DRZ400 chases a Husky FE501 across America: The TAT backwards

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ClutchDumpinDan, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. Jmunk

    Jmunk Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
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    55
    Great RR. If you guys get motivated let us know what gear you used/wore and your thoughts l.
    ClutchDumpinDan and Downhill502 like this.
  2. Downhill502

    Downhill502 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
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    448
    Location:
    Fredericksburg, VA
    9 28 17
    We arrived late to Jet, OK but ate a fantastic dinner at Cadillac Jack's! This place solidifies what Oklahoma is all about. Might not be the flashiest place at first glance but just step inside and you will be rewarded ten fold, OK was the biggest surprise of the entire trip. Gorgeous terrain and some of the friendliest people on earth.
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    The only issue that we ran into was at the Great Salt Plains State Park. If you are tent camping you better have tough shoes and don't kneel down on the ground!!!! O and don't be a dumbass like myself and setup your tent before realizing the ground is covered in what they call "stickers"! These things are the damn devil and will easily puncture a sleeping pad with ease. Once we found a nice gravel pad all was well and the sand was removed from my vagina!
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    9 29 17

    Well today the Husky needs a little love. My great decision to leave the stock chain and aluminum rear sprocket on for the entire trip has backfired and now the rear sprocket is slowly being filed away into nothing. As well as my kickstand being sawed in half by my chain that is now stretched farther than a mother of five. A few KTM dealers east of us but nothing in stock so I head north and head to Wichita, KS. There I find one hell of a dealership, Mid America Powersports. From the moment I talked to the parts department I knew I was in the right place. Had the parts I needed in stock and set me up out back in the shade with a stand, and a drain pan so I could do an oil change/sprocket install. I was like a teenage girl going bra shopping, quite excited!
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    Parts are on I hit the road and meet up with Dan, who plans to stop about 3 hours south of me in Dewey, OK. I put the hammer down and show up just a little while after he arrives. We gas up, take stock of all the Ramen noodles we have and head to camp at a WMA we found on the map. Just a bunch of good ol boys there getting ready for next day on the river.

    9 30 17

    The fantastic riding continues and we even have to do a little bit of Lewis and Clark exploration as the route shows us crossing a bridge that no longer exist. We both check the map quite a few times before asking some passing rafters to check the river depth with their paddles.......... ehhhhhh looks lower than the gas tank. Lets do it and hope we can get out on the other side!
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    Luckily this lead to a creek bed with a lovely climb out, then onto a farmers property..............tiptoe tiptoe tiptoe..........back to the route! LOL

    Now this is when the route turns to shit, Arkansas, literally the whole fucking state! I have never seen so many disgruntled people in all my life. Endless larger individuals on ATVs without helmets coming around blind corners head on at you and then you know........ people just staring at you as you pass by, while I am waving at them like an idiot. Great time! We roll through this track as quickly as possible to just end the suffering. We end up at a little campsite just off the main route next to a quaint little creek in Ozone,AR. Dan is grumpy................I am grumpy................so I burn his hat!
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    10 1 17

    I wake up and I feel quite inspired to just give something back to this great state. Please see Dan's photos to see what great gift I gave them, most have already seen, sorry lol. I put my clothes back on and we high-tail it, we end up just a few miles outside of Mississippi. Success!
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    10 2 17

    Lets see how far we can get through Mississippi but first it is time for rear tires again so we call around to see who has DOT knobbies. Most say " You need a what? Like for a four wheeler!?" Lol. We get ahold of a NAPA/KTM/Husky/GasGas dealer and I am immediately skeptical. Dan heads that direction and I make the mistake of heading north to a dealership called Cycle City who on the phone gives me a decent quote on a new chain and "yea I think we have a few DOT tires in for an 18" rim". Dan says hmmmm I wonder if it even be the right chain once you get there? I am too stubborn and go anyways. And I know I should have bought a new chain in KS but I was in a rush. So any who I show up to Cycle City go back to parts to see if they had the chain we talked about. "Hmmmmm whats the make and model?" Jesus! I just called and I need a 520 120 link chain, you said you had one in stock for about $68. "Well........let me see what I can find". Comes back from the back and says well I have a chain for $130. I try to stay calm as I have just ridden about 30miles past Dan. I said no you quoted me over the phone a little over $60, were you the person I talked to? He said no that was my partner sitting next to him, at that time he comes over and whispers in my salesman ear " I told him it was $95 for the chain over the phone".This moment is when I lose my shit! I understand I am short and that comes with certain preconceived notions that I may get angry for no reason but what the actual fuck! I was already pissed off about Arkansas and now I have ridden 60 miles out of my way because I chose not to listen to Dan...........

