My motorbike adventures, & my Wisconsin to Alaska run (June 2012)
I thought it was time I take a crack at a Ride Report, and share some pics and my expierences. Since I come here & enjoy everyone else's so much!! I have deep respect for the amount of time many put into their RRs. Although mine is gonna be fairly short & sweet, since being a mechanic, I always have to go back to work sooner or later...
My bike adventures seemed to evolve over the past couple years to my Alaska run. I like, most all bikes. I think I have a serious passion for motorcycles, grew up with dirtbikes. But became addicted to the speed factor and I do take it to the track.
Unfortunately, now that I'm looking back, I wish I had bought a higher quality camera on my trips & took more photos, but it is all stored upstairs, great memories. New camera is definitely on my list though!
My name is AJ
Yes, thats an 1198. I've owned a couple of liter/sport bikes, but this one had a soul. Demontech tuned, rode to a 10.2 @ 133mph with the dry clutch. This bike made you feel alive with the sounds & feelings.
Barber motorsports park, Birmingham, Alabama with STT. Getting stuffed by Chimichanga here. I got my NESBA "A" group bump with this bike
But growing up in the midwest, yet having traveled a fair amount in my short existence. I always wanted to take a road trip out west my whole life, esp on a bike. Track days & CCS racing were killing my bank account(& credit cards!). I now had the freedom & some vacation time to burn. Never having spent anytime on ADV. I quickly put together a rough plan, asked some advice from the one guy I know who has ridden any real distance, borrowed a bike(from my dad 06 DL650), bought some cheap luggage. Over packed. And planned a Iron Butt run.
The plan, early sept 2011, solo run, ride west and hit-up as many twisty mountain roads as possible, go through yellowstone and don't stop until I hit the Oregon coast. A motorcycle adventure. Try to live off the bike as mush as possible, to save money.
A nice guy with his son & a van full of MX bikes insisted on taking this photo of me. He (had a BMW bike) knew exactly what the IB run was & cheered me on. Me, @ about 850mi in on the IB run, Box Elder, South Dakota. With wet feet.
I rode from Milwaukee, Wi to Sheridan, Wy. Clicked off 1070mi in just over 17hrs. Left MKE @ midnight and was in Sheridan for dinner. never exceeded 75mph. Got a hotel room after that run
Camped my first night in Yellowstone. forget the exact elevation, but it was fairly high, it was a cold night
Yellowstone was awesome, rode around bison all over in the roads, typical tourist trap draw backs other wise though. 45mph speed limit:deal
Yellowstones "grand canyon"
three random solo riders
Was neat to see a euro plate, he was nice, had lots of time & support for his trip. Was amazed by his bike set-up, followed him on his blog a little. His bike popped the motor when he got into South America, he also crashed in South America but continued on!
This hwy was awesome, except for the tar stripes
Idaho was awesome
Oregon, getting close to the coast. Didn't know there was a desert in the middle of Oregon though!
When I finally got to the coast it looked like a storm was brewing, locals said its been foggy for several days now, was damp but not raining.
camped on the coast that night, decided to head north up the coast the following day to Washington & Mt Rainier
(a lot of my Wash. pics were blurry)
heading back home on the Colombian river hwy somewhere. Go Wee-Strom!
9 days & 5400mi., the bike had only 6200 mi on before I left, now indicating 11600mi! My dad & brother could not believe the mileage. Good thing I put full synthetic oil in it & fresh tires before I left. Loved the trip. Hated my I-pod music by the end. No speeding tickets. Worked that 650 motor hard since I like to ride a faster pace. If you would have told me after that trip that I would be riding to alaska, I would have laughed at you.
Since it seems all good things come to an end. The Ducati, was kinda like a hot high maintenance girlfriend, who was just no good for you because all you do is go out & spend money, but you didn't care if you got caught up in the moment. Or a highly addictive drug...exhaust, Nemesis, slipper clutches, tires & more rear tires.
I was done street riding sportbikes anymore, & no one puts baby in the corner.Never got a single traffic ticket on the Duc. Emma & I saying goodbye to her before trading her in.
My rebound, fresh from the dealer. It just made sense, the R model,reduced price, yup throw the Akras on right away! Got the Ktm home early Dec 2011. Within one month of owning this bike and reading a article about D2D and seeing pics....the planning began
test trip, 900mi run to Upper Mi. (spring 2012)
Ready to Rock
Keep going I'm in
Enjoyed that report with my bowl of cereal. Coffee is ready and I'm ready to go to Alaska soon as it shows up. :clap
Great intro :thumb
Great reading thus far brother, no reason to stop now.
I enjoyed seeing a smaller CC bike ride report from the Wee, but also like the new KTM too :evil
I been to the same site in Michigan that you had pictured me thinks, Hancock Mine?
Looking good....keep posting....
I'm in. Looks like it could be one heck of a trip. Nice bike too. I like the panniers on it. Are they KTM boxes?
Ride safe man.
Looking forward to the Alaska ride report!
this message self-destroyed...
Another cheesehead to AK!
Nice report so far.....:deal
planning, bike prep & day 1
Glad some of you enjoyed my short V-strom report. Thought you should have an idea of where I'm coming from if you don't know me. I learned a lot from that trip. Didn't need the spare fuel tank or a fresh set of clothes everyday...but it seemed like a good idea at the time.:D But that trip left me wanting more.
I should let you know I rode at Deals Gap 3 years earlier, and my friend Jon brought his then new KTM adv (w/street tires) and was running with us sportbikes & keeping up. Didn't know what to think of the big beast then.
So, talked to my manager at work, I got only 16days to do this, take it or leave it type thing, working for the man...
