2018: A KTM SA and a BMW GSA Alaska Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Ol Man, May 12, 2018.

  1. Ol Man

    Ol Man Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    967
    Location:
    Apple Valley, Calif
    I live in the High Desert of So Cal and my friend lives in Idaho. We will be going on a six to eight week trip to Alaska. I leave on May 15th and he will leave on May 17th with the goal of meeting up in Kamloops, BC on May 20th. I am the one on the KTM.


    A quick background: I am 73 and have pretty much owned bikes most of my life. I bought my first when I was going to college. I had an accident my senior year, shortly after we were married, and stopped riding until my wife got me a motorcycle for Christmas in 1977, as I remember. I guess I had been talking about riding again and she figured if she got me one, I would be tired of it. I guess she was wrong. I was a dirt bike rider and sometime desert racer until getting my first big street bike in 2011. I had been riding a street legal dual sport KTM 450 since about 2007. In 2016 I rode my 2015 KTM 1290 SA to Alaska and back in 30 days, 9500 miles. I left home on April 23 and got home on May 19. I was pretty much the only rider once I got across the border and at a number of places was told I was the first rider up from the south. On the trip I had every kind of weather you would expect at that time of the year; rain, snow, hail, frozen roads, etc. I really enjoyed the trip, but felt I should leave home about a month later. The wife and I had also taken our motorhome, towing our Jeep to Alaska in 2012. So, this will be my third trip to Alaska. My wife has no interest in being a pillion and that is fine with me. She participates in all the other stupid stuff I like.


    Here is some background on my co-rider:


    Like Rich said, I live in eastern Idaho with a daily view of the Tetons. I’m not quite as old as Rich but a lot of days I probably feel older than him. I rode dirt bikes as a kid growing up in Salt Lake City; however, a young family and school caused me to focus in other directions. Following college, I spent 30 years on active duty in the Army. We moved 15 times in those 30 years which made dedicating to riding (and frequently moving a motorcycle around the world) almost impossible. I did ride for 5 years in the ‘80’s; however with four young children, my wife finally asked me to put it on hold “until I grew up.” I asked her if she was worried that I would kill myself and she replied killing myself was not her worry, it was having to change my diaper along with those of our children. In 1998, with all my children at least in in middle school, I decided (without input from my wife) that I was “grown up” so I got a Honda Valkyrie. Shortly afterward, I picked up a K 1200 LT. Since then, I have had two bikes in my stable and currently have a 2016 R 1200 GSA and a 2015 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited. I love them both. I ride between 5,000 and 10,000 miles a year, almost exclusively in the pavement. I had a military assignment in Alaska from 1992-1995 and have driven the ALCAN a couple of times. My son and daughter-in-law live in Anchorage so it will be good to see them this summer. My wife likes to ride pillion; however her limit is about 3 hours at a time. We also have horses, dogs, and cats, along with pasture to irrigate so someone has to stay home. Glad it is not me!




    Here are our bikes

    20180320_151819.jpg IMG9522221.jpg

    Now we need to load them up with too much gear and head north.
    #1
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  2. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
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    1,746
    Location:
    God's country, Western North Carolina
    In! We went to different schools together judging by the bios and I'll be heading up a few weeks behind y'all. Did I miss it, or does Ol Man's friend have a name?

    Safe travels and enjoy!
    Cheers
    #2
  3. Ol Man

    Ol Man Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    967
    Location:
    Apple Valley, Calif
    Mike is his name.
    #3
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  4. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

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    God's country, Western North Carolina
    Thanks, welcome Mike! :beer
    #4
  5. JHpowderhound

    JHpowderhound Been here awhile

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    Feb 28, 2014
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    Jackson, WY
    I’m from Jackson. I’ll be watching. If you have views of the Tetons you must be close be. Enjoy.

