Trans-American Trail planning with a OCD Engineer

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

  1. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    #41
  2. SATEX

    SATEX Long timer

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    I haven't read the full thread yet, but are you planning on using a backpack as part of your packing system. I am strongly biased in favor of them. Use one with a max capacity reservoir and carry some other bulky and moderate weight items there.

    Look at offroad competitions.... they don't attach bags to their bikes. They carry tools belts and hydration packs. The would strap stuff to the bikes if they had to carry enough for multiday trips, but they would still carry lots of weight on themselves.

    The weight you carry on yourself mostly isn't felt when you are riding, and it really keeps the bike lighter and more nimble.

    I'm in the minority in the adventure riding community, except for those who come from the dirt riding side. Yeah, it is less convenient at times, but so is dropping on overweight pig when the riding gets a little technical.
    #42
  3. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Some of my sand riding tips.

    I used to love riding in sandy arroyos and would go out of my way to do it. But this was on real dirt bikes.

    Unfortunately the KLR is a really bad sand bike for some reason.

    I think the most important thing to do is, if at all possible, is to pick an untracked path. This is a night and day difference.

    Stand up, go fast, go straight even if it means missing some turns and hitting a bush now and then. (Don't go fast sitting down. You will crash.)

    If you have to make a sharp turn, try putting the front wheel in a well defined track thru the turn and gas it.
    This works well with dirt bikes, but only marginally well with the KLR.

    I have no qualms about getting out of a roadbed if the sand is too bad and just ride next to the road especially if the sand is deep, there are lots of crossing tracks and lots of turns.
    #43
  4. michdave

    michdave Been here awhile

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    Have you rode around the George Washington National Forest? I'm in SoMD, and ride out to get my off-roading in. I don't remember much sand, but I've only ridden out there twice in the few months since owning my GS, and the entire forest is 2.6million acres covered in forest roads; so I'm sure there some out there. If you'd like to make a trip sometime, shoot me a message and I'd love to meet you out there or meet up and ride some trails. I've noticed that some of the forest trails down near me though are still covered in snow and ice (as of yesterday) from trucks driving over them and packing them down, so the forest roads in the colder temps may still be gross for a little while longer.


    On a side note, I've been debating either doing the UTBDR & COBDR this year or the TAT. I haven't decided on which route to go. Are you planning on making the trip solo or looking for others to tag along with you? The only thing is, I'd be riding it on a hog...a 1200GSA.
    #44
  5. candrewscott

    candrewscott Adventurer

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    Thanks for the interest. I have ridden the GW forest OHVs many times. Haven't found any sand unfortunately. Where do you ride in SoMD? I have ridden the power line trails off Surrats road many time but they have gotten pretty chewed up in the last year or so.

    I am currently planning on going solo but am open to putting together a group if there is interest.

    Have you ever seen the GS challenge riders? It isn't about the bike its about the rider. When the weather warms up Im going to post meet up info for my rides.
    #45
  6. candrewscott

    candrewscott Adventurer

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    So my girlfriend got me an impromptu present.
    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/pKgMt2D.jpg?1" width="742">
    Its a custom Leather moleskin cover for the TAT.

    #46
  7. candrewscott

    candrewscott Adventurer

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    Sorry for the delay team.

    Ive been working on the wire / Rats nest on the right side behind the coolant tank. This mess is a result of an impact with a stuborn little tree a few years ago that smashed most of my fairings off and took out my insturment cluster. I spent a few months with a frankinstien bike (zip ties and duct tape) and finnally just pulled it all off and got a Trail-Tech Vapor.

    What a liberating feeling to ride naked.

    All the wires I either taped off or liquid sealanted off and secured behind the coolant overflow tank.

    This has worked without a problem for the last two years and was still working when I took everything apart the other night.

    The real question is why mess with it?

    • Well venturing forth on a month long trip one wants his ride to be as reliable as possible.
    • And the mess of wires has always bothered my OCDness.
    • And it snowed three days ago on the only day I had to ride this week so I had some time.
    • And my girlfriend bought me a Trail-Tech x2 headlight because she thinks my bike is ugly, and it is, with my big square LED bolted to the stem.
    So here it is when I started.

    <iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/132020915@N04/16697002127/in/photostream/player/" width="475" height="475" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

    I spent about four hours tracing all the wires to their source and cutting and sealing or shortening them. About half the actual wire came out of the bike. I was using a wire diagram from a first gen KLR that I found online.
    http://www.buttonhome.org/photos/?g2_itemId=25297&g2_imageViewsIndex=1
    Then I mounted the light. Went on pretty easy and looks good.

