Gear

One of the things that is elusive in most blog posts about the Trans American Trail is the gear people take. This has been the topic of most of our conversations at the dog park “what to bring”. Since we are planning on about 10-12 hours a day of riding and crashing at a motel each night, this helps us pack lighter. We are prepared for limited camping. Hover over the red dots for descriptions.

Gear2

You need a license?

I found it interesting that the guy that got me back into riding in the woods and he himself is a great racer actually didn’t have a license to ride on the street. I guess it shouldn’t of surprised me, there’s no need if all you do is ride off-road. But the topic came up as we were discussing our plans month’s ago and I stated that I would be bringing a firearm. We talked about reciprocal carry permit states and sure enough the topic of laws led us to the discovery that he didn’t have a road motorcycle license. Easily rectified, he signed up for course nearby that offers classroom and maneuver instruction. At the completion of the 2.2 day long course you head to the DMV and get your endorsement.

The Riders

So I had initially thought I would do this adventure alone. The more and more I read about the riders it just looked like it would be more fun with at least another person or a team of riders. It just so happens that the guy that got me back into riding in the woods and doing hare scrambles was excited about doing the trail. We both worked hard to get the time off simultaneously and have been equally preparing our bikes for the past 6 months. He will be riding a 2013 Honda CRF250L. We have been bouncing ideas off each other and helping each other prepare the machines. Chris (left) and I met at the local dog park.  We have one more rider, Steve that will be joining us in Colorado. He and I met while attending the Shane Watts Dirtwise in-depth off-road course in Florida. We’ll get pics of him up soon.

Dog park bros2

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The Plan

So I purchased the maps, roll charts, and GPS files from Sam Correro. I took the maps and put them into modified Australian folds. Loaded the GPS files onto memory cards. Then I went on to Google earth and followed the trail across the US noting the daily mileages, gas and hotel stops. The goal is to get at least 250 miles a day. Below is the preliminary plan.

TAT Daily Goal Schedule

July 9th Sunday – Day 1 goal – 247 miles End in Chatsworth, GA.  Super 8 – 613 S 3rd Ave, Chatsworth, GA 30705 ($70) Adco Inn – 321 N 3rd Ave, Chatsworth, GA 30705 ($?) Key West inn -501 G I Maddox Pkwy, Chatsworth, GA 30705 ($48)

July 10th  Monday – Day 2 goal – 253 miles End in Fayetteville, TN 130 miles between 1st gas stop…America’s Best Value Inn – 1415 Bryson Rd, Ardmore, TN 38449 ($50) Best Western – 3021 Thornton Taylor Pkwy, Fayetteville, TN 37334 ($76) Hampton Inn – 110 Redstone Dr, Fayetteville, TN 37334 ($90)

July 11th Tuesday – Day 3 Goal – 237 Miles End in Savannah, TN Quality Inn- 1645 Pickwick St, Hwy. 128 S., Savannah, TN 38372 ($63) Days Inn – 1695 Pickwick Rd, Savannah, TN 38372 ($69) Savannah Lodge – 585 Pickwick St S, Savannah, TN 38372 ($55)

When coming out of the woods and meeting 917 (Pinhook Pike Rd) (mile mark 648) turn left and go to 35.157233, -87.929095 then turn right to Old Weatherford Creek road (this cuts off loop, cuts 7 miles)

July 12th Wednesday – Day 4 Goal – 270 Miles End in Batesville MS, Ramada Inn Limited 695 MS-6 Batesville MS 38606, Days Inn 280 Power Dr. Batesville MS 38606 Batesville is 6.2 miles from route (@ McDowell rd., turn right on 278NE)

July 13th Thursday – Day 5 Goal – 286 miles End in Clinton AR, Best Western 1025 US-65 bus Clinton AR 72031, Sycamore Motel 682 US-65 bus Clinton AR 72031, Hometown Inn 424 US-65 Bus Clinton AR 72301. This route has decision point…at Gravesville mile 184.57 potential to go direct to Clinton shaving 31 miles.

