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n16ht5 06-20-2011 12:16 PM

WAAK, Dust2Dawson, and back on an XR650L
This will be an ongoing process as I go through my photos and videos...

June 10th through June 30th I spent traveling over 4,000mi from my home in Arlington, WA to Alaska, Yukon, and British Columbia. I had always wanted to go to AK, but never really had the time to make it happen. I was getting old, 25. I though I better go before I croak. It was the ride of a lifetime.. I stayed at a great lodge with the wife on a mountain pass, camped at beautiful lakes and campgrounds, saw moose, caribou, bears, sheep.. Stayed with some really great people near Denali who took me dirt biking up in the tundra, got to go whitewater rafting for free through Denali park, Flyfishing, rode the Denali highway, Top of the World highway, ran the Dust2Dawson poker run, went to Summerstroke concert in Whitehorse, rode the Cassiar highway in the sunshine to Hyder, AK, and made some good friends along the way.. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Here's a few sneaker shots

Anyway... I was planning to take the XR250R, but I stumbled across a 2003 XR650L for $500. Perfect. I really wanted an XRR, but I couldn't pass this deal up :ride:

It had been sitting for a few years.. had a bad CS, owner thought the shaft was bad, he never bothered to pull it off to see :smirk:. So I cleaned her up and added some goodies to her.....

Giant Loop Coyote saddle bag
Dave's Mods
Spud's Mods
UNI filter
Oil Cooler
Bark Busters
Foldable Mirrors
Skid plate
Fender Rack
Chain gaurd
Brake gaurd
XRR headlight, HID retrofit
LED turns
LED tail light
Supersprox, XRR CS, and X-ring chain, 15/46
Removable windscreen
Clarke 4.7G tank
Dirt-bike-gear fender bag for tools/AC
12V accessory plugs for gear/heated coat
Cigg lighter plug behind headlight for chargers
GPS mount
Reinforced sub-frame
Handlebar risers
Bridgestone UHD tubes F/R
Dual rimlocks F/R
Cheng shin C858 tires I got for $50

- Gear review after trip -
Most everything worked great for the trip. I packed about the right amount of gear and tools. The Giant Loop Coyote was probably the best addition to the bike for the trip. I have no idea how I would have got everything on the bike without it. I am NOT a fan of hard bags at all, so this or Wolfman was my option. I am glad I went with GL. It stayed secure the whole trip, kept my gear safe and secure, and held up to a lot of abuse, save for one plastic cinch clip during the last few days.
The Cheng Shin tires were garbage. The rear wore out ridiculously fast, although I tend to have a heavy right hand and rode with a ton of weight on it. It was down to 1/8" of tread by D2D, only 1/2 way through the trip. Next time I will probably go with Pirelli MT16, Artrax, or Haidenau (sp?). Not one flat.
The final windscreen I added on was a lifesaver. Riding the rain on the highway was made much more comfortable, not to mention crap that hit the screen like bugs and rocks. I made sure it was removable for dirt biking. The dry bags for my gear strapped to the GL was essential. SeattleSports brand is a must

Here she is all loaded up

I was ready to roll. Well... I needed a lot of gear to camp off this bike for three weeks over 4,000mi.

chelo5sur 06-20-2011 08:05 PM

nice pics. Thanks

PistonPants 06-20-2011 10:22 PM

Great report, video and stills! Mrs Piston and I wish you safe and fun travels. Looking forward to seeing where the Warpig takes you. Easy on that right wrist (unless you see XR haters in those tiny rearview mirrors.) We enjoyed your stay and especially riding together. Wish I could follow along for more of the ride.

PistonPants 06-20-2011 11:13 PM

An epic ride it was. Topping the 'price of admission' , storm clouds gathered, thunder booming off the mountains. Are we deterred? No way.
Lunch in the rain.

It will pass. Potato chips remind us what dry is like. n16ht5 rides hi XRL like he's shot from a cannon. Best to not let off the juice on a 300+lb cycle. Beep beep! Salute!
The rain slacked off and we headed deeper into the backcountry, ascending the third cirque to 4200'. We pause to let Shutter Monkey's GasGas stop boiling and spewing coolant.....Spaniards.

They told him 'you can't do THAT on an XR650L'. Did he listen?

The alpine in bloom

We hauled some antlers back out with us. Shutter Monkey scores a rack.

