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Old 12-11-2009, 09:52 AM   #1
DirtyDR650 OP
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Trans America Trail 2010: Who's Doing It?

Thought I'd start my first thread here for everyone who's doing the TAT this coming year to post up with their plans, preperations, expectations, idea exchanges, and general BS about the trip.

Me and a bud are doing the eastern portion this spring, 2 weeks starting in Jellico TN and going as far as Bartlesville, OK. We're looking at the last week in April and first week of May, a little cool and rainy still but hopefully avoid the worst of the bugs.

He's riding his 2005 DRz400S, has a lot of miles on a DL1000 including Mexico and much of the western U.S. Not a lot of experience with enduro/trail riding but he's a natural rider and has youth on his side at 34 years old.

Me, I'm al old fart in my 50's with over 45 years riding both on and off road. I'm in the process of prepping my 2008 DR650SE for the TAT and beyond. So far I've gone with a lighter custom-fabbed exhaust, dual off-road headlights, and putting together a rack/bag system using Alice-pack frames and soft bags. Also doing my own custom seat mod and a bunch of other little tricks here and there. It's a low-budget project with a lot of do-it-yourself stuff.

Reading through all the DR650 threads has been a great help. But this thread isn't bike-specific, I'd love to hear from everyone that's doing the TAT in 2010... whatever bike you're riding. And those who have done it already, your experience and advice is, as always, greatly appreciated.

So who else might we meet on the Trail this coming summer?
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:46 PM   #2
lopaca
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We are doing it September 2010

We are in the beginning stages of our planning. So far we have decided that we are going very minimalist - we will be on KTM EXCs and not set up to carry much weight. We will start with new rubber and ofcourse oil and valve checks. We may check out the giant loop bags, they are pricey. I saw them at Touratech in Washing this summer - very nice!

We are planning on hoteling it each night. We are only doing the western half so we will start out in Trinidad, Co.

Mods to the bikes will be basic (other than the usual that has already been done) - better seats, bigger tanks for better range and HT Oil Cooler to help cut down on oil changes. We do not plan on riding at night so we will not be doing anything crazy with our lights/stators/batteries, etc.

We are setting aside 2 weeks for the ride. We will ship the bikes to Trinidad and then back to L.A. from Oregon.

I have ordered Sam's roll chart and maps for Colorado, for now. We are meeting next week to start the actual mapping process.

I have just as much fun planning these rides as I do the actual ride. Have fun.
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:54 AM   #3
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I'll be attempting the whole trail mid July 2010 on an 02 DRZ400. Camping as much as possible.

Here's my thread detailing my preparations so far: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=508179
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:50 AM   #4
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Im headed out the first or second week of august and also camping most of the time.. buying KLR 650 2008 for the trip.
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:28 PM   #5
Abenteuerfahrer
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TAT or bust???

I(we??) plan on doing the TAT in mid July avoiding most of the late spring storms that are always prevalent in Ark, Tenn, Miss..NC, before June and in June. Although June is summer season...these areas are still engulfed with these storms. Furthermore the snows at higher elevation in June might stilll make transitting the higher passes in Colorado impassable....July or even August(ugh?) might be better.

So far, me(2007 DR-Z400s) and another guy who's looking for a light KTM, are committed in tackling the TAT at our young age of 60-65 , we're also deaf in our , he,he!. I have yet been succesful in convincing two other deafies to make the assault on the TAT a foursome event.

Abenteuerfahrer screwed with this post 08-10-2010 at 05:16 PM
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:02 PM   #6
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I'll be on the TAT in 2010, still looking for the bike though. I wish someone would give me the right list to look at!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:51 PM   #7
Abenteuerfahrer
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NOTAR 520....

For us oldies, it was recommended to go lightweigh. Easier to lift back up in case of tipover than my 1200GS. Seek out these DRZ400s'es; Honda 350-400; Kawa..350,400. Stay away from KLR 650..too heavy!
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:04 PM   #8
NOTAR_520
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I am debating the KZ650 for it's torque, and uniqueness(for a TAT bike).

Labrador Ride..NICE

Cool hack on the GS, it's BIG. I always thought it would be a good challenge to hack the TAT, and pack some good comfortable camping gear.

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Old 12-12-2009, 05:56 PM   #9
Abenteuerfahrer
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Love to Hack the TAT and be the first to conquer the TAT 100%. Alas!....but not doable...too wide..too heavy, fueling that pig would be enormous. Maybe 50% can be done...Rather do it on a DRZ..cheers Amigo's, see you there.
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:20 PM   #10
Tall Mike
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Target of opportunity!

