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Thread: Transamerica Trail - planning phaze

  1. #1
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    Transamerica Trail - planning phaze

    With me finally getting back to some decent riding capbility since smashing the knee a few years ago, I have a desire to do a real adventure ride and make up for lost time. Combine that with me turning 50 next year, I've said to the wife that I'm planning on my mid life crisis next year and want to ride across America, so while I expected some resistance to the request...she actually said yes..what the!..sheesh, now I better start seeing what it's all about.

    So now that I have emotional approval, I need to do some planning/logistics and after reading phreakyphils TAT ride he actually shipped his bike over there, so I also need to make the decision to buy over there OR ship my 690. Personally, I'd like to take the 690 as I know it, and have no doubt that it will be awesome to ride. Plus for me, I don't just want to ride any old shitter just because it might be cost effective or have more perceived relibility, I want to enjoy the bike as much as the scenary and trail...so no 250 for me.

    I will reach out to phreakyphil to find out his experience for shipping, US compliance and all that crap...but does anyone have any experience with shipping to the US of A?

    V
    ...back in the saddle, and getting a little!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane Omorogbe from UK MSN on the KTM990SM
    It's barking mad and if it doesn't turn you into a complete loon within half an hour of cocking a leg over the lofty 875mm seat height, I'll eat my Arai.

  3. #3
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    Thanks...

    Seeing the $4K mark, and perhaps the stress of shipping my beloved machine to Tennesse (and back/sell), I did a quick search on Craiglist and one of the model of bikes that I also would ride, would be the WR450. These bikes are tough, have power and lightweight. I've seen a couple already for about $3K USD...which is easily in the ball park for cost/hassle, and for that price...I could leave it on the side of the road once finished, and have no hassle at all....hmmm.
    ...back in the saddle, and getting a little!

  4. #4
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    That was a quick u-turn

    I shipped mine, but I was also part of a group. Didn't do much rough stuff though, mostly road touring...
    Quote Originally Posted by Jane Omorogbe from UK MSN on the KTM990SM
    It's barking mad and if it doesn't turn you into a complete loon within half an hour of cocking a leg over the lofty 875mm seat height, I'll eat my Arai.

  5. #5
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    GPSMan is a bit of a guru on the TAT, hopefully he'll be along soon to help ya out or you could PM him.
    ....wheres that track go??

    My EXC530 Adventure

  6. #6
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    I'm flying out in 3 weeks for Texas to the top of Alsaka and back to LA. I bought a vstrom 650 for $2500 US and will sell it at the end of the trip.

    Advrider has about 1000 threads and ride reports on the TAT. Have a look there for trip info.
    Quote Originally Posted by Albert
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by paturoa View Post
    I'm flying out in 3 weeks for Texas to the top of Alsaka and back to LA. I bought a vstrom 650 for $2500 US and will sell it at the end of the trip.
    Are you doing any of the back country discovery routes?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jane Omorogbe from UK MSN on the KTM990SM
    It's barking mad and if it doesn't turn you into a complete loon within half an hour of cocking a leg over the lofty 875mm seat height, I'll eat my Arai.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by vegeman View Post
    Thanks...

    Seeing the $4K mark, and perhaps the stress of shipping my beloved machine to Tennesse (and back/sell), I did a quick search on Craiglist and one of the model of bikes that I also would ride, would be the WR450. These bikes are tough, have power and lightweight. I've seen a couple already for about $3K USD...which is easily in the ball park for cost/hassle, and for that price...I could leave it on the side of the road once finished, and have no hassle at all....hmmm.
    Hi Vegeman
    Two of us from Nelson did it in 2012 - my mate bought a KLR in LA and I shipped my 690 using Mainfreight/Kiwi Shipping. I was really glad that I took the 690 as it is the perfect route for that type of bike - the KLR.........well that's a whole nother story! The cost of the shipping was $2600 door to door return with the bike in a MX crate - bars & front wheel off. We did a loop from LA to LA joining the TAT in Trinidad in Colorado as other mates suggested that the TAT east of there is boring. We had a blast and took in as many of the passes in Colorado as we could Moab was a great place to stop with enough riding there for a week. We went in July/August and it was really hot (48 degrees) so when I do it again I will go in late August/September. My mate used the Sam Correro roll chart and I used my GPS files - PM me if you want any info.
    Cheers
    JC

    John US route.jpg

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by umopom View Post
    Hi Vegeman
    Two of us from Nelson did it in 2012 - my mate bought a KLR in LA and I shipped my 690 using Mainfreight/Kiwi Shipping. I was really glad that I took the 690 as it is the perfect route for that type of bike - the KLR.........well that's a whole nother story! The cost of the shipping was $2600 door to door return with the bike in a MX crate - bars & front wheel off. We did a loop from LA to LA joining the TAT in Trinidad in Colorado as other mates suggested that the TAT east of there is boring. We had a blast and took in as many of the passes in Colorado as we could Moab was a great place to stop with enough riding there for a week. We went in July/August and it was really hot (48 degrees) so when I do it again I will go in late August/September. My mate used the Sam Correro roll chart and I used my GPS files - PM me if you want any info.
    Cheers
    JC

    John US route.jpg
    Thats what I like to hear, I do 'want' to ride the 690...as I know it, it's already had all the mod's etc...so it's probably worth it. The more positive feedback like this helps sway me back to shipping. Did you do anything for extra fuel?