    Moral of the story, go where Dan goes!. I put my helmet on, surprised it fit over my swollen head from all the yelling, and head down to meet up with Dan at Graham KTM/Napa. He gives me a hug and makes me feel better, all the while laughing at being right as usual. He even makes me a PB&J! But hot damn this is one fine dealership if you are in search for parts, especially for the Austrian variety. I resist the urge to just trade in my FE that now has over 6,000 miles on it and just chose to buy every part in their dealership! Guys are very helpful and even lend me a torque wrench so I can properly install the front countershaft sprocket. I throw on a 120 80 MT21 rear tire, both Dan and I stand back and admire our extremely tiny looking back tires but at that point we had little choice.

    Notice anything missing from my chain?
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    We gas up and hit the road, immediately intercom each other laughing our asses off, as we both about ran straight off the road on the first corner from the strange feeling tires. Ride as far as we can and end up at a little campsite at Puskus Lake.


    10 3 17

    On our way to Tennessee

    This route is pretty great, lots of bridge closures to sneak around and creek crossings. [​IMG]
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    Having a really sketchy rear tire just makes everything a little more exciting. I end up at the final point of the day a little earlier than Dan so I decide to go inside and see what I can find. Little Citgo station in Goodsprings,TN is a gold mine! They have a grilled cheese for $1.89! I decide to suck one down before Dan shows up lol. We have dinner here while talking to the locals and as Dan stated we were welcomed to camp at a fantastic farm just up the road. If any are looking to travel though this area they would love to sit and here about your journey but please PM us for the exact location.

    10 4 17

    After being stuff to the gills with homemade toast, fig preserves, eggs and bacon we are feeling a new renowned hope for humanity! This is probably one of the first times of the trip where we start to stretch it out in the hopes of reaching a specific point, Telco Plains. We see the route passes right by the Jack Daniels distillery we just have to stop by. I take a little different route so I can see the warehouse where they age the whiskey barrels.
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    We are denied access to just sit and drink whiskey so we entertain ourselves in the visitor center. Pretty damn informative.
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    My grandmom would be so proud of how much I have grown!
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    Eat some killer barbecue for lunch and wouldn't you know it a symbol to make me feel at home :)
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    We arrive a little late but there is nothing more terrifying than doing multiple water crossing in the dark!

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    Hunts Motorcycle Lodge is a great little campground
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  3. Downhill502

    Downhill502 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    Oddometer:
    448
    Location:
    Fredericksburg, VA
    10 5 17

    Tellico Plains to Greensboro, NC

    I can feel the end nearing and I do not like it! As Dan and I start off on the Cherohala Skyway I can feel the coast calling my name. I have put bike in the Pacific Ocean and I'll be damned if I am going home without making to the Atlantic! We hit a small split in the road and I see Dan is completely mesmerized by the foliage and curves, he speeds on by. Well this is the deciding moment, I am hitting the coast. Lets see how far east I can make it today. I take a small section of the BRP that spits out on route 80. This is one road that seems to be purpose built for a motorcycle, not much traffic and no large Harleys going 15 mph under the limit. Stopped in to a Firestone in Asheville, NC to change my oil. They lent me a pan and recycled my oil without hesitation. Surprised with how quickly I was in and out I put my head down to see if I could actually make it to Greensboro. I message Dan to see if there is anyway he could meet up with me but he is headed north up the BRP :(.
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    Pulled into Greensboro around 8pm, 361 miles done. My ass hurts but a large plate of spaghetti helps everything!
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    I message Dan to tell him I already miss him lol.

    10 6 17

    I wake up early knowing with the mileage I put down yesterday I should be able to make it to Corolla, NC around 4pm. I suck down an amazing continental breakfast and I am off. Thankfully that rear sprocket I installed in Kansas makes my bike smooth as silk on the highway, 42t from a 45t. I am able to cruise at 75-80 mph.
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    It takes some time to adjust being around so many other cars from the solitude of the west but before I know it I have made it! [​IMG][​IMG]

    The perfect weather, the fairly barren beach and the smell of the Atlantic has provided a perfect end to this unbelievable trip.
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    Even with this feeling of accomplishment there is an undeniable moment sadness as this marks............ The End Pilgrims!
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    I call the wife and it is time to come home. I see I am only a few hours from home so I say screw it, ask her to make me a late dinner and I head for home! Roll into Fredericksburg,VA around 10pm, hug the wife and kiss the dog. After 601 miles on the FE in one day I am in need of a hemorrhoid pillow!

    I can not thank you all enough for sticking right along with us throughout this trip. This will not be our last!
    BruceT, Karl G., goodcat8 and 32 others like this.
  4. AliveDK

    AliveDK Long timer

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    Sep 8, 2013
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    Location:
    Denmark
    End, over, stop ? WTF no way guys. You built up a need, now you have to deliver...

