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Old 03-05-2008, 05:41 PM   #1
virgilus OP
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Alaska trip

We are planning a trip in the middle of august until mid- september. By the time we get there we will need a 6k maintenance and new tires. For maintenance we will probably count on Trails End BMW to doo it but for tires what do you think ????. Trails End is asking a pretty hefty price (almost double of what we pay on the east coast-internet orders). I know that the shipping is the culpirt here and sacrifices have to be made but I dont want a boat ride. The 6 k milles should we do-it before or after Dalton Hwy????. We will change to knobby before Dalton Hwy as a precaution. We would appreciate any sugestions that you can give us.
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Old 03-05-2008, 05:51 PM   #2
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Whitehorse should have tires. You could change there, burn up the new nobblies, change back to the old tires on the way south. The only thing that's cheap when going north is the scenery and smiles.
Contact the Honda dealer in Whitehorse about tires or ship them in before your trip. A hotel would accept them. Unless things have changed, that dealer can't balance a GS rear, but I wouldn't worry about that.

Also, The Motorcycle Shop in Anchorage is a source.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:25 PM   #3
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Either ship to or buy from Barb at Alaska leather. They will allow you to mount, etc if so desired.

My experience with the Motorcycle Shop was not too good. I was in Anchorage last summer and was operating under the presumption that mounting would be more reasonable if I bought my tires there. WRONG! Paid the "high freight to Alaska" price and then was charged $80 per tire for mounting and balancing. This was on an 06 GS with alloy wheels which is a 30 minute job.

Call or email Barb, she will help with great attitude and service!
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:35 PM   #4
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I lived in Fairbanks for 30 years and still have quite a few friends there. If you'd like to order tires from SW mototires or somewhere like that, I can give you an address that you can send the tires to. I believe the actual BMW dealership has switched from Trails End to the Harley/Honda store now. You may find their mounting prices to be better, and more reliable service. PM me if you need an address to ship tires to, it would save you some money. I know most of the dealers up there, including the folks that own the Suzuki/Yamaha shop, and I can help you find someplace to mount tires for a reasonable price.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:57 PM   #5
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I made it from Detroit and back on a set of Anakees. Went to Anchorage, Homer, Denali and Fairbanks, didn't ride to the circle though.
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:15 PM   #6
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Enjoy your trip, I hope to do it again soon.

So I did the trip in June-July of 2006 and thought I'd share a couple things I found out and would do a little differently.

- First, after in-depth conversation with my BMW Master Mechanic of 20+ years, we performed an early Level II service and decided we would not worry about hitting the next 6,000 mile service, and just perform another Level II when I returned home to Utah. That was 11,000 miles later. Everything went as planned. The bike was still in excellent condition upon return, valves still did not need tuning, and I only added 6 oz. of synthetic oil on the entire trip.

- Second, my original plans called for me to attempt the Dempster on my way West. Because of the extra weight I was packing, and because I was solo, I decided I did not want to attempt the Dempster with the very low tread Avons I had on. The Honda dealer in Whitehorse who normally stocks TKC-80's for the GS was out. So off to Anchorage I went where I got a brand new pair of TKC's at Alaska Leather. I then headed to Homer, then Denali, across the Denali Hwy (glad to have knobbies on) up to Tok, Chicken then Dawson City. By now rain had halted the two ferry crossings on the Dempster so I spent two extra days in Dawson awaiting word the crossings would be open. After watching the Canada Day festivities I got tired and decided to head up the Dempster the next day regardless. Arriving at Eagle Planes I found the going impossible for me as I figured I could not get the heavily laden GS up off the mud if it went down. I spend the night hoping the road would dry a little more. Second attempt the next morning got me to the Arctic Circle. Finding a group of Honda XL riders having a hard time heading South, I decided not to go any further North and landed the night in Whitehorse. Looking at the TKC's now I did not feel comfortable trying to make it the 1000 miles to Calgary, via the Cassiar Hwy. This time the Honda dealer only had TKC's on hand so I replaced the rear and road it the rest of the way home to Utah. First rear TKC with dirt, just over 2500 miles. Second rear, 2700 miles to Utah and another 500 miles on tarmac once here.

Conclusions: When I do it again, I will have the Honda dealer in Whitehorse order me in a pair of knobbies, which they will gladly do over the phone with a credit card. Just give them well over a month's notice since sometimes their orders are over a month late. Unless you have had issues with your GS being way out of tune at the 6K service, I would look at stretching the scheduled service out some. Enjoyed going both ways on the Cassiar and two nights in Hyder.

Take multiple methods for patching tires, an extra oil level glass and a V-belt. None of which I used but went to bed every night "thinking" I could limp to safety if needed. Enjoy the Imperial Blonde at the Glacier Brewhouse, served in a snifter, if you get a chance. One of the nices brew's I've had.
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:47 PM   #7
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Contact "Friar Mike" or "Barb" , you can usually either of them in the Alaska forum.
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:13 AM   #8
GB
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Not in GSpot.. off to RF: Alaska.
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:11 AM   #9
friar mike
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Here at the Abbey in Wasilla we do service on BMW's stock parts/tires and a place to stay the night (camping or the bunk house) Tire prices WILL be very high in Canada! Fairbanks next high. anchorage dealer next. Barb at Alaska leather and I have the best prices that I know of she has a spot you can pull your tires and thay will mount them I have full service shop so what ever works for you we can do. I stock all the main types of tires for the big D/P bikes and have riding experience on them all. Phone here is 907-376-6919 and Iam in the 2008 milepost.
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friar mike screwed with this post 03-06-2008 at 05:01 PM
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:37 PM   #10
virgilus OP
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Wow I really appreciate all your sugestions and help. I am writing all this info down. At this time it is too early to make any appointements but i will call a month ahead as you guys sugested. Thank you all and hope I see some of you on the road.
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:44 PM   #11
virgilus OP
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JustJeff----Thank you for your ofer. I appreciate and will definetely keep you in mind. Hope we see you soon (end of august).Til then have a safe ride.
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