XT660R Heaven

XT660R Heaven
Life on the road is fab...

Friday, 14 March 2014

Getting Ready

Geoff & Steve go biking in the States...

March 2014 - laying the foundations for the trip...

The plan is to do an east to west trip across the US, as much as possible off-road, so we've found a trail called the TAT Trail, (created by a guy called Sam Carrero over 12 years!!). The bikes will be shipped into Baltimore & we'll fly in to pick them up in early June. Once there we'll follow the Blue Ridge Parkway, (you know you wanna sing the song, on the trail of the lonesome pine etc), down to the start of the TAT,after a call in to say hi to Sam it'll be time then to go get dirty!

Since I picked up the XT660R for this trip at the end of January, we've been playing in various parts of the UK on the bikes... we've got buried in deep mud & puddles near Daventry, crashed in Yorkshire, done some fairly deep river crossings in Cumbria & Warwickshire, all in the name of training for the TAT trail. Great fun was had by all involved!
Daventry with Mark

Really good muddy bit

Gaz out to play in Cumbria

We've also added quite a few 'toys' to the bikes for the trip, most of them electronics like GPS, these were Garmin 78s units, which I'd used in the Antarctic & had seen them take a fair bit of abuse, we also added USB & cigarette lighter sockets for recharging stuff, some Go Pro Silver edition Hero 3 cameras & a roll map holder.

The XT's suffer from a low down jerkiness in the injection system so you can buy a mod off Ebay which solves this & its pretty cheap & simple to fit, (Fuel Mods). I used the XT660 forum & website quite a bit to sort out a few little things on the bikes but overall they are fairly bombproof from what I've seen so far... tell you more as the trip goes on - to be honest they were Geoff's choice & he sourced them whilst I was working away. Good choice they are proving to be too...

The toys for the trip

Other things added were K&N filters, an Akrapovic 2:1 exhaust system which was another Ebay special & saved 8lbs in weight plus added 2 BHP to the bikes output... happy days... Oxford Heated grips were already on it but the control switch had broken, so a chat with my local bike shop at Penrith found he had an old one lying in a box, so a swift £15 sorted that one out too... We also made up a tube which was to be used for storing either water or fuel bottles as needed & this was hung in the place of the left hand exhaust end can... I've put a few piccies & descriptions of our various additions & any other kit onto the gear page.

All in all the bikes & all the bits have cost around £3200 each with all the extras, so not too bad considering the bikes age & mileage...