Anchorage, AK to Artic Circle to North Carolina Trip 2018

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Trekker_Hank, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. Trekker_Hank

    Trekker_Hank n00b

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    So, I am planning my trip next year with my friend. I'll be flying in and meet up with him in Anchorage AK, head to the Artic Circle and then ride to NC. We are hoping to do this trip in 2.5 to 3 weeks. Possibly averaging 320 miles per day, etc. My plan is to buy a bike there, looking for a Triumph 800 or the Explorer 1200 in the Anchorage, AK area. I am just real hesitant to line up a purchase if it won't meet my expectations, and the options may be limited with a tight schedule.

    What are the best sites to look for a motorcycle specifically in that area? What sort of things should I be in the look out for regarding buying a bike? If you have done a similar trip like this, what should I keep away from? How do I license it even though I am from another state?

    Also, what areas should I not miss during this trip. If you look at Furkot, plug in Achonrage, AK, Artic Circle Sign, and NC, there is a specific route to take. Anything thoughts on this would be nice too.

    This will be my first trip, hopefully not my last. Has been a goal of mine to do a trip like this, and with the blessings from my wife, and my two 2 year olds.

    Any comments would be appreciated.

    Hank
    #1
  2. Meriwether

    Meriwether Following big footprints.

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    Hi Hank,
    Keep an eye on the Flea Market \ Bikes section on this forum, something will turn up, and feel free to ask for help regarding storage, there are lots of people willing to help, I work on the principle of 'only ask of others what I would do for them', and it's a great way to meet people and make friends.
    I can recommend including the Cassier Hwy on your route, fantastic scenery makes a great ride.
    Regards,
    Mark.
    #2
  3. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer

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    I would suggest going to the Alaska Regional forum and read the post. Lots of info that will be helpful to you :thumb
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  4. Trekker_Hank

    Trekker_Hank n00b

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    Thanks everyone! Really appreciate the information. Any recommendations on gear, such as cold weather riding, vents, etc. I do have a Firstgear Thermo 1 Piece, would this be enough for the colder parts of the ride? I am hesitant of this suit only because it doesn't have any armor.
    #4
  5. trailer Rails

    trailer Rails Washes hands before going to the bathroom

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    Try and budget a bit more time. I would suggest 2-2.5 weeks in the state of Alaska alone. There are only a handful of roads in the whole state.

    3-400 mile days are easy to do. Most roads are in great condition.

    Temps can be all over the place, be prepared with all types of gear. Versitle gear, with vents that can be opened and closed, is very valuable. Lots of thin layers for under the gear so you can adjust as needed.
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  6. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    What you propose to do, can certainly be done. But based on the info you've provided, there are several factors that are adding complexity and uncertainty and thereby introducing what I think are needless risks to the successful completion of a great trip.

    I assume you're laying the trip out the way you've described it to match up with your friend's timeline and starting point.
    To me, that's not enough of a reason to invite the additional hassles and uncertainties along for the ride.

    You have a limited time budget, why waste a day or 5 sorting out a newly purchased bike?
    Why start your first long trip on a newly purchased bike that you have no history on. You may find that after 2 days the ergonomics don't work and your wrist or back is killing you.
    Are you planning on any camping? Get some short rides in on the bike you'll use for the trip with camping gear and determine what works and what doesn't before you hit the road.

    So if you're locked into a set time frame, reverse the direction, start with a known bike and gear, and look at selling the bike in AK, or putting it in storage and going back the following year to ride it home.
    If you really need to ride with company for all or part of the trip (I understand that the spousal unit's feelings have to be considered in this matter as well), continue to hit this forum to try to line up with someone else for at least the Arctic Circle run and the more remote stretches of the Alcan or Cassiar.
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  7. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    + 1 on this. I spent most of a month in the state on both of my AK trips. With very little overlap between the two.
    #7
  8. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer

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    You need to be able to stay warm and dry in Alaska. Any gear that does those two things perfectly is good. I've used a Klim Badlands jacket and pants, Sidi Adventure Goretex boots, and a Gerbing heated jacket for five years now and every thing is still going strong. But....there are lots of choices.
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  9. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

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    Some sage advice from the above repeat visitors doing loooong mile rides in "all the above" circumstances. Not to offend and mostly because those lovely family members want you to have FUN and come home WELL, could you describe a your experience riding or related activities for a trip like this so helpful feedback may be offered. Your parameters remind me of the old adage of you want something quick, cheap and good, but you only get to pick two of the three.

    Cheers
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  10. Gargantuan

    Gargantuan Been here awhile

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    Agree with the posts above - I'd try to extend the trip to 4 weeks. 2 weeks in Alaska and then two weeks to NC. I also recommend going all the way up to Deadhorse rather than stopping at the Arctic Circle. The best scenery on the Dalton is north of the circle.
    #10
  11. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    Sorry, I missed this earlier, but get a riding suit with armor! Or get an underlayer with it, but that could be problematic when dealing with the hotter temps you'll encounter in the southern latitudes (and Fairbanks can constitute southern enough in this case, I sweated my ass off going through there on both my trips).
    Many folks do the trip without incident, but many others have ventured too far from vertical, most with only minor dings and dents, but you WILL hit stretches of really bad road and being prepared to go down is just as important as preparing for the other aspects of the ride.
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  12. Trekker_Hank

