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Old 07-26-2014, 01:08 PM   #1
PhilzLeads OP
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Joined: Jul 2011
Location: Peoples Republic of MD
Oddometer: 66
FourGuys Ride the TAT from Pueblo CO to Eureka NV

This is our 3rd year riding the TAT. In 2012 we trailered the bikes to Jellico and rode just across the Mississippi into Arkansas then back to Jellico. Last year we had a friend trailer the bikes to Memphis. We flew to Memphis, picked up the bikes then rode to Pueblo. This year, we shipped the bikes to Pueblo from York County, PA via Federal Shipping to Rocky Mountain Cycle Plaza in Pueblo. Kudos and a shout out to Doug for securing our bikes there while we flew out from Baltimore.

Also, kudos and a shout out to Mary Wiker at Federal Shipping for handling the shipping of our bikes out. The bikes are currently on their way back from Elko, NV. They even send you emails with a link to where the bikes are en-route ! Very nice.

Kudos and a shout out to John and Dean at 5th Gear PowerSports in Elko, NV for allowing us to store our bikes there until the shipper showed, that day ! to pick them up for the return trip back east. John, on the L even gave us a ride to the airport !

Without the help and support from others in the riding community, logistics would be much more difficult, if not impossible.

Mary Wiker @ Federal Shipping 309-694-4500 x2341

Rocky Mountain Cycle Plaza
4106 Outlook Blvd
Pueblo, CO 81008

5th Gear PowerSports
420 30th Street
Elko, NV 89801

Me and My '05 DRZ400S

All that said, below are the photos of the ride. I will be posting videos soon.

We knew this was going to be the most technical part of the TAT and oh was it! The two prior years I rode my '01 F650GS Dakar. The Dakar is a great bike and I love riding it but at 440lbs wet, it means I would be riding a 500lb plus bike over some of this and I wanted a lighter bike. This year I took an í05 DRZ400S and Iím glad I did. If you are on a heavy bike, take Samís advice and ride the bypasses he has on the maps. I did not take either of the bypasses. Can you run these non-bypass roads on a 950/990? Sure, but you will have to be an experienced off road rider. IMHO a 1200GSA is just too heavy a bike, but thatís just me. Iím 57yrs old, 6í and about 200lbs and in average shape. This is very technical riding over dry washes, rocks and deep sand. But the scenery is spectacular and thatís part of the ride. Black Dragon Canyon is where the old Indian art is located; if you take the Big Bike Bypass you will miss it. We had no rain and I can only imagine the increased difficulty of riding some of these areas wet.

The first road with a bypass is just very technical and rocky with ruts and parts where you will have to keep your momentum, pick a line and twist the throttle. The second road is the entry to Black Dragon Canyon off of Rt. 70 - Rt 70 is the bypass but who wants to do that?

It is as the charts say; deep sand and a nasty climb. If you are not familiar with the Youtube Vid of the guy that went off the edge coming out of Eagle Canyon, you should watch it.

The Nasty Climb out of Eagle Canyon - The Guy in the Black Shirt is the Solo Rider from Belgium

This is the part that is the trickiest - Some will hit this with no Problems - I hit that crevice and powered up the rest We had to stop in the middle of this climb to help this solo rider from Belgium.

I watched this Vid before we rode and I have to say the Vid does not do the terrain justice. Some guys will pick their way through this with no problems.

We came across a solo rider from Belgium who was stuck at this climb. He had all of his gear off of his KLR and was trying to push the bike up. Good luck. My nephew Zac, who has raced dirt since he was in his single digits and is now 32 rode the KLR up for him. Zac still does Hare Scrambles on his YZ450F.

The climbs up to Cinnamon Pass and California Pass in CO are what I looked forward to the most and I was not disappointed. They are both just under 13,000ft and if you live at what is essentially sea level(less than 1,000ft) as I do, you will notice that just getting off and on the bike requires effort and you will be breathing heavily as a result of the thin air at that altitude. Stay hydrated !

Climbing Up Cinnamon Pass - Some of this is Very Technical - This is an "easy" section

July 18, 2014 and Yes there is Still a SnowPack Up There !

The Reward is The View ! The Wind was Howling !

Once we landed in Pueblo, I donít think we were below 5,000ft the entire ride.

This is What These Bikes are Made for - The DRZ400S Ate it Up !

This í05 DRZ400S exceeded my expectations. It was bone stock when I bought it and I added the IMS 4.0gallon tank(i never went on reserve), Wolfman luggage/tankbag/fenderbag, FMF exhaust, new bars and footpegs and more. It performed incredibly well and I would not hesitate to take it again. I beat the crap out of it, not deliberately, its just what the ride requires, and it did everything I asked it to and more. I ran Kenda 270s F+R and they performed well.

I did the 3x3 Mod and put a 150 main jet in from JD jetting. No problems at 12,000+ft that I can attribute to jetting. I did have to adjust the idle up once I started the bike in Pueblo and once coming down from the 10,000ft level the idle was too high but thatís about it.

The stock seat is like riding on a 2x4 so I put a Moose Racing low profile seat on it and I bought a pair of Moto-Skiveez. With that combination I was comfortable enough in all but some of the long desert runs we made. I did bring an Airhawk but I never used it, it stayed packed in the Wolfman bags.

IMHO, Utah is much more difficult than CO. The riding is more technical, there is more sand and some of the climbs are tricky. Some of these roads would be impassable in rain because of the mud and the climbs and there are signs stating this along the way - "Road Impassable During Rain". Momentum and Line selection, Momentum and Line selection...

Entering Black Dragon Canyon

I watched the DVD from Samís site before we started the TAT back in 2012. When he says to be on the bike by 7am, he means it. If you are not, you may not make the hotel or gas by nightfall and you donít want to be riding on these roads after dark. We did run about 35 miles of gravel after dark and its no fun. We had to bail a couple of times simply because we got too late of a start and if we wanted a hotel and a hot meal thatís just what we had to do. We chose not to camp. The riders ages are 31, 55, 57 and 63.

The Bikes and Riders at the Top of Cinnamon Pass
From L to R - Zac and his '97 Yamaha XT350, His Dad and my Brother Steve and his '96 BMW F650 Funduro, Bill and his KTM 690 EnduroR, and Yours Truly and my '05 Suzuki DRZ400S

Here's Looking forward to next year ! TAT 2015 we finish.
'05 DRZ-400
'01 BMW F650GS Dakar
2014 KTM 1190 R
Yamaha 360(sold) Kaw H2 750(sold) Kaw KZ1000(sold) Ducati 900SS CR(sold)
....and the struggle for the legal tender....
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