TAT 2020 roll call

Discussion in 'Americas' started by PackinDirt, Dec 22, 2019.

  1. seasider

    seasider Just a rider Supporter

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    I am 30 mins from Norfolk. I would try shipping to Cycle World in Va Beach or Sunrise Cycle in Norfolk. Both Kawasaki dealers and may be willing to accept the bike and hold???? Try shipping through HaulBikes if you are shopping. I have used them 3 times from west to east and they are easy and top knotch as well as competitive.
    My location is 23310 but if there is anyway I could help I would be willing. I have shipped to a truck stop in Norfolk and meet the driver for pick up.
    Shoot me a pm if things develope in that direction for you.
    I rode the Tat in August from western Va and honestly starting in Tenn you wouldnt miss a thing.
    #21
  2. PackinDirt

    PackinDirt Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    The folks at Topar are definitely TAT supporters. The guys we ran into in OK also riding the TAT, Shane and Joe, had scheduled Topar to do their half-way maintenance. We ended up sitting out a nasty rainstorm swapping stories after the power went out. They also managed to find a clutch cable (on a top shelf in a dusty box of spares) that fit my XR after it broke just as we were leaving their parking lot. Great folks, indeed!

    Also consider sending a tire or other parts to the Great Plains Bunkhouse in western Oklahoma. It's right on the track, it's a great place to spend a night, they have bike lift and tools (the TAT corner), and they're nice people. Fresh eggs and a fully stocked kitchen were a bonus. Scotty swapping out his already shredded Shinko for a serious D606 at the bunkhouse.

    [​IMG]
    #22
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  3. Bmcush

    Bmcush Wildman

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    Thanks Satex ill look into that.
    #23
  4. Bmcush

    Bmcush Wildman

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    Thanks Seasider, the more input the better. Im also gonna talk to a dealer in town ive been friends with for 20 years to get his take. Dealer to dealer sounds doable!!
    #24
  5. VStromNC

    VStromNC DNS/DNF

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    In July of 2018, I did the TAT from Ozark National Forest, AR to Moab, UT and had to turn back home to Charlotte, NC after 10 days as I ran out of vacation time including problem with my rear brake on my Terra. It turned out to be something simple but in the field and especially in the Colorado mountain passes, turned into a major ordeal. Prior year in 2017, I joined a TAT group through ADV Rider and started TAT from Andrews, NC to within 100 miles of Ozark and headed back again due to vacation time running out.

    I will say that in 2018 after reaching Moab UT, it was a major PIA to find a carrier or delivery service to freight my bike back to Charlotte and fly back to Ozark area where I had my pickup and trailer. So, I basically slabbed it home and did 400 miles a day (more or less depending on my arse) x 3.5 days until I got back to my truck. From Ozark, AR to Moab following Sam's and Kevin's tracks were approx 2300 miles. Slabbing back to my truck parked at a self storage near Greenbrier, AR from Moab was about 1300 miles slabbing on the highway. While in Moab, I tried renting a truck, it was going to be over $800+. I called freight companies and it was $700+ and I still had to pay for airline ticket.

    I am thinking about doing the TAT again from Ozark National Forest back to west. Sold my Terra last year but looking at a KTM 690. Colorado passes are rough with rocks abound. You will see lot of razors and side by sides on the passes.

    In 2018, our TAT group basically pulled off the TAT and stayed at Motel 6 or Super 8 hotels. Think about it, why tent camp when you can stay at a cheap hotel with AC, TV and local diners for about $22.00 each. You can normally stay at a Motel 6 or Super 8 for around $45.00 divide by 2 riders and it's not worth primitive camping.

    I will post up if I decide to buy the KTM 690. Getting the TAT fever again after a year.

    Snapshot 14 (09-10-2018 6-51 PM).png Snapshot 13 (09-10-2018 6-51 PM).png Snapshot 12 (09-10-2018 6-51 PM).png
    #25
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  6. VStromNC

    VStromNC DNS/DNF

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    Couple of additional photos.

    First photo: Warloop Road. Just keep moving, don't slow down especially riding alone and carrying a large pack.
    Second photo: Tight road on the passes with no shoulders. Stay on the inside lane. I would not ride the Colorado mountain passes alone. Stay safe.