I have a window in my summer when the Western TAT should be ridable. Depart Eastern Oregon on June 25th..I hope to be arriving/leaving Trinidad around June 28th, ride west to Port Orford. Am still shaking out the new front end on my XR600, but it should by dialed in for a nice long ride by june. will use weekend excursions around home to trial my camping gear, which should be on the light side. Going with camping 3 of 4 days, have spot, maps, gps, cell phone, multi fuel stove, 3lb tent, select tools.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:32 AM   #11
DirtyDR650 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abenteuerfahrer
I(we??) plan on doing the TAT in mid June avoiding most of the late spring storms that are always prevalent in Ark, Tenn, Miss..NC, before June. Although June is summer season...these areas are still engulfed in these storms. Furthermore the snows in June will make transitting the higher passes in Colorado impassable....July or even August might be better.

So far, me(2007 DR-Z400s) and another guy who's buying a lighter KTM are committed to tackle the TAT at our young age of 60-65 , not only that we're also deaf in our . I have yet been succesful in convincing two others to make the assault on the TAT a foursome event.
Good to know there's guys older than me doing the TAT! Your reasoning behind the lighter choice of bike is perfectly understandable, they keep getting harder to pick up as the years go by, don't they?

You're right about the stormy spring weather here in the Ozarks, I've lived here for ten years now and seen some nasty ones. But by late April they aren't near as frequent, tho the transitional weather is unpredictable at best. Our reasoning behind the early dates is to avoid the bug infestation that explodes around mid May, the ticks and chiggers get pretty bad and the spiders start building webs across the trail right about face-high... yuck!

Also the heat and humidity can get up there by the end of May. I guess we'd rather ride in cooler temps and risk getting rained on than sweat our butts off under our gear. We plan on mostly camping with a couple motel nights thrown in to dry out along the way.

I'm envious of you guys doing the whole trail, that's my ultimate goal but I have to do it in sections because of time restraints. Best of luck to you, if you need a partner for future trips and you don't mind putting up with a younger 50-something punk like me than let me know I'm usually up for 3-4 day trail rides around the Ozarks area.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:58 PM   #12
Abenteuerfahrer
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Yo MUDLOVER...

Sure will give you a Blk'berry text should we be in the vicinity. We're ageless..anyone is welcome to kick our oldies weary butts...
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:49 PM   #13
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I'm going to try it again in 2010. Made about the first 1000 miles in Sept 2009 before my bike broke in Arkansas. Ended up going back to get the truck and then following my son across the rest of the way as the support truck. Even that was fun. We did camp all the way across.

Bought the Giant loop bags: son had the original, I had the Coyote both well worth the money. They hold a lot of crap and keep it low on the bike. We were riding 250s. Out west he wanted something a little bigger than his WR250F because he wanted to go faster to keep up with another FF we met on the trail.

If you are riding in a group together I would suggest that you all think about running the same tires. I ran Kendas and my son 606s. Sometimes his hooked up when mine didn't and vice versa. He really really liked the feel and the wear of the 606s.

If you're an old guy like me (67) and plan on camping get a National Parks and Recreation Senior Pass for $10 then most of the Federal pay campsites are 1/2 price.

If I'm able to get my stuff together I will probably start sometime in mid to late August 2010.

Planning and mapping it out is almost as much fun as the ride.
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:44 AM   #14
Ruffus
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With any luck, I'll make my run at it in July
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:40 PM   #15
Tompound
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AugustFalcon
I'm going to try it again in 2010. Made about the first 1000 miles in Sept 2009 before my bike broke in Arkansas. Ended up going back to get the truck and then following my son across the rest of the way as the support truck. Even that was fun. We did camp all the way across.

Bought the Giant loop bags: son had the original, I had the Coyote both well worth the money. They hold a lot of crap and keep it low on the bike. We were riding 250s. Out west he wanted something a little bigger than his YZ250 because he wanted to go faster to keep up with another FF we met on the trail.

If you are riding in a group together I would suggest that you all think about running the same tires. I ran Kendas and my son 606s. Sometimes his hooked up when mine didn't and vice versa. He really really liked the feel and the wear of the 606s.

If you're an old guy like me (67) and plan on camping get a National Parks and Recreation Senior Pass for $10 then most of the Federal pay campsites are 1/2 price.

If I'm able to get my stuff together I will probably start sometime in mid to late August 2010.

Planning and mapping it out is almost as much fun as the ride.
Hey Jack,
FF'er here how are ya?
Let me know when you are doing it. Is John doing it too?
I am Thinking of doing it again after this tour is over in mid august, but riding all the way home this time.
Cheers
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