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Discussion Starter #1
I am seriously considering doing the TAT. My concerns are, I will be doing it alone, I will be doing it on a big heavy bike (my AT) and my final concern is my age (57). I have been riding a motorcycle now for 47 years and consider myself above average but have not been on a dirt bike for a very long time now and I am new to this adventurer thing. A big concern is getting into some ruff stuff dropping the AT and not being able to pick it up. I will not have time to do the whole thing but I would like to make it to the Colorado border (about 1900 miles) then slab it for home. I'd like to hear from others who have done the trail and what they think about doing it alone on a big bike. I have done many long trips on the road but none on the trail so I think I'm just looking for some encouragement to tackle something like this.
 

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Hi - I'd love to do that trail some day too.

Have you put the bike down (gently) and tried to pick it up?

I realize this is not the same as being in a tough spot out on the trail but it might give you an idea.

You've probably got this covered but another task to master for that trip could flat/tube repair.

Keep roll'n!!
 

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My concerns are, I will be doing it alone, I will be doing it on a big heavy bike (my AT) and my final concern is my age (57). I have been riding a motorcycle now for 47 years and consider myself above average but have not been on a dirt bike for a very long time now and I am new to this adventurer thing. A big concern is getting into some ruff stuff dropping the AT and not being able to pick it up.
Hi Fster, as suggested try to pick it up at home first, 250kg+ its almost impossible unless your name is Arnold.. I know i've tried out on the trail myself, being 59 and 85kg there was no way i was picking it up by myself, so I did some researsh, maybe your interested maybe you not? Check this out, I'll be getting one for my long solo trips. Dustriders Hoist.

https://www.advmotorrad.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=531

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK I have dropped my AT already and had to wait on this dirt road till a farmer in a tractor came by to help me lift it. I was on a slight incline with made matters worse but even so I don't think I would have gotten it up by myself. I can pick up my 700lb ST 1300 easier than the AT because it has tip over wings which keeps it from going over all the way and a lower center of gravity. I thought maybe a ratchet strap and some rope to carry along and if I do go over maybe hook it to a tree and ratchet it back up. I do suffer from a bad back and pulling my back out on a ride would be the end of the trip.
 

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I am seriously considering doing the TAT. My concerns are, I will be doing it alone, I will be doing it on a big heavy bike (my AT) and my final concern is my age (57). I have been riding a motorcycle now for 47 years and consider myself above average but have not been on a dirt bike for a very long time now and I am new to this adventurer thing. A big concern is getting into some ruff stuff dropping the AT and not being able to pick it up. I will not have time to do the whole thing but I would like to make it to the Colorado border (about 1900 miles) then slab it for home. I'd like to hear from others who have done the trail and what they think about doing it alone on a big bike. I have done many long trips on the road but none on the trail so I think I'm just looking for some encouragement to tackle something like this.
Hi Fster:
I have no doubt you will be able to do it! We are in about the same 'bracket'. I would strongly suggest, what other guys are also saying, to practice the pick up technique. It is a technique.
I rode GSA's for many years and had to pick up a couple of time. If you can get a tool to help and a good technique you will be fine. Also, having a set of crash bars on the bike will assist because it changes the angle that you have to lift.

It is always wiser to have a riding buddy with you on a extreme type of ride. You will be fine..
 
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The AT lays quite flat when you drop it, even with crash bars. Having said that, I find it quite easy to pick up by turning the handlebars in and using the frame just below the rear brake reservoir with the other hand. It's even easier if you have Barkbusters fitted. Put it in first gear or lash the front brake if you are on an incline. Take a series of short squat lifts, stepping backwards into the machine as you go, job done. The first foot or so is the hardest, after which it becomes progressively easier. Oh, and don't take off the pillion footpegs or it will lay even flatter. All this is from experience as I have dropped mine several times now. I feel sure anyone of average strength could lift an AT in this way, but if you are worried about a potential back injury then don't risk it. I tried one of those strap lifters and found it much quicker and easier to just lift the bike manually.
I often ride alone in the Australian bush btw, it's riskier than travelling with a mate I know, but I am OK with my bushcraft skills. I carry a Delorme Inreach, map and compass, tarp, first aid kit, Sawyer mini water filter, knife and ferrocerium fire rod as an absolute minimum. Tell people where you expect to be every day, and happy adventuring....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Derek for the info, I will have to practice that method before I make the commitment. I'm still searching for a partner to avoid being stuck out there. Be safe out there in the OutBack.
 

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Fster, go for it. You can always bail out if you get too tired. As regards your age, poof, I have you by 11 years and live by the philosophy that you're never too old to hurt yourself.

Lifting the bike is easy, lifting the bike with a sprained ankle or twisted wrist might be hard, try to find a partner.
 