    Warloop Road.png CA Pass.png
    #26
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  7. SATEX

    SATEX Long timer

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    "Why tent camp?" I enjoy it, at least when I'm doing dispersed camping. I would just as soon motel it as opposed to a big campground. I say all this without regard to cost savings, but that IS a benefit of primitive dispersed camping.
    #27
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  8. Pete S

    Pete S Been here awhile

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    Jan 28, 2018
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    Location:
    Portland, ME
    I rode the TAT from the OK panhandle to Ouray, CO last year. My riding partner hurt her knee descending from Engineer Pass on Mineral Creek Road. I had only been riding for two years prior to the trip, and I only had about an hour of off-road riding experience. I was glad to have a riding partner at the beginning. After descending Mineral Creek Road on both my KLX250 and her CRF250 Rally, I started thinking that if I could do that, then I could probably tackle most of the CO mountain passes by myself. I ended up staying in Silverton for four nights after she got hurt, and did a bunch of the big passes by myself - California, Cinnamon, Corkscrew, Engineer (again, from the other direction), Hurricane, Ophir, and Stony Pass. The only one I tried that I wasn't successful on was Imogene, coming from Telluride. I think that I was close to the top of Imogene, but it was on a steep, loose rocky section, that I felt I was going to fry my clutch if I kept trying, so I turned back. Lower gearing and/or a bit more power would have certainly helped. My KLX250 had the stock gearing.

    There were a number of places on many of those passes that going over the edge meant almost certain death. Plus tons of places where going over the edge may not kill you, but you'll be in really bad shape. It certainly would be better to have a partner along, but I was okay doing what I did with my Garmin InReach in my jacket pocket and the volume of Jeeps, side-by-sides and other motorcycles on the trails. The condition of parts of the various passes can change dramatically from year to year. I had the impression that Ophir was one of the easiest passes, but descending it toward Telluride was one of the scariest parts of my trip. I think an avalanche had covered the trail with coarse rocky scree, which they had leveled out I would guess with a bulldozer, but it was the only time I was paddling with my feet as I rode the brakes, during a long descent.

    It's certainly better to be riding those passes with someone else, unless you're a really good rider. I also wouldn't want to ride them by myself on anything that was much harder to pick up than my KLX250. Regarding "Stay on the inside lane", yeah, there was at least one point where I was pulled over to my left, leaned up against the uphill side of the trail, while a Jeep or side-by-side is waving to me to go around them to the outside, and I just kept shaking my head NO. They eventually went around me.
    #28
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  9. sanders446

    sanders446 Been here awhile

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    I have a few questions for you guys that have done the TAT that I'm curious about.

    How did you deal with the southern heat during your ride? Did you use a hydration pack? Did you have summer specific mesh gear? Stop for ice? Any tips on staying hydrated and cool?

    A month or more is a long time to be out camping even with a motel thrown in here and there. Most of us are used to having a computer, television, video games, family life etc..., that will be left behind. The ride is the main focus obviously but did you do or bring anything for entertainment when the day is done and you have a few hours to kill at camp? Especially you guys that went solo. Maybe books or books on tape or maybe grab some magazines, pour over maps, plan the next day, watch youtube or vids on your phone...Just curious what you may have done to entertain yourself besides the ride or when you've called it quits for the day.

    Anybody grab a national parks pass and use it? Did you explore any of the parks the TAT doesn't necessarily pass directly through? Pretty sure the TAT does go thru several federal fee areas out West IIRC. Did you do Canyonlands and/or Arches? I think Craters of the moon reuires a fee. Is White Rim Trail a fed fee area? Curious if getting the pass would be a net money saver or not.