    Eric
    #5
  6. 3rdgeargrndrr

    3rdgeargrndrr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2017
    Oddometer:
    812
    Awesome trip during spring weather.
    Hope you can evade the skeeters.
    What rear tire did you end up getting?
    #6
  7. ShineySideUp

    ShineySideUp Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
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    Location:
    N California
    In :beer
    #7
  8. Ol Man

    Ol Man Been here awhile

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    967
    Location:
    Apple Valley, Calif
    We are both on Heidenau K60 Scouts. First time we have used them.
    #8
  9. Project Mayhem

    Project Mayhem Moto Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Oddometer:
    317
    Location:
    Coal Creek Canyon, CO, USA
    In!
    Looking forward to your AK Adventure.
    FWIW I think you’ll like the K60’s, they served my wife and I well on our AK ride.
    And Mike, I like your style! Good luck to you both...ride well, be safe, have a great time! :beer
    E62C72DC-6F70-4D42-ADC3-CB3644165D81.jpeg
    #9
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  10. jredford

    jredford Ninja Racer

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    Feb 29, 2008
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    H town...
    Subscribed. Houston to Prudhoe Bay and back in 17 days in 2007. It will nice to watch someone take their time and enjoy it.
    #10
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  11. Ol Man

    Ol Man Been here awhile

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    Apple Valley, Calif
    Packed with too much stuff. We shall see what ends up getting shipped back home. 20180515_075337.jpg
    #11
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  12. SnipTheDog

    SnipTheDog Been here awhile

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    San Jose
    I'll bet it wheelies just fine now.
    #12
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  13. benlanc

    benlanc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2014
    Oddometer:
    78
    Kinda looks like you could start a side job as a residential mover using the SA. I hope im able to look at a bike loaded up like that when im in my 70's and still wanna ride it to Alaska. Props to you!!
    #13
  14. JeepDawg

    JeepDawg Long timer

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    Looks like fun! Whats the route look like? How long are you taking this year?
    #14
  15. Ol Man

    Ol Man Been here awhile

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    Apple Valley, Calif
    I am going up the 99 and then over to the coast at Red Bluff. I will then to to Vancouver to visit a friend, then along the Columbia through Okanogan, to Kamlooops. From there we will stay west along the Cassier and then come home the Alaska Highway.
    #15
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  16. AdvMoto18

    AdvMoto18 NORDO

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,011
    Location:
    Coastal Low Country Shrimp & Grits
    It's great ride!!! I did it at 60 years young.

    You do not want to tackle the Dalton with your departing home load out as depicted in your picture! Especially if the Dalton is wet!

    You can drop off all unnecessary gear for the Dalton segment with Dan Armstrong of Adventure Cyecleworks in Fairbanks. Pack only what you need to get to Coldfoot then to Deadhorse and then back to Dan's in Fairbanks. Anything you do not need to make the ~1000 mile round trip should be left with Dan. I only packed tools,, 2x 1G Rotopax fuel cells, gym shorts, t shirt, flip flops, Polartec top, bivy sack (for emergency use) and $1000 cash. I hung out in my riding clothes and boots.

    And pack everything you take up the Dalton as low as possible and nothing seat level or higher unless absolutely necessary.

    If you encounter the Dalton in rain...it will be slicker than whale snot. The K60 will serve you well if wet.

    Have fun and ENJOY!!!
    #16
  17. equyst

    equyst Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2018
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    61
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    dallas
    great ride, congrats[​IMG]
    #17
  18. Critic

    Critic More or less!

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    1,669
    Location:
    West of the Illinois, heart of the state!
    WOW! "Packed with too much stuff."

    I can not imagine what you have in there. I thought, I had everything on board for AK adventure in 1979: stove with full camping gear, parts, tools, riding gear and clothing. It was more than needed, since the adventure was/Is more of a cross country ride. Shipping costs may break the bank. LOL
    Then again, we 70 + guys do need a little comfort.

    Keep it fun, keep it safe!
    #18
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  19. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

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    Following along. Have a great trip. I went in 13, looking at going back next year. I packed pretty light compared to what you’ve got there..
    #19
  20. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    Oct 11, 2004
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    Manassas, VA
    What all do you have loaded up there? Inquiring minds want to know!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    :lol3:lol3:lol3:lol3:lol3
    #20
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