Cheryl & Leslie's Triumph Tiger 800XC ADV to Alaska

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by soph9, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. Cowtowner

    Cowtowner Been here awhile

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    Hi Cheryl and Leslie, nice to meet you briefly yesterday afternoon. Cool bikes!

    Wow, do the weather reports mean anything around here - every day they change to rain and it's pouring rain this morning. I miss those hot springs now!
  2. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    good luck with the Dempster if you are going? This weather sux up here but it is all part of the adventure as they would say. Nice to meet you guys too. Nice to meet ADV riders in general. We are having a rest day today hoping for better weather tomorrow for our trip up to Inuvik. Now, if I could get this WIFI to upload at least my post from yesterday I did all would be great. Might have to venture out in the rain to get to that Internet Cafe on Front street.
  3. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    Watson Lake to Ross River

    (All pictures on any of the posts can be clicked on for larger sizes)


    July 5th 2011


    Got a late start today because we have been a little cold at night with the temperatures almost reaching freezing. Although we have a lot of clothing to try to bulk up and stay warm, we are still finding it hard to actually be warm. In any case, we finally got ready to leave around 11 after eating at camp and repacking everything.
    Bad picture, we are very tired here but who cares, still a picture of the 2 of us! [​IMG]


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    Cheryl trying to stay warm in the freezing morning air.


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    Our organized chaos in the morning. Somehow everything does end up back where it should.


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    Before we took off for the Campbell highway that takes us from Watson Lake to Ross River via this “dirt'” road, we needed to pack extra fuel. We have two 1 gallon rotopax containers on our bikes for the time our bikes can’t make the trip before we reach another gas station. In this case it was a good thing we had the extra gas because we would have never made it to Ross River with only our 19 litres on board.


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    The Robert Campbell “Highway” is 572 KM if you take it all the way to the Klondike Highway which we did. But on this day we ended at Ross River which was 374 KM give or take a few KM. The road is mainly dirt and very well groomed. Some loose gravel, larger rocks, pot holes, loose dirt and when wet some slippery areas. Having said this it is an easy road to ride for most bikes with suspension and a rider who does not worry about being alone. We saw only a handful of trucks and NO motorcycles on this road the entire time.


    Very quiet and no traffic or people. Some really nice scenic views and lot’s of treed straights that shelters you from the wind. We got up to speeds up to 90 – 100 KM/hr on some sections. Averaged about 75. Our gas mileage got really good on this trip road. The Tigers seem to like speeds less than 110KM/hr in order for them to get decent mileage.
    Some views and highlights from the Robert Campbell.


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    In the beginning of the ride the road was very dry and dusty. Cheryl rode behind me the entire way saying “way should both of us get trashed by the dust”. I felt badly she could hardly see for about the first 200 KM. After while it began to rain on us. Seems to be doing this everyday in and around mid day. Rain for a bit and then clears up.
    Once the rains came Cheryl could see and I could see her behind me. Made the road even that much more enjoyable to ride. Here the bikes still look little clean.


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    getting dirtier. This stuff they put on this road, not sure if it is Calcium Chloride on this section but whatever it is sure loves to stick like cement to the bikes. Cheryl saying LOOK at me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am very dusty!


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    Then me, not so bad. What a I doing in this picture? Modeling?


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    Some info as to what these roads do for the areas


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    Bikes by now are just getting caked with this crap….


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    Some sections of the road is sort of paved. We both can not figure out why pave a few KM of road and not the rest? At times you are on and off pavement on the Campbell quite a bit and see signs like this all the time.


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    We both agree this was an enjoyable way to get to Ross River and really stay away from all the RV’s and tourists.


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    More pictures showing Cheryl’s dusty KLIM suit


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    we took snack and pee breaks along the way. The one time Cheryl goes to pee a truck actually passes by. Like the first one in hours. That is her face in the above picture as well as showing how dusty she is.
    We had to use our extra fuel. We dumped both gallons in the tanks. Actually not a full 2 gallons had to leave some room for expansion in the containers but it gave us another 170 KM each to ride when we needed about 80 KM.


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    There are many spots to capture and take in the views throughout the highway.


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    there is a bridge in the above picture…the Yukon love these bridges with metal grates.


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    Notice the beautiful blue sky? This is what we headed into as we got nearer to Ross River.


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    The next picture was taken at the same just in the other direction and this was what we were leaving, blue sky



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    we arrived in Ross River to really not find a town at all. Went to the only grocery store where a bunch of kids were running it and seemed to not like the “intruders”. We just wanted to know where to camp and if we could buy beer. Well, no one knew where to camp and there was no beer in the store. Maybe Ross River is a dry town? We did not ask. Some guy while we were getting gas pointed us into the direction of the camp ground.


