Trans-America Trail Prep

Discussion in 'Americas' started by jcbr6, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. jcbr6

    jcbr6 Adventurer

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    I have been following many of the Trans-America Trail ride posts here on ADV. I think i have been able to convince a few of my friends to join me on the adventure. I am in the process of setting up a DRZ400 to make the trip.

    [​IMG]
    I have started to get things together.
    bike protection - skid plate, case protectors, hand guards.
    Gear - wolfman luggage
    Tent/camping gear
    home made luggage rack


    [​IMG]
    Does anyone have any suggestions on what to take (inventory list)
    What not to take( something you took but never needed)?
    Anything you wish you would have taken but forgot?
    any bike prep that is recommended?
    Thanks for any info.


    #1
  2. KOH

    KOH Adventurer

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    There are several posts regarding what to pack for a trip.
    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]-->Here are some ideas for consideration – a list of sorts, for the TAT ride.
    Rough estimate of Trip cost: Figure on $ 100 a day .

    Riding Gear:
    Helmet
    Gloves - 1 warm - 1 light - 1 liner
    riding boots
    bike jacket
    bike pants
    back protector
    Riding gear (weather): layered – liner – vest – etc

    Tent / Sleeping Bag / Pad / Mat


    Bike
    Tubes front / rear

    Tire repair (tools to remove wheel, spoons, patches, plugs, tubes, bead breaker, compressor/CO2 cartridges, etc)
    clutch and brake levers
    chain or links
    fuses
    clutch cable
    spare bulb
    Saddle bags
    tank bag
    rope – paracord

    zip ties
    toolkit
    electrical tape
    JB Weld
    tarp
    dry bag
    extra fuel can or bottles or wine bag

    Maintenance
    Loctite everything
    Repack/replace all wheel bearings
    Check/repack steering head bearings
    chain and sprockets
    clean & lube before trip
    new brakes

    oil/filter just before trip and carry spare
    Start with new tires - probably something like a TKC, Dunlop D606 or 908, MT21 front & D606 rear

    Clothes
    3 shirts
    2 pair pants
    1 pair shorts
    4 pair underwear
    4 pair socks
    1 hat
    1 hoodie - jacket
    1 pair sunglasses
    Tennis Shoes
    Personal
    cash
    credit card/ATM: let your bank know you will be out of the local area with lots of gas charges (may save some problems)
    Insurance card - Driver license
    Cellphone/ charger
    mp3 player/headphones/charger
    extra batteries
    survival kit
    knife
    multitool
    waterbottle – Gatorade

    food (~1day supply)
    munchies _Granola – Energy Bar – Dried Fruit
    toothbrush – deodorant -towel
    phone numbers list
    Garbage Bags
    pen - paper
    First Aid kit
    Camera
    Maps and/or GPS
    Bug spray and/or bug net
    Medications
    #2
  3. jcbr6

    jcbr6 Adventurer

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    Thanks,
    This is a good list. Most of this I have, so will be checking it off as I go.

    Just finished building the fender rack. Going to start the side racks to support the wolfman bags next.

    A lot of planning is going into this trip. Really looking forward to this ride!!!
    #3
  4. kingrj

    kingrj Been here awhile

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    This is from my TAT adventure last summer:

    Just got back home from this epic trip yesterday and here are some stuff I learned as a kinda novice dirt rider during this almost two week ride:

    A completely stock DRZ400S with stock jetting will run fine at over 12,000 feet although it will be about 30% down on power and at normal "Adventure" speeds on dirt road will get over 70 miles per gallon! You read that right!:deal

    I got by fine with stock gearing but if I had to do it again I would go one tooth down on the front sprocket.

    If you don't have much experience riding deep sand you will by the time you finish Utah.:lol3

    If you DON'T learn how to ride sand your bones will bleach in the Utah washes cause you will DIE in there! :eek1

    If you make the trip in early June expect to hit some snow somewhere in both Colorado and Utah and also 100 degree heat near Moab. Dress for the extremes.

