Amba to the Arctic

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Omnimo, May 20, 2018.

  1. Omnimo

    Omnimo Musgo Champ

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Missouri
    I'm riding out of my current residence near Hannibal, Missouri in a couple of days with a loose plan of riding the Icefields Parkway, the Dempster, Top of the World Highway, seeing a few sights in Alaska, then back to Missouri.

    For those curious about what Amba means, it's a Siberian Aboriginal word for Tiger. I'll be riding a Triumph Tiger on this trip and Amba goes with Arctic better than Tiger.

    A good buddy of mine who has helped me prepare for this 10,000 mile trip in many ways suggested I list what I've done to the bike to prepare for it, so here goes...

    He helped me change the brake pads and fluid last summer. I haven't ridden it much since.

    In the past couple of weeks the coolant, air filter, spark plugs, chain and sprockets and tires have all been replaced.

    I changed the bars to some with a little more swept back profile and added risers that make it easier to ride standing up.

    I added Tusk panniers and a Pelican top case that I've had on a few bikes. The top case also has a 15" led brake light.

    I installed two 30w Amazon led lights just under the cowl.

    Another good buddy of mine made a couple of 1 gallon gas can pans and brackets that I attached to the passenger pegs. He also mad me an aluminum dash that holds my voltmeter/charger as well as my Duraforce XD for GPS.

    I bought a used Madstad from another inmate.

    I bought Triumph factory engine bars because they are cheaper than the Motechs and I didn't like the Givi's. I also attached some Mil-surplus bags to the crash bars.

    I have a Wolfman tank bag and a diy tool tube.

    I'll edit this if I think of anything else IMG_20180514_161423132.jpg

    Here she is waiting for new tires in my buddy's garage. I went with a Motoz GPS on the rear and a 705 on the front.

    More later.
    #1
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  2. StayFrosty

    StayFrosty Mid Life Crisis -Wish it happened 20 yrs ago

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2017
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Spokane WA
    READY!
    #2
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  3. fastpast

    fastpast Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2017
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    So Cal east
    Good luck and safe travels.
    #3
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  4. bigjohnsd

    bigjohnsd Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2014
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    Spearfish, SD
    It was good to see you John, enjoy your trip, see you in the way back. I wish I was in close trail formation!
    #4
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  5. Omnimo

    Omnimo Musgo Champ

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Missouri
    It was good to see you too John. Thanks again for your generosity and support. See you in a few weeks.
    #5
  6. Omnimo

    Omnimo Musgo Champ

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Missouri
    Tuesday, May 22,

    Day 1 was pretty uneventful. I picked up my Canadian insurance card when the insurance office opened then headed north and west across Iowa. I camped outside of Sioux City. Hordes of gnats joined me for supper and then coffee the next morning. My last day of humid weather for some weeks I hope.
    #6
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  7. Omnimo

    Omnimo Musgo Champ

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Missouri
    Wednesday, May 23,

    I rode from Sioux City to Spearfish SD. I met up with a riding buddy who lives in Spearfish for a beer. He shared his experience about riding to Alaska and NWT last year.

    I mentioned to him that my rear tire was showing some pretty good wear after only about 900 miles. He had a set of street tires that fit my Tiger that belonged to another riding buddy who lives in Australia. So, after a phone call to the other side of the world, we had a plan. We would put the street tires on the Tiger and I'd haul the dual sport tires to Canada.
    #7
  8. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,572
    Eh? Could you clarify this? I don't think I've ever been asked about my insurance, or needed a special Canadian card, but I might have just slipped through and not realized I needed it, or worse was actually uncovered by insurance.
    #8
  9. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    681
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    I'm in. I'm imagining all that shiney black paint with that cement road schmutz all over it and looking forward to your report.
    #9
  10. Omnimo

    Omnimo Musgo Champ

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Missouri
    Thursday, May 24,

    My day started with John, his wife, and their regular coffee crew.

    My bike was on John's lift by about 8 that morning. We changed the tires and I cleaned the sticky grease off my chain in favor of WD-40.

    John, thank you so much for everything you've done to help make this trip a success.

    To Brian in Australia, there is a new set of Angel GT's headed to the motorcycle garage in Spearfish. Cheers mate.

    I checked out of the Motel while John picked up so Rok straps to hold my tires on.

    We rode together to the Stoneville Saloon in Alzada MT for lunch.
    IMG_20180524_123957109.jpg

    My friend Duece, so named because he carries two of everything while backpacking, will appreciate the Tiger's new look.

    IMG_20180524_124226657.jpg
    Emergency rations for sale in the saloon.

    IMG_20180524_125356878.jpg

    The bar back was built in the 1800's and has been in the Stoneville Saloon since prohibition ended.

    After lunch John returned to Spearfish and I continued northwest. Much of the ride was on Highway 12 along the flooded Musselshell River. The scenery improved as the afternoon wore on. I could see the snow covered peaks of The Crazies before my last gas stop. Camping prospects looked bleak as the sun began to position it's rays through my visor. I stayed in Martindale, MT at the Crazy Mountain Inn. After getting settled I walked across the street and had a few beers and laughs with the locals. There is a wolf story for another time I'd tell in person to anyone interested.

