The Best bike for TAT?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by upweekis, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer Supporter

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  2. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    As usual, BP is on target.

    I rode OK, NM and half of CO on a '99 DR350SE. I thought it was perfect.

    That said, I would consider a WR250R, an XR400, an XR650R/L, a DR650SE, a KLR650, an F650, a TE510/610, etc. It should be simple/reliable and you should be familiar enough with it to affect trail-side repairs. You should be able to pick it up (from a dirt nap). It should have an after-market tank (IMS, Clarke or Acerbis) and/or be able to carry fuel (Kolpin and the like). There are a couple of long stretches where gas is not available. You can pack as heavy or as light as you like. If you decide to go heavy, the bike should be capable of carrying the load without breaking sub-frames.

    There are quite a few TAT threads, do a Search and read up on what others inmates have done with their bikes.
    #22
  3. allroadrider

    allroadrider Been here awhile

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    when did the TAT go thru Kansas
    ARR
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  4. glasswave

    glasswave Long timer

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    More importantly, since when did the FL Keys become attached to the mainland? :D
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  5. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    And miss New Mexico entirely?
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  6. MountaineerWV

    MountaineerWV Been here awhile

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    I took a DR650 on the TAT last summer.

    If I had to do it again, I would take a lighter bike. WR250 sounds about right. and I wouldn't bring camping shit or cooking shit. I would hotel it and stop at cafe's the entire way out. Put new tires on (I'd recommend the Pirelli MT21s), a tire repair kit, and a tiny travel compressor. A small tool kit, though the only tool I really had to use was a hack saw when metal parts got bent and I had to cut them off.

    Take a rain jacket, and one change of clothes.

    Also, I only had the stock DR650 tank at ~3gals. I carried an extra gallon with me out west and only had to use it twice. Both times is because I got lost and added an extra 50+ miles to segments between fuel stations. I used paper maps, no GPS.
    #26
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  7. Fly501

    Fly501 X-plor

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    so this is a current question for me as well. Any thoughts on a DRZ400, KTM 690, Husqvarna 701, KTM 500exc, husqvarna 501?

    big price difference from the 400 sure, and big difference in what they are capable of suspension wise and even power wise. Carb vs FI, etc. They are all around the same weight. DRZ is the heaviest, with the 500/501 being the lightest, however the DRZ would be much more forgiving. Considering it won't be as much to handle power wise in the tougher stuff, I figure it may off set some of the weight. The 690/701 make quite a bit of power and torque, and I am afraid the 500/501 require a bit more maintenance and could get viby.

    Assuming you are a not so novice a rider, could you do it on all of them rationally? or are any of them just to big and unnecessary?

    A few extra things to consider. I would like to do the OAT, and several other trips with this bike, colorado, utah, smokey mountains, etc. Looked at wr250r, and crf250L, but just don't know that they have the power I would want. Several great threads on them and they are easily capable, just not sure if either has the go fast I will crave, afraid I will be always wanting just a bit more. They also weight in about the same. I put in quite a bit of time on a crf250x a few years ago and was finding there was just a bit of twist I didn't have. That being said most of the riding was in the woods and hare & hounds. Given I was only racing myself and some buddies, it didn't bother me much, just pulling out of those corners on those nice straights.

    really would like to get something that I can put in 120-200 miles on the pavement if need be without just being all out miserable as well. Figure I could trailer places, drop the truck and leave for a week etc. I know they are tough questions but any thoughts/experiences appreciated.

    one small addition, my dad is also looking at this. Been riding his whole life, but getting older and wants/needs to balance his lust for power bikes with something that can enjoyable get the job done.
    #27
  8. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer Supporter

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    "Best bike" topic is kind of like "best oil." State your preference and then prepare for incoming.

    I rode the CDT in July 2010 on a DR650. There were a few places where a lighter and smaller bike would have been more manageable, but on the hardpack dirt roads I could have managed the Gold Wing I owned at the time.