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    It’s raining on us here.


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    Kind of a sad little town to be honest but I bet those who live there are happy?


    Once we got to the campground right outside of town, the rain stopped and the skies cleared up. Just in time for a camp fire and dinner. Funny thing is once we got the fire going, actually Cheryl, I decided I wanted to move sites because there was a nicer one across the way so we could hear the river. Cheryl literally carried over embers from the fire she worked so hard on to start another fire in the pit at the other site. I had to carry the tent I all ready set up.
    here is our first site.


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    then the second and better site! [​IMG]


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    When we get better WIFI I will post the short video of Cheryl explaining why we are moving camp sites. Plus, the bathrooms were closer.


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    This was the end of day 6 and a good day it was. We are not really minding the rain because our gear is really working out great. We just hate setting up when it is raining or breaking down camp. I will try and get Day 7 up tomorrow.


    This trip is turning out to be something else to be honest. The riding has been awesome, the weather up and down, the views and experience priceless.


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  4. Ron from BC

    Ron from BC Long timer

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    How's the Thermacell working out with the bugs? Great riding and writing!!


    :lurk
  5. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    but the Thermacell really works with no wind. We used it at Ross River and when I shut it down it was obvious it worked!:clap
  6. tug

    tug Adventurer

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    Wow, what a great ride. Alaska is certainly on my to do list.
    I am in the market for a ADV-BIKE and am very interested in your over all and detailed opinion about the Tigers.
    Also you stated that the extra two gallons of fuel would give you an addition range of 170 km/106 miles is that correct. That would be 53 mpg. Earlier it was 38 mpg. Do you have a feel for what your mpg/kpl has been so far. This is also going to factor in to my decision.

    Any updates on the noise the bikes are making?

    I hope the rest of your adventure is as great or better from here on out. Be safe.
    Enjoying the ride reports.

    Tug
  7. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    The gas mileage all depends on speed and wind. On the Robert Campbell we kept the bikes in and around 75 - 90KM/hr. We got better mileage for sure when riding below 100 with no head winds. Add head winds, highway riding and over 120 KM/hr....the mileage drops significantly.

    I promise to write a detail review of the bikes and our Heidenau tires after we ride the Dempster and Top of the World. So, hang in there it will be coming up soon....but as I have alluded previously, these bikes ROCK. Still trying to figure out the noise issue. Not as bad since the suspension adjustment but still there but the bikes do not seem to be affected.
  8. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    July 6th 2011


    I know we talk about the temperature a lot especially in the morning but here is another comment as to what the temperature was when we got up in Ross River. Brrrrrrrrr!!


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    Cheryl has 3 pairs of socks on, her Gerbring jacket wrapped around her calves and feet, numerous layers on and of course her dew rag on her head. She said she was warmer. Maybe I need to learn something about using all my socks and clothes in temps like this to sleep more than a few hours.

    I got up around 0530 and took a little hike down to the river before any of the campers at the river sites were up. So quiet except the great sound of rushing water.

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    I’ve got a thing for skies and cloud pictures especially in the morning hours. Something so peaceful about the skies we have been seeing when it is not raining.

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    My attempt to get artsy with a picture. I would never claim to be a photographer.

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    We got camp packed up really early today for the long ride to Dawson City. First stop was Faro for a quick bite to eat. More dirt roads and some nice views on the route. The dirt was damp from the rain we got over night so no dust for Cheryl.

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    More metal bridges which are now just a common crossing for our bikes

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    We were greeted in Faro by this 65 Tonne truck at the entrance of the town. Wish the WIFI was better to just post short videos of things we are seeing. Maybe when we get to Fairbanks we can upload some videos. Here is the BIG truck and Cheryl just loved playing around in it in all her gear. She is such a kid sometimes but in a good way.

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    The official welcome sign to Faro
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    After playing around in the humungous truck, we headed down into the “town” of Faro and found the one and only restaurant so we could have breakfast.
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    As we were parking our bikes, we noticed this mangy pooch wandering around. It seems to be a common thing up here to let your dogs just roam around. This little guy looked like he could use a bath and a haircut![​IMG]