    <iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/132020915@N04/16878445116/player/" width="475" height="475" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>
    Everything is still working and a small portion of my OCD is soothed.

    Next up is a dash to mount my vapor and power outlets to.


    Now for warmer weather!:rofl
    #47
  8. candrewscott

    candrewscott Adventurer

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    :DI got everything put back together and went for a small ride. Just around the city and it was drizzling but still fun:D

    I cant wait to get some real miles on the new front end and lights.

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/jMQd0Ok.jpg" width="742">

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/iTPb5G9.jpg" width="742">

    And I also got a new clutch cable and replaced it. The old cable still looks OK so Im going to pack it as a spare.

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/jALQn6R.jpg" width="742">

    :rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl
    #48
  9. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    Good for you on getting it together and running again.

    If you leave the old cable routed, it's already in place if/when you need it, and it takes no baggage space.
    #49
  10. candrewscott

    candrewscott Adventurer

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    Thats a great Idea. I think the next time Im working on the beast Ill rerun the cable.
    #50
  11. candrewscott

    candrewscott Adventurer

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    Hello team,

    Sorry for the long delay. Work and family obligations have kept me busy for the last couple of weeks but I have been making progress.

    I bought a new pair of riding boots. The O'neal Elements have arrived and look fantastic. They are extremely stiff and need some serious breaking in. They are also much thicker in the toe than my old Navy boots that I have been using. I had to move the shift leaver as far up and it would go. Im thinking about making some brackets to drop the pegs an inch or so.

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/FoLek6w.jpg" width="742">

    I also purchased a full soft rack kit from Green Chile that is amazing.

    http://www.greenchileadv.com/

    The quality of construction in top notch and the cams make it extremely easy to strap anything down. I still need some water tight bags.

    I received my Spot locator in the mail and got it activated. I opted for the lower tracking rate because Im really using it more for the emergency beacon than tracking and to save some money. It was pretty simple to activate.

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/5MrjSsV.jpg" width="742">

    Thinking about mounting it to my back pack shoulder. easy to reach and always, hopefully, facing the sky.

    I took a ride out the GW forest a couple of days ago to meet a friend and test the new gear. it was a beautiful day and I had a blast. Only went down once and it was on a smooth paved gravel road. Did I mention that a new set of tires is on my to buy list? I had a blast and am excited to get more miles in for "training"

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/IuYnMnI.jpg" width="742">
    A really cool overlook spot that I stopped for lunch. Set up the hammock and didn't see another soul for probably a hour.

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/5bYpNW5.jpg" width="742">
    Same spot. you can see the new Green Chile rack system

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/OX3MYfu.jpg" width="742">
    Wrong side up! :eek1

    Here is the Tracks up to me taking lunch. Then I forgot to restart the tracking. :puke1
    View attachment Track 001.gpx

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/tehdU6I.jpg" width="742">
    #51
  12. Just Max

    Just Max I put the F in luck

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    #52
  13. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    A lot of the cellphone armband cases on Amazon work just as well and are a heck of a lot cheaper.

    But then the SPOT3 is so small and jacket fabric so transparent that it is less hassle to put in a jacket breast pocket and is with you in case of an "off."
    #53
  14. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    I am looking at your hand guards and I am wondering if you noticed more vibration in the grips without the bar end weights.
    #54
  15. candrewscott

    candrewscott Adventurer

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    Not really but the vibration has never really bothered me. For long trips I use either gel hand gloves or my big winter gloves. I'm thinking about getting new grips that are softer than the stock ones I currently use.
    #55
  16. candrewscott

    candrewscott Adventurer

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    Im pretty hand with a sewing machine so I was just going to put some straps on my back pack.
    #56
  17. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    Up to you but if it is any reassurance, I just spent the weekend with a SPOT3 in my jacket breast pocket all over West Virginia and it recorded without problems.
    #57
  18. 7milesout

    7milesout Adventurer

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    Enjoying the thread. But I'm fairly certain you don't NEED any training. What I mean is that you're a good enough rider. Unless you're going to treat the TAT like the Baja, you're good to go.

    You just need a well calloused butt, a squigly line to follow, and would be nice to have enough resources to get out of bad weather to a hotel and/or to get cleaned up now and then.

    I admire your whole process, and the "training" you are doing though. I'm a working stiff (another engineer), and if I were going to get to do this within the next 20 years, I would probably have to sort of make it into a Baja run in order to get it done. Not as much fun I guess, but currently I don't have time to stop and smell the roses. Maybe its the same for you...


    7milesout
    #58
  19. juno

    juno Long timer

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    Bump for latest progress!!!!
    #59
  20. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    Have you decided on tires yet?
    #60