Anyone rode Dawson City to Inuvik?

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Northern Rob, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    Hi, new to the site. A couple of years ago I toured around the Yukon and Alaska on a sports tourer. Wanted to do the Dempster from Dawson to Inuvik, but after riding through Chicken to Dawson I was pretty sure the Dempster would kill my bike.

    Anyone done Dawson to Inuvik? Any recommended stops, advice, etc?
    I'm going this summer. Renting a dual sport in Anchorage, unless someone knows a dual sport rental in Whitehorse?

    Thanks,
    Rob
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  2. hondav2

    hondav2 Kiwi Fukengruver

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    I done it last June, Left Dawson City 7.30am arrived 10pm stayed 2 nights and same time to return. On DR650 . Might take a bit longer if it rains. Cheers Toddy
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  3. Cheap Ryder

    Cheap Ryder Ride for enlightenment

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    The dempster is one of my favorite roads. I rode it in 79 when it first officialy opened then I road it several other times and again in 04 for the 25th anniversary. If it rains.....look out. We are talking stranded even with full knobbies. Do some offerings to the rain gods and you should be ok. Around the solstice the sun doesn't set for around 51 days. Two ferry crossings and 230 miles to the first gas. I have always ridden up from the states and ridden the dempster on a road bike. I always carry a mosquitoe headnet, even tho in august the bussers are usaly killed by frost.
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  4. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    Ah mosquito headnet. Didn't think of that. Last time i was up around there, there weren't a lot of bugs, but I was riding through forest fires for a good chunk of the ride.
    Cheers
    #4
  5. Beemermcr

    Beemermcr Big, Dumb, Happy!

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    Of course, if it rains (my buddy's bike):
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  6. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    All this and no shopping? You know what this means.... the wife's staying home!:freaky
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  7. Gusgus

    Gusgus Banned

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    8 of the FukenGruvers of Alaska, did it last summer.
    It was quite a trip. 3 days for most of us. Left Dawson early one morning stayed overnight at Eagle plains and then a dash to Inuvik. The road is actually quite nice although any water on the road is quite exciting. The road crews are wetting the road with calcium chloride liquid or wetting the road after depositing powdered calcium chloride on it. It is a slippery mess. We saw no rain.

    But I did see the largest black bear I have ever seen. Almost hit him. Then he decided to come and get me, until I remembered the horn. Yelling, revving the engine, wasn't working, and 6th gear was an impossible drive off. 15 feet was far to close.


    The dust was so thick we spread out miles apart. The shale was tough on the tires. Be prepared for flats. All of us had issues with gravel ridge induced wobble. The trick (sounds risky and probably is) is speed. Keeping the speed up reduced the wobbles to almost nil.
    Yet it was worth every mile. Not again this summer but maybe next, I think.

    :wings

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    #7
    smilin jack likes this.
  8. HackyMoto

    HackyMoto TEAM USA GS TROPHY 2012

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    I LIKE IT :thumb
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  9. RedRyder

    RedRyder Jose Adventurista

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    Did it a cpl years ago. redryder jr on a klr and me on a 1150gs. One day up, overnighted in motel, then one day back. From Dawson to the turn off for the dempster is good hwy. Restaurant and gas at the turnoff and then gravel. There is an info centre about umm maybe 20 mi north of there. You really can't miss it cause there isn't much else around as far as bldgs go. Good place to stop and pick up a brochure with some mileages and poi on it. I think they just wanted a donation at the time for it. Next real stop is Eagle plains for gas. You will need gas and a beer and burger helps too. We had a bit of everything during both days riding. Actually looked forward to some rain to help keep the dust down. Awesome ride. One of my most memorable. Incredible scenery and lots of photo ops. Might even see a grizz if your lucky. Big country mang. I will be going back to do it again someday. You're gonna have a great time. Take a riding tour of Inuvik if you have the time. Check out the sled dogs all tied up to there houses and barking insanely at you. Stop to take there pic and they all jump on there houses and "pose" ffs.:D

    My son was 17 at the time and he will remember that trip for the rest of his life.

