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TAT Gear prep question.

Discussion in 'Americas' started by tk1250gsa, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. tk1250gsa

    tk1250gsa Been here awhile

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    Hi,
    I'm planning to do TAT this summer. I've been preparing for a year with practice and research.
    I love my off road set up which is SIDI crossfire 3 boots with Klim Dakar pants and jacket with jersey and body armor which makes me feel safer and comfy. but one concern is waterproof. since dakar is great for ventilation but it's water repellent not water proof. I've been tested under light water for 2-3 hours was fine. boots was fine too (have sealskinz socks too just incase. )
    Do you think I need to get full waterproof pants and jacket? have revit GTX dominator I love it but it's damn hot for summer and heavy with limited body movement which accumulate more fatigue.
    any thought? Honestly I can deal with top with just bring regular rain jacket but thing is bottom. always got soaked crouch area after few hours under heavy rain except Revit GTX which is 3 layer laminated Goretex.
    #1
  2. scanda

    scanda Trooper

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    It was hot summer of 2018 when I did the TAT and wore vented jersey (over my armor) and vented pants. I encountered rain 2-3 days of my trip and carried raingear in a bag...it worked out fine. I put on the rain gear at higher elevations to keep warm too. I bought the Fly 2 piece rain suit that isn't available anymore and didn't worry about my boots getting wet. I love the TAT, will do again someday.
    #2
  3. txmxrider

    txmxrider Been here awhile

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    I guess it kind of depends on how cold/wet you're willing to endure and also a matter of luck as to how much rain you run into. My buddy and I rode the western half of the TAT in 2018 and we both had Klim Dakar pants. I like those pants. Though not waterproof they're warm enough in cooler temps and vent reasonably well for hotter temps. We each just took a rain jacket to keep our core warm and dry and let the bottom half get wet. We were pretty fortunate in that we only encountered one heavy rain (on day 1 ironically). I would point out though that our plan works best in the low humidity western US. I could wash a T-shirt in a creek and it would be dry in 10 minutes. If you plan to ride the entire TAT you'll no doubt hit some rain in the humid Southeast and there you won't dry out nearly as quick. But my home turf is in the Southeast and I still only carry a rain jacket. I put a higher premium on traveling light and for me personally it's just not that big of a deal if I get wet. I'd probably ditch the Sealskinz btw. Just carry an extra pair of socks and put the wet ones under your Rok straps so they can dry as you ride. It may look sort of hillbilly but it works!
    #3
  4. tk1250gsa

    tk1250gsa Been here awhile

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    Thank you so much for detail experience.
    Yea I have sealskinz and love dakar pants. Since I’m planning to start from CO to west direction should be dry except few CO area. I’ll just bring Dakar jacket and pants plus rain jacket with sealskinz. Can I ask when were you cross CO part? And how was weather? Planning to do Early July for CO but worry that it’s too hot when I croos rest of part UT NV CA
    #4
  5. txmxrider

    txmxrider Been here awhile

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    We began our ride in Walsenburg CO the last week of July and followed GPSKevin's route. If I were you I'd be concerned that early July is too early for CO because some of the passes may not be open yet. If your schedule is flexible you can make that call at the last minute. In 2019 a lot of the passes were still closed well into July. Another problem with going early in the season is that you may run into a lot of downed trees in the less traveled areas. It takes weeks after the snow melts for volunteers and Forest Service workers to saw a path through all the logs. Regarding the temps, our experience was that the majority of the route is at higher altitudes and it wasn't uncomfortably hot. The valleys were hot but low humidity so as long as we kept moving we rolled through those sections pretty quickly then were climbing up the next mountain range. Before this ride I had no idea that NV had so many mountains. I thought it was all going to be like a Barstow to Vegas desert race. If you're camping another thing to consider is how cold it gets at night at higher altitudes. We camped most of the way and I was only marginally prepared for the cold nights.

    I have a post here that you might find useful... https://advrider.com/f/threads/just-completed-the-western-tat-what-i-learned.1334293/

    Enjoy the ride. You're going to have a great time and many good memories!
    #5
    tk1250gsa likes this.
  6. tk1250gsa

    tk1250gsa Been here awhile

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    thank you so much!!
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  7. wadethewanderer

    wadethewanderer To infinity and beyond. Supporter

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    If you've never experienced Tennessee in late June then let me explain. It's FREAKIN HOT!, (avg 94) and the T-storms roll in after lunch. Consider mid May for departure. With the heat and the rain/ thunder/ lightning, it was still a great experience.
    #7
  8. Canyon Man

    Canyon Man "60% of the time, it works all of the time"

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    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!
    #8
  9. tk1250gsa

    tk1250gsa Been here awhile

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    Thanks for tip but I’m planning to start from CO.
    #9
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  10. vector_dumb

    vector_dumb Happier Here

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    My experience is east coast riding (MABDR, MD, PA, NY, VT, NH) and on any trip more than a few days I find rain gear a very good idea. I have spent time in CO and I would not want to be caught up high anywhere without some sort of raingear or something to break the wind. The western part of Oregon will likely get wet too. After you get caught in bad conditions once, you'll say never again.

    I recommend a goretex shell you can throw on over or under your riding jacket/pants. If you are patient you can score some good stuff pretty cheap.

    For pants I use a "USGI Military Level 6 L6 Rain Pants Trouser Goretex ECWCS ACU" that I picked up off of ebay for 40 bucks. Legs are roomy enough where they will fit over riding pants, knee guards, and MX boots. The set I got work extremely well.

    For a jacket I use a Marmot goretex shell I picked up for 50 bucks on closeout. I can fit it over or under my riding jacket and the hood fits well under my helmet.

    I had frog toggs and they were just about worthless. I did 200 miles up to Buffalo in the rain and I was completely soaked, cold, and miserable in the frog toggs. Water would pool in the thigh and when I put my leg down at a light it would all dump in my boot. A year later the same conditions happened but I had the goretex items mentioned above and I was still a bit cold, but I was dry and in far better shape. You can also wear the goretex stuff around camp as a rainsuit is you don't mind the mismatched look.

    I do not recommend riding jackets or pants with a zip in goretex liner. They take too long to get in place, are very expensive, and you can't use it as a separate item around camp.
    #10
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  11. tk1250gsa

    tk1250gsa Been here awhile

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    Thank you for good idea. I have Olympia New horizon jacket and tour master elite pants which works ok. rode under rain for 3 hours jacket held pretty good (start to feel damp). actually pants was not really. feel soaked crouched area. I hope it's ok with Dakar pants and jacket combo.
    #11
  12. bigblueboy

    bigblueboy Been here awhile

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    I saw a group of 4 Ausies on brand new KLRs last summer on the TAT. And one other guy from NH on a KLR. You’ll be fine.
    #12
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  13. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I did the TAT on a KLR several years ago. I had a mud fall on a very primitive road in MS.
    Most dirt roads in the west are unrideable on anything when muddy. Gravel or rocky are okay.


    The worst problem with the KLR will be sand. The bike just doesn't work well. But then probably no bike over ~250# does.

    I never had mud pack up in the radiator. I used to ride with a guy who was running an 18" rear tire. That combo would pack up between the tire and the fender much quicker than those of us with 17" tires.

    See this for info on western mud:

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/bad-mud-day-on-the-rez-rr.727309/
    #13
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  14. Canyon Man

    Canyon Man "60% of the time, it works all of the time"

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    I appreciate the info. Thanks!
    #14