    So as others have said, the one on which you are comfortable. If it's not the one you own at the moment, then get that one and then just do it.
    #28
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  9. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    I'd be comfortable on a DR650, but 367lb curb is a bit much for many people, and I like riding to and from the trails while many people trailer to conserve knobbies and butt. DRZ would be my recommendation for an inexpensive yet versatile bike that is closer to 300lb than 400lb. Gear it, power it, and farkle it from mild to wild.
    #29
  10. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

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    when we started the TAT in Tennessee, i thought "yeah, the DR is perfect for this!" and it was...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    ..the DR got good mileage, packed like a mule, was super fast on gravel and the great suspension made all day riding a dream...
    [​IMG]

    ...and then we hit Utah....
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    ..the best bike for the TAT? maybe the 530??...
    [​IMG]
    #30
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  11. monkeydad

    monkeydad Long timer

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    Keep it alive!

    Used Honda 500X with the Rally Raid kit? Seems like the 'killer app" lately.
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  12. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    Ask @JMo (& piglet)
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  13. CrashBar

    CrashBar Just Wanna Ride Supporter

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    Planning on doing the TAT in 2022. I've done the MABDR, Hampster, etc. on my GS and I suspect I could get as far as the Colorado border on it. But not further west, not safely or solo. And speed will not be a goal. So I'm currently prepping an XT225 for TAT / BDR rides. Some standard mods (Clarke 4 gal tank, XT350 forks, TTR225 rear hub, Z1 mods, etc.). Shakedown next summer on the NEBDR and Puppy Dog. Packing very light, taking my time.

    It's been done before - Tiny TAT - The XT225 Goes West! | Adventure Rider (advrider.com)
    #33
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  14. jacktwitch

    jacktwitch Been here awhile

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    When you do it please share in the XT225 thread
    #34
  15. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    I went as far as Moab on a 96 DR350 with some minor upgrades. If I go back to do the rest, I'll probably take the same bike. Not too heavy, not too slow, no mechanical issues, etc.

    The guys accompanying me were on a KLR650, F650GS thumper and a couple of 1200GS's. They all did just fine as well. The only bike-related issues were a couple of broken subframe bolts on the KLR and the funky rear fender thing on the 650GS vibrated so much it eventually broke the mounting tabs off the chain guard. I had a rear tube failure due to a shop accidentally replacing the 20-year old tube in the bike and throwing away the new one I'd just bought when installing a new tire and the 650GS wore out its rear brake pads. No spares were available so that bike and rider had to take road-routes around a few of the best bits in Western CO and UT.
    View attachment 2719391
    #35
  16. Tor

    Tor Making Life A Ride, One Corner At A Time

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    If I was to do it, a Katoom 690 Enduro topped with Mosko luggage.
    #36
  17. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    If money were no object, me too, probably ;)
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  18. BigWally

    BigWally Been here awhile

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    690 Enduro with 14T CSS going out. Switch back to 15T for on-road rapid return. Easy switch and small part to bring along.
    #38
  19. Firestem4

    Firestem4 Been here awhile

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    I'm planning on doing it (somedayâ„¢) with my XR650L. I've worked on the bike top-to-bottom so I'm confident if I encounter any mechanical issues I'll be able to work through it.
    #39
  20. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Any of the bikes you've listed can and have done the TAT multiple times. Of them, the DR-Z is the easiest to fix if something goes wrong and easiest to walk away from if something goes REALLY wrong.

    From best to worse:
    Ease to repair: 400, 500, 690
    Maintenance interval: 690, 400, 500
    Easiest to ride in hardest parts: 500/400/690 (assuming only average skills and long legs)
    Comfort: Practically a tie with after market seats and a fly screen on them. A slight edge to the 690 at high speeds.

    I would not discount the DR's or WR though. Perfectly able mounts that have done the TAT countless times as well.
    #40