July 14th Friday – Day 6 Goal – 250 miles End near Moodys OK (Gas at moodys but hotels are small lodges/camping near route.). Thunderbird Resort 7704 OK-10 Tahlequah OK 74464, War Eagle Resort 13020 OK-10 Tahlequah OK 74464, Diamondhead resort 12081 OK-10 Tahlequah OK 74464. These are all river motels (I.e. tourist camping and running the river, may not be available in July??)

July 15th Saturday – Day 7 Goal -@ the 240 mile mark there is Braman OK for camping (Matt Moreland Farms). If we push another 110 miles we can arrive in Alma OK for a hotel. Ranger Inn 420 OK-14, Alva, OK 73717 (580) 327-1981, Western Motel 608 OK-14, Alva, OK 73717(580) 327-1363, Holiday Motel 701 OK-14, Alva, OK 73717 (580) 327-3333 Plan to call ahead since we may be late.

July 16th Sunday – Day 8 Goal – 287 Miles End in Boise City OK. Townsman Hotel 1205 Main St, Boise City, OK 73933(580) 544-2506, Longhorn Motel 1012 Main St, Boise City, OK 73933(580) 544-2596

July 17th Monday – Day 9 Goal -229 miles End in La Veta CO,  La Veta Inn103 W Ryus Ave, La Veta, CO 81055(719) 742-5566, Circle the wagons RV park. 126 W 2nd St, La Veta, CO 81055(719) 742-3233

July 18th Tuesday – Day 10 – 239 Miles –Maintenance stop Sun Sports Unlimited. 219 US-50, Gunnison, CO 81230 when arriving in Sargents CO –leave route and follow US 50 33 miles to Sun Sports Unlimited. Island Acres Motel 38339 US-50, Gunnison, CO 81230 (970) 641-1442, RodeWay Inn 37760 US-50, Gunnison, CO 81230 (970) 641-0500 Spend Wednesday July 19th in Gunnison waiting on repairs.

July 20th Thursday – Day 12 Goal262 miles End at 3 step hideaway 2430 Lisbon Valley Rd. LaSal, UT 84530 435-249-5567

July 21st Friday – Day 13 Goal – 143 Miles End in Green Rriver UT. Book Cliff Lodge, 735 E Main St, Green River, UT 84525 (435) 564-3406. Sleepy Hollow Motel, 94 E Main, Green River, UT 84525. Passport Inn, 735 East Main Street, Green River, UT 84601 (435) 564-3406.

July 22nd Saturday – Day 14 Goal – 211 miles End in Ephriam UT. Willow Creek Inn, 450 S Main St, Ephraim, UT 84627, (435) 283-4566. Linnea’s B&B 244 S Main, Ephraim, UT 84627, (435) 681-0020

July 23rd Sunday – Day 15 Goal – 215 miles End in Border UT. The Border Inn U.S. 6, Utah, Baker, NV 89311, (775) 234-7300

July 24th Monday – Day 16 Goal – 155 miles Trementon UT. Western Inn 2301 W Main St, Tremonton, UT 84337, (435) 257-3399. Motel 6 585 W Main St, Tremonton, UT 84337, (435) 257-5675.  Marbel Motel 116 N Tremont St, Tremonton, UT 84337, 435) 257-3524.

July 25th Tuesda7 – Day 17 Goal – 232 miles End in Arco ID. A&B motel 766 W Grand Ave, Arco, ID 83213, (208) 527-2051. DK motel 316 S Front St, Arco, ID 83213, (208) 527-8282. Lost River Motel 405 Hwy Dr, Arco, ID 83213, (208) 527-3600.

July 26th Wednesday – Day 18 Goal – 265 miles End in Idaho City ID. Inn the Pines 3764 Hwy 21, Idaho City, ID 83631, (208) 392-9505. Idaho City hotel 215 Montgomery St, Idaho City, ID 83631, (208) 392-4499.

July 27th Thursday – Day 19 Goal – 283 miles End in John Day OR. Dreamers Lodge 144 N Canyon Blvd, John Day, OR 97845 (541) 575-0526. Little Pine inn 250 E Main St, John Day, OR 97845, (541) 575-2100. Budget 8 motel 711 W Main St, John Day, OR 97845 (541) 575-2155.

