Western TAT, Daddy/daughter, 2 paramedics from KY, a DRZ from PA and an XT225 from UT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by NOTAR_520, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. NOTAR_520

    NOTAR_520 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    602
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Time for a Western TAT report, and the clock is ticking toward our start date, 6 Aug 2009 leaving from Trinidad CO and heading West. Our group consists of myself and my Daughter MaverickChick, Paramedicrogers and his accomplice Ben from Kentucky, Ghilly From PA, and a late comer to the group Brett that will be riding the first 4-5 of the TAT with us, then running to Cedar City to visit family.

    The bike Roster

    Notar_520 DRZ400 SM with dirt wheels
    MaverickChick DRZ400 E
    Paramedicrogers New style KLR 650
    Ben KTM 450 EXC
    Ghilly DRZ400 S
    Brett XT225

    Good variety of bikes, no huge monsters and lots of DRZ's to share spare parts with.

    The TAT, I have to credit the many really good ride reports here on ADVrider.com. These reports have been the driving force to setting a date to do the TAT, and they are also the inspiration to make a plan and stick to it.

    My Daughter has been riding Street bikes since she turned 16, and over the last 3 years she has progressed to finer and larger machines, and we have aplan to go to Alaska in June 2010.

    This last winter we decided to get her riding in the dirt to extend the riding season into the winter months, and to provide her another set of skills that also would make her a more aware and skilled driver on the street.

    Northern Utah gets snow, and that shuts down riding on the street for me. We do have an expansive Desert, and often in the winter the valleys have minimal snow cover and a temperate climate.

    Time for a dirt bike. Mav is regular height female, so swinging a 38 in. seat height dirt bike was out of the question. She has mastered riding her street bike with just the balls of her feet touching the ground so we looked for a bike that would feel about the same. After looking at all kinds of dirt bikes, we settled on a Honda CR85. In many ways it fit her well, and in many ways it had a steep learning curve. She has since progressed to a KTM400 EXC, then a DRZ400 SuperMoto, and finally her TAT bike a DRZ400E that has been lowered.

    It was in January that we decided to ride the Western TAT, and it was also in January that I saw Paramedicrogers post about forming a group to ride the TAT in Aug. 2009. Safety in Numbers, and who would complain about riding with some true American hero's, the Fireman(paramedics to BOOT).

    This is how it starts, and this will be our story.


    Rough start for MAV.
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. NOTAR_520

    NOTAR_520 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    602
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    In the posts to come, our group will detail WHY ride the TAT, how they chose their bike, and the decisions which lead to outfit the bike.

    I will also get to post many of the good Images and Video I've captured of Mav over this last 7 months that she has been building her dirt legs, and built her confidence to knowing that she is ready for the TAT. Usually she is well armored, and has gotten a little bruised up, mainly due to EXCESSIVE throttle, but she is a real trooper in the field.

    On the TAT we'll have multiple Helmet cams, Video camera's and still camera's. As much as I would of liked, I am going to pass on taking a Panorama Rig with me on the TAT. We will attempt to update the report on the road as we get internet access, and have spare strength to get it online.

    We are prepping the Bikes, and trying to pack light!!!!!!


    Mav showing interest at a young age.

    [​IMG]

    The rise and fall of some rock training.

    <object height="344" width="425">


    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/l49ArsrzU3U&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" height="344" width="425"></object>
    #2
  3. NOTAR_520

    NOTAR_520 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    602
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    I didn't get enough photo's of the CR85 Stage, but it was really a wild phase for Mav. The bike she had been riding into the fall was a R1100S, a pure torque bike and almost an exact opposite of the wind up CR85. I knew full well that she would have to learn to control the powerband of that little demon know as the CR85.

    Our first outing on the CR was just dirt roads, and we got chased off by new snow, maybe 30 minutes of ride time. The next time Mav. gave up riding on the dirt roads and wanted to venture off and explore to see what kind of traction those knobbies would give her. We came to a small ravine, I told her not to get stuck in the bottom, and to use her powerband and not let the bke bog and stall. She went down to the bottom, and pegged that machine F***** WOT!!! She had a rooste going for 50 feet, and started to get a little loose. First the machines rear end went left, then WAY right and started to wash out. I was praying for it just to low side, no Joy, Mav had a rightious Highside, and me be dammed I slacked as a father and didn't get any video of the event.

