Advice for long Alaska dual sport ride


39 replies to this topic
  • pburke

Posted January 08, 2007 - 03:15 PM

#21

won't be cold in Alaska in June, but the bugs will eat you alive if you don't have the whole arsenal of modern chemicals and some decent clothes they can't get through. I've camped in snow caves when I was in the military, and I'd pick that any day over a night in the woods with blood thirsty bugs and no defense...

As for gas and gear - if you had the cash - African Queens in Germany sell a 40 liter tank for the XR650R (Euro 2669 I think, insane), but that's like 11 gallons. They also have a super sturdy pannier setup for the XR650R that uses the main frame as the main support. cost something around 600 Euro including the large aluminum boxes, which is actually a pretty decent price. Rack alone is 300 euro.

can't give you a direct link because of their silly site structure, but if you go here

https://ssl.kundense...sundeinsshop.de

and enter part #

ZK090

into the search box. That'll return the product and all answers to rear-subframe stability, large load carrying on the XR650R, etc....

there's also a topcase available - search part # ZK070 for that, but I wouldn't push my luck with all that weight on the back of that bike, no matter how cool their rack mounts look.

Expensive and hard to import gear, and if you can pack light, you probably can do without those big old panniers. It's the wrong bike to be packing a lot of stuff on. I'd use an Adventure 950 or a GS1200 to go to Alaska...


Peter

  • docsabre

Posted January 09, 2007 - 08:24 PM

#22

Bugs-noted. I have a head net that fits over my boony hat and plan to wear my long sleeve gear. I will take chemicals and mosquito coils. I also enjoy an occasional smoke when I tour. I like to roll my own tobacco. I find that sometimes helps ward off the skeeters.

Rocks-noted. I plan to put on a small deflector shield and use my full coverage helmet with face shield. I have a wire cage on my headlight for rock protection.

Spare clutch cable-noted. I always tour with a spare when on my Shadow cruiser. I have 122,000 miles on the original clutch cable and still carry the spare. I am waiting for it to crash any day but it just keeps on going. I also take a length of clear tubing to siphon gas if a cager wants to donate some.

XR600 is "wrong bike to do this trip on, would use a R1200GS or 950 KTM"- noted. I can afford one of these and decided not to buy one because anybody can do this on one of these bikes, even notable Hollywood movie stars. How many people can say they did it on their 1994 XR600? I am looking for adventure and low cost. On my August 2005 bike trip I ran into a 27 yr old guy in Washington who rode a 49cc Tomas moped up from Long Beach, CA . (www.crappylittledreams.com) I took several of the pictures on his web site. He put a picture of me standing with my bike and tent in the story. Scroll down to see it. I am the "older dude on a nice motorcycle that treated him well". I asked him why a 49cc moped, and he said-"It's all I got". He was living his dream.

I can pack light and give my old XR frame a break. I will be posting a list of my items later.

In the end, the adventure is about being on 2 wheels and going far away and pushing your limits. It is not about having a brand new BMW or KTM and worrying about what you will do with the bike when you get a flat or crash and twist the forks. I want to do it on a XR600.

David

  • DockingPilot

Posted January 10, 2007 - 04:31 AM

#23

I agree on your assesment on the XR600. That bike is stone reliable. I have both a 950 and a 650 XR. While id be more comfy on the 950 I would also have that smallest little dark cloud thought uo there about "I hope she doesn't loose the water pump or the clutch slave or something"
On the XR, no such mechanical thoughts.
And your correct doing it on the XR is more adventurous. I plan on riding my 650 from the east coast to the west coast via the TAT soon.

  • Trailace

Posted January 10, 2007 - 04:43 AM

#24

. (2) If anyone has done this trip before, what type of terrain is available for camping? In the lower 48, I travel up a logging road in a National Forest and pitch my tent. Will this be feasable near the Dalton Highway or should I plan on staying in hotels, cabins, etc?
David


David We just pulled over on the side of the road and set up campPosted Image

  • docsabre

Posted January 11, 2007 - 06:06 PM

#25

Cool. That is what I was hoping to hear. Thanks. That little bit of information should save me a bundle of cash.

David

  • Trailace

Posted January 11, 2007 - 07:07 PM

#26

Cool. That is what I was hoping to hear. Thanks. That little bit of information should save me a bundle of cash.

