TAT Bound or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Riding my Bike

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by blisske, May 19, 2016.

  1. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    Denver
    One morning you wake up and you realize you're at the age where you need to schedule that colonoscopy. I'm really 50? How did that happen? I don't feel 50...no, wait...I do. That was the morning I decided to ride the TAT. Let's face it, I'm not getting any younger and it isn't going to get easier with each passing year to manhandle a motorcycle along a 5000 mile trail.

    Now, deciding to ride the TAT and to actually make it happen are 2 different things. First, I had to convince the girlfriend this was a good idea and then I have to convince my boss to give me the entire month of July off from work. This sounded challenging. Huh, that was actually pretty easy. Both the girlfriend and my boss turned out to be on board with zero fuss. Now let the fun begin!!

    That was all back in December. Now it was time for a few delicious months of pouring over the Interwebs to research the perfect bike. Having had a KLR650 previously, I knew that the KLR was going to be a handfull for my 5' 9" 165 pound frame. A great bike, but a touch heavy for what I envisioned I'd be up against on this trail. So what will the Internet have to say? I couldn't wait to get started on this. The search is, after-all, half the fun.

    Are you kidding me? After 5 minutes of Googling, it was obvious that the perfect bike for the job was a Suzuki DR650. Now that that was decided, what was left? I was beginning to wonder when the excitement and challenge of planning the trip would finally kick in. Well, that is where the farkles come in. I'm going to stop here for today and just say that the last 4 months has been a whirlwind of activity and that the UPS, FedEx and USPS guys all know me by name. Here's what we got so far:

    IMG_1276.JPG
    #1
  2. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,891
    Location:
    Bethpage, TN
    Sweet bike! And good on you for tackling this! I'm 30 now, and I imagine I'll be about 50 by the time I can afford to take a month off work to go riding, haha.
    #2
    tarheel rider likes this.
  3. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    Denver
    The "donor" bike started out as a 2014 DR650 with 1 mile on the odometer purchased new on Christmas Eve of 2015.

    IMG_1005.JPG

    Shortly after that the modifications began in earnest and this is the damage to date:

    FMF Q4 exhaust
    Sargent low saddle
    Acerbis 5.3 gallon tank
    LED license plate light
    License plate bracket
    Shoria Lithium battery
    14T sprocket
    Laminar Lip
    turn signal relocation brackets
    Wolfman Enduro tank bag
    Wolfman Rocky Mountain saddle bags
    Acerbis skid plate
    LED headlight
    DRZ250 taillight
    PMR side luggage rack
    LED taillight bulb
    sprocket retainer
    Cogent DDC Fork Kit W/.58 springs
    Cogent shock shaft assembly
    Cogent spring collar/thrust bearing
    7.5 kg/mm shock spring
    Vent Cap
    WX proof USB port
    Shock Nitro Needle
    Bar/peg kit
    Waterproof iPhone case
    Chain Paste
    iPhone mount
    grips
    Acerbis X-Factor hand guards
    heavy duty front and rear tubes
    Dunlop D606 tires
    gas filter
    filter oil and cleaner kit
    USB battery charger and leads
    cable repair kit
    stainless oil filter
    magnetic drain plug
    No Toil Air Filter
    Arai XD-4 Helmet
    PVC tool kit
    Chainroller 34mm
    Aerostich Darien Pants
    Kryptonite Disc Lock Reminder
    Xena XX-14 Disc Lock
    Mini Volt Meter
    USB - iPhone Cable
    Fork Seal Cleaner
    Wolfman Expedition Dry Duffel (Medium)
    TAT GPS Tracks
    mirror extenders
    1/4" fuel line
    Aerostich Tank Panniers

    A couple of pics of the work in progress:

    IMG_1077.JPG IMG_1044.JPG IMG_1061.JPG
    #3
    Fearless Whetu and 9Realms like this.
  4. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    646
    Well your not afraid of farkles. Have fun, I'm in.
    #4
  5. DirtD

    DirtD n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    DFW
    Looking forward to this...
    #5
  6. trikepilot

    trikepilot Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    756
    Location:
    Roanoke, VA & NRG, WV
    #6
    blisske likes this.
  7. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    913
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    subscribed. Good luck!
    #7
  8. Hog1450

    Hog1450 I use the oil you hate Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Oddometer:
    360
    Location:
    NWFL Panhandle, Florida KHRT
    50 this year too, and looking for a TAT bike now. Gonna do the TAT in stages like PittsDriver did his, 30+ days gone will make a few people angry in my world. Plus I sorta feel that If I do it in stages, I can actually take more time and decompress more often... if that makes sense?
    PS.. don't schedule the colonoscopy the day before your trip! That seat time will kill you! kidding...
    #8
    PittsDriver and blisske like this.
  9. TxGhostrider

    TxGhostrider Old-Tired-Fat&Gripey

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    Jack County, Texas
    Will be 51 this year. I have discussed doing the TAT with my son, who lives in NC near Raleigh. He is onboard, just have to get things lined up. Getting old is not for weak people!! Waiting for the RR to start!!! I am in!!! :lurk
    #9
    mutt550 likes this.
  10. jules083

    jules083 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    8,385
    Location:
    Richmond, Ohio
    Following this one. Hoping to make the TAT in a few years myself.
    #10
  11. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    Denver
    More build pics. Here is the tire iron mount:

    image.jpeg

    Here is my Home Depot made tool kit:

    image.jpeg

    Shoehorning an LED headlight into mount:

    image.jpeg
    #11
  12. mlbraptor

    mlbraptor Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    228
    Location:
    Nawth Kakilaki
    Looks like your planning well. I would love to do a trip like that. Have fun..
    #12
  13. Weevrider

    Weevrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    294
    Location:
    Vancouver Island, B.C.
    I'm in. Looking at a DR myself.
    #13
    Final Drive likes this.
  14. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    Denver
    As I navigate the urban jungle of Denver attempting to put some miles on this bike before the big trip, I have noticed that shifting between 2nd and 3rd gear is notchy and I sometimes have to double clutch to get into third. Is this a "feature" or might it be indicative of a problem with the DR?
    #14
  15. LudemJo

    LudemJo Iron Butt Dreamer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    862
    Location:
    Leesburg, VA, USA
    I just turned 58, and not a dirt rider, but looking forward to reading your report. I am not sure if I will ever be able to do something like this, but it sure does sound appealing.

    I'm sure the DR experts will be along shortly to discuss your feature, but you may want to post your question in the DR650 thread in the Thumper section of ADV to get a more rapid response.

    John
    #15
  16. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    913
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    John, our ages for last year's TAT ride were 58, 58, 57, 52. Use this as excuse to get yourself in shape and just do it! You'll always regret the things you didn't do way more than anything you did.
    #16
    enduro16, norton73 and ae5x like this.
  17. ae5x

    ae5x Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Houston (Kingwood) TX
    55 here and finally doing it because next year or the elusive "someday" won't see an improvement in my abilities...
    #17
    enduro16 and norton73 like this.
  18. gravityisnotmyfriend

    gravityisnotmyfriend °.°.°.°.°.°.°.°.°.°.

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,040
    Location:
    Baraboo, WI
    Not to worry you- but dr650 as a history of blowing up due to a 3rd gear failure. There's a thread on it here:
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/dr650-3rd-gear-blowups.424132/
    #18
  19. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    Denver
    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg

    Packing dry run. Doing an overnight trip this coming weekend to see what I'm missing and fine tune a bit before things get serious.
    #19
  20. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    Denver
    image.jpeg Loaded up and ready for a shake down cruise to Buena Vista this weekend.
    #20