TAT 2020 roll call

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

  1. Bmcush

    Bmcush Wildman

    Joined:
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    Colorado Springs
    Early mid June you should be fine at or below 11k ft. Late june you should be fine at the passes but keep an eye on local reports cause these things just cant be predicted
    #81
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  2. VStromNC

    VStromNC DNS/DNF

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
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    Location:
    Charlotte, N.C.
    @PackinDirt, please update my post as follows:

    Early July- @VStromNC & 1 Other Rider- KTM 690 & DR 650- Starting from Trinidad, CO to TAT Finish Hopefully. Mostly hotel with occasional camping. PM if anyone interested in joining.


    Thanks.

    Jon
    #82
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  3. boulet_boulet

    boulet_boulet Long timer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2018
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    Location:
    Maine
    Unfortunately it looks like I’ll be there around the end of May, hence the search for alternative routes. Thanks for the input.
    #83
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  4. zoink

    zoink Been here awhile

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    Looking at some of the historical data on http://www.bushducks.com/tripreps/passopen.htm you're probably not gonna have much luck in May. Maybe late may, but hard to say. Maybe look in the regional forums and try to get info from some locals?

    Most of the paved roads in CO are decently plowed, from what I understand, but will likely may have some snow on them at elevation so I'm not sure what motorcycle travel would be like. In May I'd think they'd be in ok shape...but who can predict the weather. We were looking at potential options for bypass last year because the snow was especially bad. Route 50 is one option. I'm only familiar with gpsKevin's tracks, so if you're using those it runs along a similar route to the TAT for a while and some of the green bypass routes for the TAT even follow 50. Only problem is it heads quite a bit north at the latitude of Ouray so you'd either have to travel way south to get back to Moab, or skip it (which I definitely don't recommend). Again don't know what the weather may be like on these routes, but this paved section links back up with the TAT in Dove Creek [route].

    We had to turn around in Fishlake Natl Forest, UT in July last year due to snow. So you may have to find an alternate route there as well, which would probably mean just taking I70 on the south side around the range and link back up with the trail where it hits I15.
    #84
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  5. zoink

    zoink Been here awhile

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    Don't have a lot of resources for offroad stuff. Looking at the cobdr you may be able to ride a chunk or two of it? Section 3 has an easy bypass route that looks like it only goes through Owl Creek Pass which looking back typically opens in late may, sometimes early June. This overlaps some with the route I posted previously on HWY 50 and 505. Gonna be hard to find offroad routes that have the potential to work that time of year without local help I think. Looks like its near impossible to even go through the state from the E to W border without hitting at least ~10k ft.

    Alternately if you wanna do highway bypass you could take a more southern route like this [route]. Could pop over to the Valley of the Gods and ride the UTBDR north to moab and make up for some scenery you may miss on the passes in CO.

    The northern route goes through Monarch Pass and the southern one Wolf Creek Pass so you will still have some elevation to contend with. Can always keep an eye on road conditions with the cotrip site that has camera views of the passes. https://cotrip.org/map.htm#/default
    #85
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  6. rrumble

    rrumble Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    Western New York
    Planning to ride part of the TAT round trip from Trinidad, CO to Port Orford, OR this August. Two of us Will take Sam's - Kevin's 2014 route West and thinking of taking Sam's 2017 route back East to Trinidad. Wondering if anyone has done both and can share their thoughts. Bike's will be KLR 650's 2009 and 2011. I also have a 2008 XR 650L which I could ride instead of the KLR, haven't committed to one bike or the other yet but leaning towards the KLR. Thanks
    #86
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  7. PackinDirt

    PackinDirt Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2014
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    Eastern Vermont
    My buddies stock KLR bottomed out in the mountain passes on the rocks, was squirley in sand and loose gravel (even when running an MT21/D606 combo), and rattled apart by the end of 5000 miles. Now that's just his bike. He's an accomplished off-road rider so it wasn't experience. Having done it on my trusty XR650L, I'm partial to the Big Pig. When the KLR was struggling for stability at 40mph in loose gravel access roads, I was happily sailing along at over 60mph. I never banged the skid plate on the rocky steps in the mountains. I always felt like I wanted to go just a little faster on my XR than the KLR when the going got tough. It just handles rough terrain better.

