Two bikes, one jug, Zero DSR - 2ERide the 2021 TAT with an electric moto coast to coast

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Am.E, Aug 8, 2021.

  1. mtnbikeboy

    mtnbikeboy Been here awhile

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    Apart from the suspension and regen issues, did Kevin notice the power difference with the Zero vs an ICE bike at altitude?

    I'm surprised to hear the Zero doesn't have more regen braking. I wonder if there are stability and traction concerns with adding too much drag to the rear of a 2 wheeled vehicle? I struggle to believe that it couldn't be tuned to be similar to an ICE bike such that the drag would feel nearly identical.
    #81
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  2. WKUWIZ

    WKUWIZ Riding the Highway Supporter

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    Love that last astophotograph. Would you please share your camera settings and model with us?
    #82
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  3. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

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    Not sure where you guys are at in real time-------but Sam Correro is heading to the 3 step hideaway in Utah very soon---------you might see him there. Just talked to him.
    They won't be able to charge you there-------they are on very limited solar.
    #83
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  4. GoneToPlaid

    GoneToPlaid Ludicrous Speed

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    Of course the electric motor still has full power at 13000', which really does feel good. Electric Pikes Peak racers need larger heat sinks to get enough cooling in the thin air, but at our pace it's no problem!

    I think Zero just wants to be cautious and only allow a small bit of regen that is unlikely to ever break traction. The controller can do much more, and people have modded their Zeroes with a left lever for adjustable, stronger regen. I'd love a hill descent mode that acts like idling a gas bike down a hill in 1st gear.
    #84
  5. GoneToPlaid

    GoneToPlaid Ludicrous Speed

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    Well, I'm still learning so you'll want to look elsewhere for good advice. It's a Sony a6100 with the kit lens. Gorillapod and 10s shutter delay. Manual focus at about 6m. Aperture wide open. ISO 6400. 13s exposure. I used my cell phone screen to light the foreground during the whole exposure. The only post processing was to adjust levels in GIMP.

    Next I'm going to play with taking separate foreground and background shots then compositing them. The moon is waxing so we may get some moonlit red rock vistas soon.
    #85
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  6. Am.E

    Am.E Been here awhile

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    We're in UT, we did manage to go fast enough to beat Sam to 3 step hideaway. Would have been cool to see him again. We did stop for lunch, cool story coming.

    Also, thank you for your WR250R write up from however long ago on your site. That was a big help to me.
    #86
  7. Am.E

    Am.E Been here awhile

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    #87
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  8. ROAD DAMAGE

    ROAD DAMAGE Long timer Supporter

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    Rivian ..................... beat y'all to the punch of completing the TAT with an EV?

    DAMN, THOSE BASTARDS! :fpalm

    :lol3
    #88
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  9. GoneToPlaid

    GoneToPlaid Ludicrous Speed

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    We thought someone would do the TAT with a Rivian, just after they were available to the public. That trip was factory supported, with preproduction trucks. They are very capable, and a 300 mile range makes it so much easier. We're still on track to get the first electric motorcycle across. Two trips like this in a short time just shows how EVs are advancing. Not long ago, an electric TAT trip was basically impossible without a chase truck with a generator.

    Tomorrow will be the longest leg of the trip. 182 miles from Wendover to Tremonton UT, with a whole lot of desert (and no electricity) in between. Full update soon after, if we make it.
    #89
  10. ROAD DAMAGE

    ROAD DAMAGE Long timer Supporter

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    Just make sure that your better half has the tow strap! :D
    #90
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  11. talk2debra

    talk2debra Adventurer

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    Absolutely stunning photos. The star-studded Colorado night sky is magical.
    #91
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  12. talk2debra

    talk2debra Adventurer

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    From the MotorTrend article:
    "We divided into five crews of staffers as we navigated our convoy of two near-production-spec 2022 Rivian R1Ts and our support vehicle, a Ram 1500 TRX, across the Trans-America Trail."

