Alaska July 2016 - Planning, Prepping, Psyching

Discussion in 'Americas' started by -Chris-, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. -Chris-

    -Chris- Long timer

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    It official! As of last week, I will not be at work a single day in July of 2016. I figure in that time I may as well go up and see this deceased horse everybody has been talking about. I have read numerous Alaska RR's and with the help from Jeff and his RR, I have been able to plan mine with tons of needed information!

    I plan to leave July 1st and return July 31st. I have figured something like 11k miles, that is an average of 350 miles a day. While down in the states, I will be running more like 500+ mile days to get into Canada. After that, I will slow down and start really enjoying the ride then.

    I will be riding my Tiger 800XC for this trip and changing from street tires to 50/50 tires in Fairbanks and hopefully make it home on them. I will be riding the Dalton and if time permits, the Dempster (or at least part of it). I believe I have all the gear needed except for heated gear, maybe I will get that for Christmas.

    I have most of the northern part of the route finished, I just haven't nailed down my route of of the states. I'm not in a huge hurry to finish that part as I can ride most of that anytime. I will add more info to this post as it goes on. If anyone has any advice or criticisms, feel free to share.

    The reason for opening this thread this early, is to potentially find someone to ride with. I am prepared to do this ride alone but would prefer as would my wife, to find someone to ride with for safety reasons. So, who wants to go??

    Cheers!
    #1
  2. XXMe

    XXMe Not my picture

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    As I tell everyone planning a trip to AK, go to the Alaska Regional Forum and read the writings of Alcan Rider that are stickied (pinned) at the top of the forum! His Alaska Primer, Haul Road Primer etc. I know him personally and he is probably the most knowledgable man there is on North Country riding! He is a VERY valuable resource to anyone headed that way! He's been there since '57 so he kind of watched the place grow up! (Hi Jack! :wave)
    #2
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  3. FLARider1

    FLARider1 Long timer

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    Yep.......true words.

    Look up the comments provided by AKHuddy, The Dick, Fighter, AKTracks along with AlCan Rider. Lots to be learned from the RRs, this forum and the AK Regional forum. and if you have a specific question, just PM any of these guys, they are a great resources. I might see along the way, The Deadhorse Redeux Tour starts July 1 from South FLA. It will be another Key West to Prudhoe Bay and back to KW, only this time I have a few folks tagging along.

    I agree with your plan of hauling ass through the states, I have to so that we can burn 15000+ miles in the same 30 days that you have!!! HMU if you have any questions.
    #3
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  4. holckster

    holckster dougholck

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    Tires are pricy in Alaska and a pain to haul.
    Install a set of Mitas E-07's and you should make the entire trip ( I did 12K on my R1150GSA).
    Front was toast at 12K, rear is still going but only on pavement.
    Just rode 6K in South America with a friend who rode a 800 Tiger and the rear Mitas still looked new, used a TKC front.
    Was not fond of the E-07 front ( felt vague, not as planted as a knobby), may try the Mitas E-10 knobby next.

    Time it so you attend the D2D event in Dawson City.

    Only heated gear I have is a sleeveless vest. Keep the core warm and layer up the rest.

    Ask your insurance co for the "Canadian Insurance Card".

    Bear Spray works for more than just bears, take some.

    Mosquito net for over your head, take an extra, you'll be able to sell it for 10 times what you paid for it.

    Download/get the Milepost magazine.

    I would join you for my 4th trip (07, 10, 13) but wife wants to ride Ireland and June is the best time for there too.

    Dempster to the Artic Circle is amazing, call ahead for room a Eagle Plains before heading out.
    Usually riders headed that way after D2D.

    The drive to Haines is a must, take the ferry to Skagway and ride out from there.

    The ride into the Kennicot Mine (McCarthy) is a good one.

    Safe Travels
    #4
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  5. -Chris-

    -Chris- Long timer

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    Thanks for the input. I have read through numerous threads from Alcan Rider. I agree, lots of great information. If I come up with specific questions, I will hit him up.

    Depending on how much you guys ride, you may catch up. Would be nice to cross paths and possibly ride a bit. You have a lot of miles to cover in that 30 days!

    Thanks for the info, I wanted a tire that would do the whole trip, but that seems unrealistic. I want to run a tkc80 on the front and had planned to run the K60 on the rear, I will look into the Mitas tires. I would love to be there for D2D, but I'm not sure when it will be in 2016 and I may not be able to leave that early.

    I figured with heated gear, I would have to pack less layers in case it gets real cold. I do plan to buy a skeeter net before I leave, I have seen the videos of them. I also already have some bear spray just in case. I own a copy of the Milepost and have read through it, lots of great info in there also.

    Have fun in Ireland, a beautiful country that is. Thanks for all the info, I will keep this thread updated as I get more info.
    #5
  6. Justwantoride

    Justwantoride Been here awhile

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    Chris, it's very possible Ted and I will be able to meet you for part of this trip! I'll get with soon to discuss details...

