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Discussion in 'Americas' started by PackinDirt, Jan 25, 2019.
THAT right there is THE route. Have a blast.
I have managed Sams so far from Tellico to Tulsa and are now changing tires and getting the Touratech shockers re-calibrated so have North Oklahoma next.
There is some pavement but nowhere near 80%.
I have added additional pavement to get fuel and to stay at hotels but nowhere near 80% so far .. I guess less than 50%.
The non-pavement tracks are a bit of a zig-zag and make the route longer than if you complete it using pavement and some times you ride 20 miles to cover 3 miles of possible pavement distance for the same start and finish point so this is my only moan at the moment.
I am not sure and maybe Oklahoma onwards may be more pavement than NC, TN, Miss, Ala, and Arkansas but the pavement, unless you chose to move off the gravel, was less than 80% for sure.
It may not be really tough riding and yes there is some flat gravel but it is a long ride and to do only tough dirt then you may as well stay on BDR's.
The weather makes it harder ..
I will be leaving Trinidad Tuesday for a TAT loop using Sam's new ID->WY and Shadow of the Rockies to link back to Trinidad. Probably use UTBDR. Doubt our paths will cross as I'm riding with GSAs and we will be several days behind to start.
Right on. FYI not sure of your route through Idaho but the “Big Smoky Road” between Ketchum and Featherville is likely washed out. I was there a couple summers ago and the road was completely gone. Current Google maps still shows it gone. I wrote the TAT people and they said it was “likely still washed out”. Map section and sat image below. More adventure! Safe travels.
I noticed you are changing tires pretty early into the ride. I assume you did not start with new tires or did the pavement eat up your tires? I ask because I am trying to decide whether to put on my new "dirt" tires (riding Yamaha TW200 - dirt tires original TW-34 battlewing rear and Shinko SR241 front) or run my nearly new 80/20 tires. I am starting from Oklahoma, taking paved back roads to Damascus, VA where I will start on Sam's tracks back to OK. I will save the western half for next year, as I will not start until probably Sept. 27th (too late for the mountains this year).
Do you have any suggestions on tires for VA to OK based on your experiences on Sam's track. I am riding solo and brining the little TW200 instead of my SuperT because I anticipated some difficult riding conditions and did not want to be picking up my SuperT. I bought the new "dirt" tires but now based on the recent claims of up to 80% paved roads am reconsidering. I will be burning up the rubber getting to VA and would not be excited to turn around and just run off the rest of my new "dirt" tires on pavement getting back to OK.
I had new tires from Asheville,NC.
A Karoo 3 rear and TKC 80 Front. I was not too fond of the Karoo 3 but the TKC80 seemed fine.
I did not really need to change the front but chose to change both so as to have no issues in Oklahoma where there is a bit of sand.
There was some tarmac on the Sam's and I added more to get to the BMW dealers but there was ample gravel. No where near the 80% pavement as stated unless you left for it intentionally.
Its still out and no real way around. My riding partner and I attempted a go around with no success, Unless you want to risk submerging your bike. The go around wastes a few hours to get to featherville.
FWIW there is a singletrack bypass called “skeleton creek” that goes over and around, north of the closure. I rode it both times I was there to get by. It’s doable but I wouldn’t call it easy, and more suited for lighter bikes.
That’s at least a four year old closure. Seems strange to include that on the main route. Does anyone know how often the TAT tracks are updated?
Like I said, we rode Sam's 2019 tracks. Whether you believe me or not does not matter. The tracks may have been changed from what you used? I'm posting my experience for everyone (including lurkers) so they can make an educated decision on how to spend their time/money. It seems people that have done the trail, or sections of it are not being honest with what it actually is.
I appreciate all the recent posts.... a fellow inmate and I are embarking on the eastern half of this journey starting Oct 4th from Cape Hatteras and going as far as 10 days will allow.
We are riding a triumph tiger 800 and a Yamaha super tenere, following Kevin’s tracks....from the way some of y’all talk... should be a cake walk lol
We will be camping two days, hotel the third... u less it’s hot as balls. We’re from Louisiana, and we hate the heat just like the rest of you.
Anyone else leaving around this time?