    Trekker_Hank n00b

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    Hey BobW, great advice. So I've been riding for more than 17 years, mostly on sport bikes, and have about 20+ track day experience. So I am fairly comfortable on a bike. The bike I am planning on getting for this and any trip is the Triumph Explorer, it is close to my budget regarding long range bikes, and I just like the look of them. I am planning on looking in to buying a riding suit, but not sure which one. Armor will be a must have, especially for long trips, just in case. As far as time on the road, I am able to stretch it to 3 weeks, time off from work and the family will be hard, more especially on my wife wit the twin boys. But she has graciously agreed I can do this trip. Bless her heart! I definitely don't want something quick, but cheap and good, I can work with.
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  13. Trekker_Hank

    Trekker_Hank n00b

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    MapMaster, I totally agree with you on being prepared to go down. I am all about that. Any recommendations on the suit? I just can't believe how expensive they are, even for the simplest of jackets and pants. I would almost rather get a nice used one, and go from there.
    #13
  14. Trekker_Hank

    Trekker_Hank n00b

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    Thanks for the reply Twester2. I think the goal for me for now is just to make an actually cross country trip. I want to do a longer one but time and family obligations prevent that from happening, so I am trying to make do with what I can. Plus my wife wants to do a trip like this with me, but I just don't picture her riding for that long without any complaints. Although it may be different on her own bike, a comfortable one, at that.
    #14
  15. Trekker_Hank

    Trekker_Hank n00b

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    Three weeks is the max I would be able to do for the whole trip. Unfortunately. :(
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  16. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts!

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    I highly recommend riding the Icefields Parkway. It was one of the highlights of my trip to Alaska last year.
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  17. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    There are a lot of options. My preference has been the Aerostich 2-piece roadcrafter (the lined, 'classic' version now). Even though Andy told me I bought the wrong one. :lol3 (the Darian is more suited for the long haul trips, but I commute as well which is one of the roadcrafter's strong point.
    Pricey yes, and a bit more so since the back pad and hip pads are extras.

    It is a great suit, but all suits are compromises, so personal preference comes into play. Some like a mesh suit with a zip in thermal liner.

    I've exhausted my second one and will order a 3rd this winter.
    They were the first in the field and the only viable option when I got my first one. I've since met Andy Goldfine (the founder) a couple times and I like what he's been doing, so there's a loyalty factor there for me, and if you like the idea of buying American, that's a plus as well.
    I believe a majority (possibly a significant majority) of the Iron Butt Rally competitors this year were wearing 'stiches of various models. I've put about 10 years and 150,000 miles on each of the ones I've owned. I do know that many of the cheaper options will not hold up as well, but if they aren't going to be subjected to that much use, misuse, and abuse; most of them probably would serve the needs of a trip well.
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  18. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

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    Sounds good, the Explorer is a great bike and Triumph is pretty good about test rides so you could see how the basic fit would be. There are some smoking deals on the 15-16 models without the latest electronic suspension and they still had all the good heated grips and cruise control, etc. I remember a bunch of 15's being sold for $10-12 thousand even through places like W.O.W. motorcycles in GA as I read Triumph wholesaled whatever was left prior to new models arrival. Anyway, another place with great pricing is National Powersports in N.H. They are now a Triumph dealer and ship in the lower 48 for $400-600 I believe. Both places move a bunch of inventory so I often check them when I see other adds even if just to compare.

    Anyway, it may be easier/cheaper by a bunch of $$ to ship a bike to Seattle or Glacier National Park area and then ride a nice nice loop up and around and back catching as much as you can with time to maximize cutting cross lots in the great PNW and U.S. Rockies offerings before you beeline home through Flatistan. Just me, but after numerous trips especially on time restraints, I try to hit a couple points I really want to cover and then stay flexible as I'd rather be hungry for more, but really enjoy what I tasted than try to overdue and have nothing but drudgery to remember. YMMV, but unless trying an Iron Butt, I'd rather enjoy a couple days exploring the Ozarks from NC than seeing the NM State Line and warp driving it home just to say I got picture at the Welcome sign, but saw little else.

    The "Stitch" is an Industry Standard garment and they will custom fit and repair them for you for a great and long ownership experience. I've been on early Klim gear for 5 years and 100,000 miles of hard use. It's been great and the newer models are so improved in venting and how they are set up, but other than "patina" Klim has worked well for me. You are right, pricing is CRAZY so check the for sale stuff here on ADVrider as there is always someone that bought the wrong size, lost or gained weight, etc., and big savings are available, also post up what you want to buy. Even the less expensive kit will work fine, it just doesn't last as many seasons and be sure to test whatever you have so if you need heated gear, rain liners and/or covers etc., it has been WELL sorted for you prior to enjoying severe conditions thousands of miles from home. What is an inconvenience over a few hours or even a few days can be incredibly uncomfortable in week after week daily use over thousands of miles with little down time. We used to have Competition Accessories just South of Charlotte and Held in Hickory so you could easily buy returns, seconds or new at great convenience and pricing, but no more. Charlotte BMW/Ducati/Triumph usually has a good selection to look at and Eurosport Asheville BMW/KTM are excellent too and in December they offer amazing sales that see prices progressively drop every day up to closing for the Holiday. Not affiliated with anyone, just a customer of all these places over the years.

    You can buy socks and underwear at any truck stop or store where ever you may be if needed, but try to buy the best undergarments similar to those in Tewsters list as possible, less is more in bulk and comfort they provide. Think reliability and comfort first rather fancy farkles $$$.

    Have a ball, and best of luck!
    #18
  19. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts!

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    I know that Andy promotes the Darien over the two-piece Roadcrafter for long trips...but, I much prefer the Roadcrafter. My favorite combination for most riding is the Roadcrafter jacket and Aerostich Utility (like AD-1s without the side zippers) pants. For Alaska, I wore the Roadcrafter jacket and pants. I was quite happy with my choice.
    #19
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