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  10. RevcoMan

    RevcoMan West Texas

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    :eek1

    How about expanding on that encounter?

    As if my bear paranoia wasn't high enough already...
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  11. barko1

    barko1 barko1

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    You mean Bearanoia:clap right?
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  12. Ridemuch

    Ridemuch SUP

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    this has got to be front page....:clap
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  13. Gusgus

    Gusgus Banned

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    Well first off I am less than impressed with the Canadian handgun law. Socialist governments scare me. Especially since I (American) never leave home without 1 or 2 with me. Just like tools, they can sit there without use for decades, yet one time, just like during the bear encounter, it could have served me well. The outcome doesn't change my feelings, one bit. The Canadian government sucks!



    The conditions were bright, a few clouds, mostly sunny, warm, and absolutely beautiful. The road was dirt, hardened through the use of Calcium Chloride, and pretty much straight with the occasional rolling hills. We as a group of 8 were rocking along. Spacing of about a mile or more, with as much as 5 miles between each of us. The dust would settle given enough time, so space was the order of the ride.

    I was back about 3 riders and I came over a hill with a bear walking onto the right hand shoulder of the road, heading right across my path.

    It was far to close and I was cruising along at about 80 MPH. I was closing the distance quite fast. My anti-lock system was fully active as was my adrenaline and heart rate, when I came to a stop about 10 feet from the bear.

    The road was about 50 feet across; we were on the right 10-foot section next to the deep wet ditch on my right.

    We both were initially startled, and I sat unable to move, watching the scene unfold. This was a very large Black Bear, which ran across the roadway to the left, kind of quartered away, down the road in front of me.

    I was trying to calm my own heart rate, as I was feeling better with his departure.

    Then he slowed. He slowed to a walk as if he just ran out of reason to be afraid or realized I wasn't persuing him. At about 100 feet away. The bruin turned slowly and looked right at me.


    Bears as I know them have a weird yet specific body language when angered and as they become aggressive. They begin swinging their heads and sometimes their bodies from side to side and seem to be licking their lips as they begin the encounter.


    This one was classic. The swinging and drooling behavior and a slow walk towards me. I revved the motor, nothing. I yelled into my helmet enough to hurt my own ears. He was still coming at a constant walking pace, yet quickly I was running out of options and time to make them. Quicker than he was running out of distance to cover.

    I was still in 5th gear and knew at his present placement, temperament, and speed; I couldn't drive away unless it was NOW! And that wasn't going to be possible since getting the tranny into at least 2nd was going to take longer than the time available.

    I quickly considered falling under the bike to save myself, but being middle aged and less than fit, I am sure I would screw that up so declined that idea, just as quickly.

    He was now about 20 feet away and not slowing, no matter what I did. I then remembered suddenly the horn. I thought, "Why hadn't I thought of it sooner?". Good questions seem to be simple, actually blatently obvious after the event. The horn! I laid on the horn, he flinched. I laid on it again and he swung his eyes away from me, slowly as if not really bothered, turned a quarter turn to his right and slowly walked across the road.

    I was quickly in first and ready to ride off, yet he continued into the woods.

    About then Friar Mike(advrider member and my "wingman") arrived, I was still pretty shaky. I told him the story and he was like,,,, That's great, lets ride. :stfu in other words.....

    So off we rode to the Peel River crossing. A native family drove up in a green pickup and the oldest woman said, "Did you see that fuckin bear?" and "It was the biggest fuckin bear I have ever seen and I was raised here!"

    Friar actually posted their truck with a sticker. I looked for the picture of the posting but couldn't find it.

    So there you have it my bear or bare saga. Boring,, I am sure........

    Pic right after the bear incident?

