Trans-American Trail planning with a OCD Engineer

Discussion in 'Americas' started by candrewscott, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Wait!

    Wouldn't an OCD Engineer correctly title his thread? :evil

    Trans-American Trail planning with an OCD Engineer
    #21
  2. WarriorSoul

    WarriorSoul Adventurer

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    OCD mathematician sub'd.
    #22
  3. candrewscott

    candrewscott Adventurer

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    The shortened links raised the rear of the bike, measured at the rear rack mount bolts, 8mm. Its been to cold and snowy to do a proper test.

    Eagle mikes links are shorter. KLRforum has a good comparison between stock and Eagle mike's http://www.klrforum.com/archive/index.php/t-1645.html
    #23
  4. candrewscott

    candrewscott Adventurer

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    I have to admit I drink beer when I am posting most of the times and grammar was never my strong suit :freaky
    #24
  5. Elvis Abides

    Elvis Abides WNC trail addict

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    Right on, shorter links on any bike equal higher rear ride height. Longer links lower the bike. Best of luck in planning and on your trip. Did the western TAT two up on a V-Strom last September. It was a handful, but an unbelievable ride. Solo on a KLR should be killer!
    #25
  6. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    One year on Mex2Can.com which has 2 halves we had about 6 riders on various 650s (KLR, DR, XRL, KTM). For the second half, every one had switched to a <600 bike. 525-500 EXC is king of the hill.

    Another tip on Jap street bikes, know exactly how to bypass all the idiot switches that kill the engine. Had a KLR with weak kick stand spring, killed engine in whoops.
    #26
  7. candrewscott

    candrewscott Adventurer

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    Hello Team,
    Thanks for all the advice. I'm trying to get some work done but the temps in the workshop have been down in the twenties so not much is getting done.

    I did have a birthday last week and got a new pair of gloves.
    5-11-tactical-xprt-hardtime-gauntlet-police-gloves-59355-all-sizes-colors.jpg

    I received a pair of 5.11 Hard Time gloves. these things are massively strong feeling. Its like I could punch through a wall with these on. Can't wait to try them out on the bike.:rofl
    #27
  8. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    If these work, they could be a less expensive alternative to riding gloves. I'm guessing these need some type of rain covers or a second set of gloves needs to be taken. It will be interesting to see if the seams chafe on long rides.

    Where in DC are you? I work at L'Enfant.
    #28
  9. candrewscott

    candrewscott Adventurer

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    The gloves feel awesome. No chafing yet but haven't used them on anything more than about an hour.

    Im in Dupont.
    #29
  10. candrewscott

    candrewscott Adventurer

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    So I went for a ride yesterday and froze my fingers off. I put on my big winter gloves and all my cold gear and still froze.

    It was above freezing by two degrees.

    Found a snowy gravel lot and did some donuts.

    It was fun.:D and will keep the shakes away for a little while.
    #30
  11. kingrj

    kingrj Been here awhile

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    This past Saturday I went for a little 370 mile pave/dirt ride. It was 34 degrees when I left. I had my electric heated gloves on and that is the only way I could have made it. My face froze and most of my upper body..but my hands were warm!:evil
    #31
  12. Just Max

    Just Max I put the F in luck

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    IN !!

    TAT is on my bucket list.

    Did I miss when you were planning on leaving, and how long you were planning on taking to do the trip? Return leg?
    #32
  13. chipbl

    chipbl Been here awhile

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    ...if you get the chance. Single most helpful thing we did before TAT. It's in Gore, VA. Sand would be helpful too, but not sure where that is around here. http://www.motocove.com
    #33
  14. Devo1959

    Devo1959 Adventurer

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    For sand, drive a few hours north and ride the NJ pine barrens plenty of hard and sugar sand. Right now it is pretty frozen spent a bunch of my last ride on the ground or pulling my bike out of the ice I broke through and stuck. That said still had lots of fun.
    Good luck on your ride.
    Jeff
    #34
  15. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    With respect to your gloves and other gear, Cycle Gear in Laurel MD (right up Route 1) is having their big winter clearance through this weekend. While the BILT stuff is generally junk, they do have a number of other brands.
    http://www.cyclegear.com
    #35
  16. candrewscott

    candrewscott Adventurer

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    Thanks all for the input.

    Its been to cold and snowy/icy for any riding but I have purchased a GPS.

    I got a garmin 2457. Yes yes this is a Nuvi and not waterproof and adventure ready but hey- Im not made of money. still waiting on the case.

    Ive been thinking about the sand.

    Sand

    Sand

    SAND

    I don't know how to ride in the sand. I am extremely confident riding gravel, dirt, tarmac, and even mud but I have no experience on sand. None.

    Does it slip?
    Does it Slide?
    Do my tires spin?

    Or is it really easy and every one is just messing with the sand initiates?

    I don't know.

    I am planning a trip for some time in May to camp at the moto cove.

    Where is the best place, lets say 300 mile from DC?

    Thanks for all the help.

