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Old 10-07-2009, 09:08 PM   #211
Foot dragger
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: chico,just below rag dump(nor-cal)
Oddometer: 12,901
Excellent report and Pics,you guys are troopers to persevere on that big bike in the gnarly sections. I think I'll ride my DRZe when I try that trail.

Thanks for all the work on the report!
Some bikes around at times
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:28 PM   #212
XC Rider
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Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Right where I need to be
Oddometer: 3,094
Hey there LittleWan, congrats to you and Matt on the new BIKE!

I know how good that feels!

Currently working on getting the new bike ready, and some time this weekend, or by Monday at the latest, I'll be headed back out to conquer the rest of the TAT!
Where is XC Rider?
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:36 PM   #213
Gnarly Adventurer
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Location: Gtown,SA
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Great stuff! Love to ride there!
`08 KDX200
`08 SE950R
`11 KTM690
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:38 PM   #214
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Feb 2005
Location: Edge of the Wasatch
Oddometer: 1,333
Matt & Kellie
Very impressive to ride TAT 2 up. That is no easy feat. And you, Keiie, are rare to have such a great attitude on the whole project. It is good that you enjoy the adventure so much!

As far as the 990 goes...I, too, am on a 07 990. I started with a 950 as was killed by a jeep & a bone head. The 990 replaced it. I am running Akro cans & get 40 - 42 pretty consistently. They really help on heat & performance. It does seem to be lowest on the trails that blasting it on the roads. I rarely run 2 up (wife not so happy as you on the bike) but I do run with big lads frequently. See this ride report...

I like the 990 MUCH better than the 950 as well.

Come back to Utah..there is more to see.

Great report!

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Old 10-08-2009, 10:03 AM   #215
You can do it!
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: behind BigWan, trying to keep my feet tucked in :)
Oddometer: 1,792
Hey guys,
I got a little nutty about the maps yesterday (I hope someone actually uses them!!). And, sorry about the potty mouth, I know it's unattractive

Hi larryboy - love your RR!

Thanks - MoBill, foot dragger, edgy... I appreciate you (and everyone else) taking the time to stop by

XC Rider - good to see you're back! looking forward to the rest of your TAT

harcus - you're getting 40-42, even with all that camping gear?? you must be nice and light - not big fatties like us

Bronco - thanks for asking about the next trip. Not sure what it will be. We were talking about going down to baja next month to watch the 1000, but I don't know. Matt's already gone 3x and I'm not wild about 2up in the deep sand. I also need to get back on my 125 before it's too late, and there just isn't enough time to do everything.

Next year we kind of want to do the western TAT again, just to see how it is on the 990! Now that we've done it, matt has no worries about riding the passes and washes all loaded down. We're curious to see if we'd go slower if we were camping or if we'd just ride longer days. I'd also like to see yellowstone and montana, idaho, more of colorado... there's a lot of dirt out there... A BIG trip isn't really an option right now - we still have a sailboat that sucks up a lot of time and money.

As far as crashes - well, no promises! The 990 is so smooth and so fast in the dirt. I know it's going to happen again - it's inevitable the way matt rides - but hopefully it won't be too bad. I can handle getting a little hurt, as long as I don't have to go to the doctor

I'm still lagging on the 950 vs 990 stuff. I don't really get some of the technical/mechanical things so I'm reading up on it. And, matt has been super busy, too. Sorry to keep you waiting...

In the meantime, enjoy some Fugazi. these videos are going to get me through winter!

OSO LOCO!! osoooo!

Oso bored? you can find the rest of our ride reports HERE
make stupid your favorite!
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:42 PM   #216
You can do it!
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: behind BigWan, trying to keep my feet tucked in :)
Oddometer: 1,792
950 vs 990S

Whew. Okay, who am I kidding - I'm not going to read up on that technical junk... We're going riding/camping again this weekend, so I need to get this knocked out.

I'm just going to throw out some stats and then parrot back some stuff that Matt mentioned while we were riding. Mostly, a few differences between the 2 models and then specifics about these individual bikes (mods that matt did to the 950, etc.). I cannot adequately geek out over this stuff seeing as how I'm a girl and I don't care about the details - I just want to go fast and be comfy !

2005.5 950 Adventure
30,000 miles at time of death

engine: 942 cc
fuel delivery: carburetor
max power: 96.55 hp @ 8000 rpm

seat height: 33.9"
ground clearance: 10.3"
suspension travel: 8.3"

rear suspension: 150 (or 155) spring with preload shims
front suspension: .59 springs, forks re-valved by James at Super Plush Suspension

gearing: usual was 16 front/45 rear. changed to 17/45 for the TAT (highway to CO)
and really wanted 16/45 for the passes. oh well.

