TAT Sept 2017 'Fly and Drive' on 250 Rally

Discussion in 'Americas' started by TreblesAllRound, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    Hello All,

    After working in London for too long, I've been thinking for a while of wandering off before any sense of wanderlust wanders off and leaves me old, fat and bald. Now that I've halved the number of readers, here is a summary:

    I heard of the TAT earlier this year. A couple of months ago, I started seriously considering it. As of now, I've resigned from work and planning to start the TAT in the first week of September.

    LondonToTAT.jpg
    Whilst I've done a fair bit of planning already (see above image), there is still a lot to do, as I'm coming to this pretty wet behind the ears (I've done a few years of road, but only bit of off-road).

    Over the next month or two, if there is interest, I'm going to be posting odd bits of planning information and then some photos and reports of my trip, as is the fashion in this place. So, if you stay tuned there is every chance of witnessing gaffes and mistakes which may be of interest (hopefully entertainment rather than horror story).

    TreblesAllRound!
    #1
  2. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

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    Good luck sir! I'm sure you will really enjoy it. Hopefully the weather cooperates for you.
    #2
  3. fussraste07

    fussraste07 Edelserpentinschleifer

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    Hmm, I'm in. Can't wait for first pics. Post your gear and the motorcycle before you leave...
    #3
  4. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    Thanks all. I'm buying the bike 'over the internet' from a Honda dealer in Florida (hence the 'Fly and Drive' in the title). The idea is that they'll get the bike pretty much sorted out for me before I get there, just leaving a few bits to do after arrival in the US. I can't see where anything can go wrong!

    Yes that is the bit that worries me. I emailed Sam about timing and weather and his response suggested I may need to sacrifice a few goats. This is the route profile:

    upload_2017-7-27_13-59-19.png

    The blue peaks are around Colorado (are the passes really 3800m?).
    #4
  5. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

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    Oh yes they are! The views are amazing. Took my son through Colorado last year. His 250 did fine on the passes.
    20160720_111103.jpg
    #5
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  6. AT Blizzard

    AT Blizzard Been here awhile Supporter

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    IMG_1329.JPG
    (27 June 2017)

    A brand-spanking-new clean unbroken Rally -- I'm in! :-)
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  7. vegemanNZ

    vegemanNZ Been here awhile

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    Hey mate, welcome to advrider, plently of help, advice and great people and yup...familiar story and I will tat around the same time as you, so you'll have me out there to, which is always reassuring know that some one else is around. I to have been worrying about the weather but there are always options, and we have time...so I'm just gonna worry when we need to.

    People will be interested in the 250 Rally so post what you can, they look like the biz so just checked out the specs, and surprised as they are heavier than my ktm690, yet have only 1/3 of the power...depending on you own personal riding style, it might be ok...low horsepower does my head in.
    #7
  8. vegemanNZ

    vegemanNZ Been here awhile

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    but hey, you're out there doing it and that is what matters!
    #8
  9. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    @AT Blizzard and @SOLOKLR, thanks for the photos. I'd found some 3200m sections on the map, but from the signs in your images I've been able to find the places touching 4000m. Higher than I expected!

    @vegemanNZ Great to hear there is someone else doing it around the same time. My thoughts exactly on the weather. Hope for the best but make sure I have clear options that I'm willing to take if certain sections don't look good. If I had the skills and money I'd probably get 690 too, but with the Honda it shouldn't be the bike that stops me getting round. Thanks for the welcome and I look forward to hearing more from you.

    I'll probably be away for a few days, but will return with some thoughts on admin/navigation/bike mods/kit lists in a bit.
    #9
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  10. vegemanNZ

    vegemanNZ Been here awhile

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    [QUOTE...

    I'll probably be away for a few days, but will return with some thoughts on admin/navigation/bike mods/kit lists in a bit.[/QUOTE]

    cool hear from ya then
    #10
  11. Hi-De-Ho

    Hi-De-Ho Mad Scientist

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    TreblesAllRound, I wish the best for you, and very much "hope" you succeed on this ride. I also own a '17 CRF250-RALLY, and mine is fully kitted out for rides like the TAT.

    Here is my concern: A dealer in Florida most likely has no idea of what to do to that '17 Rally he is selling you, to properly prep it for a TAT ride. He is going to sell and install things to your bike, that experienced riders would scoff at. There ARE riders on the East Coast of the US that already own a RALLY, and some have properly kitted their bikes out, and have spent the past few months on this forum on the RALLY owners threads, discussing what works on the RALLY and what does not work on these bikes.

    Secondly, you're taking a new bike, that has not been broken in yet, on a long ride like the TAT. You are 100 % correct, it is not the bike that will break down on you, unlike a KTM (of any size) :jack (come on, KTM owners, that was a joke).

    But the bike does need a proper break-in done to it, and not JUST a ride from Florida up to North Carolina or Tennessee, depending on where you will actually start this TAT adventure.

    I am all for getting OUT of London. That is why I have a place just south of Ramsey on the Isle of Man :-).

    Maybe contact some riders on the Rally Owners thread on this forum, some that live on the East Coast of the US, and ask them for advice on what your new Rally should be kitted out with.

