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    1 of 22
    Bama
    3 years ago
    Hello all ,
    My name is Raley. I am new to the forum, thanks for having me. 
    I currently have a 15 Harley Ultra Classic, been on Harley’s all my life, and I am heavily intrigued by the adv bikes. I want to be able to rack up miles and memories on highways, back roads , off road. The 4 bikes I have narrowed it down to in favorite order 1.Triumph Tiger 800 2. Honda Africa Twin( great dealer network) 3. KTM 1090 4.Suzuki  V-Storm 5. Yamaha Super Tenere. I like these 5 because of the occasional (maybe 5% 2 up riding ) I will do. Others I have looked at and like are the KTM. 690 enduro and the KLR  650.      What type bikes are yawl riding ? Any advice what to look for ?  This will also be my everyday transportation I d not own a car or truck., reliability is a major plus also. Thanks for reading , hope to see yawl out there. 
    2 of 22
    Yermo
    3 years ago
    Welcome!

    The bike you choose is going to depend a bit on how aggressive "off-road" you want to do.

    If you're looking at riding gravel country roads and well maintained fire service roads on the like, then any of these bikes will do for that purpose.

    However, if you're looking to get muddy, go through deep water, go hillclimbing, or over rocky terrain, then the big heavy bikes, for a first time ADV bike, may not be the best answer. On the Trans Am Trail trip I did last year, I came across guys on Triumph Tigers and they avoided the high passes (jeep trails) because the bikes were just too heavy.
    (see the photos tab)

    While I've never ridden it, given your list of requirements I'd be looking at the Africa Twin pretty closely.

    The KLR would be a better choice for mud but less so for long highway miles or two up or commuting. Unfortunately, I just don't like them. Too much plastic for my taste and the ones I tried just buzzed quite a bit. I went with a Suzuki DR650SE for the trip. I'd recommend it but it's not good for highway.

    The Tenere is a really good bike and I know a bunch of guys who ride them, but it's really big and heavy and, especially early on, you're likely drop drop the bike in sand and gravel.

    I've never ridden a V-Strom but I just can't get past that exhaust pipe running straight under the bike. You will occasionally hit the bottom of the bike that pipe just looks like a bad idea to me.

    No matter what bike you get get a bottom bash plate for it. 

    KTM's are great bikes but as a first machine you're use in dirt I'd be thinking those inevitable offs will be quite expensive.
    3 of 22
    Bama
    3 years ago
    Thanks , the Africa Twin has moved to the top of the list. I am looking to ride the TAT for my 45th Birthday that will give me a year to prepare for it. Thanks again for the reply.
    4 of 22
    Yermo
    3 years ago
    Bama, yea, I figure you'll need about a year. Ride as many forest and gravel roads as you can before you start that trip. I'm not sure when but I am planning on trying the TAT again in the next few years. I only made it as far as Utah. You can check the blog link on my TAT report above to get the full story. 
    5 of 22
    Bama
    3 years ago
    10-4, I will definatley check the blog. I am excited about the TAT.  More than likely it will be a solo trip. Another I am interesting in is the Great Divide. My wife says this is a mid life crisis lol !! But she is very supportive.
    6 of 22
    Yermo
    3 years ago
    I did it solo as well. 80% of it is disappointingly easy. The 20% that's not is what makes it all worth it.
    7 of 22
    Bama
    3 years ago
    Where do I get the maps and gps coordinates from ? I can’t seem to find a good resource  
    8 of 22
    Yermo
    3 years ago
    Link #6185
    Yermo
    8 years ago

    TransAmTrail.com is the exclusive source for Maps Roll-Charts, and GPS Tracks for navigating the Trans-America Trail - an exciting, off-road, dual-sport motorcycle adventure across the United States

    TransAmTrail.com is the exclusive source for Maps Roll-Charts, and GPS Tracks for navigating the Trans-America Trail - an exciting, off-road, dual-sport motorcycle adventure across the United States

    http://www.transamtrail.com/
    9 of 22
    Yermo
    3 years ago
    Video #11678
    Yermo
    5 years ago

    Trans-America Trail with Sam Correro

    a few minutes talking with Sam Correro about the Trans-America Trail while riding the Mississippi Hill Country Trail Special thanks to Michael Murray of Moto...
    10 of 22
    Bama
    3 years ago
    Awesome thank you
    11 of 22
    Bama
    3 years ago
    Looking more at the KLR 650 the price point is amazing. Couple of questions , would the KLR hold up to interstate riding ,for example I will take the interstate to the beginning of the TAT from home (800 miles) and then from the end of the TAT which is close to 2800 miles ? I also realize the KLR is carbureted , Does that affect anything in higher elevations ? I am from Alabama not much elevation changes around here.
      TAT question what is the difference between the Sam C. Routes and thle GPS Kevin routes?  I like the detail and the price of the GPS Kevin 
    12 of 22
    Yermo
    3 years ago
    I ride a DR650 which is an equivalent bike. I rode something like 3000 miles of pavement back home but did as many side roads as I could.