    Andy
    #6
  7. motor_roy

    motor_roy Been here awhile

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    If you are coming through Oregon or Washington I may be able to join up. I can't find anyone around here who wants to go to Alaska.
    #7
  8. Str8lin

    Str8lin Keep it moving!

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    Chris, Nightingale.......if things materialize hope tto leave Seattle for Deadhorse July 1 or very shortly thereafter. Will subscribe to thread!
    #8
  9. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    For camping, I see bear spray already mentioned a couple times, which shouldn't cause you any grief at the border, but from my years of tree planting and wildfire fighting, I've found that a canned air horn is an excellent deterrent and effective at a far greater range as well. Get yourself some high deet content bugspray and a mesh bug hat. It doesn't take long when you're not moving on the bike (repairing a flat, setting up/taking down camp, etc) to get swarmed by mosquitoes and black flies. The bug hat will definitely save you some sanity ;)

    And if your route to or from Alaska takes you through Prince George, hit me up if you need a place to pitch your tent for free, or take advantage of my spare room if you'd prefer to escape the great outdoors for a change of scenery ;)

    Good luck with the rest of your trip planning!
    #9
  10. Justwantoride

    Justwantoride Been here awhile

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    We are hauling our bikes to Seattle and leaving to Alaska form there. You're welcome to come along...
    #10
  11. Sleddog

    Sleddog Ridin, again:)

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    I had ordered tires from Adventure Cycle, in Fairbanks, for my trip in June of this year. They were the same price as what I pay Revzilla for them!

    After my get off, I called Dan at Adventure Cycle & explained I wouldn't be able to make the trip & wouldn't be needing the tire. Within 5 minutes of hanging up, I received an email that my PayPal account had been reimbursed!

    I'm leaving June of '16. I'll be riding off pavement as much as I can through SD, WY, MT, ID to Quesnel, BC

    Gisdood :wave I'll be contacting you again!
    #11
  12. motor_roy

    motor_roy Been here awhile

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    Uh oh, sounds like I'm going to Alaska next year. Better get the time off request in at work.
    #12
  13. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice 2013 DR650

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    Very small chance I will go.
    Thanks for the invite.

    I think the Tiger 800XC is a great MC for the trip!

    Get a good net hat for the bugs!
    #13
  14. mb289

    mb289 Been here awhile

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    2016 is my turn for Alaska also! I'm leaving Charleston, SC on June 11 and I have five weeks for this journey. Unfortunately, Chris, it looks like I'm going to be a little ahead of you. But, maybe we'll run into each other along the way.

    I'm still planning my route, but hope to have it complete by the end of the year. I'm not sure if this is going to be a solo trip or not. I have a friend that may go, but I still have not gotten a firm commitment. Depending on the date, I'm going to try to make the D2D.

    I plan to camp most of time except during the time I'm slabbing up to MT and when the weather is extremely bad.

    I'll be riding my '12 GSA that has taken me thru most of the lower states. I'm going to put on a new set of Metzler Tourance Next tires before the trip and hopefully make it home on the same tires. I'm planning on going to the Arctic Circle (probably not any further) but have not decided if I should do the Dalton or Dempster. Any opinions on this? Will also be riding the Denali Hwy and going thru Haines and taking the ferry to Skagway. I'm figuring between 11k and 12k total miles.

    Anyone else leaving for AK about the same time? It would be great to meet other riders on this trip.

    Dave
    #14
  15. XXMe

    XXMe Not my picture

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    You've got some serious mileage days to get to D2D leaving on the 11th... I'm NOT saying you can't do it! It'll be a lot of slab on a pretty direct route to Canada as a guess. I had other plans when I went, but I wasn't on a time crunch.... From FL I went straight to NM and then North! My goal was serious mountains asap! I spent 12 days getting to Dawson City. I was also riding solo which I think saved time. I'm not a complete loner as later in my trip I ended up with a riding partner who was very compatible.

    I highly recommend making it to D2D if at all possible! Be sure to make lodging arrangements early! Between the folks on bikes and the mob coming up for the solstice Dawson City fills up fast! Most folks get there the day before when there is nothing really planned. It's a good time to get to know folks.

    If your goal is the Circle you don't HAVE to go to AK. It's easy to hook up with folks at D2D who are headed up the Dempster as it's just down the road. I was on a solo ride and had no trouble finding several offers from groups to join for my Top Of The World ride. Great folks up there! Note: it is generally recommended to keep your speed down on the Dempster as the surface has a lot of crushed shale in it. They refer to it as spearheads. A good friend of mine went to Inuvik on his '14 GSA, took his time on the way up and had no issues. He rode with another guy on the way back who was in a hurry... FIVE flats between the two bikes! Riding fast on the Dempster won't necessarily get you anywhere faster!

