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Old 01-25-2011, 01:53 PM   #1
Dadson OP
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How much of the bike will I have to replace?

After having recently gotten married, my plans for my Alaska trip have been changed to include a passenger, which I'm happy to have.
With this change there's talk of getting a Honda Goldwing.

I've read a handful of trip reports of others going all the way up to Prudhoe Bay and some say the roads are brutal on bikes while others say their fine. I've read that some have made the ride on Spyders and others on scooters, so I'm guessing that a Goldwing should be okay, but those bikes are not cheap and the idea of what it'll endure makes me wince.
But, I'd like to know from you Alaska veterans. Goldwing; good idea, bad idea? And sort of things am I likely to end up replacing?
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:01 PM   #2
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Tires, paint and oil.

Unless you drop it.
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Uglyprimate View Post
Tires, paint and oil.

Unless you drop it.
+1

We did it on an RT, a new HD full dresser and a 96 GS...all were fine after the trip. The road is very slick when it's wet, so serious tippage could occur.


Have fun!
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dadson View Post
I've read a handful of trip reports of others going all the way up to Prudhoe Bay and some say the roads are brutal on bikes while others say their fine. I've read that some have made the ride on Spyders and others on scooters, so I'm guessing that a Goldwing should be okay, but those bikes are not cheap and the idea of what it'll endure makes me wince.
But, I'd like to know from you Alaska veterans. Goldwing; good idea, bad idea? And sort of things am I likely to end up replacing?
Our northern roads do require more of a bike's suspension than what you are likely to experience in the South 48, and making the trip two-up (congratulations , by the way), I would highly recommend upgrading the rear suspension. Minimum would be replacing the rear shock spring with one from Progressive.

That said, the Gold Wing will be a great machine as far as Mile 0 of the Dalton Hwy, and - if you are ready for it - can take you to Prudhoe Bay/Deadhorse just fine. But be prepared to spend two or three hours washing all the calcium chloride-enriched mud off it once you get back to Fairbanks. This ride report includes a fellow rider who took his Gold Wing to Deadhorse: Sweet Thing & Motley Crew

Plan your trip so you don't have to hurry to keep to a schedule, play it by ear as you go, you'll both enjoy it much more. The Haul Road has good days and bad days, and there is always road maintenance going on somewhere, so expect that. And a warning - the standard road maintenance up there is severe enough that in many ride reports it is mis-identified as road construction. But it's nothing that the Wing can't handle with an experienced rider. Hint: Get the experience on gravel roads before you venture north on your trip.

Good or bad, it's not a trip you're likely to forget soon.
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:35 PM   #5
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I rode my Ultra to Mile 115 and the Arctic Circle. There was one bad spot, where I dumped it 3 times in 150 yards. Mud was so thick and slippery, had just been graded. Waited for a truck to go through and followed it tire tracks out.

That part really sucked. Really fucking sucked.

When I came back it had tried a bit and wasn't to bad. Though it did rain down south.

I think you have to be prepared to damage the bike a bit. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:29 PM   #6
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since i have a hd im interested
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cardoctor1 View Post
since i have a hd im interested
You mean like one of these?

Couple of years ago I met an HD well north of Atigun Pass, being ridden two-up back from Deadhorse. You just have to take your time, and have patience. As Zerk found (in his post above), sometimes you just wait for some heavy traffic to pack it down. In that case, you might want to be sure you have some high-octane bug repellent and/or a head net. Last July the mosquitoes were so bad I had to don a head net for the first time in my life. But only because I was helping a fellow rider get his bike back to riding condition after a spill. Moving - you'll be okay. But stopped - hang onto something heavy so the skeeters won't carry you away.
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:51 PM   #8
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I went up with the solstice. Mosquitos were bastards in MN and when we crossed over into SK. But after that they were gone. I had my war face all ready for them.
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