TAT Oct 2019 Countdown

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Robcure4, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. Robcure4

    Robcure4 HooKeD1

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Louisiana
    10 days to go before we start our TAT journey. Feels like it actually started roughly 2 years ago with just a mention of this "trail ride" on my coworker's bucket list. It didn't take long to quickly become an obsession of sorts - youtube videos, reading so many advrider forums, following the kiwi groms was a blast, reading and watching. The planning.....never-ending. Picked up a couple of adv bikes, Amazon boxes for months on end. Gear. More gear. Risers, bags, pegs, extra parts.....as my buddy says, "chrimmas!" A few others were interested, but slowly didn't make the cut. 10 days to go, a year + of planning and preparation all getting ready to be tested - I actually wake up in the middle of the night and send myself email reminders of things to consider......it's quite an enjoyable bother. We plan to start an Epic Ride daily update once we get started - 2am on Oct 4th we will be heading East to NC with 2 bikes in the back of a uhaul, sounds insane to anyone who believes themselves to be sane. They just don't know. The countdown becomes a reality. I failed to mention that we're only planning to do half of the TAT in October and the second half in 2020. So ALL of this will be on full repeat again before we finish our October trek. I'm on a Super Tenere 1200, the other inmate - Longdude17 - is on a Triumph Tiger 800. We jokingly we say, wives get it all if we die...there's truth in that. #wivesgetitallifwedie
    #1
  2. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    351
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Awesome! I'll be following along. Have a blast, its an unbelievable trip.
    #2
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  3. longdude17

    longdude17 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    69
    Location:
    Red Stick, LA
    Since RobCure4 has graciously started this thread (he is the wordsmith, I'm an engineer.....I'm good with numbers, the hell with words, phrasing and you grammar nazi’s!) I'll join in!

    As he mentioned above this trip has been years in the making....A little backstory to the epic road trip that we are mere days from starting. RobCure4 and I lead/execute Turnarounds here in the deep south Louisiana, thus I spend countless days trying to explain to him why I’m right and he’s off the reservation, or some variation of that. One day, after a particular sideways conversation on how working 14hr days for 6 months straight was sucking the life from us, we got on the topic of bucket list ideas. I mentioned the TAT and all its glory, a trip that I’ve always fancied, one that I always wanted to do but never seemed have the “right” timing due to adult priorities.

    I was quite the surprised that he was actually interested….. 3 months later (and after watching almost every TAT YouTube video) he bought his Super Tenere.

    Great right? Nope….that meant I had to get priorities in check and buy a bike! A new bike! Great right? Nope….that meant I had to convince the wife I wanted to go on a motorcycle trip! Buying the bike was easy, convincing the wife, not so much. It took months of dropping hints, a death in the family, ALOT of convincing, and a promise of Disney, to convince the Missus that we would "behave" & not terrorize the nation as we ride from NC to OK.

    Robcure bought his bike without approval….fun times, I’m still getting the blame for that one. However I have to “officially” say he paid $1500 for his bike…none the less, both wives reluctantly agreed (his more so unwillingly than mine), and we set to planning, farkling , testing, modifying and tweaking. No one is ever really done “tweaking” their bikes…but here is where mine started:

    Picked up a gently used 2011 Triumph Tiger 800 Roadie w/ 16,500 miles for cheapish ….it was at this time I learned a useful bargaining tactic……. bring RobCure along if you need to haggle. He will talk the seller’s ears off until the seller is so beat down and exhausted that he will almost give you what’s for sale! Win for me!!!

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    Bike came decently farkled, but as an tinkerer…..it needed MORE….Added shock socks, altrider luggage rack, apache hard case, Engel top box, tank bag, 2.5” Rox Risers, crash bar bags, down 1 tooth in the front, Shinko tires, and got to packing my old camping gear. Use what ya got!! Between the bike and the gear, I’m fairly confident the amazon delivery driver will be invited to thanksgiving dinner.

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    Love the bike, but I could beat the engineer who designed this bike with a ratchet strap…..took 6 hours, 3 tools, 7 beers and two "wtf"'s to change the starter (had the dreaded hot starter issue). Took longer to remove ALL the damn plastics than it took to actually change the starter! Did a few mods while I was in there such as upgraded starter, new filter and the addition of a uni-filter.

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    RobCure and I took our bikes on a half day shake down run, learned a lot about my bike and myself, especially on how NOT to die in 100 degree Louisiana heat in full gear, and how NOT loose your go pro a ½ mile from the house…..ahhh fun times.

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    #3
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  4. Thinwater

    Thinwater Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    Where do you suspect "half" will end up? I just came off of it two weeks ago. Started at the Mississippi/Arkansas line headed west. Those are very nice bikes, if it rains the weight of those are gonna be rough in mud. We were lucky ran on dry ground the entire way as far as rain goes. A flooded river from rains elsewhere made for some interesting water crossings in Arkansas, almost drowned out my Himalayan but the ground was dry on both sides.
    #4
  5. longdude17

    longdude17 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    69
    Location:
    Red Stick, LA
    We are planning to start at Cedar Point SC, Robcure keeps saying he is hoping to be midways through OK by day 10. Id be happy to be at the western side of Arkansas by then.

    We have 10 days, going to ride what we can in that time frame....not setting a specific destination but rather enjoying the ride and not rushing through it.

    Everyone says the bikes are heavy (and they are), but my Tiger is 473lbs wet, a KLR 650 is 432lbs wet and most comically the V-strom is 474lbs wet....so its not THAT much bigger than what is considered one of the best go-to off road bikes that normally rides the TAT. True, 41lbs is still 41lbs, but what the Tiger lacks in weight & ground clearance, it makes up in refinement, HP and comfort.

    Truth is, wet muddy roads suck on any bike....embrace the challenge!