    I love the Denali Highway! I hope they never pave it! If the weather is good the views are better going E to W as you're headed toward Denali with the Alaska Range on your right the whole way! Suggestion... From Dawson City ferry across the Yukon River to Top Of The World Highway to northernmost border crossing to Taylor Highway (Side trip up to Eagle, AK if you want) to Alaska Highway to Tok, AK. Choose N to Fairbanks and the Dalton or South to everything else.

    My ride to and around AK last year was my 8th vacation up there, all previous were fly/drive so I know the state better than the roads to/from although I spent a lot of time planning, researching and have ridden both the Alaska and Cassiar Highways. If there is anything specific or you want me to be more wordy (!!!) about anything please PM me and I'll be happy to answer anything I can!
    #15
  16. mb289

    mb289 Been here awhile

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    Thanks XXme. The Arctic Circle is not my goal, but it is a must see while in AK. Also, I thought D2D was later next year. Unfortunately, my dates are set, so I won't make D2D.

    It's already in my plan to ride the Top Of The World with a possible side trip to Eagle and the Alaska Highway to Tok, then from there to Fairbanks. From Fairbanks I was planning another side trip to the Arctic Circle and return the same day and spend another night in Fairbanks. I was thinking about spending both nights at the U of A dorms. On the other hand, I may decide to camp near the Arctic Circle as I noticed there is a campground close by. Lots of decisions, which is part of the fun.

    I'm really looking forward to the Denali Highway. Also, I plan to ride the Cassiar Highway when South bound and then East through Canada. I will probably enter the lower 48 at MN. I have no planning yet for the route East across Canada.

    Dave
    #16
  17. FLARider1

    FLARider1 Long timer

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    [QUOTE="
    It's already in my plan to ride the Top Of The World with a possible side trip to Eagle and the Alaska Highway to Tok, then from there to Fairbanks. From Fairbanks I was planning another side trip to the Arctic Circle and return the same day and spend another night in Fairbanks. I was thinking about spending both nights at the U of A dorms. On the other hand, I may decide to camp near the Arctic Circle as I noticed there is a campground close by. Lots of decisions, which is part of the fun.

    I'm really looking forward to the Denali Highway. Also, I plan to ride the Cassiar Highway when South bound and then East through Canada. I will probably enter the lower 48 at MN. I have no planning yet for the route East across Canada.

    Dave[/QUOTE]

    When you come down off the TOW and through Chicken it will dump you on the ALCAN basically in TOK. UAF dorms are a great deal for a stay. If you go to the Arctic Circle you might as well go to Coldfoot, not much further and mostly pavement!! Stay in Wiseman at the Borealis Lodge. Better accommodations and a hell of a lot cheaper than Coldfoot Camp. Its only a few more miles up the road, close enough to eat at Coldfoot camp. The lodge has a rooms with a big common area and a full kitchen. They have a small store also, I pieced together a very good hot meal there!!!! Even have TV if you care to watch it!!
    #17
  18. Lizzard323

    Lizzard323 Solo rider. Lover of solitude and corn meal.

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    Hi, I did Florida to Deadhorse and back last September (2014) on a Goldwing (91) and this June (2015) on a KLR 650 with my son on another KLR 650.

    Sven's hostel is great in Fairbanks (lots of bikes there and they love em). There are some good places to get work done on a bike there too. Alaska Fun Center did some great work for me and of course Dan does great work too.

    I camped at Coldfoot (free) and their food is good.

    The visitor center at Coldfoot is great to check out.

    No heated gear (Sept or June) but layering is a great idea. Frog Toggs rain gear is great and cheap.

    Your OWN PILLOW. The one you love. Bring it. Give up food for this.

    Never seen the mosquitoes but WAS prepared.

    Never used Milepost. Just asked questions along the way.

    You can spray your bike with Pam but you will still be cleaning it years later....I am.

    The weather is crazy. It took us (on the KLR's) three days to get to Deadhorse and ONE day to cover the 500 miles back to Fairbanks. BMW's, Tigers and a Goldwing had some issues in June. They were jammed with mud between the fenders and wheels. ALL those bikes are great and DID eventually get up to Deadhorse and back.......just a plug for the KLR...LOL.

    Have fun!

    Eddie
    #18
  19. Lizzard323

    Lizzard323 Solo rider. Lover of solitude and corn meal.

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    I agree, if you go to the Arctic Circle then press on to Coldfoot. It is not much further and the ride back from the Arctic Circle is a long way in one day (IMHO).

    If you see Dan and need tires for a KE-100 he has two...yours free....LOL
    #19
  20. XXMe

    XXMe Not my picture

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    One of the good things about the UAF dorms is you can meet up with a bunch of other folks headed up or just back from the Dalton. You get 1st hand up to the hour info on conditions... That may still change before you can get there, but it's the most current info available!
    #20
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