    I would say that your efforts surpass this corporate endeavor.
    #92
  13. shaner1100gs

    shaner1100gs Been here awhile

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    What is the longest you've gone between charges?
    #93
  14. norton73

    norton73 drinkin' in the garage Supporter

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    :nod
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  15. surferbum

    surferbum Long timer

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    Good meeting you in Utah. Saw the sky behind us included rain. Hope you didn't have any issues. Made it home after a last night of the trip at 3 Step Hideaway. IMG_2615.jpg
    IMG_2593.jpg
    #95
  16. Am.E

    Am.E Been here awhile

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    Utah has the two longest stretches we anticipate having to go without a place to charge. We did just over 160 miles one day with a tail wind, and it was very easy, if pretty slow compared to a gas bike in order to make the distance. We tried to do 180 miles the next day in very different conditions, and with a headwind, and just barely made it. The endurance required in tough weather made it one of the hardest days we've had on the road.
    #96
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  17. Am.E

    Am.E Been here awhile

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    Awesome! :clap We're still truckin along, finished up UT....we'll get there eventually :lol3 ...
    #97
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  18. drdubb

    drdubb OFWG Supporter

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    I think the dealer in Raleigh should sponsor you guys.
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  19. Am.E

    Am.E Been here awhile

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    2021 TAT – UT Part 1

    Crossing into Utah means we only have three states left on the TAT (UT, ID, and OR), but still thousands of miles to go. The states are really big out here, and the TAT meanders quite a bit, especially through Utah. They are also the states that are the most unknown to us, having only ridden through them on street bikes once.

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    Welcome to Utah

    Our first charge stop in UT was in Monticello at the RV park going north out of town, and was the first time we’ve ever been refused when we asked if we could charge the bike. We always offer to pay, and occasionally we actually have to fork over $5 or $10, but we’ve never outright been told no until now. No amount of “we’ll be here an hour, I’ll give you $10, and if someone needs the spot we’ll move” was going to change her mind. I practically had the door slammed in my face.

    Thankfully, there was a second RV park in town that was much more relaxed.

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    Spotted in Monticello UT
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    We stopped for lunch at another famous TAT destination, 3-Step Hideaway. Too bad the timing did not work out to stay here, as this place is amazing. Definitely our tribe. We were welcomed to enjoy our picnic lunch in the shade on the porch of their new geothermal green house. The peace and quiet, along with the fantastic company, made for a longer than usual stop. There were some guys there that store their dirt bikes on site year round, and fly out every year to ride. They did the best job of anyone yet of pretending to be interested in our trip. I could definitely get stuck there for a while.

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    3 Step Hideaway is a super neat place

    We also finally got some real information on the rumored EVs doing the TAT. Both Sam Correro and the guys in AR had mentioned some electric SUVs doing the TAT, but didn’t have (or give) much other info. It turns out Rivian planned a pretty major project for taking their vehicles across the TAT, and had stopped at 3 step hideaway. (You can’t charge there, they only have 5kW of solar to run the entire place, which is an impressively small power budget. The Zero probably has more power storage than the entire compound).

    We weren’t going to say anything in this ride report, but by the time I got around to posting about this part of our trip, Motortrend officially published their Rivian TAT story.

    They took two electric vehicles, a gas support vehicle, and a film crew. Teams of drivers drove portions of the route, relay style, getting both vehicles across the country. They also scouted the entire route the year before with gas powered 4x4s. At TAT speeds, the Rivian has a range of 100s of miles (300+), and they have air conditioning and cup holders.

    Just for comparison, we did not pre-run the route. Kevin’s only support vehicle is me, his wife, on a WR250R, who will probably complain if I actually have to tow him anywhere. He has a typical range of about 125 miles.

    They beat us to the end of the TAT by about a month (assuming we get there around the end of September). We were both somewhere on the trail during the second half of August, unknown to each other. We think those Rivians are the very first EVs to complete the TAT. It’s a neat project, and the Rivian vehicles look amazing; I’m looking forward to reading about the whole trip.

    Motortrend on taking Rivians across the TAT: Part 1, Part 2


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    It was hot again descending in Moab, UT, but the scenery and terrain kind of blew us away. Despite having ridden across the country several times, we have not spent much time in Utah, or near Moab. It’s like another world from anything on the east coast.

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    No we did not ride the trail. The Zero has the turning radius of a Mack truck.

    First on the agenda was a hike in Arches National Park. They say this place is completely over-run and busy, but we got there just after dawn on a weekday, and found it acceptable. (The line at the entrance gets long quickly, by 7:30 am there is a long wait to get in). We hiked a bit over 9 miles on the trail at the very end of the park, and thought it was completely worth the effort.

    Once again, too many hiking pics:

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    When we got back to the bikes in the parking lot, I noticed a grocery bag stuffed into my boot that I had definitely not left there. I also noticed my pack of hand wipes, which had been inside my tail pack, was stuffed behind the loose straps on my saddle bag.

