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TAT Oct 2019 Countdown

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

  1. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,963
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Good on you guys, thanks for taking the time to detail your adventure and keep us posted on your progress. Coming back to the homestead is always sweet, also leaves the longing for the next adventure that much stronger.

    Glad you guys made it home safe and sound and hope to catch version 2.0 when you continue the journey west :ricky :thumb
    #81
  2. Motor7

    Motor7 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,524
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    It's refreshing to read a trip trip report where everyone just had a blast. No whining, no drama and all focus is on the RIDE and what makes you happy. Well done!
    #82
    Cigar, scout68, chudzikb and 2 others like this.
  3. Robcure4

    Robcure4 HooKeD1

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Being able to sit back and reflect on the recent trip, a closure report if you will, there are a few things that I keep reconsidering. The Shinko's did great, even on the highway. Not going to get many miles out of the rear tire with all of the weight that my S10 had on it, understandably so. Weight, this is one that's very controllable! My fat @ss could lose at least 40 lbs, that's a healthy start. However, for my gear it's more simple. I did not use my sleeping bag, only needed the liner and it was just enough for 50 deg f weather. Had a small blanket, didn't need it. My ultra light folding camp chair, used only 3 times, not packing it again. My ultra light cot....man, this was nice when sleeping on hard surfaces. I'll have to think about this one. I'd rather lose 43 lbs and keep the cot, just a thought. Duracell jump starter - pos, didn't work when I needed it. Warm jacket and liner came in handy, it was also waterproof. Not bringing the frog togg top and other jacket on the next trip. Too much food, bag weighed a good 8 lbs when packed. One sure thing to note is that I had way too many options for pockets, pouches, etc -- this led to me putting stuff wherever it would fit. Which then led to me forgetting where I stashed stuff. Sucks when you're trying to locate your headlamp and can't remember where you stashed it at 6am that morning. Top case, I never fully used it - top section was usually empty unless I wanted to stash something for quick and easy access. It's actually a pet carrier, worked great too! Panniers were usually not fully packed, I could've gone with soft cases or a dry bag setup. I'd definitely go with a much smaller tank bag. It became my fallback stash location for stuff that had no business being in the tank bag. Nonetheless, the S10 performed very well and I'm quite sure that it would've handled the loose gravel and mud a lot better without so much weigh on it - I'm not so naive to think that my lack of skill in these scenarios didn't play a part as well, a work in progress. It's still a heavy durable beast of a bike and worthy of reconsideration for the western half. The extra parts that I brought along could've also stayed in the garage, that's another 5 to 7 lbs. Tools, thankfully didn't need to break out anything - that's another 10 lbs at least. I can cut that in half possibly. Between the forums and youtube videos on what and how to pack for the TAT, there's always room for improvement. With such a diverse riding group out there, it's also a part of the adventure that we all either enjoy or hate - no in-between! It's part of the journey, one that stays with you from the time your tires hit the trail to right up until you reach your final destination. I'm not a doctor, but I'm sure this is an illness with no cure.....only a prescription to load up and ride at least twice a week until your withdrawals and/or symptoms are appeased. Maybe adding a bike to the "collection" will help. Thanks again for all of the encouragement and epic ride posts to read, looking forward to finishing the TATin 2020.
    #83
  4. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    758
    Location:
    Lafayette, LA
    Great summary, much appreciated. As someone in the planning stages to moto-camp, I'm finding it pretty overwhelming. I keep telling myself to start small and don't camp too far from civilization at first...just in case.

    As someone said, loved the upbeat nature of the report and am inspired, as an inexperienced off-roader, by you guys taking the big bikes off road and having a blast.
    #84
    Ginger Beard likes this.
  5. Just Cliff

    Just Cliff Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2018
    Oddometer:
    200
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Great RR fellas, looks like y'all had a great trip. Packing & gear will come with time. Really liked the writing style, I have zero writing skill so therefore I don't do RR's. Wish I could.

    Quitman is 15 minutes from me, if you'd like to pick up where you left off you're welcome to stop here next year. I'm own tent space.
    #85
    sanders446 likes this.
  6. Motor7

    Motor7 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,524
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    I agree that others here and myself carry too much crap. Also look at clothing, besides what you wear you really only need one or two T-shirts, and extra pair of skivvies, another pair of Merino wool socks(they don't soak up stink) and one pair of long pants(Duluth FireHose). Make the shirts and skivvies the lightweight quick dry type material so you can wash them out in the shower and hang them up or throw them in a mesh bag to hang on bike the next day to dry. Duluth Trading makes some excellent clothing for us motocampers.