    More later.
    #10
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  11. Omnimo

    Omnimo Musgo Champ

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Missouri
    I was told by my insurance company that I'd need a Canadian card. It looks the same as my other one but says Canada or Canadian on it. They didn't charge anything for it.

    I've been told by other riders that it's not necessary to cross the border. Perhaps it's only necessary if there is an incident.
    #11
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  12. fastpast

    fastpast Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2017
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    So Cal east
    Thanks for posting this...I have my Canadian insurance card already but then realized my insurance expires during the period i am gone. I called the insurance company and they will auto renew while i'm on the road. Btw it took only two weeks to get my Canadian card mailed to me.
    #12
  13. Omnimo

    Omnimo Musgo Champ

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Missouri
    Friday, May 25,

    I rode from Spearfish to Pterodactyl's place near Helena MT. He and Mrs. Pterodactyl gave me loads of great advice about the upcoming ride. They are highly qualified to give such advice. After our visit I set out for Eureka MT. I made it about 20 miles when I discovered an oil leak on the Tiger. Pterodactyl brought his trailer to rescue me.

    A few of my oilpan bolts had worked loose. We put the bike on his lift and retightened them. While the bike was on the lift we replaced the used rear tire with a new Shinko Raven that he had in his shop.

    All of this took until late evening. He offered me to stay in his bunkhouse and I accepted. Many thanks for everything Pterodactyl. I can't think of a better place for this to have happened on this trip.

    The kindness and generosity of fellow adventurers is making this trip possible. I intend to pay it forward in the future.
    #13
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  14. Omnimo

    Omnimo Musgo Champ

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Missouri
    Saturday, May 26,

    There wasn't any oil under the bike this morning so I took it for a 10 mile ride. Still no leaks so I made for Eureka MT to meet an old friend of a friend, Mike. The ride to Eureka was really nice with loads of great scenery and a few twisty roads.

    When I got to Mike's place he immediately offered his garage for the Tiger and a spare room for me. I accepted.

    He had a beer at his place then went to the marina bar where the the lake, mountains, and staff are all pretty great to look at.

    We finished up the evening with grilled elk steaks on Mike's deck.
    #14
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  15. KHuddy

    KHuddy Survivor

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,987
    Location:
    Silver City, Montana
    Good to hear the leak has not returned John. Ride safe.

    Kevin (Pterodactyl)
    #15
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  16. oldgrizz

    oldgrizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Oddometer:
    974
    Els steaks yummm

    Sent from my SM-N920W8 using Tapatalk
    #16
  17. skipn

    skipn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    NE Missouri
    Glad to hear the chain hasn't fallen off yet.:D
    #17
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  18. Omnimo

    Omnimo Musgo Champ

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Missouri
    Sunday, May 27,

    IMG_20180527_091756229_HDR.jpg

    I had coffee with Mike, washed the bike, then crossed into BC. The border agent advised me to watch out for the animals, nice fellow. The first 1-200km of highway 93 into BC is littered with deer and elk carcasses hit by vehicles. I saw quite a few live ones near the road as well.

    Later in the morning I entered the national parks outside of Radium Hot Springs. The views in Jasper and the adjacent parks are stunning. I rode past a black bear with two cubs and saw plenty of other wildlife.
    IMG_20180527_171540975.jpg
    I talked to several other bikers including a guy who had ridden from Ontario to Alaska in the 70's on a 2-stroke Kawasaki 750 triple.

    I rode with a Canadian couple in the evening before finding a campground in the park about 100km south of Jasper. My neighbors on one side were 2 German couples, one of the guys also owns a Tiger 1050. To my left were Chris and Dari, a French/German couple traveling Canada in thier van. We hit it off and spent the evening together. They let me store my food in their bear-proof van and I shared my bottle of Cabernet with them.

    Today was a spectacular day.
    #18
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  19. Omnimo

    Omnimo Musgo Champ

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Missouri
    Monday, May 28,

    After coffee and breakfast with Chris and Dari we decided to take a short hike near Jasper. It was nice to be able to lock my riding gear in their van.
    IMG_20180528_110026923_HDR.jpg

    We had lunch together in Jasper then said our goodbyes hoping to meet again.
    IMG_20180528_154616383_BURST000_COVER.jpg

    As I rode west out of Jasper on Highway 16, the warm sunny day transformed. The skies turned gray and the wind rose to about 100km/hr. A headwind of course. As I neared McBride it began to rain. I stopped for gas and asked about the forecast. More of the same for the night. I got a room at the McBride hotel and bar. I talked to a Swiss couple for a while at the bar before turning in. I'm anxious to get further north and hope to be in Hyder in a couple of days.
    #19
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  20. Omnimo

    Omnimo Musgo Champ

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Missouri
    Tuesday, May 29,

    I rode to Smithers BC today. Another day packed with incredible scenery. As I neared one of my gas stops the wind picked up and it started to rain, then rain mixed with sleet. At the gas station the guy at the pump in front of me says "Nice day for a motorcycle ride, eh?" I smiled and said "It'll do".

    I stayed at the Smithers Riverside Municipal Campground. I highly recommend it.
    IMG_20180529_212319568_HDR.jpg
    Home for the night.
    #20
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