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Old 08-16-2008, 07:25 PM   #1
Brent4ADV OP
Enjoying empty roads...
 
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: B'ham, AL
Oddometer: 1,006
TAT: A family affair

And no I'm not talking about that kind of affair. Anyway, I'll kick this RR off with a little background. Last July I was on ADVrider and saw some TAT reports and decided that I wanted to, one day, write my own. Well I proceeded to start acquiring supplies and tools needed for the trip. I bought the maps from Sam in november of '07 and started working on the GPS stuff (thanks again to Garmin for thinking of us Mac users by releasing Bobcat).
Around April I was talking to my dad and told him about the trip and he was hooked. He started talking about wanting to go so we decided we would make a run at it together. He didn't really have a suitable mount to tackle the trip so he got an '08 KTM 530 and we started working on it. We needed a way to mount some saddle bags on it but there was no subframe behind the seat. I finally came upon the rear rack from Pro Moto Billet and that provided a starting point. What we came up with is a rack made from 1/4" X 1" aluminum bar and 1/16" sheet aluminum.









Now he was able to mount the Ortlieb waterproof bags on the bike. In retrospect, we wish we would've put another bar around the back of the racks to keep them from bending in but we'll see how they do. Other mods to his bike include: Roc Stompa footpegs, FMF exhaust, larger fuel tank (from KTM), stator and regulator rectifier (trailtech), bar risers, aux dc ouput (charging various items) and sheepskin buttpad from Alaska Leather (thanks Barb )
My bike, an '01 KTM 640E, has some pelican 1550s mounted onto an SW-Motech quick-release rack and I also snagged a buttpad from Barb. Now that the bikes were ready, it was time to ride...
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:33 PM   #2
Brent4ADV OP
Enjoying empty roads...
 
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: B'ham, AL
Oddometer: 1,006
Day 1 (8/16/2008): Jellico, TN to Sparta, TN

Well today started very early at 4 a.m. We delayed leaving last night and thus were forced to get up early this morning and trek up to Jellico. The drive up from Pell City, AL took us about 6 hours or so, but we finally made it.



Once we got there the bikes were already looking for trouble by loitering in exactly the wrong spot.




We got them straightened out and headed out of town….headed west. While riding down the road I realized that it’s a totally different mindset than a normal ride. Usually you set out with the intention of returning to your starting point, but this was quite different and it felt good to know that our bikes would carry us to a destination further west every day.
The first stretch of gravel/dirt that we hit came within the first 20 miles of the journey and wound through the rural Tennessee country side.



This section was nice and cool (as was the rest of day) due to the overcast skies and light breeze throughout the day. I felt pretty good with the heavily laden bike but I definitely need to adjust the tire pressure for the upcoming days.
We then got back on the pavement and started winding our way through ranchlands, farms, and rural neighborhoods.



Making our way further west we jumped back into the woods and onto some more gravel. This section was a blast but the downhills and hairpins could have proved tricky with the gravel acting as marbles which made us feel like 3 year olds during their first time to the ice rink.



Unfortunately, the area needed some rain so the dust was an added annoyance.



Our gas stop for the day was at mile 82 in Wartburg, TN and we ran into a couple of guys from Anniston there. They had been riding around the Smokeys for a few days and were about to head out to the Catoosa Wildlife area. They spotted us from across the parking lot and had to ask what all the luggage was for. We told them about the trip and they immediately cracked a smile and said, “That’s on our list as well!”



Here is the obligatory gas station pic showing how wide you can make a 640 and a 530.



After leaving there, our route also took us through Catoosa and we would love to get back there to do some more exploring around. There were trails peeling off from the main road everywhere. Here are a few shots from the Catoosa.







After this we got pretty tired and just really wanted to get to Sparta, TN for the evening since our day started pretty early. We stopped taking pictures and started twisting the throttle so we could expedite our arrival. Once in Sparta, our saddlebags exploded in the room and we rode over to a Chinese buffet for some sustenance.