David


David, Don't forget to do the Denali HWY out of or to Paxson. That was a fun dirt road.:lol:

You can read my Alaska report here.:confused:

  • CANADIAN BACON

Posted January 11, 2007 - 07:51 PM

#27

If you would like a guided tour . A group of D/S ridders will be leaving the Kootenays the second week of June .
We will be doing the Alaska line to Dawson then the Dempster to Inuvik.
Back to Dawson and on to Fairbanks down to Anchorage back to the Watson lake turn off down the Cassiar Road to Prince George and south.
All you have to do is go East to Spokane and north to our area.
I live 150 miles north of Spokane.
We'll be staying a couple of days at my Sons place in Prince George.
You'll need at least three weeks.

  • docsabre

Posted January 13, 2007 - 01:28 AM

#28

--"Be sure you get some MSR heavy duty inner tubes too."--

MSR tubes were only 2mm. Bridgestone makes ultra heavy duty ones 4mm. Any reason not to use 4mm tubes?
http://www.kgmotorcy...inner_tubes.htm

David

  • docsabre

Posted January 13, 2007 - 01:37 AM

#29

If you would like a guided tour . A group of D/S ridders will be leaving the Kootenays the second week of June.


By the second week of June I hope to be 1500 miles into BC or Yukon. Thanks for the offer. What are you riding and how many are you? If I see you on the road in Alaska I will definitely say hello.

David

  • docsabre

Posted January 13, 2007 - 01:43 AM

#30

David, Don't forget to do the Denali HWY out of or to Paxson. That was a fun dirt road.:lol:

You can read my Alaska report here.:confused:



I will defiitely try to do that road. Thanks for the photo journal of your trip. It is inspiring and helpful! I found out today from the Baja Designs folks that my stator is already rewound and is 125/125W so they are hooking up a connector for my vest on one line and the heated grips on the other line.

I made a grand list of all the parts I need to get before my trip. It is actually not a long list. Just some additional camping items, tools, and a few special items for the bike. I can get it all done in the next month easy. I have been studying Milepost and pouring over the maps of Canada and Alaska.

David

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  • akpilot7

Posted January 20, 2007 - 10:25 PM

#31

For what it's worth. My day and I did a dual-sport ride from Anchorage to Deadhorse and back last fall. I was on a DRZ400, my Dad on an XR250. We did just fine with minimal gear. It isn't as tough as people would have you believe. My only advice, bring good rain-gear!! And put on a fresh set of good dirt only tires in Fairbanks. If it rains on the Dalton Highway, you will be in areas of greasy mud.

On the way home, stop by my house in Anchorage. I have a set of Trailwing tires you could have for the trip back home. They are fine on gravel, and quite good on the highway. I took them off my DRZ when it was new. I don't ride on the highway that much. PM me if interested.

  • cleonard

Posted January 20, 2007 - 11:28 PM

#32

Sounds like an awesome adventure. Take a lot of pictures.

While I have no first hand experience there are a couple of things that I did not see mentioned. Bears, not the mellow black bears that we have down here, but the brown bears otherwise known as grizzles. You need to have a very clean camp and I would not go to sleep with any food nearby. Nearby meaning a hundred yard. Here is a link to some good info about camping in brown bear country http://www.dnr.state...afety/bears.htm

I think that the longest that you will see without fuel is on the Dalton highway. If I remember correctly there is section with 175 miles between fuel.

Consider an alternate route. I think it's called the Alaska-Stewart highway. Head west out of Prince George on the 16 and turn north on the 37. It joins the Alcan highway in the Yukon. It looks like a more scenic route.

For clothing and camping gear just use backpacking stuff. Get good stuff, not the cheap stuff, it is light and efficient.

As far as the bike goes I don't think you are going to find much except in Fairbanks and Whitehorse. I think that there is even a Honda dealership in Whitehorse.

If you have had enough of the bike you can take the ferry back. The rates are actually reasonable.
http://www.dot.state...amhs/index.html
http://www.akferry.org/

  • akpilot7

Posted January 21, 2007 - 08:36 PM

#33

The longest section of road without fuel is the last leg. Coldfoot to Prudhoe is about 240 miles. No gas in between. As for bears, put your food in a pack and hoist it up a tree with a rope. If you are camping in the tundra, set it away from your camp and prepare to go hungry. Don't leave food in anything you don't want to see destroyed. I carried a .44 mag just in case, but the odds are really low they would attack you.

