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Old 10-25-2010, 03:13 PM   #1
Marc LaDue OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Hancock Township, Plymouth County, Iowa
Oddometer: 188
TAT (Liberal, Kansas to Moab, Utah early July 2011)

I'm looking to take an aprox. ten day trip on my KTM 950 next summer. I live in Sioux City, Iowa and plan on riding down to Liberal, Kansas the first day, so I can hook up with the TAT a few miles further south in Oklahoma and strike out west from there. I'd like to stick as close as possible to the suggested route. My preference is roughing it at Motel 6 or the like, and I hope to get as far as perhaps Salina, Utah before jumping back on I-70 and heading home over the course of two days.
I gather going much sooner than July runs the risk of passes still being closed, and much later conflicts with my annual trek to Sturgis.
My riding is fair; my regular off-road vehicle is an XR650L, and I've been enjoying two wheels for the past 35 plus years.
I have some basic mechanical skills and hope to have the bike properly prepped (spare water pump, spare fuel pump, spare heavy duty tubes for the front and Woody's Wheels tubeless conversion for the rear).
I'm looking for other's whose time schedule would allow teaming up for part or all of my route. Experience has shown me it's always better to have two heads than one.
If you're interested you can respond here or email me at
You can also reach me at 712)251-5421
Over and out for now,
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:51 PM   #2
Mad Kaw
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Location: The OK state ;)
Oddometer: 42

I'd love to do it again. I did this section of the TAT this August. We picked it up at Kiowa, Kansas and rode to Moab. It was absolutely one of the most fun and challenging rides I have ever done. Hope to ride from Moab to Oregon next year.

In my humble opinion I think you'd have more fun on your XR650L. One of the guys in our group had one and it performed very well. I did the 1500 mile trek on a KLX400 and really enjoyed it.

Most of the trail from Oklahoma to Moab will be easily passable on big bike. But there were 2 or 3 places I was so glad I was on a lighter bike. Especially when I dropped the KLX in a boulder laden creek on the back side of Tomichi Pass and had no one to help lift it. I barely got it up by myself with all my gear on the rack....if it had been even 50 lbs heavier I'd have been in deep sh!t.

It's a great trip and no matter what bike you take you'll have fun. But like you I think you'd be wise to have a traveling least get a SPOT if you do it yourself.

You can always by-pass the really tough stuff if there is any question....especially if you are going solo. Those areas...on this section of the trail occur at Hancock-Tomichi passes. This year they were especially rough due to the high volume of run off in the spring.

Another spot is north of Dunton, CO where you turn off of CR 38 and onto CR 45 for about 12 or 14 miles. CR 45 is essentially and forest service road or loggin road. It's a beautiful ride but parts of it are challenging. There were several places where the mud holes were a fairly long and knee deep. But the rough part was on the descent off the moutain back down to CR 38 ( a maintained and well traveled CR). As the road descends off that mountain it gets very steep and very very rocky with ledges, drops and boulders....with numerous switchbacks thrown in for a little added salt. It was a hoot on the KLX400. Not sure it would be as enjoyable on a bike that weighs 150+ lbs more with 2 inches less ground clearance. Bypassing this section is easy enough however. Just stay on CR38 (Dunton Road) right through Dunton and keep heading SW.

Really those were the only two areas I'd be concerned about. All the other passes (Cinnamon, Ophir, California, Engineer, etc) were no challenge.

Just a little friendly advice.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:41 AM   #3
Marc LaDue OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Hancock Township, Plymouth County, Iowa
Oddometer: 188
Thanx for the insights Mad Kaw,

The main reason I'm taking the Adventure is the mileage to Liberal, Kansas, and the mileage back to home after the trip is done. I'm 51 and spoiled and can't imagine doing the road portion on a 650. Plus, I've got to justify the monthly payments on that "S" , or my wife might get after me for wasting $.

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Old 10-27-2010, 01:17 PM   #4
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Abq NM
Oddometer: 2,339
I live in New Mexico and did the Eastern TAT backwards (NM to Tenn) and Western (CO to Oregon) in two separate trips on a KLR 650. In both cases we turned around and took back roads home. It was no big deal. We managed 400 to 550 miles per day coming home. We also stayed in motels. I am 65 years old for what is worth.

I would recommend the 650 especially in Colorado. Although I am also sure the 950 will be okay if you take the "Big DS Detour" around Hancock/Tomichi Pass.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:50 PM   #5
Snr Moment
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Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Billings, MT
Oddometer: 2,210
65 and a big bike DS detour?

Interested & will email you. Sioux City is only a day's ride from here.
Love is blind, marriage is an eye-opener.

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Old 10-27-2010, 05:35 PM   #6
Marc LaDue OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Hancock Township, Plymouth County, Iowa
Oddometer: 188
Thanx Wbbnm!
I appreciate each and every opinion I can get! I will say however, I'm rather beat after 500 miles on my Deuce; I can't imagine what my rear would feel like on an XR. My hat is off to'ya, especially in view of your having reached middle-age.
I happened to come across some depictions of guys wenching their bikes down some steep rocky stuff thanx to a helpful jeep owner. Now that stuff might in fact be a bit much for a big bike, but I really didn't want to take any of the big-bike detours.
I guess I've still got a few months to sort it all out.
Thanx again!
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