    While both bikes can do highway speeds it's just, IMHO, uncomfortable. I have a little flyswatter shield on the bike that deflects some of the wind but I find my neck and back still cramp up badly after a few hours. Doing anything more than about 70 is also a bit uncomfortable.

    Having said that it's doable. I'd just give yourself some extra time to and from so you'll have a better time. Interstate on these bikes is a chore.

    As for elevations, I did run into some power loss issues going over the high passes especially on Hurricane. But it wasn't nearly as bad as I would have thought. My biggest issue was actually fuel economy. At one point it dropped to 29mpg causing me to run out unexpectedly. 

    There's a big controversy on the whole GPSKevin thing. It's alleged GPSKevin took Sam's routes, modified them a bit and started selling them himself. (uncool)

    On the trip, I came across more people running Kevin's routes and complaining bitterly about it. I have been told that GPSKevin hasn't actually ridden the routes he sells and that some (of not many) of the red sections are impassable.

    Sam spent years building out the Trans Am Trail route and focuses on making it something that most riders can do. I bought both his rollcharts and GPS tracks. My thinking is this: compare the cost of an extraction to the cost of good maps and gear. Getting off course, especially riding solo, it's really easy to get yourself into trouble. 

    YMMV of course. This is just one man's perspective.

    You will want something like a Spot Tracker. You'll want medi-evac insurance. You'll want paper and at least two ways of doing electronic navigation. (The cradle for my Zumo 550 died mid-trip for example so I had to end up using an app on the phone for part of the navigation.)
    13 of 22
    Bama
    3 years ago
    Great information , thank you. I am new to the medi vac insurance any recommendations ? 
    I can understand the conflict between the map providers. I will give Sam a call. I am excited , and consider this part of my preparation. 
    As fat bikes go, sounds like the Africa Twin will be the best for me as an all around bike. Tge Suzuki and the Kawasaki are really nice bikes and would probaly suffice but I really need a bike that would be comfortable on the slab also. I have a trip plan for  next year to go to Nova Scotia and it’s all I State, will be a great test for the AT if I decide to go that route. On the other hand the wife says the price point in the KLR is affordable ,keep the Harley for the slab rides. I hate decisions lol !!! 
    14 of 22
    Yermo
    3 years ago
    "What is the correct number of bikes to have?"

    N + 1

    where N is the number of bikes you currently have. 

    15 of 22
    Bama
    3 years ago
    That’s right lol !!
    16 of 22
    Yermo
    3 years ago
    For medivac insurance you'll want to get with your insurance agent. The gist is that, from what I understand, many insurance policies do not cover helicopter evac.

    On my trip up to Deadhorse I encountered a guy whose friend crashed badly on the Dalton highway and needed to be medivac'd out. As the story goes he was handed a bill for $250K.

    For the Trans Am Trail I used: 
    Link #46424
    Yermo
    3 years ago

    Premier Air Medical Transport and Travel Protection - MedjetAssist

    Medjet is the premiere global air medical transport and travel security membership program for travelers.

    https://medjetassist.com/
    I didn't research it extensively as I ran out of time so this is just a reference and not a recommendation.
    17 of 22
    Bama
    3 years ago
    10-4 , I appreciate it. I am giving myself plenty of time to prepare for this. I have BC/BS health insurance now , I will call them in the morning and see what they have.  You have been a great help into getting me started. I am sure to have plenty more questions.
      
    18 of 22
    Yermo
    3 years ago
    I'll be happy to offer my perspective on any questions you have. But take everything I say as just one data point for your thinking. Draw upon as many perspectives as you can. It's a big trip especially if you have no off-pavement experience.

    One thing you might want to consider after you get your bike is to take a short off-road course. There are some techniques you can learn that can make quite the difference in how much you enjoy your trip. 

    For example, one thing I /wish/ I had thought of while I was Out There was, when you're facing a steep rocky downhill section with your hand on the brake and both feet on the ground wanting to walk it but not trusting yourself to get off the bike, you can put the thing in first, hit the kill switch and then use the clutch as an alternative to the rear brake. If I had thought of that the scariest section I went through would have been so much less stressful. 

    Just my $0.02.
    19 of 22
    Bama
    3 years ago
    I went bike shopping today , Went to look at 3 bikes Africa Twin ,KLR 650, and the Triumph Tiger 800. When I got to the Tiger I knew it was the one , I know it’s a heavy bike , not as heavy as what I been riding, but I really like the feel , ergos , and the performance is top notch.
        Working on a deal now will post pics when and if deal is made. 
    20 of 22
    Yermo
    3 years ago
    Excellent. It's a great bike. It'll be handful in the really technical sections but it'll make for a great trip.
    21 of 22
    buffalo
    3 years ago
    For what it's worth, a guy I work with (who's also a long term rider) has owned a tiger for several years now and is very happy with it.
    22 of 22
    Bama
    3 years ago
    When I think I have it figured out,I got to ride a friends KLR. He said he chose the KLR over the big bikes because of maintenance cost and easy to repair.
        The Tiger is a fine machine for sure , but the price and versatility of the KLR is very appealing. 
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