Arlington, WA to Alaska & D2D on an XR650L

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by n16ht5, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    This will be an ongoing process as I go through my photos and videos...

    June 10th through June 30th I spent traveling over 4,000mi from my home in Arlington, WA to Alaska, Yukon, and British Columbia. I had always wanted to go to AK, but never really had the time to make it happen. I was getting old, 25. I though I better go before I croak. It was the ride of a lifetime.. I stayed at a great lodge with the wife on a mountain pass, camped at beautiful lakes and campgrounds, saw moose, caribou, bears, sheep.. Stayed with some really great people near Denali who took me dirt biking up in the tundra, got to go whitewater rafting for free through Denali park, Flyfishing, rode the Denali highway, Top of the World highway, ran the Dust2Dawson poker run, went to Summerstroke concert in Whitehorse, rode the Cassiar highway in the sunshine to Hyder, AK, and made some good friends along the way.. I would do it again in a heartbeat.


    Here's a few sneaker shots
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    Anyway... I was planning to take the XR250R, but I stumbled across a 2003 XR650L for $500. Perfect. I really wanted an XRR, but I couldn't pass this deal up :ride:


    It had been sitting for a few years.. had a bad CS, owner thought the shaft was bad, he never bothered to pull it off to see :smirk:. So I cleaned her up and added some goodies to her.....

    Giant Loop Coyote saddle bag
    Dave's Mods
    Spud's Mods
    Desnorkelsmogged
    FMF Q4
    UNI filter
    Oil Cooler
    Bark Busters
    Foldable Mirrors
    Skid plate
    Fender Rack
    Chain gaurd
    Brake gaurd
    XRR headlight, HID retrofit
    LED turns
    LED tail light
    Supersprox, XRR CS, and X-ring chain, 15/46
    Removable windscreen
    Clarke 4.7G tank
    Dirt-bike-gear fender bag for tools/AC
    12V accessory plugs for gear/heated coat
    Cigg lighter plug behind headlight for chargers
    GPS mount
    Reinforced sub-frame
    Handlebar risers
    Bridgestone UHD tubes F/R
    Dual rimlocks F/R
    Cheng shin C858 tires I got for $50


    - Gear review after trip -
    Most everything worked great for the trip. I packed about the right amount of gear and tools. The Giant Loop Coyote was probably the best addition to the bike for the trip. I have no idea how I would have got everything on the bike without it. I am NOT a fan of hard bags at all, so this or Wolfman was my option. I am glad I went with GL. It stayed secure the whole trip, kept my gear safe and secure, and held up to a lot of abuse, save for one plastic cinch clip during the last few days.
    The Cheng Shin tires were garbage. The rear wore out ridiculously fast, although I tend to have a heavy right hand and rode with a ton of weight on it. It was down to 1/8" of tread by D2D, only 1/2 way through the trip. Next time I will probably go with Pirelli MT16, Artrax, or Haidenau (sp?). Not one flat.
    The final windscreen I added on was a lifesaver. Riding the rain on the highway was made much more comfortable, not to mention crap that hit the screen like bugs and rocks. I made sure it was removable for dirt biking. The dry bags for my gear strapped to the GL was essential. SeattleSports brand is a must





    Here she is all loaded up
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    I was ready to roll. Well... I needed a lot of gear to camp off this bike for three weeks over 4,000mi.
    #1
  2. chelo5sur

    chelo5sur Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    199
    Location:
    Chile.
    nice pics. Thanks
    #2
  3. PistonPants

    PistonPants Crankcase Scavenger

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    467
    Location:
    Cantwell, AK
    Great report, video and stills! Mrs Piston and I wish you safe and fun travels. Looking forward to seeing where the Warpig takes you. Easy on that right wrist (unless you see XR haters in those tiny rearview mirrors.) We enjoyed your stay and especially riding together. Wish I could follow along for more of the ride.
    Peace
    Piston
    #3
  4. PistonPants

    PistonPants Crankcase Scavenger

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    467
    Location:
    Cantwell, AK
    An epic ride it was. Topping the 'price of admission' , storm clouds gathered, thunder booming off the mountains. Are we deterred? No way.
    Lunch in the rain.
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    It will pass. Potato chips remind us what dry is like. n16ht5 rides hi XRL like he's shot from a cannon. Best to not let off the juice on a 300+lb cycle. Beep beep! Salute!
    The rain slacked off and we headed deeper into the backcountry, ascending the third cirque to 4200'. We pause to let Shutter Monkey's GasGas stop boiling and spewing coolant.....Spaniards.
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    They told him 'you can't do THAT on an XR650L'. Did he listen?
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    The alpine in bloom
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    We hauled some antlers back out with us. Shutter Monkey scores a rack.
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    On the home stretch. Heading for BBQ ribs and chicken. Mrs Piston is legendary for feeding the sweaty bruised and muddy adventurers. Credit to Bubba for the ribs.

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    Dude...You went THERE on THAT!?!:eek1:lol3 Nice run.
    Piston
    #4
  5. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Continuing from above... ADV doesn't like more than a few pictures..


