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Old 06-16-2010, 11:19 AM   #1
bigvern OP
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Alaska ride....it's all his fault

What happened was......well at least the way I remember it, while out on one of our usual rides to get some good BBQ my mate Phil (pdavis59 on here) throws out the suggestion that we should ride to Alaska. An innocent enough suggestion to be sure, had it not been for my general lack of will power in these type of situations - you know the ones that involve deciding to go for it on the spur of the moment without considering the details simply because a damn good bike ride was involved - and besides how hard could it be...

So here we are about to start this adventure after 1.5 years of planning, a new bike each (nothing wrong with that - in my case a "new to me" KTM 950 Adv) and more camping gear, riding gear and accessories than you can shake a stick at.

The basic plan....
We head out from North Texas "early" on Thursday this week (June 17th) and we slab it for 2 straight days to Montana (Glacier NP) with the bikes loaded in my truck.....and yeah I know some inmates may bitch that we should be riding all the way, but we've both got work and family commits so this has to be done on a schedule and at least this way we get to spend the most amount of time on the bikes "up north" which is the whole point after all.

So, its a round trip ride from Glacier NP Montana up to as far north as just past the artic circle on the Dalton, then back down to Fairbanks, Denali, Anchorage and Kenai before heading back south again down the Cassier. Looks like about 7K miles total. Among the many highlights is we're on for D2D in Dawson but won't get there until Friday - I blame Phil - he kept moving dates around......did I mention that this is all his fault?

At this point I suppose I should show some of the build-up and perhaps add a picture or two.

My trusty new ride the day after I picked it up - basically stock except for FMF exhaust cans and a choice of windshields inc. a Cee Baileys which doesn't work for me





List of things fixed / added to the bike so far:
Carb / cylinder head intake boots replaced - front one was split and bike would stall out without warning - even at 55mph during a lazy downshift - that got my attention when I realized the rear wheel was locked up





Replaced the clutch pushrod and seal (badly corroded - but it is an "04 after all and the oil jet was blocked - aarrrgggghh)





Replaced fuel pump (new OEM)
New spark plugs - sounds simple unless you own a 950/990 Adv and understand how much of a pain access to the front cylinder is - Look - no tanks, airbox and carbs in the way...





Removed the emissions "plumbing" – shhhh don’t tell the eco-mentalists





New air filter and oiled pre-filter
Side stand relocation bracket - thanks PABiker - it works great !
Water pump rebuild – new impeller, pump shaft, bearings, seal and housing - I especially enjoyed cooking the engine case to get the bearings out





Had the suspension re-done (re-valved and new springs) to match my *ahem* size and the fact that the bike would also be loaded with gear on this trip





Zip Ty foot pegs
Zip Ty luggage rack
Roxspeed handlebar risers
Renazco custom saddle - must have raised the seat height a good 3 inches over stock which is now perfect (for me) and lets not forget its really comfortable unlike the crime against humanity that is a stock KTM saddle





Calsci windshield (XXL) - I think mine was the first XXL they made as I asked if they could make something taller than the XL and it turned and they could - and more importantly it works for my height
Touratech headlight guard
Mefo super explorers front and rear - so far so good
Heavy duty inner tubes
Rotaxpax storage box (tool box)
Rotapax 2 gallon fuel tank - just in case
Airhawk seat pad
Highway pegs (mounted to the crashbars)
......I think that's it - longer list than I thought but then again I have had 18months to tinker with the bike


So we leave tomorrow “early”. After that we’re going to try to keep this report current but it may be a little hit or miss depending on where we are and what we’re doing, but it will get updated eventually - worse case after we get back if we have to. We’ve gone for the minimalist approach with the electronics which makes this a little tricky – basically a Blackberry 9700, a microSD in the camera (with a carrier) and a Flickr account. I’ve checked it out and although it’s a little painful it does seem to work and it beats having to carry a lot of extra stuff just to stay on-line.


