Walkers ride the TAT on a XR650l

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by camperdad, May 18, 2014.

  1. camperdad

    camperdad Been here awhile

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    Pilot Point, TX
    I have two teenage sons and my oldest has a terminal disease...… dirt bikes. :D He loves to race MX, I love to trail ride, and we all have a blast as a family riding. I began this dream 3 years ago when I’d been reading ride reports and began considering the possibility of riding the TAT. I finally talked my wife into letting me buy a dual sport Honda XR650l and began commuting to work on it occasionally. I asked my then 15 year old if he’d be interested in going on the TAT and he jumped all over it. I wanted to do this ride as a Senior trip for him, but didn’t want to wait 2 more years to do it. The years are flying by and I felt like I needed more time bonding with my son and what better way to do it than doing an epic adventure.

    Allow me to introduce ourselves. Meet Cooper. [​IMG]
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    Nothing makes this dude's day like riding a dirt bike. He races all he can and pays for it with his own money. He works on a neighbor's ranch after school and has several others he helps out with manual labor. You can call him a "working man!"

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    Here are all the boys on Cannibal Plateau in Colorado a few years ago. My youngest, Connor, will help run my business while we are gone and I couldn't do this trip without him. I told him I hope he remembers this summer as a hard summer, but also the summer he began to realize what it is to be a man. Nothing is sweeter than leaving the cave, killing something, and dragging it home. I hope he will get a taste of that and use that to propel him into his calling in life.

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    Meet my beautiful wife Sweet Julie and I. She is worried to death about us being gone but is fully supportive of our epic adventure. She will be dropping us off in Tellico, TN to begin the Trans-Amercian trail... over 4,000 miles of dirt road all the way to Port Orford, OR. :clap

    Next time- Prepping the bikes and gathering the gear.
    #1
    Kyle Komline likes this.
  2. Poe

    Poe Been here awhile

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    Awesome! Subscribed. Best of luck to you guys!

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
    #2
  3. chokozip

    chokozip Been here awhile

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    Princeton Minnesota
    Subscribed!
    So when is your launch date?


    Sean
    #3
  4. DJ.

    DJ. Been here awhile

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    Staunton VA
    I'm so happy for you and you son. I hope to do this trip with my son in about 5 years. So I am all in and eagerly awaiting this report.
    #4
  5. MedicTed47

    MedicTed47 n00b

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    This is awesome! Looking forward to reading your report. I plan to start the TAT June 15ish so I won't be far behind you.

    Good luck and safe travels.
    #5
  6. FongMan

    FongMan Been here awhile

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    Free State Wyoming
    Very interested how you prep up that BRP!! Im in..
    #6
  7. Steve Lewis

    Steve Lewis Adventurer

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    Jun 20, 2012
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    Location:
    Lenior City TN.
    subscribed, Can't wait for this one!
    #7
  8. rastawheel

    rastawheel Pittsburgh, PA

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    Aug 20, 2007
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    388
    Location:
    Steel City. Single track and No-trail heaven.
    I will be following your adventure. Myself and a friend plan on doing CO to OR section next year. Enjoy.
    #8
  9. Deanman

    Deanman Wannabe Adventurer

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    Port Angeles, WA
    Cool! You are obviously and justifiably proud of your son, good for you! I will follow along as I'm going to hit the TAT around Aug 1ish, so it's starting to get real. Keep us posted and have a great time!
    #9
  10. mudmonster

    mudmonster Long timer

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    Sydney , Australia
    Looking forward to your adventures !
    #10
  11. 30DaysTDY

    30DaysTDY Adventure before Dementia!

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
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    Central Missouri
    Looking forward to seeing how this adventure goes for you! Doing the TAT is what started my interest in dual sport riding this year, and I hope I too can do at least some of the trail with my son, Will. Good luck and safe travels to you and your family!
    #11
  12. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi

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    Nice!
    #12
  13. redog1

    redog1 KTM 690R

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    Magalia, CA./ Butte & Siskiyou C.
    Sounds like you've done and continue to do a fine job of raising your boys. Responsible and hardworking. :clap
    Have a great trip, I'll be following along.:D
    #13
  14. chambersc

    chambersc Been here awhile

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    Enid, OK
    Im also subscribed and I've got an NW Oklahoma (Enid) safe haven, garage, tools, beers, whatever needed for you guys. Just hit me up if you need to.

    This is my step-sons Senior trip plan as well. He's 13 and about to start street riding this summer. Been on two wheels for 5 years now. As soon as he heard about the TAT, that's what he wanted. His sister wanted a cruise, the boy wants to go ride portions of the TAT. I couldn't be more proud.
    #14
  15. DLOOP

    DLOOP Adventurer

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    Beaver, OK
    Looking forward to watching your journey.
    #15
  16. The_Commander

    The_Commander The Man.

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    In.


