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Old 08-25-2011, 06:29 PM   #61
simonpig OP
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Location: NYC
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After my KTM690 was stolen, I was reading up on all sorts of replacements for it and your recommendation was what made me get it. I was thinking about getting the te610 saw the path you took. So I took the plunge and never looked back. Its a keeper.

It took me a season and half of riding everything to figure it how to best set it up for my liking. The steering damper is great. I set it at around 66% and just forget it. If I'm doing tight singles then I'll turn it off. The other thing that made a significant difference is the fastway footpegs. So nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDogAdventures.com View Post
Just wishing you good luck on your ride------I'm really impressed with how well you have your bike set up for the ride.

Unlike with bigger bikes--nothing will stop you on the TAT------well maybe the impassible when wet roads--nothing goes on that stuff.

And you've did the best mod I've found to do to a WR250R---------a steering damper. My absolute favorite mod I've done to mine.

Mark
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:31 PM   #62
Abenteuerfahrer
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Leland, North Carolina, USA
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Bailed from the TAT. Hope to see you make it all the way and thanks for taking me along.
Cheers Amigo...ride safe n' ride far. By the way Catoosha WMD has reopened after being closed due to vagrants strewing nails, tacks, etc on the trail!
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:15 PM   #63
simonpig OP
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: NYC
Oddometer: 861
8/25/11 (Thursday)
Daily mileage: 197
Overall average: 20 mph

Today, I woke up late 9:15. What can I say, but that I am not a morning person. Missed the continental breakfast... A Powerbar and some coffee will have to do.

Decided to fill up those MSR fuel bottles since the ride is official now. I don't think I will need them on the east coast, but whatever. Better to have, than have not. After that I set off with the first hiccup being my garmin locked up and I ride 3 miles past the first waypoint.

After getting back on track, I hit the first offroad sections about 10 or so miles into the ride hitting pea size gravel. As always, it takes several miles of this stuff to start getting use to sliding around corners, before the speed picks up. It ok to slide on level ground, but when going downhill, definitely need to be wary because no amount of braking is going to slow you down fast around a turn. I could see myself sliding off an enbankment if not careful.

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The whole day really was a mix of on and offroad, with twisty switchback thrown into the mix, on and off. Made it hard to get a rhythm, but nevertheless good riding.

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In the town of Wartburg, I stop for a lunch consisting of a jalepeno corn dog and a pepperoni hot pocket and a Caramelo bar (the official dessert of Going for Broke: TAT 2011). While lunching, I chat with a Mr. Bo Mcgee, who was riding a Harley Road King parked on the side of the building in sun. He showed me a map he bought that had some good scenic rides, and we have a conversation about the town. He was talking about staying away from the dirt roads cause you could be lost out there and made references to being abducted by shady country folks, and also staying away from cottonmouths if I was camping. Apparently, its been very dry so they come down from the elevations to get to water. Always good talking to the locals.

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After lunch I take off and the next point of interest is Cliffy Road, and the Creek we've all grown to love through all the TAT threads to date. I stopped down and talked to a man and woman who met on the internet, but the outing wasn't going so well.

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Click below for video of aforementioned, awesome creek. (warning: I stall out )



After getting myself cooled down, I gear up and hop back on my bike and ride to the Royal Inn in Sparta, TN. I run into a couple of guys, Joe an Bill, who I remember was staying the Jellico hotel as well. They have a week off and so are riding until the end of Arkansas. I may or may not see them since they are early risers and as I mentioned at the beginning of this thread, mornings and me don't mix. I have an excuse though as I am slaving away on this report for all you FF on this forum.. Joking, I'm enjoying this.

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In Sparta, I go to a Mexican joint and have 3 tacos and rice and beans. Now I need to go to bed.

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A pretty sunset to end this post.

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simonpig screwed with this post 03-05-2013 at 07:19 AM Reason: forgot to post video
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:49 PM   #64
meijer's trails
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Awesome!!

I'm riding vicariously through you! I never could keep up with you on the trail, so i'll use the internet.

thanks for taking the time to post for those of us who can only ride a laptop

good luck!
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:27 PM   #65
simonpig OP
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Thanks and good luck on your new life in Michigan. hope the move was executed with flawless precision. I will come and visit one day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by meijer's trails View Post
I'm riding vicariously through you! I never could keep up with you on the trail, so i'll use the internet.

thanks for taking the time to post for those of us who can only ride a laptop

good luck!
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Old 08-28-2011, 12:03 AM   #66
simonpig OP
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Joined: Nov 2006
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Oddometer: 861
8/26/2011 (Friday)
Daily mileage: 320 miles
Overall average: 30.4 mph

(Note: This report might be a couple of days old, I typed this up at the Bear Inn B+B in Clifton, Tennessee.)

Packed up and on the road today at 9:30. My best effort so far. In the morning, the route across the TVA damn was closed, so I took a walk around the gate to take gander and to take pictures. The Tennessee Valley is pretty awesome to behold at certain points along the river. Theres a lot of industry going on there.