BTW: The most important part of your trip.....get an excellent seat, and break it in before your trip. Monkey butt will make the trip miserable. Maybe just some good padded riding shorts would do the trick.

  • black in RI

Posted January 30, 2007 - 07:14 AM

#34

some advice.. i drove from seattle to denali in an SUV in august.

there's a mag call the alaskan highway?? that gets published every .. mile by mile description of turn outs hotels motels, eater rivers rbridges etc..
for camping.. you can pretty mcuh camp anywhere..( careful of black bears though plenty around escpecially at night)
Try riding rt 37 from vancouver? to the alska highway.
And take a side trip on 37A to hyder and driveup salmon glacier rd to tsee the glaceir and stuff you wont believe it.

There's gas realiably about every 80 miles. plenty of cagers to.
definitely take some sort of tire puncture device. lots of places even have showers by the minute or or free tent camping.
Denali highway also very cool drive thur it during dusk it's surreal.

  • dos equis

Posted January 30, 2007 - 02:29 PM

#35

my wife and i made an alaska trip last june on a goldwing.used e3 dunlops they suck on gravel. motels are expensive in the yucon ,i averaged about $80 a nite, not much cheaper in alaska.we came back on the cassier hiway,i think you will use this going up,gas in canada is about80 miles apart with nothing in between, gas up at every oppertunity.food is hi in canada in jasper we spent $18 for 2 kfc 3 piece meals!that is canadian money,gas was $1.oo a liter in the yucon thats about$3.60 a gal i think.most gas stops have a resterant,motel,repair shop,and camping.we saw a lot of bears!talked to a group 3 guys on bmws that were camping said they did not cook at all had trail mix and grainola bars but ate at restrants,this was a bear thing!not to worry you just so you are aware that bears are a common problem:eek: .you might want to carry a copy of your birth certificate or a passport.no firearms in canada and it think pepper spray was not acceptible at the border either.
put a wind shield of some kind on the bugs are huge,we didnt go to prudhoe but i did find that i is a haul road for semis,locals told me they dont slow down or give a bike any extra room,lots of rocks dirt ect.windsheild and hand guard would be nice.throttle stop of some kind a great idea,in the yucon it is long and straight.there is a book printed yearly called the mile post guide that list every thing avalable on the alcan and the milepost it is at,you will be on the alcan from watson lake to tok alaska. last year raingear was worn daily and we stopped in whitehorse for more cold weather gear,if you can get a gerbing heated jacket liner and run it on your electrics you should! we were snowed on at destruction bay temps went to below freezing,most days mid 50was the high ,when its raining feels cold after 4-5 hours. remember when you are up there help can be a long time coming BE PREPAIRED to help yourself, on tires i made the trip on what i started on 8500 round trip, i would thik if you start on a new dual purpose tire you wouldnt need a change on your trip.was the best ride we have ever takin ,honda no problems at all an 02 with78000 miles when we left.take lots pictures. if you go to haines /skagway you can ride the ferry across the bay for about$120.00 you and bike. well i will stop rambeling now,have a great trip!!!

  • docsabre

Posted January 30, 2007 - 02:56 PM

#36

I have put together an itenerary that has me in Anchorage around June 8-9. I am then going to do the Kenai Peninsula for 1-2 days and head to Denali. Then to Fairbanks, Coldfoot, Deadhorse adn retrace back to Denali. FRom there I plan to do the dirt road to Paxson. Then back to Tok for the return ride. I would like to say hello on the way into Anchorage. If you want to ride with me to Kenai, let me know. I will be camping. I plan to put new tires on when I head north out of Anchorage for the Prudhoe Bay run.

I guess an alternative idea is to keep a set of knobbies in Fairbanks at a friend's house and put them on for the Dalton Hwy and back. Then switch back to universal treads for the return trip.

My biggest concern is trying to get max road miles out of my tires. I do not want to have knobbies on for very long and have worn out tires in the middle of nowhere in Canada. I really only need knobbies for a small part of the ride.

I think my universal tires may have to do on the Dalton Hwy.

David

  • docsabre

Posted January 30, 2007 - 03:05 PM

#37

[quote name='cleonard']Sounds like an awesome adventure. Take a lot of pictures.

