06-15-2010, 10:53 AM
The road less traveled.
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Pottsville, AR
"Two Brothers on Two50's"
So my first street legal motorcycle was a used 03í V-Star 1100 that I got from my dad. Iíve put a lot of miles on this bike and still enjoy it today. My big brother (arkridergc) has a Harley and weíre very fortunate that we get to ride together often. But as we rode along we would usually see a road or trail taking off somewhere and wonder where that road would go. But because our cruisers donít work well at all on dirt roads, we just passed them by leaving that lingering thought of where those roads would lead to.
So to put an end to those constant recurring wondering thoughts, we each purchased dual sport bikes. My self, an 09í KLX250s. My brother, an 09í WR250R. We both researched different dual sport bikes of all sizes and manufactures but in the end we decided on 250ís, and Iím so glad we did. These little bikes are just amazing for their capabilities. Now these roads we come across are no longer a curiosity, they are now an adventure.
Never having the opportunity to endeavor a motorcycle trip that lasted longer than a couple of days, I pondered the thought of taking off on a trip with the 250 that lasted several days or maybe even a week, or longer. After discovering ADVrider.com and reading the ride reports, I developed a relentless urge to ride the TAT. Yeah I know, many people have done it before us and posted their results and it has become old news to some. But after getting caught up in what seemed like a countless number of ride reports about it, I thought it would be the perfect trip for my first big outing because I kind of knew what to expect and I wanted to minimize as many surprises as I could. Even though I was curious (more like concerned) how the 250ís would perform on such a long trip, I decided it was worth a try. So I convinced my big brother to ride it with me, purchased the maps from Sam, started building tracks, routes and waypoints for the GPS (which was a learning experience in its own) and I put a plan together for us to shoot for. Then the farkels began for the both of us. Extensive research was involved trying to decide which luggage and accessories to buy, as well as what to pack and carry with us. ADVrider.com proved to be an excellent resource for all of these tasks, a wealth of information available at our fingertips.
Big thanks to everyone on this site!
And to show my thanks, Iím providing this ride report to share my own experience of the TAT (at least the eastern section for now). Hopefully some fellow inmates or guests can gain a bit of knowledge that will be of value to them in some way or another.
After purchasing the KLX I did the usual mods to gain a little performance. Big brother installed some mods to his WR as well but Iíll let him cover that if he wants to. I purchased an after market slip-on exhaust (Two Brothers of course), re-jetted the carburetor, removed the air box cover, installed a UNI Filter and 13 tooth front sprocket (although I re-installed the 14 tooth front sprocket for this trip). But a few mods were specifically done for a long trip.
First was a rear luggage rack. Kawasaki didnít supply the 09í KLX250s with a rear luggage rack like previous models. So I built and installed a custom rack to mount the dry bag onto. It worked flawlessly.
The next mod was to install a 12VDC power socket so I could re-charge my Phone, GPS, Camera and MP3 Player. This power outlet was purchased at the local Wal-Mart. Cheap enough, easy to install, and weather proof.
The original Garmin handlebar mount was installed to hold my Rino 530Hcx. I have to say that the Rino performed very well on this trip (rain or shine). We used routes for the outward trip and tracks for the return trip (TAT). We also installed Motocom headsets in our helmets to work with the radios built into the Rinoís, but half way through our trip we both developed problems with them. My left speaker quit working and my brotherís push-to-talk button started shorting out. So we eventually abandoned the headsets. But the Rinoís still worked great. At times I would still use the Peer-To-Peer function to locate Big Brother on my GPS map.
Next, the BUTT necessities. Sheep skin cover from Alaska Leather. THIS IS A MUST HAVE! (at least it is for me). I actually ordered this the week before the trip and I wasnít sure if it would arrive on time or not, but Iím glad it did. I road one day during the trip without it and regretted it. It stayed on for the rest of the trip (when we were riding anyway). I took it off at night. I just couldnít take a chance of someone steeling this. Big Brother decided on the ďSweet CheeksĒ and seemed to be happy with it (although it does add a bit of weight to your setup).
With all of these mods complete, its time to add the luggage and the stuff Iím gonna pack with me. Iíll cover all of this in the next post.