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Discussion in 'Americas' started by WalterMitty2, Mar 4, 2020.
You'll more than likely be tempted to overpack......... don't do it. I shipped a box of unnecessary items after the first day. There are several great resources here on ADV rider to help you with the packing aspect. Take time to enjoy the ride! Witt Rd, just out of Tellico Plains has water crossings, one of which was a little deep due to the rains, and had jagged rocks. Other than that, NC to the Mississippi River was easy.
It's definitely doable. I did it from South Florida up the eastern TET, the TAT to AR and back to via the west loop of the TET. in two weeks and I spent two nights at the TAT shack and a day of doing local riding. 7 days to get there including a side trip to Knoxville for a night at my brothers house. 6 days back. 4k miles in 2 weeks. That was my first long dirt ride but I had been used to very long days in the saddle on pavement. I later did the full TAT from my doorstep in 3 weeks.
I find hotels allow me to do longer miles than camping as I can ride longer into the evening and I am an early riser. It takes me longer to break camp than it does to roll out of a hotel room. Good thinking as it will save you a lot of room on the bike and hotels are easy to find, camping is less convenient in the east.
Definitely get some seat time and definitely learn how to use your gps. That will save lots of time and stress. Try to develop some callouses on your fingers for the grips, even with good gloves!
An cheap and easy GPS would be the Garmin eTrex20. It's all I used to do my TAT trip. It also runs on AA batteries but can also be wired into a power port. There is a ram mount for it that holds it very secure. I think the gps costs only around $125.
Please try to get in 3 back to back days of around 100 miles each before the trip. It will allow you to figure out what to pack. You may also find that you don't like this sort of travelling.
Thanks for all the advice. I ended up getting the Zumo 396...just got is yesterday. I plan to wire it into the bike this weekend....hopefully all (bike, GPS, me) still works when I am done.
You really need a GPS for this ride. And it would be wise to have a backup plan.
You can load a navigation app like Osmand or Locus onto a cell phone and also load the TAT tracks there and use that for a backup.
You could probably survive without having the phone mounted on the bike.
I have MotionX GPS app on my iphone as a back up.
I did the TAT in 2010 so it has obviously had some updates since then but I will say this... I did the entire eastern portion until half way through CO 2 up on a KLR loaded with camping gear and had absolutely no problems with the trails whatsoever. I was easily able to hit the 200 mile/day average that most people plan on. Didn’t do the western portion 2up due to time constraints. But anyway, on a lightweight 250, the harder sections of the trail you should be able to fly on.
Navigation, it was rollcharts backed up by a Garmin 76 (without tracks just for the map coverage and contingencies).
Nowadays I run MotionX on my iPhone for everything. It sure would have been nice to have back then.
Back in 2007 there was a huge difference in road difficulty between east and west starting in about Green River UT. My hat is off to you if you could make it up the sand hill getting out of Eagle Canyon 2 up.
I would start in Andrews, NC. Thats where the fun starts on the eastern section. Just a bunch of slab from Emerald to Andrews to wear you out. I have done the eastern part twice. Once on a XRL650 and the other time on a Triumph Bonneville. Its not hard riding. My suggestion is to ride as much as your comfortable doing in a day. Dont put deadline, destinations or mileage that need to be met. I guarantee if you take that pressure off of you it will be more enjoyable. Its your trip. If your staying in hotel/motels travel lite.....you dont need it. Walmart is never far away
My two things that I found to be a must.
1. Get a better seat.
2. Install a power point on your bike.
I ended up getting a Garmin 396, and I also have MotionX on my phone. Thanks
My stepson and I are in the same boat as you. I live in Northwest Illinois.We both have lots of off road miles under our belt and he also has a road bike. We're toying with the idea of doing the TAT in the Colorado and Utah area. We have Honda XR400's that we've made barely street legal. No GPS knowledge other than my car's Garmin. I am a big guy as well. 6'7" and fat,and retired. I've started buying things for the trip in case it comes to fruition. Scored a new set of Nelson Rigg RG 020 saddlebags on Letgo for $25. Good luck on your en-devour. I'll be watching.
You're going to need to develop some gps navigation skills. The simplest, cheapest, easiest way to solve the gps problem is to put a $20 App on your phone. Your phone IS a gps. Put something like Gaia on it and get sorted on how to use it. Start learning (whatever App or device) you get by walking around the neighborhood or hiking. Riding or driving is NOT the place to learn GPS nav skills. Good luck.