Stats for the day:
Daily Mileage: 200.27
Moving Time: 5 hours 15 min.
Moving Average: 38.0 mph
Max Speed: 77.4 mph

Gotta get some sleep, more tomorrow...
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:51 PM   #3
DeBandi
Exploring Alabama
 
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Nice

Great Job Guys
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:53 PM   #4
RogerDe
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Texas
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Look forward to more trip report's & pic's of the ride . Planin to do some of the TAT next year Okl. & Col. 5 day's worth . I live in Texas 50 mile's south of Big D.... Enjoy the ride ...Ride On....
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:04 AM   #5
DockingPilot
Hooked Up and Hard Over
 
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Old 08-17-2008, 06:18 AM   #6
Bronco638
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+1 for doing this ride with your Dad. How cool.

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Old 08-17-2008, 06:34 AM   #7
Vinnie the Snake
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Broken Arrow, Ok
Oddometer: 1,093
This should be great. If you need a place to work on bikes or camp PM. Lots of support here in Tulsa Area.
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2007 - Vintage TAT - Ok, NM, Co
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=233901

2008 - Vintage TAT - Ut, Nv, Or
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=331983

2009 - Vintage TAT - NC, Tn, Ms, Ar
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=507149

2010 - Unfinished Business Tour - TAT, CDR Shadow of the Rockies
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=615279
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Old 08-17-2008, 06:40 AM   #8
f650gsa
de la Mobra la BMW
 
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Location: crook county
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Good Luck

Good Luck guys and Ride Safely . I'll see you in Pueblo .
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:06 AM   #9
Nichelob
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Location: On one small patch of rubber
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I'm definitely in Stay on top of things and keep'em coming...
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Old 08-17-2008, 03:03 PM   #10
Brent4ADV OP
Enjoying empty roads...
 
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: B'ham, AL
Oddometer: 1,006
Day 2 (8/17): Sparta, TN to Columbia, TN

Today started at around 6:30 or so. We got up and were feeling great after a well-deserved night's rest. Outside the temp was around 65 or so and sunny. The bikes were definitely enjoying the sunrise.



After making a few adjustments on the bikes we talked to the hotel manager and found out there was a huddle house right down the road so we loaded up and went there for breakfast. Once there we were engaged by a few country boys asking about our trip. They were some good guys and said that they no longer thought of harley guys as "real" riders after hearing the details of our journey.



Afterwards, we got some gas and headed down the road. Today's ride was probably 90% road so it was a bit boring but heading west none-the-less. And to be honest, if I were going to ride some roads, then I couldn't pick any better ones than where we went.





After that we crossed over the Caney Fork River which is the tailwater for the Center Hill Lake. As a side note, the road going over the dam is closed til July 2009 but it's a simple re-route.



Once through there we traveled down a canyon with a stream running next to us. The road was narrow, twisty, and felt almost like a tunnel with the overhanging trees. It was a welcomed change from farmlands.



We rode a few miles further and came to our lunch and gas stop in Bell Buckle, TN. They were packed full but we just got the food to go and ate on a park bench by the bikes. If you ever go thru the town I highly recommend this place.



While eating lunch there, a guy on a bicycle with no shirt rode up and starting asking us questions about the bikes and our destination. He claimed to be a math teacher for alternative school high schoolers but I highly doubt that considering his general attitude and mannerisms. Although, come to think of it, I remember some of the alternative school teachers at my school and they were much worse off than this guy.
Anyhow, we got back on the road and it was only about 40 miles to Columbia, TN so today was a relatively short day.

Stats for the day:
Daily Mileage: 177.84 miles
Moving Time: 4 hours 32 minutes
Moving Average: 39.1 mph
Max Speed: 75.6 mph

More tomorrow...
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My TAT Ride '08

Brent4ADV screwed with this post 08-17-2008 at 06:38 PM
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:05 PM   #11
Doormandan
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Cant wait for more
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Old 08-17-2008, 06:44 PM   #12
Blazer1717
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Team Jermo Rides Again.

I'll be Dammed. Never know who will show up on this advcouchrider site.

Way to go Brent and Jermo!

Proud to see yall are getting out for a cruise.

That was a helluva job on the exc rack/bag mount.
Typical Jermo.
If it survives this trip you better get ready for mass production.
I need at least 3 myself.

It seems this dualsport thing is getting around to us all, but I was certainly surprised to find this thread about you two.

