TAT on an XT250

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AT Blizzard, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. AT Blizzard

    AT Blizzard Been here awhile Supporter

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    Yes -- I hiked the AT and found my balance. This adventure had the added challenge of maintaining and fixing a motorcycle. So, I'm still learning. :-)
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  2. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

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    Back packers seem to get by with very little on bike trips.

    I'm a car camper so my kit has a good bit more stuff.
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  3. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    I camp in a camper with wife, out of a car with son, camped a lot off a road bike, and now adv camping off a KLR. I thought I paired down well when we rode the TAT. Went with a back packer adv ride in Idaho and I learned a lot from him. When I look at what you are doing I see I have a lot to learn. :-)
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  4. henderson

    henderson Adventurer

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    i would ask your height...as to being comfortable on the XT250? thanks
  5. AT Blizzard

    AT Blizzard Been here awhile Supporter

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    5' 9"
    160 pounds
  6. AT Blizzard

    AT Blizzard Been here awhile Supporter

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    When I started this adventure, I also had my lightweight AT food kit: Titanium Zip (small Jet Boil) and food-bag (now my orange tool bag) w/ my AT bear-bag hanging kit (lightweight Nite Ize).

    I quickly got rid of that as my trail rhythm had me eating when my bike did (fuel stops) as well as when services were available along the route.

    That chow kit was light, but I was so happy to mail it home. :D
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  7. ChicoProf

    ChicoProf Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the continued postings with tips. I have hopes of making a TAT expedition on a 250... someday, and the minimalist approach sounds great. Procuring cooking materials is something I can happily cross off the list!
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  8. Buckee

    Buckee Scott

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    Anybody had a bad experience with the 395LM's powered mount? Mine's done great but I'm still leery, it locks in securely but there's no way to attach a tether. I see there's a locking mount for sale in Europe, thinking about it...
  9. calan818

    calan818 The CarMexican

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    Location:
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    Your ride report as well as your bike set up, are wonderfully efficient and well thought out...however, you have failed to provide something that I have mentioned to a couple of other ride report authors...When we follow along with a ride report, we get familiar and a feeling of friendship almost takes hold, but you have remained a mystery! How about a selfie!! I think early on you had a pic or two with your helmet on, but I for one like to put a face to the story!
    [​IMG]
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  10. Wind_Rider

    Wind_Rider Been here awhile

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    Brilliant thread and ride AT Blizzard. Thanks for posting up what you were packing. I am surprised at the depth of your toolkit when I look at how small you packaged it on the bike.

    I always enjoy seeing how other riders pack so thanks for sharing your ride and your packing strategy.
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  11. AT Blizzard

    AT Blizzard Been here awhile Supporter

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    IMG_1717.JPG
    Here's one -- Sci-Fi effect. This was right after I saved my XT from the unexpected surge of the Pacific Ocean. Notice that there is no baggage. I tossed them to dry ground; then alternately lifted and moved the back and front of the XT to dry ground -- because the tires were sunk and wouldn't roll. I was having the time of my life struggling against nature. Sea-To-Shining-Sea. :-)

    IMG_1719.JPG
    Sam's Tracks went to this beach. High winds, sloppy dry and wet sand (I was paddling like a baby turtle to get down there), with sneaky surging waters waiting.

    IMG_1726.JPG
    gpsKevin Tracks went to this harbor with a ride on beach.
  12. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    Wow. Thought I went light on the TAT, but gotta admit you beat me, maybe because I never did any long-distance hiking like you. Did a lot in the White Mountains and the Adirondacks, in my youth, but maybe it had been to long ago. I also learned to quit using my stove and pots, after the first night camping. Had bought a new Whisper-Lite, and planned to use it's fuel bottle for extra gas, in an emergency.

    The one place I feel I outdid you is in not carrying a cover for the bike. A wet seat, in the morning, isn't much bother with riding pants, and the XT can handle wet. Oh, and I don't carry a spare rear tube, as they say the front tube can be used on the rear in an emergency, and one spare oil filter.

    In the other direction, I recommend carrying at least three extra pairs of long wool socks, such as Smart Wool (in the wrong situation, it's easy to get your calf on the exhaust, take my word for it, and those socks don't dry out overnight) Also, I don't have an iron butt, so I now trade off each day between a pair of padded motorcycle shorts, and a thin pair of boxer shorts, to move the pressure points.