    What was your favorite part of the trail other than the Colorado passes and Moab areas?
    #29
  10. CBBaron

    CBBaron Long timer

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    For the heat, hydration pack to keep topped on fluids and I wore off-road style armor (Moose Racing XC1) with an MX Jersey. Much cooler than an ADV jacket. When the temperature dropped I threw on my ADV jacket without pads over the armor.
    We pretty much rode long days so not much down time after setting up camp and cooking a meal.
    We did White Rim trail, leaving the gear in a hotel. The trail is in Canyonlands and requires a park pass. You also need to register for a free trail permit. There are alot of National Parks near the TAT so getting a pass would not be a bad idea if you want to take a more leisurely trip and see some of the sights.
    #30
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  11. PackinDirt

    PackinDirt Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    What to wear was a big decision but in the end, I went with armored, full-mesh jacket and pants. Most days, I wore a cotton t-shirt under the jacket and just my skivies under the pants. I packed a waterproof Columbia jacket and pants for rain and cool mornings. These each pack down to the size of a grapefruit and are easy to put on and take off. Make sure the pants have zippers that go all the way to the hip. I used light weight gloves with waterproof overgloves for rain or cold. I have a good motorcycle-specific backpack (Zac Speed) with a 3 liter hydration pack. That was plenty to get from morning gas to lunch stop to evening gas. When we were in the desert, we carried an extra two liters each just in case.

    We also rode White Rim Trail leaving Moab before sunrise to beat the mid-August heat. We got to the park gate so early that the gate house was closed; we never bought the requisite pass (I have a national parks pass so I didn't feel bad about not paying. Mostly, they just want to know who's in the park). We saw only 3 other vehicles in 150 miles of riding that day.

    I looked at this trip as an excuse to unplug from my life for a while. As CBBaron mentioned above, with long riding days, there isn't a lot of time to need to fill with anything besides camp setup, food preparation, bike maintenance, and sleep. Preparing for the next day's ride can be as easy as putting the bike on the blue line of your gps. We followed Kevin's tracks the whole way and had a blast. We did a couple side trips (played in the Colorado passes, 4 Corners, White Rim and Slick Rock in Moab) but mostly stuck to the tracks. I had a non-connected smartphone for filing daily ride reports (when I had Wi-Fi) and a camera, two gps units (Garmin 78sc primary and TomTom 400 backup), and a gen-4 ipod for music in the helmet. We had Sena SMH10 units for communication between two bikes. Never a dull moment.

    If you ride solo, take the opportunity to talk to other campers. Practice your social skills. Turn off the devices and meet someone new. Everyone wants to share their story and to hear yours.

    I'm a planner and don't like leaving things to chance so I planned out the entire trip pretty closely. Others take a more laid-back approach.

    What do you want to get out of your trip? Do you want it to be like the rest of your life or something separate and more memorable?
    #31
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  12. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
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    Worried about the heat, at the last minute, literally 10 days before I left, I decided to ditch the full-strength Klim Goretex adventure jacket I normally wear and buy a Klim Induction mesh jacket which is their hottest weather jacket. Awesome jacket, air flows through the mesh and feels like an air conditioner. Also, I don't have a wind screen on my little 250 DS bike, I could be wrong but I feel like a wind screen doesn't really help in hot weather. Finally, I got more hotel rooms in the southeast than I was planning. There were a couple brutal days in a row where I should have camped but just said screw it and got a room with AC. I'll suffer for 8 or 10 hours during the day if I can sleep in AC. The few times it was hot and I camped really really sucked.

    Very interesting question. One of the most significant things that happened to me on my trip was the change in the way I felt about my normal life as I rode the TAT. This is one of the reasons that I strongly encourage anyone thinking about doing it to do it in one single full month long push. In my opinion, doing it in several short chunks of a week or even two over the course of several years totally misses what it means to really do this thing. Here is why: For the first week, I felt like my "normal" self just on a riding vacation. By "normal" I mean I was still thinking about home, projects I have to finish, the wife, the kids, the job, all of that was right there in my head every day just like normal. But, after about 10 days something weird started to happen. That stuff stopped being front and center in my head. My view of who I was, where I came from (home) and where I was going started to really change. I stopped being a married school teacher from Massachusetts who had a wife, kid, house, job, and I started to actually become a guy who just wakes up in the morning and rides all day every day. I didn't think about movies or video games, I thought about the next gas stop, the next oil change, where I would stop for the day. Not out of necessity (though it's necessary) but literally life became simpler and more "now". Seems weird I'm sure. Maybe that doesn't make any sense. But it was real. And utterly unexpected. This is what people mean when they ask, "how hard was it to come back to real life?" Brother, it's hard. That long alone on a motorcycle changes you. So to answer your question, in my experience, all that stuff, the good (wife, kid, dog) and the bad (job, honey-do list, bills) really goes away to some degree. The short answer to your question is all that "normal" life stuff you listed? In some ways it disappears and isn't really missed. It's just not needed and so it fades. Couple other things about your question. You will still have communication with home, there is cell service on most of the TAT, certainly every day at some point. You'll have internet on your phone as well. But the entertainment stuff? Video games? etc. that stuff melts away, but for me it took about a week, maybe a little more.