    I ran a new set of Michelin T-63's on my DRZ and the made the whole 2000 miles just fine and worked great dirt or pavement.

    Unless you are gonna be the lead dog you MUST wear goggles because of the awful face powder like dust on the Colorado dirt roads. Trust me on this! :deal

    In Utah sand washes if the sand is red then not too bad..If you see it change color to bone color you had better be ready to stand up and steer with your feet!:evil

    In Colorado any town big enough to have a gas station has a liquor store. Not so in Utah!:1drink

    Green chili is good on ANYTHING!:clap

    NEVER go past an obstacle in the trail that you cannot go back across unless you KNOW the trail is clear all the way! Don't ask me how we leaned this lovely little lesson on Timberline Trail!:lol3

    I also have a KTM 950 Adventure and I don't know how in the hell I could have done the deep sand or through the woods on Timberline Trail on this bike! I am sure lots of guys can do this on big bikes like a GSA but I sure as hell could not have! If you are a goober rider like me take a smaller bike! :deal

    A buddy rejetted his DRZ kinda rich and it just wouldn't run at high altitude until he removed his airbox side cover. Just like magic it "healed" it! This is good thing to know.:evil
    #4
  5. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Where is the TImberline Trail? I can't remember that. But we skipped some TAT sections in northern Nevada and Oregon.

    As to stuff to bring, I have been carrying a voltmeter on long trips the past few years. It probably gets used more than any other tool in the kit. I use the $3 one from Harbor Freight.

    I also carry a spare shift lever. They seem more likely to break than the brake.
    #5
  6. kingrj

    kingrj Been here awhile

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    Timberline is not on the TAT..it was a "bonus" route!:D
    #6
  7. WRW9751

    WRW9751 7th Day Adventurist

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    Was IS the Timberline Trail?
    #7
  8. kingrj

    kingrj Been here awhile

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    #8
  9. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    #9
  10. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

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    Yes---not on the TAT------probably the toughest trail I've ever ridden in my life. And that was when I was young and on a 220 lb. dirt bike carrying nothing.

    It crosses the road just barely West of the extremely easy Cottonwood pass in Colorado-------which is West of Bueno Vista.

    I have the very latest gps tracks you can buy from Sam Correro------------his route now doesn't get within 20 miles of the Timberline Trail.
    It goes thru Salida---then Poncha Springs ------then cuts South then West.

    The TAT routes are so different then when I rode it years ago----------thanks to all the whiners who ride too big of bikes and complained to Sam.

    Sam always said early on-----ride a 400 or smaller.

    BigDog
    #10
  11. WRW9751

    WRW9751 7th Day Adventurist

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    I've been up in that area riding some. I think Timberline might be more than I bargain for.
    #11
  12. larryboy

    larryboy Just obey!

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    Lists are great and all that, but it comes down to weight. I shoot for 45 pounds worth of stuff. Spend the weight wisely, you don't need extra shoes/pants/shirts/shorts...it's wasted weight. Think of the trip as a series of two day trips, what do you need for an overnight two day trip? If you do that your primary concern would be for the bike...you don't need a compressor, a hand pump and co2 is more than enough. Two tubes? Heck no, one 21" tube can fix the front or rear. Remember, 45 pounds max worth of stuff...you'll have more fun.
    #12
  13. jcbr6

    jcbr6 Adventurer

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    The weight is a concern. I have done many 4-5000 mile rides on sport bikes, and space was always a concern. This will be the first long dualsport ride without having a base camp to leave gear.

    I have a hand bump that takes co2, tire irons and a 21" tire in a front fender bag. Im getting tools together now. I think weight here can add up.
    #13
  14. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    your DRZ battery won't run a compressor...unless you run the engine while pumping. Check my link below for an exstensive DRZ prep thread also a gear list.

    leave the CO2 at home, have you actually air up a tire with them??? besides the CO2 is redundant.

    as far as clothing..all you really need is riding pants and jacket (gore tex), then one pair of zip off pants for when your at the camp site, 3 prs of under wear and socks (one heavy), and I like 2 short sleeve wicking shirts, on thin long sleeve, and then warm long under wear turtle neck top and bottom. You can rinse out under wear anywhere..along w/ socks.

