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Old 09-22-2012, 08:13 PM   #1
f650gsa OP
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It's been 5 long years , I made it to the end finally - a TAT tale

First of all pardon my English and my grammar skills but I will do my best in telling this Trans American Trail tale as perfect as I can . I will screw up for sure but I hope all the pictures that I am posting will please you .
It all started five years ago in 2008 when I first heard of TAT and from that moment I knew I had to do it . Took me five long years to finally see the Pacific Ocean but it was well worth the time !

The year of 2008

Back in 2008 I had very few off-road skills and with a stock 2002 BMW F650GS I decided to join two fellow riders from Alabama on their TAT quest - full ride report from them can be found at http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=374366 . The whole idea was great but I have to admit I wasn't ready for it . As it turned out , TAT was much more difficult than expected and I paid for it . With poorly off-road skills and a mediocre bike set up, I crashed multiple times . Luckily still in one piece , less the bike that suffered extensively- broken and bent subframe , bags , fairing etc etc . I had a full ride report done on f650.com with tons of pics but unfortunately with the new upgrade on the forum all pics are gone less the writing http://f650.com/forum/showthread.php...-and-some-more
Here are few pics from that trip that it started in Trinidad CO and ended in Baker NV .

My first crash of the trip happened somewhere in between Salida and Lake City . While going down the mountain I got too much speed and couldn't stop in time at a sharp turn . Bike went down hard on some rocks and the whole headlight housing with handlebars were severely bent . Striped it and fix it on the spot with the help of a Nature Vice - a hole in a dead tree .











first attempt to straighten the handlebars



second attempt and success !






Second crash of the trip happened on Cinnamon Pass that caused the Moto-Sport racks to break badly . Bailed on the best part of the trip and returned to Lake City for some welding then meet the riders in Monticello UT .






On the way to Moab UT - Manti La Sal National Forest - Geyser Pass



This sandy hill got me and I had to bail again so I went to Arches National Park then to Green River UT where I joined the group .

















The Black Dragon and Eagle Canyons - not easy at all but made it trough ! Dropped it at lest 10 times and went trough one gallon of water .







Jerry having a little fun on his 525 !























Just one picture of the ATV trail that runs from Richfield to Kanosh UT . I was so frustrated with it and had the pleasure to drop the bike at least twenty times . The worse was the down hill where the bike acted just like a sled . This section just sucked just as it sucked again in 2012 !



On the way to Baker NV where I had another major crash on a sand pocket . I was doing at least 30 miles/hour just few miles outside Baker where suddenly I got surprised by a sand pit . No time to react and I went airborne along with the bike . If I remember well I had sand even in my underwear ! After this crash I decided to return home with high hopes of returning a different year . I wasn't very pleased with my performance but I learned a lot from it that proved to be very helpful for my future trips . Not the least I have to say Thank You ! - Jerry and Brent - for teaching me some tricks and having the patience waiting for me .





Farewell Jerry( left) and Brent ( right ) . Thank You !




On my return home I took a detour to Grand Canyon and Four Corners to sweeten a little my disappointment !












f650gsa screwed with this post 09-22-2012 at 10:11 PM
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:35 PM   #2
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The Year of 2009

The Year of 2009

Not really part of TAT but still a great riding year . Instead of riding TAT, I went on a two up trip on my 2003 Dakar along with my GF and my buddy Cat ( kion -advrider screen name ) . Total of sixteen days trough Badlands , Black Hills , Big Horn ,Yellowstone , Arches , Canyonlands , Bryce Canyon , Capitol Reef , Zion ,Grand Canyon , Mesa Verde , Pikes Peak and Rocky Mountains National Parks .


to be continued .....

f650gsa screwed with this post 09-22-2012 at 11:22 PM
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:11 PM   #3
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:17 AM   #4
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:44 AM   #5
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The Year of 2009

The Year of 2009

Not really part of TAT but still a great riding year . Instead of riding TAT, I went on a two up trip on my 2003 Dakar along with my GF and my buddy Cat ( kion -advrider screen name ) . Total of sixteen days trough Badlands , Black Hills , Big Horn ,Yellowstone , Arches , Canyonlands , Bryce Canyon , Capitol Reef , Zion ,Grand Canyon , Mesa Verde , Pikes Peak and Rocky Mountains National Parks . Just few pics from it to share with you guys !

Badlands and our friend GOAT !






Mount Rushmore .




Devils Tower




Big Horn .





Yellowstone .




Tetons



Somewhere in Utah











Arches NP










Canyonlands NP



Bryce NP





Monument Valley .