    So so much of the TAT is through spectacular scenery you don't need to seek out other places of spectacular scenery. Also, the ride is LONG. Really really long. In my opinion there isn't any need or (in my case) desire to take side trips through scenery that basically is exactly the same as what the TAT is on.

    Oregon. The entire state. Wasn't like anywhere else on the TAT and it was awesome.
    #32
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  13. tarhoo

    tarhoo Adventurer

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    May 9, 2015
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    Texas
    Back to heat question. I live in texas and often ride to colorado to beat the summer but crossing texas in July to get there is brutal.

    I have had very good experience with those evaporative vests under a mesh jacket. I literally bought one at a wal mart for like $30 and am on year three of using it. It is great but works better the faster you go and the lower the humidity is. Your mileage will vary a lot between the tat in Mississippi and asphalt in New Mexico but it will help both
    #33
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  14. VStromNC

    VStromNC DNS/DNF

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    In reference to the heat: I wore Klim Overland Pants and had no issues with heat. I also wore Aerostich shirt on hot days and added Moose Racing jacket or the heavier Klim Goretex jacket. I also brought my Klim rain jacket but we never ran into any rain. It was either hot or cold depending on parts of TAT. You definitely need a hydration pack especially if going through Oklahoma. It was almost 110 degrees in OK with not a shade in sight. We finally decided to skip parts of OK and head straight to Trinidad, CO. Keep in mind that carrying extra jackets and pants just add to your pack in weight and bulk. I brought extra riding pants, jackets, etc. and should have left it at home. Advantage to coming off the TAT trails every day to motel was that we also were able to do our laundry. We had couple of instances in which the motel staff washed our clothes for free in their commercial washing machines. It was great to get your riding gear washed every few days. We always stopped at either Super 8 or Motel 6- Highest price paid was $55.00 divide by 2. Basically, when we decided to stop for the night, I pulled up local hotels from my Zumo 590. In the morning, after a nice breakfast at IHOP or equivalent, we re-connected to the tracks in the Zumo. No issues what so ever doing this.

    Things that I brought that I never used: spare tubes, inner tube patching kits, Co2 cartridges, etc. My group in 2017 and 2018 never got a flat. I was reading threads where all the riders were complaining of multiple flats. Dreaded mud in Oklahoma was never encountered since we never ran into any rain at all. Tent, sleeping bag and pad- never used since our group in 2018 decided to motel if possible so we could get some beers, relax in the AC, TV, bench racing , shower and work on our bikes. I also carried bunch of tools- probably over 30 pounds or more but only used few tools to adjust chain and replace my ailing rear brake pads on my Terra. I did replace my tires, chain and sprockets on my 2014 Terra before I took off for 2018 TAT and should have replaced both brake pads. I guess the lesson's learned is that "if it looks like it is going to wear out, it will especially in the mountain passes of CO and beyond.

    My tire choices for both years of partial TAT was Kenda K270's front and rear. Beefy 6 ply in the rear. After almost 2300 miles of TAT with another 1200 miles slabbing back in 2018, the Kenda K270's still had half tread life remaining when I got home.

    This week, I picked up a new to me 2016 KTM 690 with only 8100 miles. I guess I will start farkling to get it ready. The PO already installed Rade tank, Flatland skid plate, lowering links, seat concept seat and other desirable farkles. I still have other stuff to do to make it mine. Will look to join a TAT group in July. I am open and will watch this thread.

    Definitely a bucket list for me as I got to unplug from daily stuff and simply focus on my ride every day!


    Thanks.