    But hey, I will follow along with you on this adventure, and when you get close to the West Coast, I may just ride out to meet up with you, so if you see a mean looking Rally ride up behind you...it is me :gerg
    #11
  12. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    @HeidiHo I have spent a fair while browsing forums, blogs and books (particularly those by @Chris S, who's words have been very helpful). Before you commented on my post, I was aware of you from the Rally owners thread here, so you're also like a minor celebrity to me :)

    As I said in my first post, this whole thing is going to be a bit of a leap into the dark for me - but that's the spirit of adventure. If I'd spent a year planning it, it would be less fun. Having said that, I'm not trying to take stupid risks, so your comment about breaking in intrigues me. The CRF250L manual says the following:
    https://www.manualslib.com/manual/797426/Honda-Motorcycle.html?page=14#manual

    From a mechanical sympathy/safety point of view, I was expecting that to be done by the time I get up to the start of the TAT from the Orlando area. I know there will be a 'bedding in' service to change oil/filters and sort out any other niggles that arise in the first few hundred miles, but what do I need to be aware of beyond that? My trip is going to be the opposite of this http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/2017-tat-ocean-to-ocean-in-12-days-planning.1236526/, so if you mean 'bike won't perform at it's best for the first 1k miles', I'm less concerned than if 'you'll damage the bike and it won't work unless you spend 1k miles carefully building up revs over a period of weeks'.

    Regarding big motorbike dealers, it sounds like expectations on your side of the Atlantic are the same as here :-). I'm just hoping the one I'm dealing with is competent enough to provide the bike on time and at the agreed price. I've done all of my own research on extra parts and modifications.

    If you're around at the time I get to the West, it would be great to meet up.
    #12
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  13. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    On another note, I'm facing my first major admin hurdle. I'd hoped to use a friend of a friend's address in Florida to register the bike. However, that has fallen through. Can anyone in Florida help with an address, or can I just use a hotel or other temporary address?

    I'm arriving in three weeks, so I need to get this resolved PDQ. :muutt

    TreblesAllRound
    #13
  14. BkADV

    BkADV Been here awhile

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    for the break-in, you can just go from orlando to the location you need to go with local roads with street lights etc but I dont know much about florida though

    I say do the oil change yourself as well for break in oil change so you know what you put in it

    for the florida registration, wouldnt you need a Florida drivers license along with insurance for the bike

    I think call the dealer, ask him if you can do temp registration(considered out of state) and I guess get insurance card from another state with fake..address(like.......put in some hotel...or airbnb) and for the mailing address I think you can just rent a PO box so the airbnb address you put on insurance card doesnt get mail from the insurance which will go into your PO box instead

    but this is really hard I bet because might require SSN # etc


    For some quick mods on the bike, i say put some rubber padding in between the engine casing and the shift lever(tie wrap it to the lever) and same with the rear brake pedal

    rear shock to max preload and carry light luggage + rear rack for mounting points and to help you pick up the bike when it tips
    #14
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  15. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    @BkADV I've been following your posts. I've been riding on the road for a few years, but off-road is different - I'm glad you've asked a lot of the ahem, 'basic', questions about the Rally, so I haven't had to do so myself :D

    Was just wondering about engine casing protection on the owners thread. Now see @minkyhead advice regarding rubber on sticks.

    Regarding buying in Florida, I'm assured by a few dealers (and other sources) no driving license or SSN needed. All I need is ID (passport is fine) and an address in Florida.
    #15
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  16. vegemanNZ

    vegemanNZ Been here awhile

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    hey man...how you getting on with the registration and stuff. I hope the dealers are sorting something out, as it's hard for us non-residents who don't have any real contacts in the US to get things approved.

    I've also been waiting on officials and process, as importing/exporting a vehicle is a completely different beast...but am excited as my final document has been approved (EPA waiver granting temporary riding exemptinos for my non-US vehicle) meaning...I'm now waiting for delivery...eta still 3rd Sept, and me 4th.
    #16
  17. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    Still hoping someone will take pity on me with the registration in the next week or so. Otherwise, just going ahead with the rest of the planning.

    I'm planning on picking up my bike on 28th August. It will take a few days to get everything fitted, run in the bike a bit and get up to the start. Are you following Sam's TAT, starting from NC?
    #17
  18. vegemanNZ

    vegemanNZ Been here awhile

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    I'm sure it will all come together. I made my trip happen quickly as well and have had to rely on all the Gods for timings, shipping, help etc...so I basically did what I could and let things happen...so far it's going well, but we know adventures always become 'adventures' :=D

    Regarding tracks...I've got a hodge-podge of tracks gathered from gpsKev, other riders who have ridden kev's and Sa,s and made their GPX available. I've also followed a bunch of kiwis ride it/riding it now...and they are tracking in real-time...you can see it here

    https://locatoweb.com/map/race/6525

    Knowing that they are good riders and on 690's, 701 and other 650cc platforms, I've compared to their actual with my versions to see where and how they go....and it looks like they are doing the normal TAT with minor detours. I plan on doing the TAT plus harder options if I get board with the normal routes.

    Sounds like we will likely be closeby on the trip.

    I will be upgrading my Sat trackers packages and paying for lots of tracking points, and will make that available online to anyone...so you'll know where I will be. Will you be using a tracker as well?
    #18
  19. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    If you want more of a challenge, contact Sam and get his tracks for the "old" TAT that runs thru northern Nevada. It is definitely more interesting and much more of a trail ride than the current big-bike friendly route. I've done both and want to go back and redo the old route soon. You would need to go farther between fuel in a few paces though.
    #19
  20. vegemanNZ

    vegemanNZ Been here awhile

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    That's a great idea, I don't mind paying either

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
    #20