    I'm a fan of wearing a pressure suit and then some sort of goretex jacket (Klim Traverse is nice) over the top for cold and rain, but most times just wore a thin long sleeve and pressure suit. Most times of year Co passes and Oregon can be cold.

    Riding gear I wore Aero stitch Combat boots, thin socks, ealskin gloves, bandanna, Aero stitch pants, wicking long sleeve, pressure suit, Arai XD3, sunglasses. also wore astrics knee braces. (cold weather, First gear Kilamajaro and fleece, long under wear, heated grips and headlight off)

    The pressure suit isn't too hot in extreme heat....while moving.

    By laveta CO, I was able to pack up a small box of stuff and ship it home.

    go light go light.....
    #14
  15. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    CO2 works great IF you know how to use them. I have done numerous long Baja trail rides for years and I'm always the guy who fixes the other guy's flats. For a bike your size they really work well, anyone who says otherwise simply doesn't have the technique down.
    #15
  16. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    maybe needed a bigger gram cylinder than what I had...but they are one time use and hand pump not so. hand pump does take longer of course.
    #16
  17. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Knowing which size to buy could very well be part of the technique.:deal Hand pumps work too but to simply bad mouth CO2 because....ahhh never mind.
    #17
  18. kingrj

    kingrj Been here awhile

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    The southern part is technical but doable on a larger bike but north of Texas Creek it is all but impossible! I did not even try to tackle that on my DRZ 400. I DID try it on a Rokon 2WD motorcycle a couple of years ago and it was about the roughest darned thing I have ever tried to do. I eventually stopped when I wound up on the side of a cliff where the trail was about a foot wide max! I could see dirt bike tracks continuing on but I ran out of balls!:eek1 I can send you the gps coordinates for picking up the trail north of Texas Creek but I would not try that again on anything but a pack mule!:deal
    #18
  19. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

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    CO2's work very well and are very handy-------I used them when racing and not getting far from my tow vehicle ----where if I ran out of CO2's because of multiple flats---or a tire repair failure (it happens to the best of us)---it wasn't a big deal. I'm an expert at using them---used a jillion of them.

    However----now that I go on month long rides in the middle of nowhere I found it very foolish to pack "only" something that had a limited amount of air supply. When you out of Co2's-------your out.

    I've had the bad luck of having 4 flats in one day. I'm not carrying enough Co2's for that situation-----------then having to find more Co2's when I'm out.

    A $10 plastic bicycle pump will never run out of air----------never. And is the same weight and as packable as the Co2 method. I've had the same one for 12 years------it still works perfect. I think I'll spend another $10 this year since it's so old------that will last this old man till I die.

    The Co2 may or may not seat your bead------the cheap hand pump will.
    The Co2 may not get your pressure up to where you want it--the cheap hand pump will.

    Also a lot of tires adventure riders are running are way bigger than a dirt bikes tire---and take a lot more volume of air. So Co2 a bad choice for that rider---unless he's carrying 40 Co2's and riding around in circles.

    Also I air up and down a lot------each day------a Co2 is a horrible choice to be doing that.

    The electric is good too----as long as your battery holds out.
    #19
  20. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    As much as I respect him, I have to strongly disagree with Larryboy about only needing a front tube. I did that for years, but coming back from the western TAT I had a flat and put a front tube in. I lasted 20 miles and failed at a seam. I put another guy's front tube in and same thing.

    I have had good luck with front tubes in the rear tire of dirt bikes where I was only running 12 psi and no pavement. But I think it just doesn't work at 25 psi and high speeds on hot pavement.

    And once you get out west there aren't very many places to buy a new tube. So if you do have a flat be sure the save the old one and try to patch it. Oh and you need a good patch kit for that.
    #20