    If anyone is in the DC area PM me and we can do coffee or drinks.
    :lol3
    #36
  17. VetSquared

    VetSquared Adventurer

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    Just did the TAT this summer (ok, 2/3 tat, couldn't make Tn/Ak section) and can make a few suggestions I suppose. I'm a pretty newbie rider, on a WRR so maybe what I have to say wont mean much.

    Sand: yeah, its a reality. There is a section west out of liberal kansas that is two track sand with a hard berm in the middle (translation, two deep tracks of sand about 18 inches wide) that we turned around on. Sand is easy for me...sand dunes are easy for me...sand where the bike can go in any direction without consequence is easy... but this does not describe ANY of the sandy sections on the TAT. All the sand I cursed on the TAT was tight, narrow, tracks that didn't leave any wiggle room. I finally found my stones in Utah and decided that I would rather crash than get caught in a flash flood and managed to find my groove, but it was way more throttle then I'm usually comfortable with (which isnt very much FWIW).

    I know some would disagree with me and think that planning 23 days for the whole thing is fine, but I just dont think that is enough. Its a long trip, give yourself time to enjoy it. The last thing you want to do is NOT take cool side trips/adventures because you're on a schedule. Honestly, the tight schedule was the #1 thing on the trip that led to issues. Looking back, 95% of our issues would have been non-existent if we had planned another 7-9 days.

    Dont be a hater, if the slab looks good, and the dirt looks bad, go for it. We had a few spots where in Co where they had just graveled the roads and they were slick slick slick. We decided a slab detour was in order and it was a phenomenal twisty highway through an amazing shallow canyon. That ended up being the case the entire way. Whenever we took a slab detour because we were low on fuel, had an injury, bad road conditions, we had a great experience. I certainly never thought of it as a failure.

    Training? Nonsense. The only thing I did to "train" for the ride was to do an overnight trip with my full load to test everything out and vet my setup. I didnt do P90X to get ready or anything like that (my arse could have used the training though....). Lots of older, more rotund guys than me did fine.

    I wish I had a helmet with a face shield. Rode with a typical MX helmet/goggles and boy oh boy, lots of rain and numerous hail storms. Maybe I just have a great big nose, but I swear the sky was peppering my nose with small arms fire. Lots and lots of weather last summer. Good rain gear and an adventure/dual sport helmet. I'm doing a cali-coast/PCQ loop this summer and am buying a dual sport helmet (the new bell MX-9 adv I think) just to save my nose the torment.

    Good Luck. There are lots of guys on here with Uber experience and I'm sure you'll get great info. You can always PM me, I think I have email notifications turned on....
    #37
  18. kingrj

    kingrj Been here awhile

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    Ive been thinking about the sand.

    Sand

    "Sand

    SAND

    I don't know how to ride in the sand. I am extremely confident riding gravel, dirt, tarmac, and even mud but I have no experience on sand. None.

    Does it slip?
    Does it Slide?
    Do my tires spin?

    Or is it really easy and every one is just messing with the sand initiates?

    I don't know."

    Riding in deep silty sand is weird...The front wheel wants to go where-ever and you can't really steer in it..The faster you go the more stable the bike becomes but the harder you crash too! The thing I learned pretty quick was the best way to ride it was:


    • Stand up and lean back to get more weight on back wheel..
    • Try to go faster than I was really comfortable with..faster is better than slower..
    • Don't try to fight the front end..kinda just let it wander a little and pinch your knees in against the tank and try to use your lower body to shift the back end of the bike to keep it headed where you want to go..kinda steering with your feet so to speak..

    Don't worry about it..you WILL learn to ride it on the TAT in Utah for sure..Another tip is, especially in Utah, when the sand on the track is red it is safe to sit down..when it turns bone colored to white ahead of you, you better stand up and get ready..:evil You will love the trip..don't worry..just go!
    #38
  19. candrewscott

    candrewscott Adventurer

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    Where is the best place for trails? I looked on line and found a bunch of info about camping and hiking and driving on unpaved roads. Not much about nice and sandy trails.

    Thanks
    #39
  20. candrewscott

    candrewscott Adventurer

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    So its warming up and maybe my fingers wont be numb while working on the bike soon and I have a huge question to address before I can do anymore real work on the bike.

    Fairing or Naked?

    for the last six months I have been going naked. I mean I took everything off the front of the bike and bolted a LED. This has been awesome for in the city and on the trail but is less awesome on the freeway. The constant wind wears out my arms after only a few hours. I have my trail tech computer mounted to the handle bar along with my roll chart and cell phone. Its quite cluttered.
    77.jpg

    Before that I had a custom Lexan Dakar style fairing. I made an aluminum instrument tower and mounted everything on that. it worked well at high speeds but cut down on the visibility in tight single tracks. I didn't feel overheated though. This is the setup in the first couple of pictures I posted.

    I am not sure which route to take with this. high speed high fairing or low speed no fairing.

    If I go no fairing ill probably buy the trail tech X2. Something like this

    http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/5534/cimg3518.jpg

    Thoughts? suggestions?

    Thanks
    #40