    There are lots of trail conditions to cover on the Western TAT on both Sam and Kevin's tracks. Sam's newer track ('17 update, I think) is more sedate so the KLR would be fine.

    The truth is that you should ride the bike that you're most comfortable on. The KLR is perfectly capable of handling anything the TAT can throw at it. It'll also be more happy on the road back if there's any slabbing due to time constraints. Coming back on Sam's through Idaho sounds like a blast! Maybe even a BDR section or two?
    #87
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  8. rrumble

    rrumble Adventurer

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    Dec 21, 2012
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    Western New York
    Don't plan on slabbing it, driving a truck with the bikes from NY to Colorado and plan on riding the trail west from there round trip. Looks like you are from VT, we did the Puppy Dog last year, nice ride! I agree, I love both bikes, the XR I can take through anything and is easier to work on, however, the KLR sure is nice and comfortable on the long rides. Both have Seat Concepts seats which are great!! The KLR has the XL Comfort seat which is really nice! I'm thinking that 80% of the time I would prefer the KLR and 20% of the time I would prefer the XR.
    #88
  9. sr248

    sr248 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2020
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    New York
    Thanks for the response! I have heard great things for the BMW Enduro training from others as well. At a local event they offered a 20% discount and I couldn't let it pass. I am looking forward to it. Is there anything you recommend doing prior to the training in order to make the most of it?

    I am really enticed by the idea of doing it on a 1200GS - that's what the heart wants. I don't want to get a second bike just for the TAT. I'd rather replace my R1100r with a GS. However, given that I'm going solo and as a new adv rider, I'm trying to mitigate the risks as much as possible, taking a smaller bike seems like a more sensible approach.
    #89
  10. ATadam

    ATadam Been here awhile

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    Mar 2, 2019
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    Nashville
    I’ll be honest my first bike is a KLR 650 and I never really enjoyed riding it off road, loved the power and durability though.
    #90
  11. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

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    Jun 20, 2016
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    That's a big bike. Guys do it on big bikes but your margin for error gets smaller the bigger the bike so the GS isn't helping at all. Your margin for error also gets smaller the less experience you have. You say you are a new ADV rider. Make sure you pay attention at the BMW school. Your margin for error also gets smaller the fewer guys you have with you. Solo equals almost zero margin for error. In my opinion, big bike, low experience, solo, those add up to very bad odds. Tell your heart to shut up and get a small bike.
    #91
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  12. ATadam

    ATadam Been here awhile

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    This is what I'm going to be doing now - joining a group of TW200 riders and enjoying life on a smaller bike. Picking up a big bike on your own really wears you out, handling also gets tiresome and doing that everyday over and over can suck. Getting tired or impatient is a good way to make poor decisions or get hurt. Going solo does have its benefits - namely freedom of pace especially if you're new to riding, but you have to weigh what's important to you. I just got engaged recently and the prospect of getting myself hurt on a solo trip just for the vain reason of proving something to myself seems silly, especially if I can have more fun in a group and make friends.
    #92
  13. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

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    Yep. I bought a 300 pound crf250 specifically for a solo run on the TAT. Worked fantastic. You are hitting the important considerations people don't think of, even if they ride often at home. The TAT is 10 hours a day. Day and day after day. Most of that is extremely boring and easily lulls your attention away from where it should be. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. No one is riding like that unless they are on something like the TAT and if they are then they already know. But if you are planning your first time it is critical to recognize that this isn't like anything else you have ever done. I didn't run across too many groups on my run last year, 6 different pairs of guys. Twelve riders, 5 of them were on large bikes and none of them finished.
    #93
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  14. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I enjoyed riding my KLR off road on ATV trails and logging roads that got pretty rough. The big problem was turning it around when a trail or logging road just petered out.