    As to the question of rider height on this small bike, I'm 6 feet 8 inches tall (down from 6' 10", in my prime) and weigh about 230 pounds, and have no problem with the size (but don't stand up as much as those young hot-shots).


    Thanks, again for this great report, and for a useful windup.
    .
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  13. juno

    juno Long timer

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    I have had mine fall out due to me not locking it correctly. I bought a pack of those stretch nylon hair ties and I use two around the mount and the garmin.
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  14. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

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  15. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    Hmmm. My Montana mount has a little screw lock, but I've never used it. Maybe I'll start, "one of these days". That lock wouldn't help if it wasn't seated correctly, though.
  16. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    Blizzard, I'd be interested in your evaluation of those Michelin T63s. I'm using oversize T63s, now, but don't intend to replace them with T63s, because"

    1. Though the lug pattern looks great, and is why I chose them (plus liking Michelins on cars), the lugs aren't as deep as the OEM lugs. Didn't notice this till after I'd ordered them.

    2. They wear down fast. I had about 14,000 miles on the OEM tires by the time they got replaced (they were still barely legal, and I was mostly doing gravel, and slab, at the time). However these T63s are already pretty well worn, with only about 3,000 miles on them. They aren't THAT worn, but an enthusiast would probably replace them now. I'll probably put another 2,000 miles on them.

    I'm guessing that fast wear implies they stick well to pavement and dry rocks, but don't really challenge them much in those situations.

    I've read lots of tire reviews in ADVrider, but seldom see comments on good longevity, so my next tires will probably be the oversize Bridgestone trail Wings. Then, after I finish the TAT, I may go back to the OEM size Trail Wings.
    .
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  17. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

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    I tried the T63 on the front of my KLR250.

    It did a great job in all conditions.

    After about 1500 miles it started singing on pavement.

    The singing got louder and louder until I could stand it no more.

    I changed it at 3000 miles.
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  18. jpmatchbox

    jpmatchbox n00b

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    How cold did it get at the mountain passes? Looking at doing the ride but not sure what rating mummy bag/cold weather gear you need.
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  19. AT Blizzard

    AT Blizzard Been here awhile Supporter

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    My original Trailwings went 6,200 miles of mostly tarmac.

    I prepped my wheels (previous comment) and mounted the T63s, then rode ~800 miles before I started the adventure. The rear tire was replaced at 4,250 miles just prior to my big climbs in Colorado -- it was worn down but not shredded; if I tried to shred my tires it would probably shred the engine first. :D

    The front T63 lasted to 5,000 miles and did well on my climbs before I retired it in Moab.

    Both T63s felt good on the street and trail for my bike and riding style and if I get 4,000 miles of quality dual sporting use out of a set, I'll be satisfied.

    They are my front runners when I return home.

    ===

    The D606 rear and MT21 front brought a smile to my face when I first rode them. You can feel the knobbies tug when you first take off, but once that throttle takes charge, they are very sure-footed on the trail. :-)

    I'm looking forward to experimenting with the MT43 rear just to see what all the hype is about.
  20. AT Blizzard

    AT Blizzard Been here awhile Supporter

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    In late June it was brisk (morning) at the Mountain Passes -- I rode with my jacket to keep the cold from edging in and distracting me. However, temperature-feel was very transient as I descended and moved along the trail.

    The wind makes a big difference in how the cold (relative term) cuts through your riding attire. I was in mesh pants (Klim Mojave) and a riding jersey over a mesh armored shirt -- so I was exposed; but once I put on the jacket (windbreaker effect, but with armpit vents open) I was very comfortable even working on those climbs. My lower body doesn't seem to care -- wet, hot, cold, etc...

    I layer, so I'm comfortably covered down into the 40's with the gear I brought and could go lower without too much discomfort (been there done that as a skinny hiker :D) -- even with the Spark sleeping bag (rated at 46 deg). But I was reminded how chilly the cool dry air of the Colorado Mountains felt at night and in the early morning.

    ===

    To add more detail, at night my upper body available layers were: quick-dry sleeveless Patagonia shirt, Down Ghost Whisperer (very lightweight and packable) puffy, Riding Jacket, silk liner, and sleeping bag inside a tent.

    For my head I had the Smartwool balaclava (never used it on this trip -- I have used it many times snow camping), and the jacket hood.

    For lower body: clean dry Darn Tough lightweight wool boot socks (replaced my MX socks), shorts, lightweight gortex pants (never used them for cold or wet weather, just for town/ laundry/ errands).

    Good luck on your preparations!
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