Looks like I am “on” for the Trans America Trail in 2014! About 5000 miles of off-road motorcycle riding from eastern Tennessee to Oregon. I am not sure that I can take the time to do the whole thing – minimum of 22 days, but will at least get a few weeks in this year. Pretty much decided on a BMW Sertao for the ride – about 150 lbs lighter than the GSA I rode to Alaska and much more manageable off-road. Some say this bike is still too large, but I think it is a compromise between the highway miles to get to the start and the single track stuff I may encounter.
Can’t wait to find and outfit the bike. As I said above, much lighter and simpler than the big GSA. One cylinder and fuel injected which means about 65 mpg. Just need to find one at a reasonable price – might be a challenge. Then the outfitting starts… Soft luggage and a few minor modifications and I should be ready to go! This trip I am planning on taking the time to enjoy the outdoors and scenery. Have invited my son, Ben along – hope he can make it…
After nearly 50,000 miles on the 2009 1200 GSA, one of the issues that has gotten progressively worse is the weather resistance of the panniers. With the various falls, bangs and bruises from any number of accidents, the panniers take the brunt of the impact. As such, they get bent, pounded back into shape and bent again. Inevitably, the lids leak a little more each time. Not a big deal if you are going camping and keep everything in water proof bags, but daily commuting with papers, files and a laptop is a bit riskier.
I decided to abandon the factory BMW bags and replace them with a set of Jesse Luggage panniers. Spent the last few nights removing the old system and installing the new. Cleaned-up a few issues such as stripped threads on the frame and wiring routing in the process. In spite of all of the reports of difficult installation and poor instructions, went without a hitch. Now, the 2 panniers that I have, give me about 30% more storage capacity, even without the top box. Great therapy working on the bike – cheaper than a counselor…
The Trans-America Trail
The Trans-America Trail is a 5,000 mile off-road trail from Tennessee to Oregon geared towards dual sport motorcycle riders. It was put together by Sam Correro; extraordinary effort.
I would love to do this one. Looks like takes about 22 days if one pulls out the stops, 30 days is more doable and fun. Not sure I could do it on my big 1200 GSA, but maybe a KLR 650 or BMW Sertao. According to the various posts, the only way to get through the high passes along the western part of the route is to do this portion of the trip between July and August – means leaving in late June or July.
Thinking about it – not sure the domestic side of my life can afford it, but can’t hurt to think about it. Maybe 2014? I’m about due…