Renazco two up seat. Vinyl cover
Woody's wheels
FMF pipes
steering damper
crash bars
heavy duty bash plate (broke the stock one in half)

2007 990 Adventure S
3,000 miles + 560 over the weekend

engine: 999 cc
fuel delivery: fuel injector
max power: 96.55 hp @ 8500 rpm

seat height: 36"
ground clearance: 12.4"
suspension travel: 10.4"

rear suspension: 140 spring
front suspension: .52 springs, stock valving

gearing: 16 front/42 rear (stock)

Renazco seat. Suede cover.
FMF pipes - titanium somethingorother (TI4)
steering damper (from the 950)
crash bars

Things that Matt wants to change in the 990:
- have forks re-valved by SPS
- go to .59 springs or even have .62 springs made
- high fender
- heated grips (he didn't get the ones off the 950 )
- change gearing to 16/45
- put on bash plate from the 950
- woody's wheels, once these stock wheels are destroyed (and they will be)
- aqualine safari tanks or 2-into-one exhaust and auxiliary tank
- maybe HIDs

It's not exactly fair to do make judgements after just one ride (560 miles), goes:

I ♥ the 990!
edit: this ^ thing is a heart on our imac, but shows up as a vertical line on the laptop. weird. anyway, I love the 990.

I don't care if it's a boy or a girl, I'm totally in love with that thing. Heh.
I mean, I loved the 950, too, but...I love this one more. Probably because it hasn't hurt us - yet!

One thing I noticed right away is that there is less vibration. On the 950, when matt would pin it (going up a freeway onramp, or passing illegally/creatively), my footpegs would vibrate so much, my feet would start to get knocked off the pegs. Not with the 990. I could still feel some vibration, but a lot less.

The engine sounds different, too - I'm sure a lot of it is just the pipes, but maybe the fuel injection has a different sound, too. The bike is louder and the pitch is lower. If you could "see" the engine noise as bubbles, the 990 noise bubbles would be larger and heavier, while the 950 bubbles would be smaller and tighter. Haha, that sounds crazy, huh? Matt says he *thinks* he knows what I mean. Maybe. He just smiles and nods.

We really, really like this Renazco seat. The one on the 950 was a two up seat, but matt says it was a rush job and he could tell. Matt was constantly complaining that his ass hurt but I thought it was comfy enough. The 990 seat is actually kind of hard for me, probably because the previous owner never had a pillion (he said his wife was "not an enthusiast"), but matt is super happy with his section. It feels like a piece of suede-covered plywood to me, but I'm sure it will break in. The most important thing is the suede - it's so nice and grippy! Wow. I didn't realize it would make such a huge difference, but it really helps reduce fatigue in the dirt. I used to slip like crazy on the vinyl and I had to brace myself really hard so that I didn't slide under Matt when he stood up. It took a lot more effort to stay on the 950, especially going up or down steep hills. I had to hang on with my upper body AND brace with my lower body for everything. Now, with the suede, it's much easier. We'll have to test it out in more difficult dirt, but I imagine we'll still feel the same.

The 990 suspension is incredible! I already raved about it in the report, but, man - it's nice. So smooth and plush... even with the stock valving. The rear spring really soaks up every rut and rock. We didn't bottom out at all. Granted, matt was taking it easy, but still... The 950 was stiff. Really stiff. Maybe a little too stiff (that's what she said ).
We used to really brace ourselves for the ruts - 'cause we knew they were gonna hurt. Every time - Uhh! - it was a hard jolt that you could feel in your spine. I was so miserable with my hurt ribs...
On the buttah.

The 990S is taller than the 950 - 2.1 inches taller. It's noticeable. I have to work that much harder to climb up to the pillion seat. Matt is 6'2" and he's on the balls of his feet now. He loves it (he always wanted to boost the 950 to this height), but I see some scary high-sides in our future. I dread the first time we hit slick mud on this thing. *shudder*

At first, matt thought the 990 wasn't as good on the street as the 950 had been. He said it "wallowed" and felt "spongy" in the corners, whereas the 950 had been so stiff, it handled great and was always "solid" and "perfect" in the corners. Of course, after a day or 2, he was digging the 990 and you can see in those videos that he felt pretty comfortable on Hwy 1.

Another thing that will take getting used to is the throttle. He says it's "touchy" and sensitive. The 950 was smooth with the throttle - even and consistent. The 990 is twitchy and jerky. I don't notice much, but matt says it feels weird.

The 990 did die on us a number of times - 2 times on the highway going up to Sacramento and then 3 times in the dirt the next day. Matt was able to restart instantly and I only knew that it happened because he told me. After experimenting a little, he was able to make it die at will. If there's a load on the engine and he pulls in the clutch and lets off the gas, the 990 will die every time. He's not sure if this is related to the dying problems that are constantly mentioned in OC, but so far, the way it happens on this bike, it doesn't seem dangerous. Now that he knows what makes it die, he's been able to avoid having it happen by accident. We'll see what happens as we do more miles...

And, then the real test comes when Matt gets to be alone with the bike. I'm scared for both of them. He used to really beat on the 950 and she beat him back! Hard. He was supposed to be riding with some 950 friends this weekend, but since he hasn't heard from them yet, I hijacked the weekend. Wait, you want to leave me home? Screw that! I want to ride while the weather is still good!
Our friends from camping have the flu and we're both feeling like we're coming down with something, so we need to hurry...
Gotta find some more rocks and fun dirt!
He can trash the bike some other time.

