Alaska 2013

Discussion in 'Americas' started by jprism, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. jprism

    jprism Got Miles & Smiles

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    I ride a 2010 Gold Wing with a Michelin car tire on the back and a Bridgestone BT-45 rear tire on the front. I plan on leaving on brand new tires which should last me no less than 15,000 miles. To be on the safe side I also carry tools, a motorcycle tire patch kit and a can of Green Stuff. Ouch on buying tires in Alaska! Hope you get to go, sounds like you've been there done that plus it will be more fun riding with someone. Do you simply pack everything on your bike or tow a trailer. I was going to pull a trailer but am now trying to figure out how to pack it all on the bike. In the process now of building my own trailer hitch platform that would carry a 28 x 18 x 18 storage box that I could pack light stuff in.

    Jim
    #41
  2. babarnette

    babarnette Been here awhile

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    I carry everything on the bike but I busted my rear shock in AK trying to carry too much weight on the return trip and ended up having to ship the bike back to MS. I've considered buying a trail tail (http://www.trailtail.com/wordpress/) and getting all that weight off the bike. Especially since I'm a photographer and I carry 30-40lbs of camera equipment with me. I have a much smaller bike than you do though.
    #42
  3. jprism

    jprism Got Miles & Smiles

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    What bike do you ride? For some reason I thought it was a big Harley. I have seen several people pulling the TrailTail and being a talker never heard any bad words. Many of my riding buddies love the Bushtec but that's a Vanilla - Chocolate issue.

    [​IMG]

    Jim
    #43
  4. babarnette

    babarnette Been here awhile

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    It's a 2009 Honda XR650L.

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    This is video from one of my favorite rides in AK. It shows a short section of a route that led from Palmer, AK to Talkeetna, AK via Hatcher Pass. The first clip is from mid August and there is still snow on the ground. At the end of the first clip you'll se why I enjoyed this road so much. The second clip is the same section of road but shot in October. The last clip is just me messing around on some trails.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/eTxW_E3Jcqw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/9W8bjceQ_ak" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/V4anrcC1wJA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #44
  5. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

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    trailtale is pretty pricey. There is another one pretty popular on this board for less than a grand.
    #45
  6. vfrpilot

    vfrpilot Stress Relief Rider

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    Sounds like the road is going to be crowded. We have a group of four that is leaving St Joseph MO on June 22nd. We're not planning on wasting any time though. Headed for Prudhoe Bay and back in 16 days.
    We'll see all y'all on the road!:freaky
    #46
  7. jprism

    jprism Got Miles & Smiles

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    WOW myself and my twin 37 year old boys (both dirt bike riders) really enjoyed the videos...however do not think that the Gold Wing is made to ride some of these roads :) I purchased a GoPro Hero 3 about 3 months ago and would like to know what video camera you used and how/where it was mounted. After seeing your bike packed, I truly believe that I can now leave the trailer behind!

    Jim:clap
    #47
  8. babarnette

    babarnette Been here awhile

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    You do know that large portions of the ALCAN are hard pack and look very similar to my first two videos right? Also the parts that are paved are usually covered with loose gravel and there are potholes large enough to swallow an RV. I hope you have better luck with your GoPro than I had with mine. Mine never worked right and I had to fight with GoPro to get an RMA to get it replaced and then I had to pay for the shipping. Still waiting on the replacement camera. The videos that I posted were recorded with my 3 year old ContourHD (720p) that is held together with electrical tape but still works like a champ. Camera was attached to the right side of my helmet.
    #48
  9. jprism

    jprism Got Miles & Smiles

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    Yes, I am comfortable with loose gravel and dirt roads but would probably refrain from riding on some of the paths in your videos especially the one with snow on them. One of my reasons for not wanting to pull my trailer is that I know in places that the roads will be a real challenge to the Gold Wing. So far, I have had good luck with the GoPro. Not being anything but an novice photographer the GoPro seems to capture video/pics good enough for my personal needs. I also bring along a Panasonic FH-20 point & shoot plus a Canon Rebel EOS XTI with a 50mm and 250mm lens. I use to have a Sony movie camera but found it almost impossible to do moving bike video. If you get to go, I promise not to pick your brain too much on photo secrets!

    Jim
    #49
  10. Stu

    Stu Buffo Maximus

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    If I get to go you can pick what little remains of my brain cells on photo stuff. I'll take my Canon 5DMkIII and the humongous 28-300 lens. Pack my 100 macro for close up shots. You'll see me on the only bike I have, my '13 KM 500 EXC that I currently am racing.... A fabulous bike! Does everything. Even made the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands seem like a walk in the park. Not a Gold Wing for comfort on long highway stretches, though. If I am stopped along the road I'm not broken down. I'm giving my butt a break.

    Stu
    #50
  11. babarnette

    babarnette Been here awhile

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    I feel ya on that one. After about 300 miles I start getting a little bit of sciatica shooting down my right leg. Hopefully I can get a new seat before anymore long trips.
    #51
  12. Stu

    Stu Buffo Maximus

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    I do know that. Have had to had back surgery as a result of racing. Not about to stop me, though. I just today ordered a Seat Concepts replacement for my great Sicass Soft Standard seat. It should work great for longer pavement distances.. More on that when it arrives.

    I was out today hammering through the woods with mud. The 500 is just awesome. You have to look ahead to know where you are going but in mud it just rocks. Were I to head to Alaska on it the worst riding would be fun, fun, fun!

    Stu
    #52
  13. babarnette

    babarnette Been here awhile

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    Hey Stu, I heard that that KTM needs the oil changed every 15hrs is that true? How does the bike do on the highway? I'm desperately trying to get a tiger 955i before this summer and I want a smaller street legal bike for more dirt oriented stuff. I'm getting a little old for these long trips on the XR650L, plus I want to get my wife into motorcycling. Also, it looks like I'm going to be in Anchorage at the end of March for a job interview. Here is a new video I put together from my trip up there last year. Notice the busted up ice at the edges of the water at 5:01. From 8:36 - 9:13 I was riding through semi-frozen glacial silt on top of frozen hard-pack. That is by far the slickest toughest stuff I've ridden through. Bike just did not want to go.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/sVft3YdSXbo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #53
  14. Stu

    Stu Buffo Maximus

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    I need to respond to this to answer your question about the 500 to the general audience that might consider the bike for longer rides. It is a race bike and the design is optimized for that. The advantages are light weight, off-road racing toughness, superb handling and quick power. For example, the motor is designed with appropriate bearings to run without damage when upside down sliding down a hill next to you. The disadvantages are that you need to check nuts and bolts more often, check the valves once is a while (the new 500's head design is superb and valve clearance issues are things of the past) and probably change oil a bit more often. When bombing around the woods or racing I change oil between 4 and 6 hours of operation. When dual sport riding at a much easier pace in Utah I just ran the entire week and changed oil when I returned home. Since that DS riding was mostly off-road the oil was slightly dirty but I could have run another week. On a trip to Alaska I could probably get away with changing it every 2,000 miles. The 500 now holds 1.5 liters.

    The other issue of comfort is subjective. I installed KTM's isolastic handlebar clamps (they definitely help) and have Woody's Wheel Works cushioned hub to reduce wear on the output shaft splines. With 50/50 or 80/20 tires vibration would be considerably reduced. You could also install the small footpeg rubber inserts that used to come on the 620 RXCs to reduce vibration there. And get a Seat Concepts broader seat for DS riding. The bike is very comfy. However, I grew up with Brit singles which had really nasty vibration, were unreliable in the extreme and had none of the 500s off road capabilities. My perspective on comfort is colored by this past experience.

    Stu
    #54