July 28th Friday – Day 20 Goal – 264 miles End in la Pine OR. Best Western 16515 Reed Rd, La Pine, OR 97739, (541) 536-5130

July 29th Saturday – Day 21 Goal – 226 miles End in Glendale OR (7 miles south is Wolf Creek inn on maps)

July 30th Sunday – Day 22 Goal – 108 miles End in Port Orford OR. Battle Rock motel 136 US-101, Port Orford, OR 97465, (541) 332-7331

TOTAL 5,018 miles

July 31 Monday -Day 23 Goal – 595 miles –End in Boise ID. Pick up rental truck at Uhaul 1-888-303-7696 (regional office) Res# 84856622 KarKare 1717 Oregon St, Port Orford, OR 97465 P/U date is 30 July.

Aug 1st Tuesday -Day 24 Goal – 686 miles – End in Laramie WY

Aug 2nd Wednesday – Day 25 Goal – 683 miles – End in Kansas City MO

Aug 3rd Thursday – Day 26 Goal – 684 miles– End in Chattanooga TN

Aug 4th Friday – Day 27 Goal – 550 miles –End in Spring Hill FL

Mods

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Click on the links to see the actual parts I added.

So the stock 350 Six Days was race ready as promised but certainly not prepared for the 30 day long cross country adventure. I pulled from every blog I could find to ensure I prepared the machine appropriately. My favorite was BigDogAdventures.com. That guy is my hero, he is living my retired dream. Below is a list of What I modded on the machine.

Rekluse Clutch – $600 (this is an amazing invention)

Steering Stabilizer- $300 (another amazing invention)

Seat Concepts seat – $300 (KTM racing seat is way too hard and narrow)

Garmin Zumo 665LM- $300 (brand recommended by Sam Correro)

Pro Moto Billet “Rack It” Rear Cargo Rack Black  – $250 (to carry shit)

KTM Fuel Tank (NO CA) 5.0 Gallon Natural – $250 (could have gone with 4 gal)

Dunlop D606 Front and Rear tires – $200 (recommended by several TAT riders)

Nuetech Tubliss Gen 2 (Tubeliss) Tire System – $200 (Recommended as well)

Heavy Duty rear suspension spring – $200 (professionally done and SAG set)

Nelson-Rigg RG-020 Black Saddlebags – $120 (small cordoro bags)

WolfMan Tail Bag -$110 (expandable cordoro bag)

Flatland Racing Skid Plate – $100 (everyone needs a good skid plate)

Spot Tracker 3 – $80 (just in case)

Aluminum rear brake rock guard – $80 (for Utah)

G2 Dirt Tamer throttle – $70 (the KTM was twitchy)

Aluminum front brake rock guard – $50 (for Utah)

First Aid kit – $50 (the Army guy in me says take this)

Enduro Engineering Lower right Fork Leg Guard – $45 (for Utah)

Double Take Universal Enduro Mirror Kit – $25 (I broke the mirror that came with the bike on day 1)

Roll Chart holder  – $20 (for Sam’s roll charts)

SMH 10 Communications  -$200 (intercom and Bluetooth for phone)

Sicass racing enduro light/horn set for KTM – $350 (great plug and play set)

Why?

First off, I am 48 years old and had ridden dirt-bikes for the most part of my youth then walked away from them after a bad crash 20+ years ago followed by two kids and a military career. So, the boys are grown, I retired from the Army and for my birthday I mentioned to my wife that I thought I might want to get another bike. She said “you should do that”, I don’t know whether she is an angel or really wanted me out of the house. Either way, I immediately walked into the local KTM shop and saw the most beautiful thing; a 2016 XCF-W 350 Six Days. My intention was to start trail riding on the weekends but sure enough within 30 days I was signed up for a hare scramble and had the bug all over again. While randomly searching the web for mods to the Six Days, I stumbled across the Trans American Trail (TAT), I was hooked. I began building spreadsheets, reading blogs, bought the maps from Sam and after hours and hours poring over the maps, I had a plan.