    I would not ditch the sleeping bag for the western TAT....once above 6,000 feet it can easily get to freezing temps at night. I use a hammock which is inherently colder so I carry a 0 degree down bag.

    Consolidate tools with fellow riders of your group. No need to duplicate them, so that will cut the tool weigh by 50%.....but you have to stay together until the end. One of the TAT guys I rode with had a huge tool bag that was about 25lbs and he lashed it to the tail of his Husky with ratchet straps. I though for sure the subframe would break off, or the bag would jettison out, but it never did.

    I agree on the chair. We ride all day, eat, jump in the rack and are out and rolling early AM....really not much time to relax in a chair. Most campgrounds have picnic tables too. My trip last month was 3,400 miles in 11 days ....I used my Helinox twice. I will say it is nice when you do get an extra day to lounge in one place.

    I carry a ditty bag of freeze dried meals and some breakfast bars. Many times on the road I find myself being chased by sunset and/or am in a remote area with no gas station to hit before camping. It is kinda of a pain having to hang the food bag up in a tree every night to keep the critters out of it. But, being able to boil some water and eat a reasonably palatable meal is worth it for me. Riding alone that food also might help me keep from sawing off a limb to eat while waiting to be
    rescued :kbasa2

    I've been motorcamping on DL's for about 6 years and every trip I go thru my stuff and leave something else at home. It's hard when you have a "One is none and Two is one" mantra:hmmmmm
    #86
    sanders446 likes this.
  7. AZMtnRider

    AZMtnRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Oddometer:
    135
    Location:
    Southeast AZ
    As far as food goes, I carry 3 cans of ready to eat soup, stew, ravioli, etc. whatever floats your boat. A small bag of almonds mixed with raisins. This could last me a week if It really had to. When I camp, I heat a can of soup on my cigarette pack sized stove. Replace the can of soup at the next gas stop. Eat a decent lunch somewhere. Easy, compact, and can go for weeks like this if needed.
    #87
    Davidprej likes this.
  8. fastring

    fastring Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    452
    Location:
    Monroe, GA
    Great RR, thanks for taking us a long! Seems like great bike choices for you and a trip well spent. I like the tigers roadie wheels with knobbies, I think we over estimate the offroad "need" of our moto choices.
    #88
  9. longdude17

    longdude17 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Red Stick, LA
    Reflecting back on the trip now that I’ve been home for over a week, the trip was an enormous success, we planned and executed EXACTLY the way we wanted. We weren’t in a rush, we stopped when we wanted, detoured when we wanted, we took pictures, we didn’t have a destination but rather a direction and a means.....we truly live the nomad lifestyle for a little over a week.

    As far as a post trip review, there are a few things I’d like to do different with my bike. But let’s categorize these thoughts....

    Positives:
    Overall, the Triumph performed beautifully. I lowered the front sprocket a tooth, which completely changed the manners of the bike, especially off road. The bike could idle in first gear at 6mph, and would pull like a tractor in 2nd from 15mph up virtually any road I pointed it. In short, The motor is phenomenal....

    The suspension was OK...the bike handles like it’s 2/3 the weight it is, (I know it’s not a KTM or a dirt bike) but I’d be very interested to see if you DR, XRL, or KLR riders could keep up. Sure maybe in gravel, not in the twisties or paved roads (I’ve ridden 2 of the 3)..... I know, I know the western half is completely different riding....

    The Corbin seat was a bit slippery, but comfy enough for 2-3 hours in the saddle. The grip heaters were amazing when hands were wet and cold, the rox risers were just right to where I could stand and ride without hunching over. The lowered foot pegs were nice and wide for my MX boots, The Kyocera phone converted to GPS, worked like a charm, minor complaints with Locus maps off line mapping w/ BR router, but nothing a little creativity couldn’t solve. Not changing a thing here.

    The smallish Givi tanklok bag was a bit on the small side, but perfectly sized for what I needed. Any bigger would have been too big. I kept the pew pew, my hat, sunglasses, charging wires, sunscreen, ibuprofen and whatever I might need at a quick grab in it. On and off the bike in 2 seconds. Not changing a thing.