Mesa Verde NP




Pikes Peak










Rocky Mountains NP


f650gsa screwed with this post 09-23-2012 at 09:54 AM
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:59 PM   #6
houndawgg
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Great pic's bro'. Hope all went smoother than last years tire problem in Salida. I had to pass my trip this month due to a healing broken wrist. The wrist is doing great, but my missed trip is killing me. Good riding.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:22 PM   #7
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Not really ! Still had flats and crashed few times . Stay tuned and you will find out a whole lot more about it . Thanks and it's never too late for another trip !

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Great pic's bro'. Hope all went smoother than last years tire problem in Salida. I had to pass my trip this month due to a healing broken wrist. The wrist is doing great, but my missed trip is killing me. Good riding.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:49 PM   #8
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The year of 2010

This has been the year when I had the GS converted into a Dakar and to fully tested the ability's of the new suspension I went on Continental Divide Trail and some parts of TAT on a solo ride . I will add just a few pics to this report but a full story can be found at http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=618648

Great Sand Basin - WY




Colorado wipe-out





Alpine Loop - radiator smashed




Moab



Colorado -shortcut



Baxter Pass





Dinosaur National Monument CO

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Old 09-27-2012, 05:26 PM   #9
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The year of 2011

The year of 2011

This has been the year when we did the Eastern part of TAT , all the way to Ophir Pass in Colorado . Same bike but with the WP suspension kit from Touratech . More details about it at http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=729563

Tennessee



Arkansas



Oklahoma





Mississippi




New Mexico





Colorado



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Old 09-27-2012, 08:01 PM   #10
Mudclod
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Great images, man, loving them all!
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If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.

Down Texas Way
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:19 AM   #11
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Thank You and will be more to come as I am working on 2012 RR .

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Great images, man, loving them all!
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:39 PM   #12
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The Year of 2012

The Year of 2012

I think I have bored you enough with my previous rides and all the confusing links that will get you in many places , so it's time for the real deal .
To make sure that we and the bikes are prepared for the challenge we did a little four day ride trough Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail . Nothing to extreme and I have done it way too many times . But I would not underestimate it as challenges always pop up . The worse part of it was my front tire that wore out faster than expected as you will see later on .

Self Portrait - Catalin . Look how handsome I am !




Taking a little brake !




Corn Fields !




One Horse Power ! Amish Country .





My little friend from Oregon WI .





This part of the trail has been closed recently and I went around it . Haven't seen any posted signs but I think is not worth the trouble .




Sand and it's time for some play ! No expert in it but I am getting better at it .

















Kion in action !





This could have been disastrous , a good 50' of loose wire on the gravel . Went over it at 50 miles and hour with no time to react and it looked to be part of the electrical fence that the farmers is using . Coiled it and strapped it on some dude fence . Lucky !!!











Almost ran over it !





There is a lot of this and I love it !








This FLY was incredible or maybe my hands were too sugary from the berry that I've been picking up . Will not move and I even pet it on the back .









And more of this !







Made it to Lake Superior . Kion is taking a smoke brake .





By now my front tire is wearing out at incredible pace and there are no dealers open or none have any tires for sale . I am still 700 miles away from home and increasingly worried about it . Called home for a replacement one and the Emergency Crew ( my GF) is ready to drive up with a spare tire . Then a brilliant idea struck my brain - look on the back side of any motorcycle dealer where they trash their used tires . Done deal and behind an Arctic Cat dealership found the Holy Grail ! Lucky again , except the fact that in the process of replacing the tire I pinched the tube .












f650gsa screwed with this post 09-29-2012 at 03:51 PM
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Old 09-29-2012, 05:19 PM   #13
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Nice counterbalance !
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:14 PM   #14
f650gsa OP
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It got the job done ! Since I have got the Touratech conversion I've been having some trouble with the balance . The worse is having the bike on the centerstand -too short . I've been using two hokey pucks when I travel in case I have to work on it . Nothing but pure fun !


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Nice counterbalance !
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:02 PM   #15
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The Year of 2012

Day 1 . http://www.salidacabins.com/

I think the older I get the wiser I am , at least that's what I am hoping . The plan was to trailer the bikes to Salida CO , ride to Port Orford OR then back to Salida and then drive back to Chicago . As a trailer we used a Shorelander 3 rail borrowed from our fellow ADV member Paul ( pkbinder) that worked great and as a place to keep the car/trailer we left it at my good friend Bill H. that has a great place as you will see in the next pics . In fact if any of you guys are planning to stay in Salida he has at the moment two cabins for rent and a lot more details can be found here http://www.salidacabins.com/. This is all private propriety with a great view and very peaceful. Many thanks to Paul , Bill H and Joe H. !!!!


Suby is ready to roll !




Bye bye Chicago ! You will not be missed !




Just passed Denver .











Made it to Salida and there is a party going on . Some of Joe's friends are over from Chicago Burbs .






Hey Bill !



Hey Joe !











f650gsa screwed with this post 10-04-2012 at 07:31 PM
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