    Just as a note Phreaky Phil also had pricing etc for around $3k so it seems that everyone has been getting the right deal.
    ...back in the saddle, and getting a little!

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=vegeman;1130731813]Thats what I like to hear, I do 'want' to ride the 690...as I know it, it's already had all the mod's etc...so it's probably worth it. The more positive feedback like this helps sway me back to shipping. Did you do anything for extra fuel?

    The good thing about the US is that there is usually a servo just over the next hill - I took a piece of fuel hose and a mate with a big tank and that worked well ! But there aren't many legs that are more than 200 kms - a small reserve tank (2-3 litres) would be enough to get you through all the legs. The other good thing about the 690 is the mapping - it senses atmospheric pressure and has an O2 sensor so even at 14,000 feet it still went well - my mate with the KLR only had first gear above 12,000 feet. On one cruisy day at 10,000 feet all day I got over 30 kms / litre as it leaned off to match the altitude. There are a few holes in the route where fuel is no longer available - Fort Bidwell is listed as a fuel stop but the servo closed during the recession - very helpful Indian gave me a couple of litres and a cold coke!
    Cheers
    JC

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=umopom;1130732026]
    Quote Originally Posted by vegeman View Post
    Thats what I like to hear, I do 'want' to ride the 690...as I know it, it's already had all the mod's etc...so it's probably worth it. The more positive feedback like this helps sway me back to shipping. Did you do anything for extra fuel?

    The good thing about the US is that there is usually a servo just over the next hill - I took a piece of fuel hose and a mate with a big tank and that worked well ! But there aren't many legs that are more than 200 kms - a small reserve tank (2-3 litres) would be enough to get you through all the legs. The other good thing about the 690 is the mapping - it senses atmospheric pressure and has an O2 sensor so even at 14,000 feet it still went well - my mate with the KLR only had first gear above 12,000 feet. On one cruisy day at 10,000 feet all day I got over 30 kms / litre as it leaned off to match the altitude. There are a few holes in the route where fuel is no longer available - Fort Bidwell is listed as a fuel stop but the servo closed during the recession - very helpful Indian gave me a couple of litres and a cold coke!
    Cheers
    JC
    That 690 mapping sounds awesome, and it's stuff like that, that makes up for the other issues that people worry about ie fuel pumps and filters etc.... I'm probably going to get the rally raid rear tank to add the 4.5l which will always be handy plus it gives the saddle bags something extra to rest against OR I might go fully bling and get the front tanks with fairings...expensive but kinda cool. I haven't seen anyone on the forums for NZ riders who have the new evo 2 kits. It was only night falcon that had evo one tanks before a sheep ate his bike...so I really would need to see, feel and touch before forking out thousands on that. The rear tank woulntd have any rider impact...but too wider tanks, or to much wait on the front might stuff things up.

    wahoo...Im getting excited, in fact I dropped a hint to wifey that perhaps I should go this year....that didn't go down well
    ...back in the saddle, and getting a little!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by paturoa View Post
    I'm flying out in 3 weeks for Texas to the top of Alsaka and back to LA. I bought a vstrom 650 for $2500 US and will sell it at the end of the trip.

    Advrider has about 1000 threads and ride reports on the TAT. Have a look there for trip info.
    Sounds great...will you be updating the world via some form of forum, blog, FB, instagram, twitter, flickr....etc :-D. We all want photos and hear stories
    ...back in the saddle, and getting a little!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gremlin View Post
    Are you doing any of the back country discovery routes?
    Not really. My route plan excludes highways as much as possible but is still mostly tar-baby riding.
    Quote Originally Posted by Albert
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by vegeman View Post
    Sounds great...will you be updating the world via some form of forum, blog, FB, instagram, twitter, flickr....etc :-D. We all want photos and hear stories
    Yeah. I'll probably use Advrider.
    Quote Originally Posted by Albert
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe

  15. #15
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    ok...I'm shipping my machine

    Thats it...decision made.

    From the supportive feedback, I'm sticking to the original plan and shipping. Main reasons, are:

    I want to ride my 690, as I've spent a lot of time and effort prep this machine...so seems dumb to then not use it for the ride of a lifetime. ie heated grips, risers, rally raid performance/reliablity bits, scott damper etc...

    I know it well, so it will make those times when the riding is difficult, or it;s dark and I'm tired...I can rely on my familiarity with the bike
    Cost difference really isn't really that big a deal....it's gonna cost a lot anyway...so it doesn't matter.

    I just bought the rear fuel tank from rally -raid...and while its god damn expensive...it will give me a total 17l, will be integrated to the existing tank, so it can't fall off, and I don't have to have inside any bags etc...so thats max range about 340k's with nice conditions...and shit conditions will still be 250k's

    I have wolfman tank bag, and the waterproof saddle bags which are fantastic. I'm just get the wolfman duffel bag which can sit across the bag and then I will be mostly ready.

    P3020048.jpg

    Just got to get a new GPS, and my garmin 60csx had a wee glitch and failed for the first time ever (10 years old now)...might get a bigger screen version for my aging eyes.
    ...back in the saddle, and getting a little!

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