2021 TAT - Preamble They say you can’t go adventure riding on an electric motorcycle. We say; challenge accepted. Like many others, riding the Trans America Trail (TAT) coast to coast is a trip we’ve been looking forward to for a while. Unlike most, we’re captivated by the madness of trying to ride the entire route on an electric motorcycle; a feat that appears to be just barely possible in 2021. We hope our modified 2021 Zero DSR is up to the challenge. For those that don’t know, the TAT is a roughly 6000 mile route across the continental US via back roads and as many unpaved roads as possible. It’s a bucket list trip for many riders, including us. There are numerous popular threads about this fabled journey on ADVRider; hours of YouTube content, an active facebook group, and TAT stories are a source of inspiration and amusement for those of us who like to wander on two wheels. People ask endlessly pointless questions about what bike to take. The answer is never an electric bike. (Our favorite TAT stories are obviously the ones of people riding it on totally inappropriate machines – Shout out C90Adventures, KiwiGroms, and apparently some goofballs on CT125s). We started our TAT adventure at its easternmost point at the Atlantic Ocean on the coast of North Carolina, and have made it 760 miles west along the TAT to Whitetop, VA as of the start of this ride report. Will we make it another 5000+ miles to the Pacific Ocean in Oregon on the Zero? In fairness, anyone with any sense isn’t going to go multi-day adventure touring off the paved roads on an electric motorcycle. Not yet anyway, not in 2021. Electric motorcycles are plenty of fun, but are not yet a replacement for a gas bike if you want to travel, especially if you want to follow an off-pavement overland route. Battery range and energy density are still too low, charge times are too long, the weight is too heavy, the cost is too high, and the charging infrastructure does not support rural travel. Road trips (as in, traveling on paved roads) on an electric motorcycle are already pretty easy. People are already riding coast to coast on Zero (and other electric) motorcycles without trouble. The charging network in the US is extensive and growing rapidly. The TAT, however, is an entirely different story. By design, the TAT often takes travelers through back country areas with little or no infrastructure. Finding enough gas to follow the route on most dual sport and adventure bikes is largely not a problem, but pulling off a TAT run on an electric moto with limited range requires substantial planning and custom bike modification. 2021 Trans America Trail (TAT) Fortunately, neither of us ever seems very concerned with whether or not our motorcycle adventures make any sense. There will be a future when traveling by electric motorcycle isn’t much of a compromise, and can offer some interesting advantages. That time is not now. Riding the entire TAT on an electric motorcycle in 2021 is definitely pushing the boundaries of feasibility, and we want to see if we can do it. To put it in perspective; after knowingly significant (and absurd) expense and modification, the 2021 Zero DSR Kevin prepped for this trip is essentially like trying to ride the TAT on a grossly overpriced V-Strom 650 that only has a 1.5 gallon gas tank, which takes an hour to re-fill. It’s a bit ridiculous. There’s a reason we don’t think anyone else has tried this before. Your cast of characters: Kevin (ADV GoneToPlaid) and his 2021 Zero DSR, which he bought new at the end of 2020. This is a big deal, as Kevin almost never buys his vehicles new. He’s been talking about getting a Zero for many years, and I’ve told him countless times to just buy one already so I can stop hearing about it. Me and my Yamaha WR250R, which might be my favorite motorcycle I’ve ever owned, and with which I am irrationally obsessed. I’ve apparently been assigned the role of support vehicle for this TAT trip, although I don’t remember agreeing to that. (I apparently don’t have any good photos of me and my bike from this part of our trip. We’re sometimes not great at documenting, too busy riding. Maybe I’ll replace this one later). Kevin and I absolutely love to travel by motorcycle. We’ve done a fair bit of road touring, a trip to Alaska and NWT, and several BDRs. Riding coast to coast across the US on the Trans America Trail (TAT) has been on our list for a long time. This year is it; we’re pushing back hard against all the other demands on our time, and paying the opportunity cost. Screw it, life is short, we’re going riding. While we love our gas bikes, we’re both fans of EVs, and are really excited that good EVs (cars and motorcycles), are finally available. I can see a full EV replacing my hybrid car (Chevy Volt) in the near future, but I don’t see an electric motorcycle as a replacement for any of our gas bikes any time soon. The challenge of trying to take an electric motorcycle across the US on the TAT just made the whole trip that much more alluring. This is going to be a fun twist on a trip we were already going to take. (Maybe, like, type 2 fun. We’ll see how this goes). If we make it, we might be the first to complete the TAT (using Sam Correro’s tracks) on an electric motorcycle (or maybe any electric vehicle). (Being first doesn’t really matter to us, but it will be neat if we are). Does anyone else know if the TAT has been done with an EV yet?