On the home stretch. Heading for BBQ ribs and chicken. Mrs Piston is legendary for feeding the sweaty bruised and muddy adventurers. Credit to Bubba for the ribs.

Dude...You went THERE on THAT!?!:eek1:lol3 Nice run.

n16ht5 07-07-2011 06:14 PM

Continuing from above... ADV doesn't like more than a few pictures..

Gear is as follows

sockets, wrenches, allen set
tire repair kit, spoons
air compressor
chain repair kit
electric repair kit
first aid kit

Giant Loop Coyote
Wolfman Expedition Tank Bag - Small
*(I like the GL better, they only had this in stock though in Anchorage)
SeattleSports Dry bags (one for each sleeping bag)
Overboard waterproof backpack (Got in Anchorage)
Two 1/2L, one 1L steel water bottles
Collapsible fishing pole, tackle
Penny stove (Steverstove) with Heet fuel
MSR seagull cooking pot, steel bowl
Steripen water purifier w/ prefilter
-15F poly sleeping bag for me, down bag for wife
OR bivy sac with bug net
Cheap $25 walmart dome tent (didn't want to lug my good tent on the bike)
Twin size inflatable mattress
Folding camp saw
Milepost 2011 (pages)
2M/70CM Ham radio
Flashlights, spare batteries
Chargers for camera, phone, GPS
Weeks worth cooking food
Snacks and power bars

Three days clothes
Home-wired heated riding jacket
fleece top
fleece pants
long johns
Grundens rain gear
waterproof socks
18" Hiking boots
Gaiters Crocs
1 pair summer riding gloves
2 pair spring riding gloves
1 pair winter riding gloves

Wife brought similar clothes

We had a LOT of stuff. The plan was to ride the ferry along the inside passage from Bellingham to Haines, AK. There we would get off, ride 1,000mi to Anchorage where she would fly home. I continue on solo, eventually to Dust2Dawson and then home along the Cassiar highway through Canada.

So it begins...

Waiting in Bellhingham for the Ferry. It wasn't cheap.. $1200 for the two of us and bike.. they don't give a break for bikes in pricing :foul: but I didn't want to ride up 2-up the whole way as we hadn't rode much 2up, especially with this much gear on the bike.

waiting in line with other riders

Leaving the dock... here we go

For those who travel the ferry.... this is the best spot... the sundeck, in the middle toward the windows.. I had my wife go onboard with the passengers and save this spot. by the time us riders had got on the boat, pretty much everything was taken except the floor or tenting on the outside deck.

n16ht5 07-07-2011 06:20 PM

our view

the heatlamps are NICE. I slept on top of my sleeping bag in my shorts

Sunrise came early.. about 4:30AM

Breakfast... we packed a huge Styrofoam cooler for the boat ride. We saved a lot of money on food that way..

n16ht5 07-07-2011 06:21 PM

Bella Coola area

n16ht5 07-07-2011 06:23 PM

Ketchikan, AK

We went out for a bit into town.. they don't give you a whole lot of time though.

our little fort

n16ht5 07-07-2011 06:23 PM

Wrangell, AK
neat little town.. the big ships definitely skip this place.

there's a really good place to eat on the main street..

After that we headed for the Inside Passage... too shallow and narrow for the bigger ships. the markers tell where to go, otherwise you hit bottom

lots of eagles
I hope they weren't feeding them...

look for the ping pong balls

well I have lots more photos... still on day 2 here! more to come..

busdriver803 07-08-2011 07:10 AM

Looks like a great trip so far ... this is one on my bucket list. Looking forward to the rest of your adventure! :clap

ceebaileys 07-08-2011 07:18 AM

Enjoying the pictures! Can't wait for more =)

n16ht5 07-08-2011 10:50 AM

Petersburg, AK

A whale, in front of the small island

A friend we made, she is a photographer who is running as a guide this summer in Haines..

Haines, AK... we're finally here!

n16ht5 07-08-2011 10:51 AM

The ride is starting to get pretty nice

I was pretty cooped up on the boat... so I wanted to try this hill..
70lbs of stuff over the rear tire makes for a good entrenching device though

n16ht5 07-08-2011 11:04 AM

Million Dollar Falls

Our first camping spot of the trip... Dezadeash Lake, Yukon. Absolutely gorgeous.

Our bike puked onto the table.

"Get in bed!"

LoneRanger 07-08-2011 11:34 AM

Great report and pictures thus far. You would have never made it with that much stuff on an XRR. The sub-frame won't hold up.

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