I did the GDR about a month ago. 5950 mi. round trip on DR.
Suz did bottom half and the SOR ride with me. She spanked me all the way
Should have known not to give her the roll chart. She thought she was back at the Six Days!

I just finished the annual CO. 1000mi. single track ride with crew from back east. Now I'm recovering in Salida and Sargents, waiting for the next CMRA/Natra gang to show up.


I met 2 fine gentlemen from Ireland doing Tat. One on 950 ktm, other on KLr.
Both had murdered their hard saddlebags and were now running just large army looking duffle bags strapped long ways on the bike. They looked fried and their gear seriousl looked like hell, but they were having a blast. The last I saw of them they were headed to Denver in search of,...well let's say "a good time".

Also week before last I met a large group at Sargents from around TN. Fl. Al. doing Tat also. Some live just down the rd. from me and a couple are your neighbors. They were riding as wide a variety of real trail bikes as I have ever seen on the road. One, from Birm. on a Kawi trail bike, had gotten a ticket in Salida for "NO TAG". At least 2 had knocked major holes in crankcases on Dr's and a DRZ coming down Tomichi Pass. They were having a time!
Good attitudes and great guys. Looked like nothing was gonna stop them.


I loaned them a couple of tags, repaired a front brake on a Yammer and they were long gone. They too were obviously having quite the adventure.

Being the expert level enduro riders you both are I expect you'll have no problems with any of the trail, erh, actually roads, but there's bound to be some fun times coming your way.

Stock up on sunblock before Oklahoma.
All these riders said it was pure hot dusty torture.
You'll love it.

When ya get out this way give me a call.
Also< I have a friends address here if you need to ship something ahead.

Take lots of pics and keep us all posted.
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:51 PM   #13
Brent4ADV OP
Enjoying empty roads...
 
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: B'ham, AL
Oddometer: 1,006
Day 3 (8/18): Columbia, TN to Selmer, TN

Today we awoke around 6:30 or so and went out to check on the bikes, made a few adjustments and got ready to ride over to breakfast. There was a waffle house right down the road so we figured that was as good as any.



The weather was sunny, cool (about 65 degrees when we left) and with clear skies so we couldn’t have asked for a better morning. The terrain was more of the same this morning with alot of (paved) back roads, which were fun, but we were ready for more!



We did happen upon a woman in a horse-drawn carriage when we were riding through an Amish area. We offered a “howdy” but she just looked and kept on riding so we did the same.



After leaving her we arrived at Laurel Hill Lake, which isn’t on the route but dad’s zumo routed us that way so we went up there. It turned out to be a nice detour of only about 10 miles and it was all dirt so we didn’t complain.



We then made our way towards our lunch stop and started encountering more gravel and dirt roads as we did. This was definitely a welcomed site as we were itching to, as the country song says, “get a lil mud on the tires.”



Once we did hit a dirt road we came upon those slippery creeks that everyone always talks about. I saw the first one and immediately got on the binders. I told my dad to take it easy across it and everything and he did just fine. When I crossed it…different story. The first pic shows the marks from my front tire as it slide out from under me.



And here is the damage.



Upon closer inspection at the hotel...



Since it was only the one hinge that was busted we just put a strap around it for a temporary fix. Once in Selmer we went to the walmart and got some epoxy so hopefully that will hold well enough for the box to maintain it’s water resistance.



After that we cruised into Collinwood, TN and got a gas station restaurant meal and some fuel then kept heading westward. We eventually crossed the Tennessee River on our way.



After that it was more paved back roads to Selmer. We got some Mexican food, checked out some old cars at a drive in car show at the McDonalds and washed some clothes. Let's hope that epoxy holds.

More tomorrow...

Stats for the day:
Daily Mileage: 226.17 miles
Moving Time: 5 hours 29 minutes
Moving Average: 41.2 mph
Max Speed: 79.5 mph
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My TAT Ride '08
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Old 08-19-2008, 03:44 PM   #14
Brent4ADV OP
Enjoying empty roads...
 
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: B'ham, AL
Oddometer: 1,006
Kind of a lackluster internet connection here in Helena, AR so I'll update tomorrow and give you guys (and gals) two days worth of riding.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:57 PM   #15
RAZR
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Location: Silver Lake (L.A.)
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yes please
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