Great ride !! Good report too, w forthright comments about your experiences. All who have ridden the western TAT relate to it in their own way, often in the context of what kind of country they are used to riding
The link to this report was forwarded to me by a fellow in Conn. who rode the TAT w me in 2009 - on his super sherpa. I've ridden from Colorado to Oregon on the TAT a few times and, being from New Mexico, I have to say I found the Nevada section of the TAT the biggest hoot of the ride. I've always ridden this route in July, which produces daily temps of around 100 degrees in Utah & Nevada. Staying hydrated is as important as having fuel for the bike.
I prefer smaller bikes as well for these rides - along w packing extra light. I've always have ridden a DRZ400 out and back.
Good show ! Glad you decided to ride the TAT.