That reminds me, the number one thing that needs to change on this bike - the freaking top case has to go. The windshield extension might go, too. Matt doesn't think it helps with the buffeting at all. And he's a little worried about what's going to happen when he goes over the handlebars next time. Emphasis on "when."

Hopefully it won't be this weekend.

Okay, that's it. I'm finally done.
Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend you guys - GO RIDE!

OSO LOCO!! osoooo!

Oso bored? you can find the rest of our ride reports HERE
make stupid your favorite!

LittleWan screwed with this post 10-09-2010 at 05:26 PM Reason: fixing a broken photo link
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Old 10-09-2009, 07:10 AM   #217
More Undestructable
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Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Diamond Bar, CA.
Oddometer: 4,197
Oh LittleWan.

You are a special kind of person.
You are the rare female who is passionate about motorcycles.
And I don't just mean, "Yeah I like to ride." (Even as a passenger...)
I mean you get into the specs and performance and upgrade issues of the bike as well.
Who knows, perhaps you will take over the maintenance on the 990!

Anyway, it's always nice to read your reports.
Stay passionate.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:52 AM   #218
You can do it!
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: behind BigWan, trying to keep my feet tucked in :)
Oddometer: 1,792
squaw ridge/hwy 88/pi pi OHV

I moved this ride to Day Trippin'
OSO LOCO!! osoooo!

Oso bored? you can find the rest of our ride reports HERE
make stupid your favorite!

LittleWan screwed with this post 07-06-2010 at 05:45 PM
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:47 PM   #219
Unbunch yer panties!
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Location: True Norcal, not that Bay Area/Sacto Crap...
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:25 AM   #220
Motor 1
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Nov 2005
Location: 9 miles from the start of the Gap
Oddometer: 540
Great RR and pic's........thanks for taking the time. I was lucky enough to have done the entire TAT in late summer of '06. Took 28 days and about 4,700 miles. Had almost the same experience at the woodsman inn. Then I did the Oregon section in Aug of '08 and again had even more 'trouble' w/ the asshats that own the place. Hope I haven't hi-jacked ur thread. Just wanted to give future ADVer's a heads up.
Brevity is the essence of wit
Traveling with the circus
Tattered Old Men
Ruta del Cakebaker
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:50 PM   #221
KTM rider
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Coweta, Ok
Oddometer: 1,636
Don't know how I missed this RR. Just read the whole thing and really enjoyed. I am really impressed at the places you went 2 up. I did all the same trails riding single on a KLR and it was a handfull at times. My hat is off to you.
"I don't want a pickle, I just wanna ride on my motorsickle" (Arlo Guthrie)
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Old 11-19-2009, 02:27 AM   #222
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: The Lower
Oddometer: 119

Hey both of you, sat down with my g/f last night and read through all of this.
I really like your writing LittleWan, very flowing, and for the g/f she said she knows exactly what you mean by the way you phrase things
3 things to say-
1 the cankle, I have a duff right ankle and it does the same thing; big swollen black mess which hurts like hell. You have my utmost sympathy.

2 the KTM, well I looked at getting one a year or so back, but couldn't find one in my budget so bought a Hayabusa instead (yeah I know a little I'm looking for one again.

3 the TAT, living the other side of the Atlantic means it'll be hard to do! BUT we are looking at ways of doing it, can you recommend any bike hire places at all?

Thanks again, really enjoyed it.
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:14 PM   #223
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Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto Ontario
Oddometer: 597
Great RR guys.... very entertaining writing as well.

and I think your canckles are kinda cute...


Honda XR650L
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:38 AM   #224
Joined: Aug 2007
Oddometer: 86
I just found this thread again after reading some last fall. great report, its great that you 2 were able to get the beast through the TAT. Looking forward to your future adventures
2008 990 Adventure
2008 450 EXCR - Sold
2001 453 MXC - Sold
1995 250 EXC - Sold
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:41 PM   #225
You can do it!
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: behind BigWan, trying to keep my feet tucked in :)
Oddometer: 1,792
Uh oh - I didnít realize that anyone would still be reading this... I let our photobucket account lapse and I deleted some videos. Sorry!

Maybe I should have subscribed to my own thread so I could keep up...

Originally Posted by tripletom

[regarding] the TAT, living the other side of the Atlantic means it'll be hard to do! BUT we are looking at ways of doing it, can you recommend any bike hire places at all?
Tripletom - you had to wait 4 months for a reply and I still donít have much of an answer. We have never rented a bike, so I canít recommend a place. Google might know someone... Keep in mind that some parts of the TAT are so desolate it might be hard to trust a rental bike - if they'll even let you take one out in the boonies. What about buying a bike here and re-selling it when youíre done?

back on page 7, there was a post from a Brit who did the TAT. Hereís his website:
Have you seen it? I think he did a lot of research about renting/buying/shipping a bike.

Anyways, thanks for the nice comments you guys. Shakeyhands - Iím glad someone thinks the cankles are cute. Especially since itís been months now and I donít think theyíre getting any less cankle-y! Damn. That was a great excuse...
OSO LOCO!! osoooo!

Oso bored? you can find the rest of our ride reports HERE
make stupid your favorite!
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