leaving for the TAT next month, bad idea??

Discussion in 'Americas' started by SAFETYFIFTH, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. SAFETYFIFTH

    SAFETYFIFTH Let's Rip Lip!

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    Ive been planning this trip for months now. Quitting my job, putting stuff in storage -note im doing much more than just the TAT, im just using the TAT to make my way west. I plan on only following the trail from Tenn to Utah then cutting down to the grand canyon for a while then down to phoenix to see my aunt, then making my way over to CA. The entire trip is going to be 4 months long.

    been reading some tat threads about april, may way to early in the season has got me tore up. I plan on leaving the first week in april and would roughly be in colorado/utah area in early may. So to hear that the passes could be snowed in is horrible news. Mud in the eastern parts i can deal with, if its really bad i can always hang out at a campsite for a day or two and let the mud dry up a bit.

    Ill be doing this alone. Ill be riding my 04 klr 650, over the last 2 months i have went over every inch of the bike. New sprockets, chain, tires, brakes, full tune up on motor, went over every bolt i could think of. Etc, etc.... So i know the bike is ready.

    Im also kinda worried about the weight of the bike in the possible snow/ mud. Before i leave im going to do some test runs fully loaded and make changes based on that. Do like a overnight ride find out what i need and dont need.

    Id really like some outside opinions on this. Is it possible to do what i have planned??
    #1
  2. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

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    April may is early to be riding trails most anywhere. The mountain roads in Utah and Colorado are going to be snowed in or iced over. Most of the passes in Colorado have snow deep into the Summer though they become passable mid summerish depending on snowfall for the year. you always just ride the route and adjust your plans as you go.
    #2
  3. SAFETYFIFTH

    SAFETYFIFTH Let's Rip Lip!

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    I guess thats what i will have to do.

    Anybody else? Got any tips for riding the tat that early?
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  4. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    Rokon?


    [​IMG]
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  5. SAFETYFIFTH

    SAFETYFIFTH Let's Rip Lip!

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    i really hope its not going to be too bad. (the mud and snow that is...) what a huge let down that would be. Ive had this trip planned for soooo long.
    #5
  6. BUZZARD II

    BUZZARD II Old Geezer

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    I've run from the snow in Colorado in June. The high dirt passes will be snowed in. Don't believe that Al Gore crap.
    #6
  7. Dirt Sampler

    Dirt Sampler Been here awhile

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    Did the Trail in June last year and all the unpaved passes in Colorado with the exception of Cinnamon were still closed.

    The mud issue will just depend on where and when it rains, we had a couple of muddy places, but no big deal. Of course a day or two one way or the other and who knows what you might run into...

    Be prepared to detour around flooded roads and at least one bridge was washed out on our trip. We also had to find a way around one of those mile-long trains parked across the trail at one point.

    We did the trail as far as Salina, Utah and then cut South to the Phoenix area just as you plan to do.

    April is pretty early and you can run into some UGLY weather in the high country you will need to be well prepared and pay close attention to the weather, you don't want to get caught out in the storms that can roll though the mountains.
    #7
  8. LaOutbackTrail

    LaOutbackTrail Certified Smartass

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    You could spend your four months making a new Trans Am Trail.........















    :deal
    #8
  9. SAFETYFIFTH

    SAFETYFIFTH Let's Rip Lip!

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    thank you so much for the reply. well all the anxiety has just been boosted, i put my 2 weeks in at my job today. sorta no turning back now!! :arg

    well what i guess im going to do is follow along as much of the trail as i can up to utah and then play it by ear. if bad weather is coming i just plan cant go alone up there, that could be deadly. Can you guys recommend some kind of a way to keep up on the weather? would a weather radio be the best option?

    Any additional tips? Ideally i would have liked to do this trip in august but things just all came together for april, so i have to try and make the best of it.
    #9
  10. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Yes. :thumb
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  11. flyingreg

    flyingreg just ridin' along

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    The Rockies have been getting hammered purdy good of late. Should be a good snow pack this year. What does Gore know anyway.....
    #11
  12. SAFETYFIFTH

    SAFETYFIFTH Let's Rip Lip!