The plan, motor up to Dawson city and relax for at least a few days:freaky, so not to get burnt out. Then I can either do Inuvik or Deadhorse, but not both. My only reservations, were to stay in Goldrush campground right in town, within walking distance of everything. I started lurking on here and got a milepost book.
The KTM adventure R, the biggest thing for me, was proper hardcases. I got these right out of the KTM catalog, from my dealer, then I didn't have to deal with any shipping charges. Thanks to the guys at Southeast Sales in MKE!! I installed a cheap car GPS and booger welded up a custom homemade bracket for a mount, kept ziplock bags in the tankbag incase I encountered rain! I had tons of tools & camping gear etc. Cut a 1/4 in out of the sidestand & welded b/c the bike didn't sit right w/luggage. Lastly but not least, I got a personal XM satelite radio with the optional auto craddle, it can record music as well. You can see the antenna mounted on top of my $15 aux fuel tank. A cheap throttle lock, sheepskin on the terribly uncomfy "R" seat, that most people replace right away on these models. A proper seat, gps unit & mount were really not in my budget. I could go on & on...I planned for 6 months. The bike already had 4300mi on it when leaving, fresh oil in the engine, brand new set of Heidenau tires. I'll fill you in as I go, let's go already
I'm no photographer(cheap ass camera), and really should have taken more pics
Day 1-Get Outta Dodge
I knew the next three days were gonna be some big pushes across the prairelands to get to the good stuff. I departed MKE at midnight, love riding my bike at night on the interstate with little to no cars around, I was rolling! I was looking to click off a 1000mi or at least get into Canada. Was dry all night leaving Sconsin but hit rain in the morning going across Minnesota. Rode across & up into North Dakota, saw some oil pumps going. Pulled over in Minot area to fuel up & layer up. Saw a set-up GS1200 across the street at a little diner, saw the guy walk out, he saw me, he yells out " A D V ". I nod, he flips me the bird.
Nice guy from California, he rode over, we chatted a few minutes. He was heading east & taking his time. Told me I wasn't on a trip but a journey. I hit the border at dinner time, wasn't what I expected, was small & was mostly semi trucks, handed my passport over & told them I'd never been in Canada. I was asked why am I wearing a Ducati jacket & riding a KTM bike? Is that your bike? He got the plate #. Was told to park the bike & come inside, I knew they were making sure I'd never got a drunk driving etc. They told me its still cold where I was headed. Rode into Estevan shortly after and found the crappiest/cheap hotel I could find. Walked to a local sports bar for a beer & food, started talking to a oil worker, they started buying shots, they were all oil workers, hung out for a while but I was beat and turned in early as I could.
I slept like a rock after my first day and hanging with those oil worker guys. So now it was Sunday morning & time to keep going. Now, I knew this trip was not going to be a lazy vacation from the get go, but was something I really wanted to experience now, not in 25 years when I had more time. I knew I would miss things along the way, but I will be up this way again!
The start of this trip, the KTM still had that new bike feeling & smell. My satelite radio mount could not handle the v-twin vibrations & broke when removing it after the first day, no big deal, just could not change radio stations on the fly & kept it in the tank bag now, which I figured I would end up doing if in heavy rain. The day started out dry & cool, but it quickly got wet & cold. I was wearing new waterproof overpants(no more yellow rubber pants). Some old comfy Sidi road boots which I bought rain booties for, PITA to put on but worked! I had rain gloves for my gloves(had standard leather Dainese gaunlet gloves). I had a mesh style(Dainese made) sportbike jacket that I always liked for street riding, & had a (yellow) rubber overcoat if I hit rain.
It was 47F & raining, I was very chilled. Thank God, I brought my heated Gerbing jacket liner & put the heated grips on the bike. Figured I would only need the Gerbing for the Dalton hwy run, which by the way, I figured if I'm going this far, i'm going to Alaska & the Dalton(made reservations for one night at the Fairbanks Dorm rooms). KTM hiding from the rain.
I was a layered up monster, but warm now. Saw lots of oil pumps out in farmfields in SK. Needed fuel bad at one point, and found small town gas stations to be closed. At hwy speeds, I was playing with the throttle & thought the clutch was slipping, the big Katoom could spin up the back Heidenau easily in the rain. I pulled into a little rest stop area for a break from the rain,no one was there, tried to tuck into the buildings overhang a bit & my left GOBI side case knocked over the garbage cans. I picked them up, a restaurant across the way had a perfect view. Saw a semi truck stuck at a fuel station due to the dirt parking lot, right off the interstate. Was in Alberta somewhere, stopped for fuel, started going again, smoke began to pour out of the aux power socket! I ripped the cord out as fast as I could. The male & female ends were all melted. The cord was feeding a multi aux power socket assy in the tankbag. The XM radio still had battery power! Funny thing was I actually rode right by the only KTM dealer in Alberta while going through Edmonton, but it was sunday. I wasn't too worried, but it was a rough day. Rain let up through out the day. HUGE open spaces in Canada thus far,now knew why its called the praire lands. I was running 90mph in some open sections while letting some fancy Cadillac be my rabbit. Saw signs for Whitecourt, was approaching dusk, ready to get a hotel room, no cars around, fistfull of throttle, first time laying hard into the loaded bike, backed out of it as I came out of a big valley. Meet the RCMP, @ a ton-up! All I can say is he was very professional & quick, didn't have to pay on the spot, he easily could have caused me some delays for this trip. Complimented him on his hiding spot & got him to smile. But I was done with day 2, got a hotel room next to a sports bar & grill. Needed a beer & a sandwhich. Parking lot was full of oil worker trucks, & one electra glide with Texas plates. 710mi
enjoy your writing style, quick and to the point.
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