    Sent from the trunk of a 74 Caprice.
    #16
  17. gallinastrips

    gallinastrips Been here awhile

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    Awesome :kumbaya
    #17
  18. camperdad

    camperdad Been here awhile

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    Oct 15, 2011
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    Location:
    Pilot Point, TX
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    I began the hunt for a dual sport bike a few years ago. I bleed Red, but I did consider a KTM. They make some sweet bikes, but I kept coming back to if I broke down in the middle of nowhere, which bike would have more parts available? I also had to buy two bikes, so KTM was gonna cost much more. I got both bikes under $3,000 each and less than 5,000 miles on Cooper’s 2001, and my 2007 had 3,000 miles. Mine even came with 2 sets of wheels and tires and all the take offs (muffler, gas tank, pegs, etc) The Big Red Pig has been in production since 1992, is air cooled, 200 mile range, adequate seat, and more dirt orriented than street, and has a magic button! :D Best of all I have two bikes with interchangeable parts. The main things I needed to address was suspension, uncorking, battery relocation, and frame gussets.

    Many people try to adapt USD forks and have had success, but I wanted a simpler solution that would be easily serviceable for years to come. I called Precision Concepts Racing and asked the man himself, Robby Bell, what he’d recommend. He said they had seen USD conversions cause frames to crack and would not recommend that route at all. It did look cool and modern, but he said he could set up the stock forks where I’d be happy with it at a fraction of the frustration, and I’d still be able to source parts easily because it is stock. This made a lot of sense to me, so I shipped off the forks and rear suspension. Cost me about $600 with new spings in the forks. I am no expert rider but compared to my son’s stock bike it has a better rebound, the front doesn’t dive when coming to a stop, and has a nice ride.
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    My bike was already uncorked, and had the majority of the mods I wanted already done to it but Coop’s needed Dave’s mods done on the carb. I had no problems doing the mods and it helped wake up the bike. It was very rewarding to rejet the carb and get everything back together and it actually run! I didn’t go hog wild on mods for his bike. Stock suspension, stock muffler, and sprockets and chain seemed fine. I ordered big pegs, new handlebars, Clarke gas tank, and a few other odds and ends. Maybe I’ll feel a little more flush when we get back, but all these parts cost money and this trip will $100 you to death.

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    I completed the battery relocation on mine first (thanks Spud Rider) and then I began to consider how to strengthen the rear frame with gussets. With all the weight on the rear of the bike and 4000 miles of pounding I wanted it to be bullet proof. I asked a few people for their template and scoured the internet for pics and never could get a real good idea of how it was supposed to be. I finally just got a manilla file folder and a pair of scissors and made a template. Easy peazy. The same template worked for both sides but the left side is a little shorter. I took it to a local machine shop with the bike ready to weld on and they welded it up. I also had my trailer modded at the same time so we could haul bikes in the front or back and added more tie downs so I’m not sure exactly what this mod cost. I do know this took weeks from design, to completion so if you are doing this mod I’d get it done first because it took a while to get everything done just right. I went to the automotive paint store and had a custom rattle can mixed up to match the Honda grey. It isn’t 100% perfect but nobody would ever notice or care. I wasn’t going to do the battery relocation on Coop’s bike, but when I tried to bolt the battery suitcase back on it interfered with the gusset. I’d already done the mod once, so this one was even easier and it is a cleaner install. Practice makes perfect.

    I installed HighwayDirtBikes.com hand guards on both bikes. These are the best of the best. Easy to install, very strong, and won’t get turned cockeyed if you hit something. I’ve had others and they all are flimsy and have the worst hardware to mount them up with. Never again. I also got the HDB turn signals. These were a little tricky to get everything blinking just right but with some help from a few inmates, and a LED diode I got the blinkers blinking and the indicator flashing as well. I went with a Manracks.com rear luggage rack and giant loop coyote tank bag. After much research I felt like these were the best options for durability and weather proof design. The rack is strong and keeps the Giant Loop bag off the muffler. I also added a dirt-bike-gear.com number plate bag and spare tube bag. Of all the options out there, I just liked his mousetrap better and liked his story.

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    We have 2 sets of tires, oil, filters, and supplies being transported to Creede, CO to my parent's cabin. That is within 20 minutes of the TAT near Lake City, CO. We will be able to change tires and service the bikes there and get a home cooked meal to boot! :clap Thanks Mom and Dad! ETA July 3-4th.

    Chambersc- I might look you up if we get into trouble. Enid is 1,000 miles from nowhere.

    chokozip- We will start the TAT on June 22.

    Feel free to post up questions. I'm so excited I am jumping out of my skin!:happay:happay

    Up next... Packing and transportation.
    #18
  19. chokozip

    chokozip Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Princeton Minnesota
    flying moto and myself are going to knock out the CO and UT portions at the end of August.
    You are not kidding about getting $100 dollared to death.Im hot and heavy into bike prep right now myself.

    Sean
    #19
  20. Tomlee

    Tomlee n00b

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    winter, Texas summer,Colorado!
    Your pictures look great! We are excited for you. We look forward to taking you to the jump off point in TN even though I know it will be hard seeing you and Coop ride off into the unknown! I know you will do your best and be able to figure things out as you go along. It will be exciting keeping up with your progress here. If Lewis and Clark would of had dirt bikes they could have had lots more fun! Fuel would have been a problem though! :nod
    #20