    Much work to do, Mav. needs more time in the dirt, and we need to start to think about TAT bike options.

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. dallas99

    dallas99 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    DFW area
    :lurk I'm IN! Looking forward to the RR!
    #4
  5. Paramedicrogers

    Paramedicrogers Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    168
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    My TAT experience started with Ben my buddy at work telling me about this trail I have never heard of.
    [​IMG]
    What the heck is the Trans American Trail? After he told me that whole story I would say the least I was curious. I started searching online Trans American Trail. One of the first things that pop up ADVRIDER.COM. Click on it and the pictures in the opening window had me staring for hours until I had seen them all at least twice.

    After finally entering the site I read ride reports for days... I'm not joking days and days!!! I never was big on reading anything but maybe the news paper. Here I am staring at the computer screen for hours reading these stories that most where 2 and 3 years old. It didn't matter though I read em all!!

    It didn't take long I was hooked and it was just a matter of time before my TAT dreams where coming together. So to make a long story short. I took Ben's advice and soon planed on buying a Kawasaki KLR 650.

    [​IMG]



    I have rode dirt bikes in the past but most of the time stayed on my 4 wheeler which is also a Kawasaki Brute Force 650 to be exact. So adventure riding will be new for me.

    [​IMG]

    Ever since I've known Ben all he has ever talked about is BMW 1200 GS Adventure. I think Ben thinks he is Ewan McGregor.:lol3 We soon figured out that a BMW 1200 GS adventure is not a good TAT bike if you wanna do the whole western TAT.
    [​IMG]
    He settled on a KTM 450 which suits his style well, BALLS TO THE WALL riding wheelies up main street next to the Police department. True story.

    We got our bikes I loved mine so much it came into my living room for about two weeks so I can sit on it in the warm house.
    [​IMG]
    Because it was 18 degrees outside.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Even before I got my bike I had posted on ADV anyone wanna do the TAT this summer. Here is my original post.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=420933

    I'm thinking "ya no one will answer this" it wasn't long and people where posting replys on there left and right. Soon I will get a reply from a guy way out in Salt Lake who knows everything there is to know about motorcycles which was awesome for me because I didn't know ANYTHING. I will soon learn!:evil
    #5
  6. dpouwel

    dpouwel Petualang

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    620
    Location:
    Jogjakarta, Indonesia
    :lurk
    #6
  7. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    466
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    Yo, this is Mav. The daughter, the chick--say what you will. As previously stated my dirt experience is limited. Sometimes ( If I am lucky) , I can get the toes of one foot to touch the ground. And I am going on the TAT? Yes, yes I am...

    I've been off and on about the deal for awhile now. It wasn't until my Dad told me that some people didn't make it, that I became totally consumed by the idea. When we called on my second bike, A KTM 400, the guy told me that is was going to be too big. I bought it just for that reason.

    [​IMG]

    This trusty machine is Urijah for Urijah Faber of the WEC. Pretty much the baddest little guy around. Being the California kid, Urijah was also branded with the name Sunshine. Currently he is rockin' some Parker DT's, which I have been very satisfied with. With the exception of going over 80 on the road...but then again I probably shouldn't be going that fast. Urijah is my TAT bike.

    [​IMG]

    Then there is my beloved super moto..Uav ( Urban assault vehicle) Some people get it...some people don't. Its been morphed into something that really isnt a DRZ anymore. When I couldn't seem to hunt down another KTM for the trip, it was decided that Notar and Mav were going to be twinners. UAV, also known as DCON, was stripped of its slicks and replaced with knobs ...it's no longer showing me any love. If I carried a milk crate around with me I might be able to manage the 38' climb to the seat.

    My Summer Ride:

    [​IMG]

    Transformed into my Dad's TAT bike:

    [​IMG]


    That being said my game plan for that TAT is to truck up to some rocks, carry way too much speed downhill, solve everything with my throttle and somehow manage to pull things off. Sorry Dad, I really WILL work on my downhills. :D

    Urijah BEFORE the Parker DT's:

    [​IMG]



    Notar and I started out doing small loops around the big ol' lake. First 50miles, then 100miles. And eventually an entire trip around the Great Salt Lake...which I somehow managed to accomplish on Super Moto tires. But with progression there comes pain...learning experiences. Yes, my Dad does know a lot about bikes...and also a bit about GRAVITY.