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    #13
  14. wxwax

    wxwax Excited Member

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    Scary story, made worse by the fact that you couldn't really share the experience. Woulda scared the crap out of me.
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  15. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    Ya, the handgun laws do cramp one's style somewhat up here. I'm not a hunter myself, but I have an acquaintance that teaches the fire arms training course up here (Vancouver) and is a hunter. He said hand guns aren't powerful enough to drop a mature charging bear. The hits would likely just piss it off more and the wounds willl kill it only after you're dead. When he hikes in bear country he uses a shotgun loaded with alternating shells of lead slugs and 4 pellet count massive ball bearings. Like I said, I'm not a hunter so I don't know the technical terms for all this stuff, but he let me shoot one of his shotguns with a lead slug in it, and the target (a cement block) disintegrated. Yup, that would do the job. The bear would be missing whole sections of his body.

    Thing is, how do you ride with a shotgun on your bike? And do you really want to?

    Personally, I think a handgun would give me comfort up there, and I would take one if it wasn't so nasty illegal in Canada.
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  16. Gusgus

    Gusgus Banned

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    Your friend is probably right if I was trying to kill it. But you would be surprised how quickly a bear will run if shot.

    I've been around others who have shot Brown Bears with 44 mag handguns. The bears leave with all haste.

    Why did they shoot the bears?

    They were going to hurt us if someone hadn't done something. We were out on the Aleutian chain and another time also on the Seward Penninsula, fishing and cleaning game.

    The authorities were notified each time and each time we were justified.

    But to realize both bears weren't charging, just as the blackie had done, walking towards us with the same swinging behavior.

    A very stressful and damned scarey time. But a handgun was the difference each time.

    Now as some Canadians seem to preach that guns are more dangerous than having no gun at all, is wrong. Dead wrong. Guns do save lives. They have saved lives in front of me, yet I have never seen a gun kill anyone.

    Both bears lived, according to the Alaskan Fish and Wildlife Troopers. They tracked each bear for months and found them alot smarter about avoiding humans. All their aggression was gone. Go figure!

    Yes if you care about them dying within sight,, then a shotgun is prefered. I prefer leaving them to their wounds.
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  17. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    Newbee handgun question

    Where does one carry a handgun on a bike?

    If its in your top box, would you have time to retrieve it and use it? It sounded like you didn't have time to shift down to 1st gear and get out of there given the animal's speed, and the stress induced clumsiness caused by your body's adrenalin dump. I know how you felt, I had a massive Bison start charging at me while I was taking a picture of him from what I thought was a safe distance on my bike. Uh, not a safe distance. :eek1 My fingers felt like useless baseball bats from the adrenalin dump. I stalled the bike as I tried to put away the camera (adrenalin makes you stupid too), get the bike off the side stand and into first gear. All the time, my passenger is bashing me on the back yelling why I'm not getting us the hell out of there. (We laugh about it now). So I'm assuming digging through a luggage box is a non-starter.

    If you had it in your jacket pocket, would you have had enough time and composure to pull off your gloves, take off the safety and squeeze a few rounds? (serious question, not an "anti-gun preacher" question).
    :chace
    And if you spill on the bike, does having a handgun in your pocket increase your risk when you fall?

    Cheers,

    Rob
    #17
  18. Gusgus

    Gusgus Banned

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    All great questions.

    I carry a small semi auto 380 in my jacket, and a S&W 40 cal 16 round semi auto in my tank bag, usually. Yes the pain would be worse if I fell on the 380, but I see the risk worth the carry. I know friends who carry more guns than I, and in pant leg holsters and such. The S&W 40 actually dented my tank last summer during a late night get off in a mountian pass.

    I am pretty calm during times like the bear, usually, but no ability to protect myself, pumped me up quite alot. Actually more than what I would like to believe would be normal.

    It was sure gratifying to hear the native woman confirm my sighting as a fuckin huge bear.....
    #18
  19. KL5A

    KL5A Bugs are the new black

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    Well I guess I know who to ride with! :clap
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  20. Gusgus

    Gusgus Banned

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    And your always welcome!

    I shoot first and then ask, who is it?

    Unless Canada is our destination.....Dangit! It cramps my style.......

    In canada I use this tool :nono and this one too:ken . So I am not completely unarmed.......Oh yea the horn is another good tool!
    #20