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A little later on, I ran into a couple of gentlemen on horseback. I stop ahead and take my helmet off, as to not spook them. That was what I understood the procedure to be when approaching horses. Spoke with gentlemen and he didn’t think it was a problem but thanked me for doing that. I asked and he told me the horse was a Tennessee walker. Beautiful creatures, I’d love to own one, one day.

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Sad to say, but I killed a grouse (or some gamebird) today. Was flying around a corner and 2 birds are hanging out in the middle of the road. They both started running to the left and at the last minute, the one closest in my path takes flight only to bounce off my front headlight numberplate. So sad. Sorry, mr. grouse.

Stopped into Bellbuckle, Tennessee for gas and lunch. Had a corndog and some a dry grill chicken sandwich with a peach and a caramelo. The train passes by a couple of times as I sit on the bench devouring my lunch, and watching the locals go in and out of the store. I didn’t actually go into the main street which was maybe a total of 500 ft long, but it looked like the set of movie – well manicured and ideal for a southern small town.

Off I roll, and pretty much ride for the next 6 hours straight. The whole days was dominated by pavement, so I just kept riding until I hit a nice stretch of gravel which wasn’t until maybe 6:00pm.

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Heres a sweet homemade motocross track. Maybe I should go practice some scrubs.

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I also passed by an amish section of Tennessee, cant remember the name, but it reminded me of the classic bowling movie, Kingpin... one of my faves. Passed by several cart and buggies.

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Today was one of those days, that I felt I could keep riding as long as there was light in the day. Around that time, I hit the Laurel Hill Wildlife Management Area which is the site of the slick water crossing. It was late in the day and I flying on the gravel, so when I approach the crossing, it didn’t dawn on me at first that this was it. I thought I was rolling over it at maybe 8-10 mph and I must’ve slightly applied throttle because the tail end slid out from under me. Holy… nothing on me was hurt, but trying lift the bike, I couldn’t even get a firm foothold. I had to drag the bike over (which was easy in the lubricated rocks) to a drier area. As I lift my bike up, the sheriff comes from the opposite directio..

Click below for the video documentation:



At this point it was getting dark in the woods, I could begin to see hints of my headlight illuminating the road, but the goggles are tinted so my perception might have been skewed. There was no cell reception to access googlemaps, so I found the closes hotel on the garmin. The Bear Inn B+B. This place is nice. Its located in next to a “pro level world class golf course.” I asked if it was on the masters tour, but Paul, the proprietor replied that there wasn’t enough lodging in the area to accommodate an event of that size. The room is huge and comfy and I think I will sleep well tonight.

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Out front was this bitchin’ classic mustang that was for sale. $20K get you the keys.

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As I’m unloading my stuff, I speak with a roofing technician, Kieth, who was lodged there for next week or so. His wife, Cherry, was from the Philippines, and their baby child Destin was staying with him for several days since his home wasn’t so far away. He spent a good amount of time in Asia doing missionary work and that is where he met his wife. He hopes to raise his kid, bilingual, and someday wants to move to the Philippines and make a homestead there.

After unpacking I go upstairs to the bar and get my free lunch consisting of a garden salad, corn, mashed potatoes and 2 pieces of roast beef.

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Paul, the proprietor, makes a great bloody mary. He’s an interesting character who has been around the world. He told me about his motorcycle ride down through Mexico on the way to Nicaragua.

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Behind me there are 2 guys from Laos playing pool. They are there working at a Landfill site. Not really sure what job they are doing, but its nice to see so much diversity down in the sticks. The owner and workers there are great host. They mentioned that a big group of guys, some of who were Brits, doing the TAT stopped in a couple of weeks earlier.

After scarfing down my food, I leave a generous tip and off to bed I go.

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Old 08-28-2011, 01:43 AM   #67
simonpig OP
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: NYC
Oddometer: 861
8/27/11
Daily mileage: 236 miles
Overall average: 30.1 mph

Woke up real late today, but that was ok since I knew I would be staying the next couple of day in my home town.

The first half of the day in Tennessee was pretty much the same riding wise, but as soon as I hit the red dirt, I sensed a change. I must be in Mississippi. There was more gravel and dirt as well. The second half of the day, I really enjoyed… slipping and sliding and power out of corners. There is this smooth floaty sensation I really enjoy about riding gravel. Its like one of those brookstone massage chairs. Hold the bars really loose and let the bike float under me.

Enough blah blah. here's some pictures.


Gratuitous self portrait

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Bear Inn
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The town of Clifton, Tennessee

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Loved these bungalows on stilts.

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Breakin' the law, breakin' the law ....

Click for video documentation.


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Some donkeys giving me the hairy eyeball

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Mississippi red dirt and gravel

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Some old building in MS

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We are in the bible belt.

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I brake for horses

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At 6:30 I make it to my parent’s house and enjoy a home cooked me. Going to stay the night and tomorrow will be replacing the Dunlop 606 with a fresh one. I’m amazed the rear still has any tread left on it.