    RobCures bike tho.....its a total pig! Especially for a geriatric old guy!
    #5
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  6. Robcure4

    Robcure4 HooKeD1

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Yeah yeah, it doesn't do any good worrying about it right now - set your goals and milestones, enjoy the ride! Whatever we don't do on this trip, we'll just have to make up for on the next one. Mud, bears, dogs, rain, snow, whatever - the journey awaits us just up ahead and it's too late to start worrying about the stuff you can't control. 8 more days to go!!!
    #6
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  7. Robcure4

    Robcure4 HooKeD1

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Louisiana
    How far did you get and how long were you on the Trail? We've actually talked about the Himalayan's, nice looking bikes!!
    #7
  8. Thinwater

    Thinwater Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    We went all the way to Sioux Falls, SD, skipped trial in Oklahoma and was glad of it, skipped Idaho for 3days stay in Yellowtone, and skipped straight across Wyoming instead of V'ing down on designated route, still road trail though picked by my TomTom550 rider on straightest route avoid nothing but Interstate mode. 33mile Rd and Wild Horse Rd that came off of it was top shelf. Caught designated trail again at Newcastle through Black Hills. Oh, didn't answer your time frame question....28days
    #8
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  9. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,695
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Looking forward to following along, good on you guys for getting out there and doing what you can in the time allotted :thumb.

    Enjoyed the hell out of a couple of TAT reports from earlier in the year, several guys did the entire thing and I believe it was something like 42 or 47 days of riding. That's a damn long time to be on bikes, but something I aspire to if the opportunity presents itself. As @longdude17 mentioned, adult responsibilities make it tough to get a big block like that off, but it'll happen.

    Keep the knobby side down fellas :ricky :ricky
    #9
  10. scout68

    scout68 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    405
    Location:
    Germantown TN
    Following along as well.
    The is one of many dream rides for me as well....but I will have to knock it out in sections....so I'm glad to learn from how you guys are gonna break it up....

    I had always though of riding each section in the best season for that section....one year/one section at a time...one week at at time...

    This being a necessity for me given work schedule and the fact that I have a bunch of children yet to raise.....

    Good luck and if you ned help anywhere close to west Tennessee give a holler.
    #10
  11. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,758
    Location:
    The Bluegrass
    I think these 10 days will prove to you that your bikes are both too heavy and too street oriented for the conditions. 1 good lung and the least amount of weight are best when the struggle begins.
    I haven't been on a Super T , but gezz it's a 600 lb. bike , I don't even like pavement bike that fat. I did rent a 800 Tiger for a few days in Ca. , I'll say it's a great street bike with dirty looks.
    #11
  12. longdude17

    longdude17 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    69
    Location:
    Red Stick, LA
    You might be right, but there’s been reports of behemoth GS’s and Harley’s riding the TAT.... guess we will figure it out!!! Thus the saying/motto of this ride..... #wivesgetitallifwedie. There’s some truth to it! Lol

    T-minus 5 days till we leave, on the bright side, the Uhaul is reserved, my bags are packed, fresh oil in the Tiger, electronics are updated, and camping reservations for the first night have been made.

    The wife has been cool as a cucumber the past few weeks, which is scary in itself......tho the topic of extra life insurance did pop up yesterday. Hmmmmm....(yes she is lurking here somewhere...probably reading this blog & plotting my demise)

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    #12
  13. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    617
    Well IMO those are heavy bikes, too heavy for me in poor conditions such as mud. The more important aspect to me is that your bikes are matched up. Having one light bike and a heavy bike is as bad as one expert rider traveling with someone learning how to ride. What ever the joy or struggle it is better together than one always helping or waiting on the other .
    #13
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  14. Ratman

    Ratman Lucky Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,335
    Location:
    Baja is good
    Well, everyone seems to want to tell you what they think about your bikes. As you say you have the bikes and the 10 days to ride the TAT. What's wrong with that? You will learn a lot, Guys. Don't be afraid to laugh.

    Have fun and don't be afraid to skip the sketchy parts.
    #14
  15. vt700guy

    vt700guy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    406
    Location:
    NW Oklahoma
    If you get into Northern/NW Oklahoma I'll try to catch up with you guys.
    #15
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  16. Robcure4

    Robcure4 HooKeD1

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Louisiana
    5 days until departure and I've packed, unpacked, repacked, unpacked, rearranged a few things, repacked, unpacked, discarded a few things and repacked once again......almost ready. My wife is much less appreciative of the true adventure value that this trip is to bring, the next few days will be strategic on my part. On a good note, I've never in my entire life packed 3 days of clothing into a bag smaller than my tackle box.....it's damn impressive. My top box will only contain my other jacket and maybe some snacks, if I don't decide to swap it with my givi dry bag. Restless nights this week for sure.
    #16
  17. Robcure4

    Robcure4 HooKeD1

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Thank you! This trip will help us to decide on how to do the western half next year.
    #17
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  18. Robcure4

    Robcure4 HooKeD1

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Louisiana
    4 Days to go......I'm already second-guessing my decision to NOT put my Rox Risers on. Not sure if I'll be comfortable enough with them since I'm already somewhat comfortable enough without them. I'd much prefer some offroad, in the dirt and gravel ride time with the risers installed instead of just installing them now and hitting the TAT without testing them out. I also might be putting too much thought into this. Working on a "stop list" received from other riders, much appreciated and we're hoping to at least hit a few along the way. The anticipation is quite the pain in the @$$.
    #18
  19. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,758
    Location:
    The Bluegrass
    Wishing you a fun and successful trip. You will learn an abundance , experience is the best teacher.
    #19
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  20. brucebeck1911

    brucebeck1911 n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2015
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    midwest
    Go for it! Half the people never leave the recliner.
    #20
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