    Uh oh. Assuming someone had messed with my stuff, I looked around. The bike was fine, and looked untouched. My saddlebags were fine, nothing stolen. The tail pack was closed up like I usually leave it. Inside the main compartment, however, was a mess. At this point in the trip, I had two bags in the main compartment of my tail pack. One double bagged grocery bag with some granola bars in it, and a few wrappers and hand wipes I hadn’t thrown out yet (the inner bag of that double bagged stuff was now in my boot sans granola bars, but with a wrapper still in it), and a second plastic bag containing odds and ends, including the go pro stuff and the cell phone I use as a GPS device. (Don’t judge, I’ve left my bike at trail heads all over the country, usually uncovered, and have never had anything stolen or broken.)

    Nothing was stolen, except the outer bag of the double bag, and all of the granola bars (there were at least 8 in there). The bag with the electronics, sunscreen, hand wipes, etc., was torn to shreds, but nothing else was missing. What in the world happened here? Who would rob me, but only take my snacks?

    As I stood there next to my bike feeling somewhat violated and very confused, a women just happened to walk by and join the conversation we were having with the people in the parking spot next to us. She said, “Oh, I’m glad you are still here, there was the most beautiful black bird on your motorcycles earlier, and I took a picture. Would you like to see?”

    She showed me the photo of a large Raven on Kevin’s tank bag, which I would get later when I had reception and the text came through.

    Wait a minute.

    Gears slowly turning.

    I think…….I think I was robbed by a raven. I think the raven managed to get past two buckles/clips and a zipper to get into my tail pack, and take off with a bag of granola bars. Some good Samaritan must have seen the aftermath, and collected the remaining stuff and closed my tail pack for me.

    This is the criminal corvid that snitched my snacks:

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    Clever Bird

    We laughed the entire way back to the hotel room.

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    The Dept. of Energy is moving the uranium mine tailings to a better land fill via railroad so that Moab will be slightly less radioactive. Currently, this is right outside of town on the way to Arches National Park.
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    The left side pair of chargers is intermittently not working. After several investigations and re-doing all of the communication connections, the latest suspect is the factory Andersen connector. The right side chargers are direct wired, the left go through the connector.
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    Things you see in Moab 1

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    things you see in Moab 2


    A Zero DSR on the White Rim Road


    There is a lot of hype surrounding the White Rim Road. It’s a famous trail for the off road crowd.

    To do it on the Zero required some planning. The white rim road by itself is a just under 100 mile long loop through Canyonlands National Park, with almost no bail out opportunities. It’s remote; bring food and a lot of water, and be prepared to get stuck out there longer than you might wish. A permit to drive/ride the road is required, which can only be obtained no more than 24 hrs ahead of time. Primitive camping is available, and many choose to do the trip over two days, or more if in a 4×4 or on a mountain bike. There were no camping permits available; they are popular, and sell out. We would need to complete the entire loop in one day.

    The Zero does not have enough range to ride to the start of the white rim road from Moab, complete the route, and then return. The only 50A charging available in a useful location is the Kayenta campground in Deadhorse Point State Park. We could not camp there either, as it’s also fully booked months in advance.

    Even after charging in Kayenta at the start of the day, it might be necessary to charge at Kayenta again after completing the white rim road in order to make it back to Moab. There is also the risk that we would get most of the way around the loop and discover a section that was not passable, and not have enough range to make it back the way we came. (My bike, the WR250R, has a 4.7 gallon gas tank on it, and I could probably ride the whole loop three times before getting range anxiety). We checked the websites for the latest information, and it looked like we should be ok to go.

    We left Moab just before dawn en route to Kayenta, and paid our $20 to get into the State Park. Rarely does everyone keep their reservations, and we were counting on that. As expected, there were a few open RV spots. We rolled in like we were supposed to be there, and decided that this was an “ask forgiveness not permission” situation. I started to sweat a bit when the camp host rolled by the in a golf cart, but kept my mouth shut (for once). He just said hello, changed out the reservation tag on our spot, and rolled on. Half an hour later, and we had 100% charge and the range needed to ride the entire White Rim Road.

    Ok then, here we go.

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    Entering the loop at Shafer Trail started our adventure by immediately living up to the hype as we descended into the canyon. Wow. Out pictures don’t even come close to doing this justice.

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    The day was already heating up when we got to Musselman Arch, but we still thought it was a pretty neat place to be able to ride.

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    At some point, we came across two different tours of mountain bike riders, and their support trucks (definitely high clearance 4x4s). We asked the second truck driver how the road was ahead, and he said if the way we came had given us trouble, we should turn around. It had been a bit slow, but it had not given us too much trouble, and if it continued on like that we’d be fine, no problem.