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    ok so i know colorado is going to be bad weather wise, how about utah? what should i expect?
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  13. Motor 1

    Motor 1 Been here awhile

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    Did the entire TAT 2 years ago. U do not want to be caught out in the Utah mud! Just sayin' :D
    #13
  14. Vinnie the Snake

    Vinnie the Snake Long timer

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    You will have a hell of a time on your hands with the snow, mud, closed sections of National Forest. However, there is always a paved road around the snowed in passes, closed forests, and mud (if you can get back out of it).

    Might want to check out our rides on the Vintages Bikes, lots of pics to tell the story.

    Still a great trip,
    #14
  15. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

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    my encounter with Utah Mud: its only 1" deep but it snowballs rapidly and consists of slippery clay and gravel so wheels quickly stop turning.

    [​IMG]

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    #15
  16. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

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    I'm all for riding the TAT, but I am curious about your timing. Is there some pressing reason not to wait until summer?

    :huh
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  17. DrLewall

    DrLewall Master of bating

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    April is way too early. End of June is better!
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  18. LaOutbackTrail

    LaOutbackTrail Certified Smartass

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    [​IMG]

    Don't let this photo scare you... this is merely an example of the wrong tool for the job. If you are going solo, I'd get a smaller, more reliable bike with the right tires.

    And why do you guys call that grease gumbo? Have you never been to Louisiana? Damn Yanks. Where the front tire is drowning could BARELY be called "gumbo" mud.

    [​IMG]
    Gumbo is a soup, not icing on a cake!




    Seriously, If you are only able to do it at the time you are saying you are going, make sure your bike is small and light, packed light and like i mentioned, good tires. Be prepared to re-route and have a blast. You CAN get around the passes that are snowed in. You CAN get through mud.

    I've got nearly 20,000 offroad miles under my super-egolishus 22 year old belt and have ridden in everything from tropical jungle mud to Louisiana "Gumbo" mud, to deserts to rocky-mountains (not THE).

    One thing I hate is when people say "you cant" or "you dont want to" or "it'll be too cold" or "too wet"... effem and go for your motorbike ride.:thumb




    :wave
    #18
  19. SAFETYFIFTH

    SAFETYFIFTH Let's Rip Lip!

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    Thanks everybody for all the replys!!

    Well im going to be riding a KLR 650, so pretty heavy bike. Ive got a brand new set of kenda k270s on the bike right now. Will probably be changing them out somewhere along the trail to something more aggressive. Im still working on my packing list, but im going to bring only what i absolutely need. My plan was to try to camp more then staying at motels so alot of my gear is camping stuff. I wont have a GPS so ive got 2 campsite directories that im going to use to find sites.


    The reason this trip is happening in april rather than june or whatever is because, my lease at my apartment ends at the end of this month, so along with that, my job was really stressful and i was looking for a change, I hadnt seen family and friends in other parts of the country in years, hadnt seen my parents in a year. So thinking about all that the trip kinda spawned. Ride the TAT west stopping in Arkansas to stay with my folks for a week or 2, relax, go on some rides with my dad (he has a klr too). When i leave AR he is coming with me through OK and we are going to stop at little sahara, OK to check out the sand dunes. After he heads back home im going to continue west. I went to school in phoenix so ive got some good friends out there that i have some plans with, a road-trip to denver with a buddy. Then ive got alot of family out in CA so to see them will be sooo nice. Its been way to long.


    So its a motorcycle adventure but really its just about relaxing and enjoying time spent with the loved ones.
    #19
  20. LaOutbackTrail

    LaOutbackTrail Certified Smartass

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    Something that will help you A LOT in the nastier stuff is the right tire. For cheap, go with the Kenda trakmaster 2. Its DOT and super aggressive. I've got something like 2800 miles on a set and the rear still has about 3/8-1/2" of tread left! Front is still good for another 2. That is about 70% dirt riding, and im not a slow rider. :ricky
    #20