    Jon
    #34
  15. usedtobefast

    usedtobefast Been here awhile

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    SF Bay Area
    Take a look at an Enterprise rental truck. You can probably do a one way rental ... load up the KLR ... knock out the road trip to VA and turn in the pickup truck ... and be cheaper than shipping ... and no odd ball stuff with meeting the shipper, having their schedules slip/adjust, sorting out who can receive it and hold it, etc. When I was doing a similar thing with a friend we ended up with a Penske moving truck ... they are obviously used to one way rentals ... and we had 2 people splitting the price of the truck. That was a great way to go. Had all our stuff with us, and no worries. I've also done Enterprise pickup truck one way rentals when flying & buying a bike and carrying it back.
    #35
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  16. zoink

    zoink Been here awhile

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    SW VA
    My friends and I shipped our bikes to OR a few years back. Weren't familiar with the area so we just googled a smaller, locally owned shop, called them up, told them what we were up to, and they were more than happy to accept the delivery and store the bikes for a week or so. Just got them pizza when we arrived to pick up the bikes. Local dealer here worked as a starting point for the shipping. Whole process went very smooth for us.

    My buddy and I also did this exact thing last year when we attempted the TAT, drove from VA to UT. It'll probably save you a bit of money, but it's the definitely best way to ensure that you get the bike to where you want at a certain date/time. The one downside of shipping is they give you a window of time that your bike can arrive, so you have to plan for that window.

    I'd check the prices and locations carefully between shipping/driving. Sometimes depending on where you go on one way trips there's a destination charge that can more than double the cost of the rental (not usually if you're going to/from bigger cities). It cost us about $650/bike to ship and about $200/ea for plane tickets. Truck rental for us was $300 for a pickup from Alamo and a bit over $300 for gas. Since there were 2 of us we just swapped out and did the 30hrs straight through. If it's just you, you'll probably have to consider hotel(s) cost and a couple days off your bike trip time. Both definitely viable options.


    On another TAT note. I think I posted in the last roll call thread... my friend and I had two mechanical failures attempting the TAT last year. My 701's stator died in nowhere UT and my buddies f800's clutch died about 2/3 of the way going up the W side of Ophir pass (@Pete S he also didn't have a great time turning around and coasting back down. Neither of us had fun trying to go up that stuff.). He didn't want to get it repaired on short notice, so we ended up getting trucked back home by a friend.

    I recently picked up a dr650 and am going to be attempting the trip solo again this year likely some time in August, except this time the "right" way from E to W. So depending on when you are planning on coming to VA @Bmcush maybe we'd be able to link up.
    #36
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  17. sanders446

    sanders446 Been here awhile

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    That's a lot of helpful info, thanks for that. I have been looking at ways to get the bike back East after the ride and shipping the bike and then flying home definitely seems to be the WAY cheaper option. I'd actually prefer to rent a truck and drive back, but I've been using all the big rental company websites searching for quotes and they are crazy money. The quotes I'm getting from Bay area, CA to Memphis TN are around $2500-3000+ with taxes and some insurance. Alamo, Penske, Uhaul... Then like you said, there's gas. Alamo is quoting almost 3K for an f150. I'm a little confused about this as, like you, most people that have said they rented a truck to get back cross country paid significantly less than that. IDK.
    #37
  18. sperduton

    sperduton Been here awhile

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    I'm with you. In priced a one way pickup rental for going from.maine to pa and for a 2 day one way rental of a f150, it was like $700.
    #38
  19. bikebuster56

    bikebuster56 Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2015
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    Location:
    Olympia, Wa
    I'm planning to start from my home in Olympia Wa either around the end of June or first part of July. If I end up leaving solo I'll ride cross country on streetish tires and gearing on my dr650, and head for Cape Hatteris NC. Plan to use Kevin's tracks. If I end up having a partner, or partners, I think I'd rather share the expense of a rental truck of some sort.
    Thinking I'd like to camp as much as it makes sense but not against motels as needed too. Hoping to time the mountain passes of Colorado around mid July or so. Then I'll just ride home from the Oregon coast. Thinking it'll take me 4 - 5 weeks.
    Hoping to visit any interesting sites, maybe find a race to attend.
    #39
  20. bigblueboy

    bigblueboy Been here awhile

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    Sep 16, 2007
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    247
    100% confirmed. I sent them tires last summer and they got them on and changed my oil Great guys.
    #40
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