How to do the Trans Canada Adventure Trail

Bike prep

CMG: It looked to me like you used Giant Loop’s luggage. Would you recommend soft luggage to other riders? Any brands, in particular?

KL: Giant Loop is very good. I am still using mine today from that ride almost four years ago. I have seen folks injured by hard luggage when falling. Soft luggage tends to be pliable, easier repaired, helps for a soft landing, and has no brackets that renders renders the system unusable in a fall.

Aside from luggage, how did you set up bikes: Just basic armour (skid plate, hand guards, rad guards), or did you make any other trick modifications?

As above, a good set up in the detail.  Tire choice is also important (a knobby front at least). Other than ADV set up, our bikes were standard. Gel seat covers are a must.

Trans Canada Adventure TrailPersonal prep

CMG: Will riders develop the fitness needed on the trail, or should they put in some serious hours training their bodies before starting?

KL: Bryan and Mike both do a lot of physical stuff outside motorcycling, me, not so much, so yes I needed to train. I was on my rower and stationary bike religiously six days a week for some months prior to the ride. Some things cannot be trained for – like Monkey Butt. Looking after your feet and hands is crucial on those long rides.      

Another water crossing. With wet weather a constant occurrence during the ride, the riders had to make sure they took care of their hands and feet, to finish the ride without injury.

How much money do you think a rider should budget for the trip?

Other than bike purchase/set-up etc. we spent about $120 per day on fuel, food, accommodation etc. We usually found some sort of accommodation where the three of us could share the cost.

How important were the rest days along the route?

We set out to have a rest day every five days, but we were having so much fun, we didn’t stop for three weeks! Five-six days is about time to stop for a day.

I believe attempting these big rides solo is perilous. Having said that, larger groups also can cause other issues. In my experience, what happens off the bike is as important as what happens on them. You just have to ride with others that have a common goal, and accept their differences. You need to keep moving to cover the distance, and someone who wants to photo shoot, check out the bars until late, visit the sites can be a problem. Bryan, Mike and I had one goal on the TAT and TCAT, and that was to ride the whole damn thing, so we encouraged each other forward.


  1. I am in Brandon, MB. I have a 2020 Honda CRF250L that is stocka and has 2,000kms on it now. All kms have been on pavement basically, I bought it brand new. I would like to join if there are any plans for 2023 as I already used up most of my holidays. Even if I could only join for part of the trip if possible.

  2. Has anyone done the Vancouver Island section of the TCAT recently who can provide a map or at least some directional pointers ? looking to do it summer 2018 as a trial for the rest of the trail …one day.

  3. I have read many articles on the TAT and TCAT, and never get tired of the reads. Not many of us can take months out or our lives to do something as epic as this, so I appreciate the effort those Kiwi’s put into it! I live in the “boring prairies”, but if I had time to meander across our massive country, it would be a dream come true.

    Small bore 250cc bikes seem to be the right choice to do most everything!

    • Bro I am in Winnipeg. I am looking to take a stab at the eastern section next year. Got a 2001 klr650 that I shall be working on to get it ready.

      So far its just me.

  4. Actually, it’s mostly from Thunder Bay to Sioux Lookout where the washouts have occurred in the Northwestern Ontario section the rest of the route is in better shape.

  5. Wow. Loved this interview Zac. I know the TCAT between Thunder Bay and Kenora is washed out in places and virtually impassible currently. I’ve hosted a few riders who have tried to conquer the original section solo with no success (and ultimately suffered both broken bones and bike in the process). Riding it solo isn’t advised, as mentioned. I must say that I’m proud that a bunch of Kiwis did this on WR250Rs though. There’s very little that the WR250R can’t do.

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