More later from the road…..

bigvern screwed with this post 07-21-2010 at 10:19 PM
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:31 AM   #2
TomTom63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigvern

...
Among the many highlights is we're on for D2D in Dawson but won't get there until Friday

...
See ya in Dawson City

BTW, nice re-build-job on the KTM. I vividly remember cussing & fuzzing about all the Tupperware before getting to the engine...
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:46 PM   #3
ricohman
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We will be up there also. Why not do the run to Deadhorse if you are nearly there anyway?
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ricohman
We will be up there also. Why not do the run to Deadhorse if you are nearly there anyway?
The decision (current decision anyway) pretty much comes down to time. We'll probably go up as far as Atigun pass but turn round there. If we do Deadhorse we'd need to add at least another 2-3 days to the whole trip that we just don't think we have right now.

Plus the way we've got it planned right now we're heading up the Dalton after D2D and want to be back down in Anchorage for July 4th unless anyone has any better recomendations for the a good place to drink a beer and watch some fireworks?
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:24 PM   #5
kerunt
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Will you be passing through British Columbia/Vancouver? Give me a shout if you need anything!
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:38 PM   #6
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:28 PM   #7
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by kerunt
Will you be passing through British Columbia/Vancouver? Give me a shout if you need anything!

Thanks for offer, we will be travelling through BC but not over as far as Vancouver.

....and trust me if anything major breaks we will be sending out a general distress call to any inmates in the area
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Old 06-16-2010, 05:53 PM   #8
Alcan Rider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigvern
The decision (current decision anyway) pretty much comes down to time. We'll probably go up as far as Atigun pass but turn round there. If we do Deadhorse we'd need to add at least another 2-3 days to the whole trip that we just don't think we have right now.
From Atigun you can easily be in Deadhorse in 3 or 4 hours... or even less. Generally, your southbound leg will be quicker than the northbound one.

You could stay in Wiseman overnight, ride to Deadhorse and back the next day, then be back in Fairbanks early the following afternoon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigvern
Plus the way we've got it planned right now we're heading up the Dalton after D2D and want to be back down in Anchorage for July 4th unless anyone has any better recomendations for the a good place to drink a beer and watch some fireworks?
That's a week. To go a little under 1800 miles. You expecting the bikes to break down a lot along the way?
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Old 06-16-2010, 05:57 PM   #9
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Looks like you're well prepared... thanks for the intro

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Old 06-17-2010, 07:00 AM   #10
ricohman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcan Rider
From Atigun you can easily be in Deadhorse in 3 or 4 hours... or even less. Generally, your southbound leg will be quicker than the northbound one.

You could stay in Wiseman overnight, ride to Deadhorse and back the next day, then be back in Fairbanks early the following afternoon.



That's a week. To go a little under 1800 miles. You expecting the bikes to break down a lot along the way?
If you are so close to the Beaufort Sea it would be a shame to ride all that way and not spend a few more hours. Time is always ticking, but you only live once.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:14 PM   #11
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Plus the way we've got it planned right now we're heading up the Dalton after D2D and want to be back down in Anchorage for July 4th unless anyone has any better recomendations for the a good place to drink a beer and watch some fireworks?

BigVern, we hit Wasilla on July 4 and as we inquired about the fire works the locals tolds that around 2 AM the next morning it may be dark enough for a good show. They also stated that they really enjoy the fireworks on Thanksgiving.

Have a great ride and enjoy, take lots of pics
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:38 PM   #12
AKmud
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Great trip planning! My group just got back to AK after 16 days starting in SLC heading south (5,400 miles). We will see you in Dawson!
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:41 PM   #13
AKmud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigvern
Plus the way we've got it planned right now we're heading up the Dalton after D2D and want to be back down in Anchorage for July 4th unless anyone has any better recomendations for the a good place to drink a beer and watch some fireworks?
Not much for fireworks in AK.... too much daylight makes them not so impressive (New Years is the best displays). You might think about heading to Seward for the 4th and watch the crazies run over Mt. Marathon.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:00 PM   #14
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:40 PM   #15
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Looking forward to your reports.

Ride safe.

Sean
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