    [​IMG]

    During my time that I have spent and am still spending 'learning', Dad has developed a classification system for my biffs. As I'm sure most of you are aware that there are certain ways to dismount that involve less pain then others.

    Biff: Gravity got the better of me. I put my foot down and there was nothing there.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The list goes on and on The day is a success as long as nothing gets classified as an 'incident' , For example the infamous switchback incident. Apparently skipping sections is not a good idea. The goat path incident- where I learned the importance of falling up hill(because I rolled a long WAY down hill). And last but not least the Electric cattle fence incident(my first front flip on the KTM... I did not land it).

    My predictions for the TAT are three or fours biffs. And hopefully only one or two incidents. Hopefully all caught on helmet cam :D

    Let the count down and packing begin!!!! :wings
    #7
  8. spicler

    spicler Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    14
    Location:
    South Texas
    Sounds like a blast! I can only hope to share something as cool as this with my daughters when they are old enough. Hopefully they will be as interested in riding as you MaverickChick. But are you sure you don't want to change Urijah's name to something like Mike Brown :lol3? Just kidding I love watching Urijah fight. I will be following this report very closely because WHEN I ride the TAT it will be on a DRZ as well. Have a blast!
    #8
  9. NOTAR_520

    NOTAR_520 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    602
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    MaverickChick's run with the CR85 was short lived. During the 3 weeks that she spun the tire on the 2 smoker, it scared the piston. I had geared the bike down for her, and she was heavy on the throttle, she learned what WOT was all about.

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/3jphd-X4EQ4&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/3jphd-X4EQ4&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

    I had spotted a KTM 400 for sale locally, and I knew that she would need a larger bike that fit her so she could start the next phase of learning, the standing on the pegs trick. The CR85 was loads to short for her seat to pegs, and standing didn't work well. The KTM 400 ran well, but needed some TLC and some fresh parts, chain/sprockets, and some tires. After a very cold test ride, I left the choice to her, the bike wasn't as tall as I thought, and she didn't mind the scratched plastic. The guy mentioned that the bike might be too large for a girl, and with that, she said"Dad, load it up".

    We had plans to get a plate for this bike, so I ordered up some Kenda 270's. We hadn't planned for any mud bogs, and I had used the k270 in the Utah rocks in the past. A funny thing happened when the new rubber got on the bike, it was taller(tires were really worn), and with the less flexible MX boots, so could only touch with one toe. She sat on the bike with tennis shoes, and was tippy toe.

    The gearing on the EXC models goes forever, I geared it down so she could crawl up steep and rocky terrain, and it still would run at much lower RPMs at 70 mph than the WR426 I was chasing her on.

    We rode all over near Delle, UT, mud rocks, hills, sand, and loads of fun. and as the months passed the weather finally got warmer. She fell in love with the suspension, and the torque with smooth power that the 400 gave her.

    We explored lots of this small mountain range:

    [​IMG]

    First day on the KTM:

    [​IMG]

    I did tell her that the kenda's were not the best mud tire out there, but she was up for the test. She was moving 35mph when she started some sideways movement, she was on the gas and almost recovered it.

    [​IMG]

    Another Kenda casualty? Partially yes.

    [​IMG]

    I guess as a bonus, I got to keep the camera, as to protect it from crash, so most images are of mav. She was a good sport, I would usually take a picture before I helped her get out from under the bike. After a few days on the dirt, the learning curve quickened, and so did her traveling speed, at times I couldn't catch her on the muddy roads, I sure as hell didn't need a low side, as these trips were training for me too.

    I was happy with the WR426, but I really liked the e-start on the KTM, Mav was nice enough to point that out with every push of the button. With the low oil capacity and the not wide enough transmission, I didn't think the WR would make a good TAT bike for me. It had a wonderful VERY low first gear, and enough grunt, but got buzzy to early on the asphalt. It got 50 mpg out in the desert, not bad.
    #9
  10. NOTAR_520

    NOTAR_520 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    602
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    DRZ's rock, I wouldn't mind more HP, but perfect for us on the TAT, or at least we will see. Both bikes have a free flowing exhaust and FCR carbs. They are jetted well for 4500feet ASL, and have a bit more grunt than a stocker with the CV carb.

