pro bead buddy
    An adjustable prop stand (www.endurostar.com)

    Spanners: C & ring
    17,14,13,12,10,8,7,6
    (6 doesn't fit anything directly, but useful with the 6mm allen key)
    3/8" socket adapter for 13mm spanner.bits8" sockets:
    17, 19 & 24

    12mm hex key (soon to be swapped for a 30mm length of 12mm aluminium hex rod, as it's only used on the front axle pre-load cap thing (it's made of aluminium too, and doesn't need to be that tight)

    Ball ended hex keys:
    8,6,5,4 & 3mm

    a Beta 1/4" socket set. This has sockets up to 14mm and screwdriver and allen bits.

    spoke key
    30mm mini adjustable spanner
    craft knife.
    mini wire clippers,
    mini needlenose pliers
    led lamp pen.
    an electrical insulated crimping tool.
    voltage tester.
    tiny 12v compressor

    That seems like everything i could need apart from a chain tool.

    I'm still working on the "consumables" side.
    So far:
    mini gaffer tape roll.
    self amalgamating tape.
    insulating tape.
    zip-ties (re-usable)
    tube puncture repair kit.
    spare electrical wire.
    selection of pre-insulated crimps
    spare relay.

    still to get:
    spare radiatior & fuel line sized hose clips.
    fuel line blank plugs (the ccm has 3 tanks, if one of the front ones gets a leak, you can go down to 2)
    Spare inner tubes
    spare chain & joining links
    selection of m5 & m6 button cap/button screws& washers.
    thread lock.
    #80