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The techniques they show you online for lifting it facing backwards etc all work fine on hard surface, on flat areas etc, and worked fine for the Harley I had, or gravel or hard sand, but last week I went bush and into soft sand and big hills to test the AT (and myself) and came up VERY short. It is impossible to pick up if there is no footgrip, soft sand, soft mud, slippery surface the bike just slides away. I am only 55 and plenty strong enough, but on a wrong way slope, in the place you will lean it over (not drop, just lean and go and go until it is gone, as can occur), that is the likely place you will never pick it up. Been there done that. As a sailer and farmer I carry rope and can use a tree when it leans to far and becomes horizontal, or even leans downhill. But because there will not always be a tree, or a friend, or a perfect surface now I looking at am ordering either of these;

- DustRiders Motorcycle Hoist ( on advmotorrad website )
- MotoBikeJack ( motobikejack dot com have a video)

there seem to be a few variations, but these two seem best for a lone rider out bush whose bike leans over, and over.
Has anyone experience with any of these and the AT?
 

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I just did a comparison of what seem the two best 'bike lifting devices' for the AT.

DustRiders Hoist VS MotoBikeJack

I believe the DustRiders Hoist came first and then the MotoBikeJack copied and changed it, then patented it, and now their website claims they 'invented' it.

Both come in 4 pieces
Both have a similar ratchet device attached to the top piece, with webbing and a plastic coated hook.

MotoBikeJack has just one bigger base plate while DustRiders Hoist has a Y shaped base with 2 smaller base plates

MotoBikeJack is smaller, packing to 33cm x 13cm (13’ x 5’ inch) while the DustRiders Hoist is longer and wider at 49cm x 21cm x 5cm (19.3’ x 8.3’ x 3’ inches).

MotoBikeJack is also lighter, at 3.52kg (7 Lb 12oz) than the DustRiders Hoist 4kg (9 Lb)

MotoBikeJack is cheaper, at US $247.50 than the DustRiders Hoist US $249.95

MotoBikeJack assembled height is 78cm (31’inch) tall, but I cannot find how tall the DustRiders Hoist is. Anyone know?

The one footed MotoBikeJack is obviously less stable than the dual footed DustRiders. I watched someone lifting a bike and he had to keep his foot on the MotoBikeJack base plate to stop it sliding.

It seems many people have copied the Original, does anyone on this forum have either of them?
 

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The key to lifting a bike alone is to do it in stages. Very hard to lift from completely flat all the way up. I'm 50 and not exactly the biggest, strongest dude around. But, out of necessity, i've learned a few things about picking up a big bike when alone. First, I should mention it's a good idea to carry some rope and a ratchet strap. As someone already mentioned, use a nearby tree when possible. Outside of that, you first want to make sure the bike is not leaning downhill. If so, just drag it around so it's leaning uphill - and usually this means it will be perpendicular to the trail. Then find small boulders, branches etc. to start wedging under the downed bike. Lift a few inches, wedge something under, repeat. Once you get bike at about a third of the way up (30 degrees), it is much easier to then lift the rest of the way.
This has saved me a few times. But, I have since come up with a better plan and started carrying a trigger clamp/spreader. Some trigger clamps have a reversible end, allowing it to double as a spreader. Using the same principle as above, lift the bike a little at a time, squeezing the trigger in between. This device also doubles as stand to hold the front wheel off the ground in the event of a front flat. They typically come in light, medium and heavy duty. Some of the heavy duty duty ones have a capacity of 600 lbs, and medium is 300lbs. Medium should be good enough, as you're not lifting the whole weight of the bike - probably less than half.

Edit: I should also add that this weighs very little (probably less than 1 pound), takes up very little space, and is cheap - around $20.
 

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But, I have since come up with a better plan and started carrying a trigger clamp/spreader.
Interesting idea...where do you seat the pads of the spreader? Presumably the end away from the trigger goes against the earth...do you carry a pad to spread the load so the end of the clamp doesn't simply dig a hole in the ground?
 

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One can buy various jacks for lifting the beast or build your own, like I did. It is always better to have a buddy with you but the jack adds some peace of mind and beats breaking my old, already bad back when riding off road alone. I store it an a sack strapped low on the left rear frame. I used 1-inch 6061-T6 schedule 40 pipe cut to 12" segments and a 1-1/4, 750lb rated ratchet strap. It weighs 3lbs. Just hook it to the foot peg and crank. Presto. It is not my invention. I just copied what I saw on youtube. You can find a video of it lifting a Harley.
 

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Is there a way one could loop a couple tie downs around your shoulders and onto the grab points onto the bike and lift with your legs? I am sure there must and always take two 6 foot tie downs just in case this were to happen to me. I have no idea where I would attach them but figure I can loop a tie down easier than reaching with my hands.

NC
 
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