Looks like I will be a few days ahead of you at the start. Hope to leave from Damascus,VA on October 2nd then west to Oklahoma this trip. I will be riding solo on a Yamaha TW200; you may overtake me. I will be riding Sam's track but assume some overlap?? I decided to take the TW instead of my Super T riding solo on what I think are mostly unpaved roads; guess some debate on that?
There is no penalty by taking the smaller bike. There is some asphalt on the TAT but no interstate which in my opinion is the only place a larger bike out performs a smaller bike. I was alone on a Honda 250 this summer and for about 5 days in Ok, NM, and SE CO I was riding on the same trails at the same times as a pair of guys on an 800 and 1000 and I would regularly pass them. Their average speed was a bit slower than mine for whatever reasons.
You would be fine on the Super T if thats as far as you are riding this leg. Warloop road can be a challange depending on rider but very big bike friendly in my opinion.
The TW though will definately be pure care free fun.
I just rode Sams on my GS from Va to Utah with a 3 week break and going back out this week to finish and ride home. Planning on Sams tracks coming east through South Dakota then slab back roads to Va.
Just completed Trindad, CO to Moab on the TAT. While there maybe 80% what I would classify as road most of that was gravel with only a few quick sections of nice curvy pavement to connect.
The big bikes in the group completed everything, but I would say I was usually having more fun on the DRZ. Definitely don't run solo on a big bike. The only time I was at a disadvantage was when we had to slab it back to CO, The DRZ definitely held up the GSAs on the 65-80mph highways.
Personally I think the DRZ is the ideal size for riding the TAT. Big enough to pack sufficient gear, but light enough to easily handle the technical parts and can be handled without help if you do drop it. Lots of choices in that size range and a few like the DR650 a little larger.
Yesterday I completed a Trinidad, CO to Port Orford, OR route of mostly GPSK TAT. Did it on a KTM 350 EXCF and wouldn’t have wanted anything larger. I shipped the bike from SanFran, where I live, and flew to meet it, then rode it back. Camped and moteled along the way. Here a few thoughts for posterity:
- most of the route is doable dual sport stuff. The west side of Engineer pass was pretty rocky but no biggie on the 350 with all the suspension. One stream crossing in in Nevada got my attention. And I did a bunch of stuff in Moab that would’ve been challenging on a bigger bike (Slickrock, fins and things, etc).
- Moab is an off road paradise. Next time I’d probably give at least three days there, if not more. Many trails options. I did white rim with a friend on an Africa Twin and it was relatively easy and scenic (long day).
- we took the Rimrocker from Montrose to LaSal. Fun stuff. Easy.
- don’t miss Three Step Hideaway. Out in the middle of nowhere and a fun place to hang out. The hosts are awesome. Lots of riding around there too.
- if you go solo (I did) be prepared. I took the route across Nevada and at some points there is *nothing* for many many miles. So you’d better have a bike that works and be able to fix things if things go wrong. I had an InReach just in case.
- the route was mostly followable. I hit a serious no trespassing sign at White Horse Ranch but it was only five miles left or 40 back, so I went through without issue. On the last day west of Wolf Creek, OR I ran into a labyrinth of random roads and tons of closures in a big logging area. Best thing I can say is to leave early each day to give you time, and fill up on gas when you can.
- camping gear was nice to stay in random places. Would do the same again. Motels are good for hot showers and rest.
It’s a great ride. I’m not sure if I’d want to go east of Trinidad (heard TAT was pretty Ho hum there). But CO West is pretty epic.
Anybody here or maybe know anybody that has Road the trans-america trail back East through Wyoming to finish in South Dakota?
I have that planned on my trip back to Virginia and have been wondering just how sandy or rocky or challenging the terrain is as I will be on my GS.
They’re tracks from Sam, I cannot imagine there is anything challenging on them.
Good point! Maybe some less agressive tires for my ride home then......
So tire swap tomorrow. Is it mainly Sandy and rocky from Green River through Idaho? Oregon I expect is more dirt likely to be mud in rainy spells.
I'd like to put a tire I can make it back to VA on. Full knobbies are my last choice but ok. Any input what some of you experienced appreciated