Alaska ride....it's all his fault

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by bigvern, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. bigvern

    bigvern .

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Texas / Isle of Wight (sometimes)
    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 <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:State w:st="on">Alaska</st1:State></st1:place>. 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...
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    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.
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    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.
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    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 <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Dawson</st1:City></st1:place> but won't get there until Friday - I blame Phil - he kept moving dates around......did I mention that this is all his fault?
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    At this point I suppose I should show some of the build-up and perhaps add a picture or two.
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    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

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    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

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

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    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...

    <o:p></o:p>

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

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    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

    <o:p></o:p>

    [​IMG]

    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

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    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

    <o:p></o:p>

    [​IMG]

    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
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    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.
    <o:p></o:p>

    More later from the road…..
    #1
  2. TomTom63

    TomTom63 Motorradfahrer

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,622
    See ya in Dawson City :wave

    BTW, nice re-build-job on the KTM. I vividly remember cussing & fuzzing about all the Tupperware before getting to the engine...:D
    #2
  3. ricohman

    ricohman Marinoni man

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,981
    Location:
    Saskatchewan
    We will be up there also. Why not do the run to Deadhorse if you are nearly there anyway?
    #3
  4. bigvern

    bigvern .

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Texas / Isle of Wight (sometimes)
    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?
    #4
  5. kerunt

    kerunt Causes cancer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    30
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Will you be passing through British Columbia/Vancouver? Give me a shout if you need anything!
    #5
  6. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    32,212
    Location:
    8000ft.
    :lurk
    #6
  7. bigvern

    bigvern .

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Texas / Isle of Wight (sometimes)

    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 :D
    #7
  8. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,037
    Location:
    Just over the rear wheel
    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? :lol3
    #8
  9. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    57,517
    Location:
    Toronto
    Looks like you're well prepared... thanks for the intro :thumb

    :lurk
    #9
  10. ricohman

    ricohman Marinoni man

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    Aug 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,981
    Location:
    Saskatchewan
    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.
    #10
  11. Gale B.T.

    Gale B.T. Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,634
    Location:
    Pagosa Springs, CO.
    <TABLE class=tborder id=post13218648 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=4 width="100%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD class=alt1 id=td_post_13218648>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?
    <!-- / message -->
    </TD></TR><TR><TD class=alt2></TD><TD class=alt1 align=right><!-- controls --></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>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
    #11
  12. AKmud

    AKmud Muddy Gruver

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    966
    Location:
    Wasilla, Alaska
    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! :freaky
    #12
  13. AKmud

    AKmud Muddy Gruver

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    966
    Location:
    Wasilla, Alaska
    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.
    #13
  14. Steve Glenn

    Steve Glenn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Modesto, Ca
    :lurk
    #14
  15. chokozip

    chokozip Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    211
    Location:
    Princeton Minnesota
    :beer
    Looking forward to your reports.

    Ride safe.

    Sean
    #15
  16. bigvern

    bigvern .

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Texas / Isle of Wight (sometimes)
    Well we're on the move.

    Thanks for all the comments and suggestions about going all the way to Deadhorse - we'll take another look at the plan....

    But, first things first - we are actually en-route at last (writing this in Denver). So the day started (late) like this


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    Then moved on to the endless road to Amarillo being closely followed by 2 bikes

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    Before finally scoring some good BBQ in Amarillo

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    Right now I'm knackered but we're pushing on to Cheyenne WY before we crash. So far so good and apart from Phil's snoring (he's been asleep a lot today) it not been too bad.

    More later......
    #16
  17. bigvern

    bigvern .

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Texas / Isle of Wight (sometimes)
    Update.....

    Breakfast (in Cheyenne WY)

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    More driving.

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    End of the day - Somewhere in northern MT (can't remember where)

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    Plan for today is to prep the bikes, put the truck in to storage before heading out tomorrow AM. In theory we're doing Glacier and then heading up north in to Canada. Target is to end up somewhere around Radium Hot Springs or there abouts.

    More later....
    #17
  18. Thorne

    Thorne Sherpa-ing around

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    Location:
    Lone Pine, ON, Canada
    :lurk
    #18
  19. 4D GRIT

    4D GRIT Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
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    42
    Location:
    shevegas, WI
    Sweet ride!
    #19
  20. bigvern

    bigvern .

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Texas / Isle of Wight (sometimes)
    Bike prep day.....

    Drove up to Columbia Falls from Missoula this morning and have spent the afternoon sorting out the truck storage and doing the final prep on the bikes - lube chain, check oil, check coolant etc.

    Drive up here was stunning.

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    Then on to the bike prep. Mine was relatively straight forward - even had time to clean the bugs off it

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    Phil's needed a little more final tinkering. Check out the amount of tools he's got spread out. Happy looking when he's working isn't he

    Captions anyone????

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    But it was worth it in the end. Its still orange but at least its up together and running now.

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    We're now just doing the final packing of the gear before parking the truck in storage close by.

    Tomorrow we're off and riding at last. The road across Glacier is still closed so we're going to have to modify the route for tomorrow, but its beautiful around here no matter which way we decide to ride.


    More later.....
    #20