    But the farther I got from home, the less adventurous I felt on it. It's one thing to get fall over in my home state, and quite another to get stuck, solo, in some unknown dirt dead-end when I'm 4,000 miles from home. Turning around on rough ground, alone, with a 400 Lb bike was a challenge at home, so it was doubly daunting when loaded with camp gear. Shouldn't be a problem with most of Sam's tracks, but I really value the ability to turn around in rough, tight conditions.

    Two things have helped me significantly. Riding a lighter bike and riding with a buddy. My abilities on dirt have improved dramatically these past few years since I put road tires on the KLR and aggressive tires on a DRZ400. I like the DRZ, but when I was new, its height would have been a drawback.
    #94
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  15. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

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    One insidious additional problem with using a larger bike is the tendency to over pack. The reality is most people (me included) are going to over pack. It takes a act of iron will, determination, and self-discipline to not over pack. I left home with about 45 pounds of gear. I thought I was light. Nope. Turns out I didn't need 25% of that. I either mailed home or threw out about 10 pounds of that. It is much easier to over pack on a bike that will swallow up and carry 200 pounds vs. a little tiny thing that really only wants to haul maybe 60 pounds of kit. So not only are guys on big bikes on big bikes, they are very often carrying everything (sometimes 2 of everything) including the kitchen sink (yes really, it's in the "camp kitchen" bag). For some reason the klr guys seemed to be the worst, think "Beverly Hillbillies" hahaha- sorry, not sorry, I love you guys.
    #95
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  16. sperduton

    sperduton Been here awhile

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    Anybody know why Sam's route bypasses Nevada now?
    #96
  17. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

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    What I've heard is that rider demographics changed. Older riders on bigger bikes wanted an easier route. Word on the street is that Nevada is real deal, harder and much more remote than the new Utah/Idaho tracks. Nevada is still there though. You can still get the tracks and ride it. Guys do it every year.
    #97
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  18. sperduton

    sperduton Been here awhile

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    Seems like where I want to go then..I'm an experienced rider on a little bike.
    #98
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  19. Canyon Man

    Canyon Man "60% of the time, it works every time" Mr. Fantana

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2019
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Thompsons Station, TN
    Question to anyone who has completed the TAT on a KLR: I have heard some folks say on YouTube that the KLR radiator can get packed in mud when traversing some of the muddier portions of the TAT. Any truth to this?

    I have muddied up my KLR pretty good in TN and never had the radiator fins packed in mud. Maybe I should try harder. A buddy and I are planning on dong the TAT in the next 2-3 years. We are both on KLRs and I feel like we are pretty prepared mostly. Obviously if the mud is a real concern, then I will probably try and fabricate something to offer a little more protection, or keep a plastic water bottle with a small hole in the cap for some impromptu pressure washing.

    Thanks for any info. :y0!
    #99
  20. E-luke

    E-luke Been here awhile

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    Dec 26, 2018
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    Los angeles
    Hey folks!

    hope this makes sense...

    I’m an Australian, based in Los Angeles, riding a big 1290 I’ve been throwing it at shit I definitely shouldn’t have — and lived! Haha.

    I’m buying a ktm 690 in NYC, and will conveniently be there for work mid through late April. I can store the bike until I arrive, then prep it for a TAT in May (as I’m completely free - except a girlfriend who’ll definitely object) OR I could wait until mid June when I’m free again, and fly back to NYC and ride the 690 home.

    partially the TAT is to not have $700 lost in shipping, but also to tick off big American rides while I’m living in your beautiful country!!!! I did SoCal to BC last year, along with a bunch of rallies, the CABDR, and road riding trips — all on the 1290. I want to go lighter and see more...

    So: Do you reckon a new bike (to me) and a May or Mid June TAT are a good idea? For reference, the bike was setup for TAT by the inmate who I’m buying it off!!

    cheers and happy trails!

    also — if anyone is heading out early and wants to ride together for a bit or grab beers along the route, I’m your guy!
    Canyon Man likes this.