    Our waitress Morgan was a friendly sort and seemed interested in our adventure and agreed to have her photo taken.
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    Breakfast was delicious!
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    We filled up our bellies, but we couldn’t fill up our gas tanks as the town gas station had run out of gas! We still had over half a tank though and we set off for Carmacks.
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    General Store and gas station in Carmacks
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    Views and more views from the Klondike Highway
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    This is at Five Finger Rapids
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    Seems like a lot of pictures of the two of us….cool we say! [​IMG] We love our Gorilla Tripod!
    Met a cool little dog named Jack from Kamloops. A young couple just touring around for a week.
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    Once again as we ride north to Dawson we begin to see less and less of sun and blue sky. Seems like a daily occurrence, blue sky to this
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    By now we are not really too upset if it were to rain. The bikes and our gear needs a washing from the Robert Campbell and we did indeed get wet heading all the way up to Dawson City. A shot of some pretty road side flowers.
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    We both had to stop at the obligatory picture at the welcome sign for Dawson City. All along the road into town there are huge mounds of road mulch. We are certain this is used not only on the Dempster but all roads around here. There are so many of them.
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    this is one way we take together pics without having to rely on others.
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    Dinner at Sourdough Joe’s we had great sandwiches and pea soup. That ended our day and tomorrow we will spend some time doing laundry, trying to lube the chains, get the bikes hosed down, and take a steamboat trip down the Yukon.
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  9. RoyB

    RoyB Dartmouth, Massacusetts

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    NOTHING LIKE IT!

    A friend and I did the same trip in 06. Had the time of our lives!

    Take your time.....head down the less used roads for a bit. It all goes by way too fast!

    www.motoalaska.blogspot.com

    THANKS!
  10. Aussie Trev

    Aussie Trev aka DRTrev

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    Thanks for the read ladies. Pouring over your thread whilst eating breakfast on a cold morning here in Oz warms me up for the trip to work. Keep it up, and I hope you work out the noise issue!!:thumb
  11. Bazi

    Bazi n00b

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    Wow, still great to read your adventure.
    greetings from Germany
    Juergen.

    :wink:Don,t clean the tigers...they looks great now :lol3
  12. opaque_machete

    opaque_machete girls wanna have fun

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    Great ride so far. It can't be too bad, even when you are wet, since you're together, away from work and away from civilization at times. Sounds like heaven! Keep riding safe and keep us along with you. Great pics of beautiful country. If I had the money for a bucket list, Alaska would be on it. :D
  13. dogmoon

    dogmoon Been here awhile

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    I couldnt stand it any longer Cheryl & Leslie I bought myself a black 2012 800 XC Tiger today. What a machine, I am really enjoying your ride report and pictures. Ride Safe.:clap
  14. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    Not sure if anyone is checking out our SPOT page but we have and this is so cool to see the detailed track.....going on a Steam Boat, I meant Paddle BOAT cruise tonight for dinner on the Yukon River.:freaky
  15. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    Congrats...you bought a REALLY great bike!:wink:
  16. JustPlainDave

    JustPlainDave Tubeless Adventurer

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    Hey Ladies,
    It's been great reading (and seeing) your adventure. You'll be hard pressed to top this one.
    Could a long time backpacker/camper offer you a few tips?
    I've learned a few things (some the hard way) backpacking on the Appalachian trail for a bunch of years.
    When it's going to be cold that night (I've tent camped in the snow at -10F): :eek1
    1. Do some jumping jacks or some other excercise (brisk walk, run in place) for a moment before you climb into your sleeping bags. Your heart rate will increase and your body will start to get warmer. This extra warmth will help fill your sleeping bag. Drinking something hot also helps if you are excercise-phobic.
    2. Wrap a towel, sweater, etc. around your feet. Keep your feet warm and you will be warm. However, don't place anything over your bag in the foot area. The moisture from your body heat will migrate through the sleeping bag and may condense under this item and your outer bag may be damp in the a.m.
    3. Heat some water and put it in a water bottle or hydration bladder. Seal it good and take it into your bag with you.
    I use this one all the time and put it by my feet.
    4. If you have to "go" in the middle of the night....do so. It sucks but, go ahead and get it over with. Your body will warm that excess fluid and storing it takes body heat away from the rest of you.

    Wishing you both a safe, warm, and awesome adventure!
    Klas2k likes this.
  17. Nan-Lo

    Nan-Lo Been here awhile

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    Great adventure ladies! Love the choice of motorcycle!
  18. WillDieSoon

    WillDieSoon Adventurer

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    The bikes look awesome up close (we are parked next to you... 2 KTMs and VStrom).

    Looking forward to your review of the bikes and the rest of your RR.

    Have a safe ride on the Dempster the next few days.
  19. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    not sure we like your name but in any case if you get the post, we are heading down to the Downtown Hotel now so Cheryl can do a Sour Toe drink! YUCK! It is 9:14 PM...maybe see you there? We see your bikes...NICE:freaky!
  20. SMURPH

    SMURPH Smartass

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    Lookin great ladies!

    Seems good things to be said about the XC's. Might have to sell the strom and look for that as the next bike. Thanks to you I have a set of K60's waiting to be mounted too. Can't wait to try them out.

    Keep the pics/vids coming and have fun!