    Urijah and Mike are both upper tier guys, I can't wait to see the next engagement, lets hope it's not years away. I don't think too many will want to fight Mike, he deals out pain and punishment just like Urijah.
    #10
  11. spicler

    spicler Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    14
    Location:
    South Texas
    I think the DRZ with those mods will be fine for the TAT. Very true about Faber and Brown, it's a bummer that Faber broke his hand last time. Brown faces Aldo next that will be crazy!! Well you guys are my type of people, fight fans that ride. Can't wait for the trip to start!
    #11
  12. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    466
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    Got some good training into day. NOTAR thought it would be a good idea if I learned the basic concept of jumping. We found a nice track with some steep jumps and then a little table top. I hit the small one about 10 times without incident :evil

    We later found some steep rocky climbs. I only had one almost stall but I pulled out of it and ended up off road. Yee-freakin-haw.A small tip came later...classified as a biff. It was in a rocky downhill so I do get some points for damage. Video? :D


    <object width="640" height="505">


    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/odJpdLGaYlo&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="505"></object>
    - Show quoted text -



    Sometimes things happen that I really wish I had video of. Kinda like when I hit a stutter, case it, high side and get the wind knocked out of me. Especially when I hit it doing about 40 MPH. I ended up about 10 feet from my bike. When we got out of the heat and checked the helmet cam it wasnt there! Grr.


    In regards to a name change...I'd rather be the guy that fought like a lion with a broken hand, and got down to a decision, rather then the guy that couldnt submit him! Just sayin'. Haha
    #12
  13. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    466
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    Our date got pushed back :2cry

    I vote for leaving on the planned day and spending some more time in Moab. You know hot tub or something....if you know what I mean. :D
    #13
  14. NOTAR_520

    NOTAR_520 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    602
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Our new Start date is to be in Trinidad, CO on the night of 6 Aug 2009, and go West from there.

    Mav,Brett and I will be riding our bikes to the start point from Salt Lake City, UT. Our plan is to ride thru Moab, if the heat is not in full bloom, maybe a loop around the White Rim Trail. We want to end up in Montrose, CO for the night. ~370 miles so only mild dirt riding and we'll try to avoid the freeway. The DRZ's are geared 14/47 and even 65mph is slightly buzzy.


    Mav was wearing the helmet cam this past weekend riding in some rocks near Delle, UT. She did have a nice cartwheel when she tried to use a studder to clear a big bump, she learned what "Cased it" mean. I wish I had the helmet cam, it was a nice dynamic move, and both her and her bike got a good dirt nap. The helmet cam she was wearing reached it's 2G limit, and it turned off 10 minutes before Impact.

    Her throttle and clutch control evolve every week.

    <object height="505" width="640">


    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/xRjCvea1rKc&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" height="505" width="640"></object>
    #14
  15. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    987
    Location:
    PA
    Time for me to chime in. Here is my bike new and as it looks now.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    987
    Location:
    PA
    I will be leaving prior to the rest of the group and complete the whole TAT. We will all meet up in CO and finish it together. For the time between TN and CO I am riding solo. This is a trip with plenty of planning and I can't wait to get on the trail!!!:D
    #16
  17. Spargo

    Spargo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    Winchester, KY
    :lurk
    As a n00b from KY with a new KLR, I'm in. Give it hell Kentucky boys!!!
    #17
  18. Paramedicrogers

    Paramedicrogers Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    168
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    We will give it hell! You wanna go with us on that new KLR of yours? :evil We have plenty of room!
    #18
  19. Spargo

    Spargo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    Winchester, KY
    If it wasn't for that damn thing called work, I'd be all over it. I might have to make some time next summer for a portion of the eastern TAT.

    Good luck guys. Looking forward to a great RR.
    #19
  20. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    466
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    Less then two weeks. Looking for last minute solutions. Mentally prepping. Ironing out hotel details.

    Super riding weekend :D

    Guardsmans Pass and Bountiful. We get to check out Bret's Xt and his skills. :D
    #20