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Observation: I really am happy that I plugged the whole TAT onto my GPS. It gives me one less responsibility to do and more of the mental space to focus on things like the scenery, fussing with my helmet cam, and stopping to take pictures… all of this while keeping my speed up and rhythm going. I could imagine the scenario today of being stressed out trying to beat the sun going down, while reading a roll chart as it gets darker and darker. I’m sure the roll charts are very accurate and if you want to use them, by all means go about it, but I think it does change the dynamics of your trip. I like to be efficient when getting from one point the next and I get somewhat annoyed if I’m always blowing by a turn, which by the way still happens when using the GPS. The only difference is that I can correct almost immediately and not have to reset my odometer mileage to correspond.

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Old 08-28-2011, 05:36 AM   #68
BigDogAdventures
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Pics

I think it's real neat of all the little simple things you take pictures of.
Makes the reader see the ride as you see it thru your eyes---enjoying every inch
of the ride and all there is to see.
I like to look at all that little stuff.

After all it's not a race---if a guy didn't have the time to take it all in as you are--you might as well stay home.

Nice !!

The older I get the bigger my rear sprocket gets----I think I could use this.



Mark
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Old 08-28-2011, 05:45 AM   #69
xathor
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GAH... you're killing me man. The ride, the bike, the food. I'm stuck in Iraq for a few more months... going to sell my KLR650 and get a WR250... spend the winter farkling it and getting all prepared for the tat late May 2012.
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Old 08-28-2011, 03:39 PM   #70
simonpig OP
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Thats sounds like a fantastic idea. Let me know if you need opinions on upgrades for this bike. I'm happy to give my 2 cents. When I get back I will be sending off the suspension for a rebuild and revalve. Was thinking about getting Revloc as well, but turns out they went out of business, last month. Sux. Take care in Iraq.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xathor View Post
GAH... you're killing me man. The ride, the bike, the food. I'm stuck in Iraq for a few more months... going to sell my KLR650 and get a WR250... spend the winter farkling it and getting all prepared for the tat late May 2012.
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Old 08-28-2011, 03:45 PM   #71
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Tail of the Dragon Killboy photo is in the house!

Sweetness. Moms helped me pick it out. She likes how action packed it looked.

 photo P1000271.jpg

You can see the sequence here:

http://www.129pix.net/jps/store.jsp?...eid=212&page=5

http://www.129pix.net/jps/store.jsp?...eid=212&page=5

http://www.129pix.net/jps/store.jsp?...eid=212&page=5

http://www.129pix.net/jps/store.jsp?...eid=212&page=5

http://www.129pix.net/jps/store.jsp?...41314294287545

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Old 08-28-2011, 07:22 PM   #72
GotMojo?
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Lookin' good man. I bet the WRR was a blast at the Gap. I love that place (when there's no traffic) !

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Old 08-29-2011, 07:14 AM   #73
rudyunknown
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Than looks like i need a wr250 :)

great reading and seeing the pictures......Reshmi says hi...
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:26 AM   #74
GotMojo?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonpig View Post
Thats sounds like a fantastic idea. Let me know if you need opinions on upgrades for this bike. I'm happy to give my 2 cents. When I get back I will be sending off the suspension for a rebuild and revalve. Was thinking about getting Revloc as well, but turns out they went out of business, last month. Sux. Take care in Iraq.
Just curious... you must be carrying a laptop with you... where are you storing it while riding? I will probably go with the Wolfman bags you have and I'm wondering where I could safely carry a laptop. Thought about getting a hard case (Pelican?) and attaching it to the rear rack but wasn't sure if that was necessary.

I'm also debating on going with the IMS 3 gallon tank versus the slightly bigger Safari. How are you liking your IMS 3 gallon on this trip? And if you are carrying any extra fuel, where are you storing it?
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:14 PM   #75
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I carry it in the wolfman duffle -- the companion to the enduro saddlebag. The netbook is in a neoprene caselogic case and all of that is in wrapped in an eVent waterproof sack. Very simple and effective. It wont take a hit unless a tree falls on your bike. I keep all the tools and heavy stuff in the duffle.

Love the 3.1 gallon tank. I carry 2 liter MSR fuels bottles 1 at each side of the saddlebags. Another inmate Machtig has a Safari 3.7 and never need anymore on his TAT trip. I figure 3.1 + the extra .5 is close enough for me to not need the bigger tanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GotMojo? View Post
Just curious... you must be carrying a laptop with you... where are you storing it while riding? I will probably go with the Wolfman bags you have and I'm wondering where I could safely carry a laptop. Thought about getting a hard case (Pelican?) and attaching it to the rear rack but wasn't sure if that was necessary.

I'm also debating on going with the IMS 3 gallon tank versus the slightly bigger Safari. How are you liking your IMS 3 gallon on this trip? And if you are carrying any extra fuel, where are you storing it?
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