While I have no first hand experience there are a couple of things that I did not see mentioned. Bears, not the mellow black bears that we have down here, but the brown bears otherwise known as grizzles.
[COLOR="Red"]I have experience camping in the wilds and use a rope to hoist my food up a tree. I even put my cologne, toothpaste, etc in the bag. Anything that may attract wildlife.[/COLOR]

I think that the longest that you will see without fuel is on the Dalton highway. If I remember correctly there is section with 175 miles between fuel.[COLOR="Red"]Longest leg is Coldfoot to Deadhorse- 250 miles. I have a 5 gallon tank and plan to take a 1 gallon plastic can. I also have 2 33oz MSR fuel bottle for my camp stove that can serve as spare fuel for the bike.[/COLOR]

Consider an alternate route. I think it's called the Alaska-Stewart highway. Head west out of Prince George on the 16 and turn north on the 37. It joins the Alcan highway in the Yukon. It looks like a more scenic route. [COLOR="Red"]I am planning to do the Cassiar Hwy that runs west of the Alcan and is considered more scenic, more isolated.[/COLOR]

For clothing and camping gear just use backpacking stuff. Get good stuff, not the cheap stuff, it is light and efficient.[COLOR="Red"]Already thought of it. I have very good lightweight gear.[/COLOR]

As far as the bike goes I don't think you are going to find much except in Fairbanks and Whitehorse. I think that there is even a Honda dealership in Whitehorse.

If you have had enough of the bike you can take the ferry back. The rates are actually reasonable.[COLOR="Red"]I checked a ferry return from the Anchoarge area to Bellingham, it was $1245 for me and my bike with no stateroom and took 4-5 days. There are only certain days that the various ferries leave and you may end up waiting in Haines for 2-4 days for the next south bound ship. I would prefer the solitude of the road to the crowds on the ships.(Plus the cost!)

David[/COLOR]

  • docsabre

Posted January 30, 2007 - 03:14 PM

#38

motels are expensive in the yucon ,i averaged about $80 a nite, not much cheaper in alaska. [COLOR="Red"]I will be camping.[/COLOR]

food is hi in canada in jasper we spent $18 for 2 kfc 3 piece meals![COLOR="Red"]I plan to eat in campground with food I purchased.[/COLOR].

you might want to carry a copy of your birth certificate or a passport.[COLOR="Red"]OPassport now required for entry back to US. I have one.[/COLOR]no firearms in canada and it think pepper spray was not acceptible at the border either.[COLOR="Red"]Not planning on any of these. A friend of mine in Anchorage will let me have his 12G pump with pistol grip, but I do not think I'll take it.[/COLOR]

put a wind shield of some kind on the bugs are huge,we didnt go to prudhoe but i did find that i is a haul road for semis,locals told me they dont slow down or give a bike any extra room,lots of rocks dirt ect.windsheild and hand guard would be nice.throttle stop of some kind a great idea,in the yucon it is long and straight.[COLOR="Red"]Already have National Cycle Deflector shield and Acerbis brush guards with rally spoilers.[/COLOR]

there is a book printed yearly called the mile post guide that list every thing avalable on the alcan and the milepost it is at,you will be on the alcan from watson lake to tok alaska. [COLOR="Red"]Already studying "Milepost"[/COLOR]

last year raingear was worn daily and we stopped in whitehorse for more cold weather gear,if you can get a gerbing heated jacket liner and run it on your electrics you should! [COLOR="Red"]Already have heated grips and Widder vest with wiring on the XR600 to match. All my gear is waterproof. I am used to touring in the rain.[/COLOR]


Thanks for the advice.

David

  • docsabre

Posted January 30, 2007 - 03:21 PM

#39

throttle stop of some kind a great idea,in the yucon it is long and straight.[COLOR="Red"]I already have a Vista Cruise throttle control and Cramp Buster for the grip.[/COLOR]


Thanks.

David

  • docsabre

Posted January 30, 2007 - 03:24 PM

#40

BTW: The most important part of your trip.....get an excellent seat, and break it in before your trip. Monkey butt will make the trip miserable. Maybe just some good padded riding shorts would do the trick.[COLOR="Red"]Baja Designs sells an after market foam and seat cover for the pan that is softer and wider than the original. This is being put on the bike already.[/COLOR]


Thanks

David





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