    Folks, it did not continue on like that.

    We chose the white rim road in particular because we understood that it had a reputation for being a not too difficult road. It’s a “mostly easy cruise with a few harder bits”. Well, in reality, its 100 miles of a lot of class 2 riding, and those few harder bits turned out to be quite a bit harder than we were expecting, or would have intentionally tackled.

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    Perhaps the recent rains made it worse, but the scrambles up and down the steep hills were rough. Long, loose, rocky, inclines and declines with steep drop offs off the side of the road, and there were ledges higher than axle height. I can’t loft my front wheel reliably or on target, especially not on a steep uphill on the side of a cliff, and there were plenty of places where it was hard to find a line I could even hope to ride. (Plus, I’m afraid of heights, and the steep parts did not give much margin for error). On a lightweight dirt bike with day ride luggage I’d probably do ok and give it a go. A heavy bike with travel luggage is a lot of work through here.
    In retrospect, when we got to the first really steep scramble, we should have turned back. We didn’t know how many we would have to do, and it always seemed like it was just that one tough spot, and then it was ok again for a while. It was at some point after we struggled through Murphy Hogback that we knew we’d messed up. It seemed like the only option was to keep going. We just could not imagine riding back through any of that again.

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    They did not bring good news that the road was easier ahead:)

    Welcome aboard the struggle bus.

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    Stand over that front wheel, look where you want to go, steer as best you can with your legs, keep a steady throttle, and pray. If you get scared and chop the throttle and lose momentum, it’s all over. I’d be camping on the side of that hill. There was an air conditioned motel room waiting for me, and I was determined to get there before dark.

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    The back/west side of the loop gave us sections of deep sand, and one really sloppy mud hole. I wasn’t worried about those. There was one more tight squiggly section on my map that I knew I had to climb up to get out of the canyon, and I was sweating bullets. I was hot, exhausted, and I just didn’t know if I had it in me to make it up one last scramble.



    Just beyond the mud, we crossed a cattle grate, and saw the sign for the entrance to the White Rim Road. Huh, apparently we’re outside of the official 4×4 area now. We pulled up to the intersection of the road leading up and out of the canyon. Across the intersection, there was a wooden sign for, of all things, a boat ramp down by the river.

    I have never been so happy to see a boat ramp sign in my life. I don’t care how small and crappy that boat ramp is, if you can get any kind of vehicle down that road with a trailer, the road can’t possibly be that bad. While I wouldn’t take my Volt down it, the road leading out of the canyon may as well have been a federal highway compared to what we’d been riding.

    Across another cattle grate and out of the canyon at the top we laughed with relief. We’d made it. Mineral Springs road completes the loop and is technically unpaved, but is so wide and smooth, it felt like an interstate. Even better, the Zero still had 40% battery left, which meant we could go straight back to Moab without having to charge.

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    Practically interstate highway

    160 miles, 12 hours door to door, and 11 liters of water, which was everything we had.

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    No mas por favor

    Kevin is a hero for getting all 550 pounds of Zero through 100 miles of 4×4 road. In no way is that an advisable thing to do. To his and its credit, nothing is broken. The skid plate is a bit bashed, and had the stock charger still been located under the bike, it would definitely be destroyed. The deep mud hole over the front wheel is the deepest he’s ever submerged the bike. It’s still going like a champ.

    In all our years of riding, Moab is the first time we’ve ever taken our bikes to a car wash to clean them up mid-trip.

    Kids, if you are like us, and want less challenge and a nice scenic day ride, just go in and ride the east side of the loop via Shafer Trail, and turn around before the harder middle bit of the loop and come back out.

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    There are likely to be some long, straight, boring gravel roads across the flatter parts of Utah on the TAT. Right now, I don’t think I’m going to mind.

    Cross posted from here.
    #99
  20. norton73

    norton73 drinkin' in the garage Supporter

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    Ravens are extremely smart birds. We have done several trips down the Grand Canyon in kayaks with raft support. As soon as you leave your boat on a hike, they will be in it looking for food or shiny trinkets.

    When the Ranger at Lee's Ferry gives the talk before any trips, she will tell you that you have been assigned a pair of ravens to accompany down the river.

    Last trip, we tried to teach our pair how to say "Nevermore, nevermore." but had no success. :D

    https://bookshop.org/books/ravens-in-winter-9781476794563/9781476794563

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