    And I have one question - you saw any cows ?
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  5. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
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    500
    Great RR guys, one of the best. I enjoyed every page.
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  6. chudzikb

    chudzikb Been here awhile

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    Jul 17, 2016
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    805
    Congrats on finishing...in one piece!
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  7. BLucare

    BLucare ADV General Counsel

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2016
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    854
    Location:
    Milwaukee-ish, Wisconsin, United States
    But what about the finger?!

    Oh, and congrats on finishing and all that :clap
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  8. Buckee

    Buckee Scott

    Joined:
    May 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    658
    Location:
    Northern Neck of VA
    Hmmm, started with thongs, moved to teenage bra shopping - you can't stop now boys, this thread has potential!!!

    Glad you're home safe - WTFG & thanks for sharing the trip!
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  9. Bearded Hooligan

    Bearded Hooligan Moto Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
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    Location:
    Flat, Hot & Humid South GA
    Where did you pick up that phone mount on the FE? What maps did you use for navigation? My GPS recently died and trying to get everything over to an iPhone that would be dedicated to the bike. So far its great, but don’t have any experience with loading waypoints into the phone. Were you able to load the entire trip into your phone before hand?

    Great report!
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  10. Harder1

    Harder1 braaaap!

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    Aug 10, 2010
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    Location:
    Tacoma, Wa
    Well done guys. This was a fun report to read - and I didn't get shit done at work... :beer
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  11. Downhill502

    Downhill502 Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Fredericksburg, VA
    I actually went to this exact same situation right before the trip as I was debating on bringing my Garmin Zumo but I ended up purchasing and offline iPhone 6 Plus. Just to clarify this phone was never hooked up to cell service and was only used as a standalone GPS unit. The phone mount is a waterproof system offered by the company called Interphone. I purchased it through Twisted Throttle on clearance but it is only made for the iPhone 6 Plus. It comes with its own handlebar mount similar to a ram style system but I was able to fabricate some parts to make it mount with a rally style clamp system from Rally Management Services. As for the GPS program we both use Pocket Earth with there 5$ downloaded U.S. maps. Dan turned me on to this program just before the trip and it is unbelievable compared to other programs and even my Garmin GPS that I've used previously. We were able to load the entire tat track but where it stands alone is in its highly detailed mapping of local hiking/mtb trails, rivers, streams and just about anything else you would need to see to get yourself out of trouble. Most other programs, especially when you are in the middle of nowhere, would just show an arrow in a big green or white background.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
  12. BLucare

    BLucare ADV General Counsel

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    Milwaukee-ish, Wisconsin, United States
    So, you mean paid for the $5 Pocket Earth Pro, right? Is that just a one-time $5 with unlimited state map downloads for offline use?
  13. Downhill502

    Downhill502 Been here awhile

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    Fredericksburg, VA
    I used the regular pocket earth offline map app, not pro, then use in app purchases to buy the U.S. maps

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
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  14. THRASHED

    THRASHED In your helmet, no-one can hear you sing, I hope.

    Joined:
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    San Dimas, CA
    One of the best RR's I've read. Thanks for taking me along. I think I have my son convinced to do this in a couple of years when he graduates from High School.
  15. ClutchDumpinDan

    ClutchDumpinDan Go do

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    I think Pocket Earth Pro is what they call the paid for version now that comes with the maps.

    They're wasn't a Pro version when I downloaded it. We're running this version...

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    ...which gives you one free city map download, then did the in app purchase of $5.00 (one time charge) for all of United States maps offline.

    I can't speak highly enough of Pocket Earth. The accuracy and detail of the maps is insane. I use it all the time. Riding, hiking, kayaking, you name it. It made our reroutes through the fire closures in OR quick and easy. We would have had to majorly back track and hit paved go arounds without a very detailed map.

    The only thing it won't do, is to create a turn by turn route between 2 points without internet service. I'm usually making/following tracks so it may not be for those that like turn by turn routes. On the plus side, you can make a turn by turn route and then save them for use later.
  16. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer

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    Star Tannery, VA
    Thanks for taking the time to report on the the final chapter of your trips guys! Awesome stuff. :)
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  17. RimBenty

    RimBenty Bender of Rims

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
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    Location:
    Ashland, VA
    Awesome trip and ride report but then I would expect nothing less from you FFs. :beer
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  18. navydive

    navydive Adventurer

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    Mar 20, 2016
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    King George, Va.
    Guys really enjoyed the report! Your knack for writing and the shenanigans made it a Pulitzer Prize! Welcome back to va
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  19. MXJEEPDOG

    MXJEEPDOG Adventurer

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    Aug 14, 2008
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    Epic trip ! Killer Ride Report !
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  20. Reddog*

    Reddog* Meh...

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    -- . ....
    Wow! Looked like a great time. :ricky
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