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    Gear is as follows

    Tools..
    sockets, wrenches, allen set
    tire repair kit, spoons
    air compressor
    chain repair kit
    electric repair kit
    first aid kit

    Giant Loop Coyote
    Wolfman Expedition Tank Bag - Small
    *(I like the GL better, they only had this in stock though in Anchorage)
    SeattleSports Dry bags (one for each sleeping bag)
    Overboard waterproof backpack (Got in Anchorage)
    Two 1/2L, one 1L steel water bottles
    Collapsible fishing pole, tackle
    Penny stove (Steverstove) with Heet fuel
    MSR seagull cooking pot, steel bowl
    Steripen water purifier w/ prefilter
    -15F poly sleeping bag for me, down bag for wife
    OR bivy sac with bug net
    Cheap $25 walmart dome tent (didn't want to lug my good tent on the bike)
    Twin size inflatable mattress
    Tarp
    Folding camp saw
    Maps
    GPS
    Milepost 2011 (pages)
    2M/70CM Ham radio
    Flashlights, spare batteries
    Chargers for camera, phone, GPS
    Weeks worth cooking food
    Snacks and power bars
    toiletries


    Sandals
    Three days clothes
    Home-wired heated riding jacket
    fleece top
    fleece pants
    long johns
    Grundens rain gear
    waterproof socks
    18" Hiking boots
    Gaiters Crocs
    Baclava
    1 pair summer riding gloves
    2 pair spring riding gloves
    1 pair winter riding gloves

    Wife brought similar clothes


    We had a LOT of stuff. The plan was to ride the ferry along the inside passage from Bellingham to Haines, AK. There we would get off, ride 1,000mi to Anchorage where she would fly home. I continue on solo, eventually to Dust2Dawson and then home along the Cassiar highway through Canada.

    So it begins...

    Waiting in Bellhingham for the Ferry. It wasn't cheap.. $1200 for the two of us and bike.. they don't give a break for bikes in pricing :foul: but I didn't want to ride up 2-up the whole way as we hadn't rode much 2up, especially with this much gear on the bike.
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    waiting in line with other riders
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    Leaving the dock... here we go
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    For those who travel the ferry.... this is the best spot... the sundeck, in the middle toward the windows.. I had my wife go onboard with the passengers and save this spot. by the time us riders had got on the boat, pretty much everything was taken except the floor or tenting on the outside deck.
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    #5
  6. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
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    our view
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    the heatlamps are NICE. I slept on top of my sleeping bag in my shorts
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    Sunrise came early.. about 4:30AM
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    Breakfast... we packed a huge Styrofoam cooler for the boat ride. We saved a lot of money on food that way..

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    #6
  7. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Bella Coola area
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    #7
  8. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
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    Ketchikan, AK
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    We went out for a bit into town.. they don't give you a whole lot of time though.
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    our little fort
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    #8
  9. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Wrangell, AK
    neat little town.. the big ships definitely skip this place.
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    there's a really good place to eat on the main street..
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    After that we headed for the Inside Passage... too shallow and narrow for the bigger ships. the markers tell where to go, otherwise you hit bottom
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    lots of eagles
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    I hope they weren't feeding them...
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    look for the ping pong balls
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    well I have lots more photos... still on day 2 here! more to come..
    #9
  10. busdriver803

    busdriver803 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Camano Island, WA
    Looks like a great trip so far ... this is one on my bucket list. Looking forward to the rest of your adventure! :clap
    #10
  11. ceebaileys

    ceebaileys Shield Manufacturer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    186
    Location:
    Montebello, CA
    Enjoying the pictures! Can't wait for more =)
    #11
  12. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Petersburg, AK
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    A whale, in front of the small island
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    A friend we made, she is a photographer who is running as a guide this summer in Haines.. emilyteal.com

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    Haines, AK... we're finally here!
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    #12
  13. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    The ride is starting to get pretty nice
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    I was pretty cooped up on the boat... so I wanted to try this hill..
    70lbs of stuff over the rear tire makes for a good entrenching device though
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    #13
  14. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
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    Million Dollar Falls
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    Our first camping spot of the trip... Dezadeash Lake, Yukon. Absolutely gorgeous.
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    Our bike puked onto the table.
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    "Get in bed!"
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    #14
  15. LoneRanger

    LoneRanger Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    Lewistown, Montana
    Great report and pictures thus far. You would have never made it with that much stuff on an XRR. The sub-frame won't hold up.
    #15
  16. HH

    HH Hurricane Harry

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,676
    Location:
    Seattle/Dahlonega
    Nice trip and report, thanks.:clap

    Looking forward to the rest.
    #16
  17. shepoutside

    shepoutside Canadian - eh!

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    168
    Location:
    somewhere in Ontario, between many Great Lakes !
    Wicked report!!! :clap
    #17
  18. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,429
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
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    More to come... going to the Arlington Fly In
    #18
  19. Buzz363

    Buzz363 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    354
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Amazing photos, great work. Looking forward to more.
    #19
  20. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,789
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    Was great to see another XR at D2D (my buddy was riding my '08 that I sold to him). Great pictures!
    #20