    IMG_0157.JPG

    My camp gear worked out well. I utilized a Cabelas XPG ultralight 2 person tent, a amazon special sleeping pad and a Kelty 30f sleeping bag. The combo was comfy and quick to set up... 10 min and everything was done, in place and ready for snoozing. Id stored these in my yellow dry duffle that was strapped to the passenger pillion, perfect for leaning back on to rest during the long slabs. Not changing a thing here.

    IMG_0155.JPG

    IMG_9882.JPG

    My camp cooking kit was a bit old school, I brought a old 60’s era Coleman 501 camp stove (with cook/storage bowls) & the stainless Stanley cook cup stores two coffee /wiskey cups. Both were used twice a day the entire trip. They are a bit heavy but worked great. Once again, I’m a cheap ass and I’ve had all these since I was 15 years old...not changing anything here.

    59240268591__8DA507BE-5720-4FE0-AF16-B77AB1F0681A.JPG IMG_9826.JPG

    My hard cases consisted on a harbor freight pelican knock off Apache box and a Engel waterproof lunch box. All my tools and cook ware were stored in the apache box, and the food, coffee, coffee, ramen, snacks and trail mix were in the Engel. I strapped the fuel bottle, and whiskey bottle to the Engel, strapped two cheap molle bags to the Engel for towel and miscellaneous storage. I’d like to try to get the big bottles lower, considering mounting them on the hard bags. Brought a bit too much food, but total weight of the Engel loaded was right at 10pounds. Overall the boxes worked out great, no complaints, ample storage and my rigged en-gen-neering for the on/off of the boxes worked great. Not changing much here, and for the nay sayers.... I don’t care!

    IMG_9975.JPG IMG_0069.JPG

    Tires—the shinkos were great, they handled the twists and turns of the dragon without issue, handled the gravel roads without issue and were very predictable. There were several instances each day I would go from dragging pegs on asphalt, to running gravel roads at 45+ mph to taking on steep wet switchbacks. They were definitely confidence inspiring for a 50/50 tire. Overall the rear is about 1/2 worn, the front is barely noticeable. Based off these 2100 miles, I don’t foresee ever running any other tire on the bike.

    IMG_9554.JPG

    My wearables were spot on.... I packed a Bilt mesh jacket, a Frank Thomas winter jacket w/ liner, O’Neal MX boots, summer & winter gloves, HJC modular helmet w/ Cardo Bluetooth and “tingley” rain overalls (“borrowed” from work, but worked amazingly well). Of course I had to have a set of crocs for the evenings.

    Dislikes:
    The Triumph Adventure 2 clam shell hard bags SUCKS. I bought pannier liners to go inside, which helped keep things contained and organized but they were a heavy pain in the ass to deal with. You almost have to take them off the bike and lay them on their side, and wiggle the liner around to get them to close. Don’t open them while on the bike unless you have 10min and aren’t around children. I’d love to have a nice set of top open panniers or even soft bags.... but I’m a cheap ass, so I will most likely curse and bitch about them until I’m forced to replace them. The left side had plenty storage, the right side bag is a pure waste. A small blanket, first aid kit and my tingly rain gear is all that would fit in such a big shitty case. They never broke or leaked, but you definitely want to ask the design engineer, WTF are you thinking???? Plastic???heavy hard cases??? Really?? Go home, your drunk....

    IMG_9853.JPG
    IMG_9780.JPG

    I probably won’t bring the small ice chest again. It worked great, but was completely unnecessary. Was used mostly for water bottle storage, but will likely use the crash bar bags for this in the future (they weren’t utilized as expected).

    I’m sure tools can be vetted, probably gonna take out the spare set of pegs and brake pads from under the seat. I’d like to put a aftermarket exhaust on the Tiger. Probably going to leave the extra bag of GO-Pro attachments at home. All that should shave a few pounds.

    Overall.... I’m happy with the set up. I’ve been studying the ride reports of the western half. I know I need to make changes, but what? Where? What am I really willing to do without? That’s the question! I’ve got almost a year to figure it out!

    GOPR0489.JPG

    Attached Files:

    #89
    subseadog, Davidprej, scout68 and 2 others like this.
  10. Texas Dirtrari

    Texas Dirtrari Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    Alabama
    Glad you two had a great adventure. I enjoyed following your journey. I did the TAT in reverse last September. I was on a KLR 650. It was a big bike but manageable. You can follow our trip in the link below. Let me know if you have questions. Sounds like a trip in reverse is right up your alley as you travel back to LA!

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/a-r-m-d-and-dangerous-on-the-tat.1337120/
    #90
    Robcure4 likes this.